Richard (Rick) Tankersley is UNC Charlotte’s vice chancellor for Research and Economic Development, effective May 1.
Tankersley, who was serving as the interim vice chancellor since May 2018, also was executive director of the Charlotte Research Institute at UNC Charlotte and associate dean for research and graduate education in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
Prior to joining UNC Charlotte in 2016, Tankersley served four years as a program director at the National Science Foundation (NSF), where he led several interdisciplinary, cross-NSF programs. He also worked seven years as the director of the Integrated Science Teaching Enhancement Program at Florida Institute of Technology.
After completing a Ph.D. in biology from Wake Forest University, Tankersley conducted postdoctoral work at the Duke University Marine Laboratory in Beaufort, North Carolina. As a scientist, Tankersley has had his research published in dozens of peer-reviewed publications, and he has received nearly 20 years of continuous support from the NSF. He has held academic positions at Florida Institute of Technology, University of Maryland Baltimore County and Gonzaga University. He also served as a visiting scientist and research associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama City, Panama.
Provost Joan Lorden, in announcing Tankersley’s appointment, said, “UNC Charlotte sought a bold and inspirational leader with expertise in research-driven programs to execute our strategic vision to enhance our research collaborations locally, nationally and internationally and also to advance the University’s reputation as a premier research institution. We believe Rick Tankersley is the right choice to realize this vision for UNC Charlotte.”