Michele Masucci steps down as vice president for research

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to let you know that Michele Masucci, vice president for research and a professor of geography and urban studies, has been named the University System of Maryland’s vice chancellor for research and economic development. The University System of Maryland will make the announcement today, and Michele begins in this role on Sept. 6. 

The position that Michele steps into at the University System of Maryland is a new one that blends the disciplines of research and economic development together to fully leverage the system’s resources to benefit the state of Maryland, its citizens and its workforce. As anyone who has worked with Michele knows, this is a role that suits her well and is an excellent opportunity for her.

Since joining Temple University in 1997, Michele has made a considerable impact on the university’s research and knowledge enterprise. She has always been an active and ambitious scholar, and her commitment to research only grew in 2012 when she was named vice provost for research. In that role, she led a universitywide strategic initiative to expand research and innovation, develop interdisciplinary cross-cutting research teams, and invest in translational and applied research that can accelerate commercialization outcomes.

In 2016, shortly after she was named vice president for research, Michele spearheaded Temple’s elevation to the top tier of the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. During that year, the university’s research expenditures reached a then-record $242 million, putting it in the top 100 universities for research spending according to the National Science Foundation. Temple’s research enterprise has continued to grow under Michele’s leadership, as research expenditures eclipsed $290 million during this past academic year.

Her own research has examined how barriers to accessing information resources broadly and geographic information technologies specifically are interrelated with community development and environmental quality issues, including accessing health, education and social services. Currently, she is exploring digital inclusion, the innovation ecosystem, community geographic information systems, and establishing pipelines in STEM fields of studies and careers.

Michele also regularly volunteers her time as a member of several key national, statewide and local organizations, including serving as the co-chair of the Federal Demonstration Partnership and council member of the Government University Industry Research Roundtable of the National Academies.

While it is difficult to see Michele go, we are grateful for the path forward that she has helped pave for us. We are one of the most active research universities in the world, and Michele played a leading role in that significant accomplishment. Further expanding our research is an important strategic priority for the university and we will launch a national search to select our next vice president for research.

Please join me in thanking Michele for her 25 years of service to Temple. We wish her the very best.


Gregory N. Mandel
Laura H. Carnell Professor of Law