MARIAN MCCORD, UNH’s new senior vice provost for research, economic engagement and outreach, describes herself as a “firm supporter and fan of” the mission of land-grant universities. “Universities develop science, humanities, arts and technologies, and land grants are the leaders in transferring that to the public and to societal impact,” she says. “That is our responsibility as public institutions.” As she steps into a role that was recently expanded to encompass both Cooperative Extension and outreach activities, McCord’s enthusiasm for the land-grant mission is among the many reasons she was the perfect fit for UNH.
McCord joined the university on Feb. 3 from North Carolina State University, where she served as associate dean for research in the College of Natural Resources. A biomedical engineer with degrees from Brown and Clemson universities, her own research has been focused on the use of textiles, polymers and biomaterials for medical products, devices and implants. She cofounded one company that develops blood phosphate filtration solutions for patients with end-stage renal disease and served as cofounder and vice president for another that creates materials that are insecticidal or insect-bite-proof to protect humans against insect bites.
While McCord’s time for research in her new role will be limited, she says remaining engaged in research allows her to better relate to the day-to-day challenges that faculty face. And she’s excited about the particular challenges her own role will present.
“What UNH is doing with bringing together research, innovation, extension, engagement and outreach is really smart and very forward-thinking,” she says. “The university is poised to take great leaps and I want to be a part of that.”