Barnhill, Robert E.
Robert E. Barnhill’s career has focused on research and education at research universities. His formal research administration career spanned 15 years, from 1991-2006. Barnhill was the Vice President for Research at Arizona State University (ASU) between 1991 and 1997, a period in which ASU was designated a top-tier, Carnegie Research I university and research income doubled. Barnhill had first come to ASU in 1986 as chair of the Computer Science Department. Before his tenure at ASU, Barnhill spent 22 years as a professor of mathematics and computer science at the University of Utah, helping to pioneer mathematics with computer graphics.
Dr. Barnhill served at the University of Kansas (KU) as Vice Chancellor for Research and Public Service and President & Chief Operating Officer for the KU Center for Research Inc., a nonprofit corporation charged with managing research administration for the Lawrence campus, from 1997-2004. He also served as KU's Federal Relations Officer for Research. External research expenditures more than doubled at KU during his tenure and KU had one of the fastest research growth rates in the nation.
He assumed duties at the University of Texas System as Vice Chancellor for Research and Technology Transfer in 2005. As The University of Texas System's first Vice Chancellor for Research and Technology Transfer, Barnhill was responsible for encouraging large scale research collaborations among the System’s 15 institutions and with other universities. He worked to enable industry, System and university collaborations that permitted communities, the state, business and industry to gain more from university research and education. He led the academic portion of the UT System’s Los Alamos management bid in which over 30 universities joined, representing 20% of the nation’s research funding. He retired from the UT System in December 2006.