Executive Vice President for Research & Innovation


Jasbir Dhaliwal, PhD. is Distinguished University Professor and in his primary role as Executive Vice President for Research & Innovation oversees all basic and applied research efforts of the university’s research enterprise though the development and implementation of the university’s strategic research plan. He reports directly to the President and leads strategic innovation priorities to help modernize the university’s academic research culture. These include leading an advanced technology research organization, the FedEx Institute of Technology, that serves as the front door to the university’s research capabilities and innovation infrastructure, promotes interdisciplinary research clusters, corporate engagement, entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. Dr. Dhaliwal also leads the University of Memphis Research Foundation as Executive Director and is the founding President of its innovation subsidiary, UMRF Ventures Inc.

Prior to this, he served as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the UofM Graduate School with strategic responsibility for all aspects of the university’s portfolio of 129 graduate programs that enroll about 4800 graduate students at the doctoral and master levels. He holds masters and doctoral degrees from the University of British Columbia in Canada and has diverse international academic leadership experience including serving as Deputy Director for the Center for Management of Technology at the National University of Singapore and founding the first Canadian university-based internet incubator at what is now the School of Interactive Arts and Technology of Simon Fraser University.

His academic discipline is information systems with a specialized focus on the testing of complex, large-scale, real-time, global information systems. He has published extensively in his discipline with a focus on scholarly journals such as Information Systems Research, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, IEEE Software, European Journal of Information Systems, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, International Journal of Production Economics, Journal of Strategic Information Systems, Communications of the Association of Information Systems, Journal of Organizational Computing & Electronic Commerce, Knowledge Acquisition, Information & Management as well as in the proceedings of numerous international research conferences. He has also co-authored a book on E-Business Innovation that is published by Prentice-Hall/Pearson Education and has served as Program Chair of the Pacific Asian Conference on Information Systems. In 2013, he was awarded the Papasan Family Professorship for Exemplary Leadership for founding the Systems Testing Excellence Program which is now the largest software testing research center in academia making significant contributions both to the science of systems testing and advancing industry best-practices.   

Over his academic career, his research has attracted over $23M in external funding and has completed research projects for the likes of FedEx, the Joint Interoperability Test Command of the Department of Defense, Defense Information Systems Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, National Computer Board Singapore, Nomura Japan, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Anderson Consulting, Ericsson Telecommunications, Port of Singapore Corporation, Medtronics, Memphis Light Gas & Water, Den Norsk Bank, Alcatel Bell Shanghai, McDonnell-Dettwiler Canada, Asia Pacific Institute for Information Technology, Canadian Federation of Innovation and the ASEAN-European Union Management Center.

He is a Past President of the Tennessee Conference of Graduate Schools and in 2018 was appointed by Governor Bill Haslam to the State Energy Policy Council of Tennessee. He has served on the Advancement Committee of the Council of Graduate Schools and is currently active with the bi-partisan Council for Competitiveness. The latter involves serving on the National Commission on Innovation & Competitiveness’s working group on Exploring the Future of Sustainable Production, Consumption & Work and also being a member of two task forces of the University Leadership Forum – one focusing on Extreme Innovation and the other on University-Industry-Government Partnerships. In 2022, he was elected by his national peers to the Executive Committee of the Council of Research of the Association for Public and Land-Grant Universities.   

In his current role, he has led efforts that have seen the university’s annual total research awards growing by more than 250% with a 147% increase in funding from the National Science Foundation and an 85% increase in the number of university faculty receiving awards totaling at least $500K. He has led a transformation of the universities’ research culture through the setting up of a University of Memphis Research Council, strengthening faculty incentives for research, the creation of a strong post-doc research culture on campus, growing doctoral enrolments (especially in the STEM areas), and boosting research partnerships with industry partners and the Department of Defense. He also successfully led the university’s launch of its inaugural research park for technology companies on campus. Research expenditures at the university have more than doubled to about $100M and it's patent portfolio has more than doubled during this time.

His leadership saw the university achieve the top-tier Carnegie R1 designation in 2021.  The American Association for State Colleges & Universities (AASCU) awarded the university its Excellence and Innovation Award for Regional & Economic Development in 2018 and the university is now one of two national finalists for the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU)’s Innovation & Economic Prosperity Award for 2020.    


jasbir dhaliwal