Richard W. (Rick) Spinrad became Vice President for Research at OSU in July of 2010. Prior to this role, he served as Assistant Administrator for research for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
As NOAA’s Assistant Administrator for research, Spinrad directed the agency’s programs in oceanography, atmospheric science and climate since 2005. He directly supervised several of NOAA’s high-profile research efforts, including ocean exploration, the National Sea Grant College Program and the Climate Program Office, as well as seven NOAA laboratories around the United States.
Among his accomplishments, Spinrad led the White House Committee that developed the nation’s first set of ocean research priorities and oversaw the revamping of NOAA’s research enterprise. He also developed the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, for high school students.
He spent two years as NOAA’s Assistant Administrator for Oceanic Services and Coastal Zone Management, directing the agency’s navigation services, including the National Geodetic Survey, the National Marine Sanctuaries Program and the Office of Coastal Resource Management. As part of his duties, he represented U.S. interests in the establishment of a global tsunami warning system.
In addition to his NOAA stint, Spinrad has served as a research director with the U.S. Navy, taught at two universities, directed a major national non-profit organization, presided over a private company and worked as a research scientist. Spinrad is the recipient of Presidential Rank Awards from Presidents George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama. Dr. Spinrad is also an OSU alumnus, receiving his master’s degree in 1978 and doctorate in 1982 in oceanography.
Headed by the vice president for research, the several units of the Research Office serve faculty involved in research, innovation, scholarship, and creativity in all OSU colleges and departments, and in a variety of multidisciplinary centers, institutes, and programs. The office provides support to secure funding, comply with regulations, partner with industry, establish collaborations across the university, and raise the profile of OSU.
The vice president for research oversees research and scholarship activities spanning OSU's 11 academic colleges and more than 20 multidisciplinary programs, centers and institutes.