Steven Liss believes the priority setting for the 2011 research portfolio will be guided by an overarching principle.
“An important goal is for Queen’s to continue to be one of the best places to conduct research,” says Dr. Liss, Vice-Principal (Research), who replaces Kerry Rowe after 10 successful years in the position.
To achieve that broad objective, Dr. Liss believes the Office of VP (Research) must recognize the value derived from an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit. He also plans to emphasize multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary initiatives within the research community.
“We must also find ways to be able to better support the frontiers of inquiry and scholarly work and to ensure that research continues to be a key foundation and integral part of both undergraduate and graduate education,” Dr. Liss says. He is unwavering in his view that Queen’s reputation in excellence in teaching and learning is inextricably linked to the institution’s success as a research-intensive university.
In addition to promoting collaboration at Queen’s, Dr. Liss continues to encourage government and industry partnerships. Those partnerships should also include sister institutions across Canada.
“There will always be a competing spirit amongst each other but Canadian post-secondary institutions need to embrace each other’s successes and individual strengths that advance our aspirations in a global environment,” he says. “Queen’s is a world-class research university and we need to position ourselves that way.”
He also identifies the need for new models for sustaining and growing the university’s research centres. He wants the centres to continue to take advantage of their ability to attract resources and investment.
In addition to advancing priorities and goals, Dr. Liss will also be listening to the community and paying close attention to the developing academic plan.
Dr. Liss, an accomplished microbiology researcher, understands university research from faculty and administration perspectives. Most recently he served as the Associate Vice-President (Research) at the University of Guelph, and he also led the portfolio on an interim basis.
He will be busy at Queen’s, but he is driven by his passion for research.
“I really thrive on hearing from faculty and students working in the research environment,” he says.
He was attracted to the university because of its strong research reputation and an outstanding environment for teaching and learning.
“When you start looking at research intensity and the actual contributions and successes of students, faculty and staff, we are certainly at the top of the heap,” he says.
Dr. Liss will continue his environmental biotechnology research at the School of Environmental Studies with a cross appointment in chemical engineering. He is also researching how government policies impact the contributions immigrants make to innovation and investigating how universities advance a country’s social wealth.