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Meet the ORIED Staff

Deborah Crawford

Vice Chancellor for Research

Deborah Crawford, Vice Chancellor for Research

Deborah Crawford is the Vice Chancellor for Research and leads the Office of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development. She joined the university in August 2020 and is a member of the chancellor’s cabinet. She is responsible for coordinating and overseeing the full range of the university’s research, innovation, and economic development programs, and raising the university’s national and international reputation.

Prior to coming to UT, Crawford served as vice president for research, innovation, and economic impact at George Mason University. She spent two years as the president and executive director of the International Computer Science Institute, a not-for-profit research institution in Berkeley, California, and four years as the senior vice provost for research at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She worked at the National Science Foundation for 17 years, where she held a number of executive leadership positions.

She has a PhD in Information Systems Engineering from the University of Bradford and a BS (Honors) in Electronic and Electrical Engineering from the University of Glasgow, both in the UK.

Senior Leadership Team

Associate Vice Chancellor for Research
Director, Division of Partnerships & Economic Development

Marc Gibson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Director of the Division of Partnerships & Economic DevelopmentMarc Gibson leads the Division of Partnership and Economic Development (DPED), which oversees university-wide strategy for industrial partnerships for the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, UT Institute of Agriculture, and UT Space Institute.

Before coming to UT, Gibson spent almost six years with International Management Group (IMG) as the director of new business development for the Vol Network, helping oversee sponsorship and multimedia rights for Tennessee Athletics. He spent two years at the University of Louisville as the associate director of athletic development and two years at the University of Kansas as the associate director of corporate marketing.

A native of Asheville, NC, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Western Carolina University and a Master of Science in education from the University of Tennessee.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Administration

Jean Mercer, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research AdministrationJean Mercer leads the Division of Research Administration, which oversees contract and award administration. Mercer joined UT as assistant vice chancellor for research and director of the Office of Sponsored Programs in 2016.

Mercer has extensive experience in research administration in higher education, most recently serving as the director of grant services in the Office of Research Administration at Indiana University. While there, she supervised and reviewed the processing of all grant and contract applications to external agencies and the receipt of awards and contracts from these organizations.

She collaborates with the Vice Chancellor for Research, other UT leadership, external business partners, and state and federal agency representatives to oversee UT research requirements.

Assistant Vice Chancellor for the Responsible Conduct of Research
Institutional Research Integrity Officer

Sarah Pruett, Assistant Vice Chancellor for the Responsible Conduct of Research Institutional Research and Integrity OfficerSarah Pruett leads the Division of Research Integrity and Assurance, providing oversight of research conflict of interest as well as the export control program. She also coordinates the Institutional Official for Human Research Protection Program and Institutional Review Board, as well as serving as the Research Integrity Officer and the Designated Official for Institutional Biosafety Committee.

Pruett joined UT in 2018 as the director of research integrity and research integrity compliance officer. As part of the Office of Research Integrity, she was responsible for investigating allegations of research misconduct at the university and provided research integrity training to raise awareness on campus of the institutional plan for the responsible conduct of research.

With more than 10 years of research management experience in highly regulated environments, Pruett is well versed in regulatory procedures and requirements in environmental and radiation safety, human and animal research subjects, data management, responsible authorship, and research ethics.


Jon Phipps Director

Anna Banks Director
Rachel Borashko Data Analyst

Erin Chapin Director
Jennifer Brown Communications Specialist
Jen Roder Communications Specialist

Renee Thomas Director
Jacqueline Lanning Accounting Specialist
Betty Carmon Science Alliance Business Manager

Sarah Pruett Assistant Vice Chancellor for the Responsible Conduct of Research, Institutional Research Integrity Officer
Donna Ford Administrative Specialist
Jane Burns Director of Research Integrity
Chris Godfrey Compliance Officer, Export Control Officer
Mary Jourdan Assistant Facilities Security Officer, Export Control Officer
Jennifer Engle Director, Human Research Protection Program
Jenny Dunn IRB Assistant Compliance Officer
Ashley Brown IRB Assistant Compliance Officer
Rob Withrow IRB Assistant Compliance Officer
UTIA Compliance Officer UTIA Compliance Website