Temple Times Online Edition
    NOVEMBER 11, 2004
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Temple names faculty affairs vice provost


After 37 years at the School of Medicine, Ronald J. Tallarida just completed a migration made by few other Temple faculty members: His office moved about a mile and a half south to the Main Campus.

This fall, Tallarida was appointed Vice Provost for faculty affairs, a position overseeing matters pertaining to faculty throughout the University, from the tenure and promotion process to new faculty hiring.

For Tallarida, the big move has already had its rewards.

“There’s a vibrancy here on the Main Campus,” he said. “I enjoy being surrounded by the undergraduates and their energy, and being within a short walk from so many other professors and different colleges.”

A leading expert in the ways drugs interact with each other and with the human body, Tallarida remains a professor in the School of Medicine’s department of pharmacology, where he served as acting chairman from 2001 to 2003. He is co-director of the Core on Integrative Pharmacology in the Center on Substance Abuse and director of the Center on Quantitative Biology and Biomedical Mathematics in the College of Science and Technology.

Tallarida is one of Temple’s most respected and productive researchers. He has authored or co-authored more than 220 publications (including seven books on pharmacology and applied mathematics), and he’s currently the principal investigator or co-investigator on four National Institutes of Health-funded research projects, as well as the recipient of a Focused Giving Award from Johnson & Johnson.

That background will help him achieve one of his primary goals: improving and nurturing faculty research at Temple.

“Research is an essential part of the University’s culture,” Tallarida said. “I hope to stimulate research by faculty members throughout Temple, particularly faculty who have not been active in research. In that effort I will work closely with my colleague, Dr. Ken Soprano, vice president for research.”

Tallarida, a winner of a Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, said his office’s renewed emphasis on research doesn’t mean that teaching excellence will be ignored.

“In my opinion, good research goes hand-in-hand with good teaching,” he said.

Provost Ira Schwartz agrees. He expects Tallarida’s combination of experiences and achievements will be the key to his success.

“Ron is recognized as being an outstanding teacher and scholar,” Schwartz said. “He also has a long track record as a funded researcher. These are precisely the credentials that the Vice Provost for faculty affairs should have at a leading university. Temple is fortunate to have such a distinguished person to serve in this critical position.”

Tallarida will also spearhead Temple’s ongoing faculty hiring push, a major effort that has already begun to transform the University.

“We want to make more good people come to Temple,” Tallarida said. “Recruitment begins with the deans and chairs who identify the recruits, but working with the deans to get them here is part of the job of my office.

“Once new faculty members arrive, then my office’s role changes,” he continued. “We’ll work with them just as we work with Temple’s existing faculty, helping them to grow as teachers and scholars.”

More than 50 new tenured and tenure-track faculty members have been hired so far this academic year. Over the next 12 months, Tallarida expects that at least 50 more new faculty members will come to Temple as part of a plan developed by President David Adamany and Schwartz.

Tallarida replaces Linda Mauro, who will return to her teaching and research at the School of Social Administration in the spring after taking a semester’s leave of absence.

“Even before my appointment, I had the pleasure of working with Linda as a member of the University’s Tenure and Promotion Review Committee,” Tallarida said. “I’ve learned a lot from her, and I’ll continue to learn from her in the months ahead.”

- By Hillel J. Hoffmann