According to an article posted by Virginia Tech University, UMass alumnus G. Don Taylor, vice provost for Learning Systems Innovation and Effectiveness and interim vice president for Research and Innovation at Virginia Tech, is being promoted to executive vice provost at that university, effective July 1. Taylor, who earned his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering & Operations Research from the UMass Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department in 1990, also received the MIE Outstanding Senior Alumni Award in 2015.
In his new role, says Virginia Tech, Taylor will report directly to Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke and will support day-to-day management activities for Virginia Tech’s academic enterprise, improve the overall strategic capabilities of the Provost’s Office, and develop and define tactics for gaining efficiencies through a systems approach. He will also have oversight of the units led by vice provosts and will be responsible for institutional accreditation, matters involving the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, and Virginia Tech’s Destination Areas program.
Taylor, who also holds a faculty appointment as the Charles O. Gordon Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering in the Virginia Tech College of Engineering, will continue to serve as interim vice president for Research and Innovation until a new vice president is appointed, as the Virginia Tech article reported.
“I am honored to serve Virginia Tech in this new capacity and to help advance our academic enterprise at such an exciting and transformational time in our university’s history,” Taylor said in the Virginia Tech article. “There is so much opportunity to further position and advance Virginia Tech as a global institution, and so many talented faculty and staff throughout the commonwealth who are working collectively toward that goal.”
Taylor added that “I am excited to serve and support a group of high quality vice provosts and academic leaders and look forward to partnering with them and their teams to help Virginia Tech achieve its strategic goals and to create new opportunities for our entire university community.”
“Don has served Virginia Tech with distinction as a department head, interim dean, vice provost, and interim vice president,” said Clarke in the same article. “The experience gained in these positions and his ability to work collaboratively with colleagues across the university will be invaluable, as we continue to meet the academic expectations of our comprehensive land-grant mission as well as position the university to take full advantage of new opportunities for service.”
Taylor is a Fellow and president emeritus of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers (IISE). He chairs the board of IISE Solutions Inc. and is a Fellow of the World Academy of Productivity Science.
Before coming to Virginia Tech, Taylor held the Mary Lee and George F. Duthie Endowed Chair in Engineering Logistics and was the director of the Center for Engineering Logistics and Distribution at the University of Louisville.
Taylor also previously held the rank of full professor at the University of Arkansas, where he was the director of the Logistics Institute, and has held visiting positions at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and at Aston University in England. He has industrial experience in both military and consumer electronics—the former at Texas Instruments in Lewisville, Texas, and the latter at Digital Equipment Corporation in Enfield, Connecticut.
Taylor is also an eagle scout, and he has hiked the entire length of the Appalachian Trail. (March 2020)