Jim Roberts will step down as a Kansas University administrator and leader of the KU Center for Research this month to become a full-time professor, KU announced in July.
University officials named Steve Warren, director of KU's Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies, as interim vice provost for research and graduate studies. Warren will serve in Roberts' former position while Provost Richard Lariviere leads a national search for a permanent replacement.
Roberts becomes a professor of electrical engineering for the fall semester. He said he and his wife had decided that his 32 years as an administrator in academia and private industry had been enough.
"We looked at each other and said, 'Let's just let this be it,'" Roberts said in July. "I will tell you that my wife, Carol, is the happiest woman in Lawrence."
Roberts helped with the creation of the Center for Research in 1997 and has been involved with it since then. He became vice provost for research in 2004, and departmental restructuring earlier this year gave him oversight of the graduate school as well.
Warren said he would not seek to fill Roberts' job permanently, because he wants to remain in his post with the Institute for Life Span Studies.
"I'm willing to play the interim role, because it's an important thing for the university," Warren said.
A national search will likely take six to eight months, he said.
The vice provost for research and graduate studies serves as president and chief operating officer for the Center for Research, which helps finance and manage faculty research.