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Illinois chemical engineer named as new UB provost

The University at Buffalo has selected a chemical engineer as its new No. 2 official at the university.

Charles F. Zukoski, chairman of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was announced as the university's new provost Friday by UB President Satish K. Tripathi.

Zukoski will earn $400,000 as provost, according to UB. The salary is comparable to that of his peers at other leading research institutions, according to a UB official.

Zukoski will start his new job in the summer.

UB has been in search of a new chief academic and budget officer, since Tripathi left that position last year to take over as president.

During the search, which began in September, Zukoski emerged from a deep pool of impressive candidates, Tripathi said in an email to the UB community.

"His intellectual energy and creativity, his exceptional leadership and collegiality, and his great passion for public higher education quickly became evident in this process," Tripathi wrote in the email.

Tripathi said Zukoski has broad experience in academic leadership, international education, economic engagement and forging partnerships across university lines.

"I have every confidence that he will be a stellar addition to our senior leadership team and to our university community at this exciting time in UB," Tripathi said.

As UB's No. 2 official, Zukoski will serve as executive vice president for academic affairs in charge of instruction, research, faculty and other day-to-day operations. He'll be a key player with Tripathi in trying to advance UB's goal of becoming a top public research institute.

"UB is a university on the brink of true greatness, and I am deeply gratified to have this opportunity to make a difference in achieving that vision," Zukoski said in a statement.

He spent 17 years as an administrator at Illinois, serving as head of the department of chemical engineering from 1994 to 2002.

He was vice chancellor for research at Illinois from 2002 to 2008, overseeing the creation of new research institutes and partnerships with institutions in Singapore, India and Cyprus, according to UB. In addition, he has served as chairman of the Science and Engineering Research Council of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore since 2006.

Zukoski's research is in suspension mechanics, protein crystallization and nanoparticle self-assembly. His resume includes being named one of the Hundred Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, UB said.

He has a bachelor's degree in physics from Reed College in Portland, Ore., and a doctorate in chemical engineering from Princeton University. Zukoski and his wife, Barbara, have two sons.

email: citydesk@buffnews.com