The University of Nebraska-Lincoln will remember the late Prem S. Paul, longtime vice chancellor for research and economic development, and celebrate the newly renamed Prem S. Paul Research Center at Whittier School at 11 a.m. Nov. 22.
Chancellor Ronnie Green will preside over the event, which is open to the university community. The event will take place in a tent outside of Whittier with an indoor reception to follow.
Paul, who died Sept. 2 after a long illness, joined the university as vice chancellor for research and dean of graduate studies in 2001, and was vice chancellor for research and economic development since 2008. The university experienced unprecedented research growth under Paul’s leadership.
Nebraska was one of the fastest-growing research universities from 2001-2009. Total sponsored research funding surged to an all-time high of $146.9 million in the fiscal year ending June 30. In July, the university was named to the Nature Index list of top “rising stars” in research.
The Board of Regents unanimously approved a measure Sept. 16 renaming the Whittier Research Center as the Prem S. Paul Research Center at Whittier School. The building opened in 1923 as Whittier Junior High. The school closed in 1977 and was purchased in 1983 by the University of Nebraska Foundation. In 2007, the Board of Regents approved a $24 million project to renovate the building into research space for interdisciplinary research programs. Paul played a key role in the effort to repurpose Whittier School, with support from former Chancellor Harvey Perlman.
The building is home to several major university research programs, including the Center for Children, Youth, Families and Schools; Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research; Nebraska Transportation Center; Midwest Roadside Safety Facility; Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Consortium; and the Computational Science Initiative. It also houses some Office of Research and Economic Development offices that support the university’s research enterprise, including Sponsored Programs, Proposal Development and Research Compliance Services.
A memorial fund, the Prem S. Paul Fund for Research Excellence, has been established at the University of Nebraska Foundation. Donations may be sent to the University of Nebraska Foundation, 1010 Lincoln Mall, Lincoln, NE 68508, or by contacting 800-432-3216.