About the UT System
The University of Tennessee is comprised of campuses at Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin, and Pulaski; the Health Science Center at Memphis; the Space Institute at Tullahoma; and the statewide Institute of Agriculture and Institute for Public Service.
The UT System has a presence in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Through the combined force of education, research and outreach, the University serves students, business and industry, schools, governments, organizations, and citizens statewide.
The University of Tennessee System, through its multiple campuses and institutes, serves the people of Tennessee and beyond through the discovery, communication, and application of knowledge. The System is committed to providing undergraduate, graduate, and professional education programs in a diverse learning environment that prepares students to be leaders in a global society. The UT System’s delivery of education, discovery, outreach, and public service contributes to the economic, social, and environmental well-being of all Tennesseans.
About UT Research Foundation (UTRF)
UTRF is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that promotes the commercialization of University of Tennessee (UT) intellectual property, encourages an entrepreneurial culture, contributes to state and regional economic development, and promotes research and education to benefit the people of Tennessee and beyond. While UTRF is a separate entity from UT, it provides assistance and resources to the research activities of faculty, staff, and students of the UT system (campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin, and Pulaski, the Health Science Center in Memphis, the state-wide Institute of Agriculture, the UT Space Institute in Tullahoma, and the UT Institute of Public Service.
Reporting directly to the President of the UTRF, the Executive Director and Vice President will lead a team of technology transfer professionals to grow and promote licensing, startup, and entrepreneurial functions of the office. They will have strong domain expertise in navigating complex organizations. The UTRF’s Multi-Campus Office (MCO) in Knoxville is responsible for all technology transfer-related activities at UT Knoxville, UT Chattanooga, UTK Institute for Agriculture, UTK Space Institute, UTHSC Graduate School of Medicine at Knoxville, and the Institute for Public Service.
The VP directs and manages all activities and administrative functions of the MCO office, ensuring that UTRF operations perform to the level and direction expected by the UTRF President, MCO Executive Committee, and the University of Tennessee. Operational responsibilities for the Vice President include setting and managing the MCO office budget, measuring and reporting staff performance, ensuring legal and regulatory compliance, and building strong external community relationships to increase commercialization.
MR 18 – The target salary for this role is $155,000 – $180,000, commensurate with qualifications and experience within the market range
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Play a leadership role in the University of Tennessee’s commercialization ecosystem and lead the MCO office to become a critical catalyst in translating UT’s intellectual property into real-world impact.
- Build and maintain strong relationships with campus leadership, departments, Sponsored Programs offices, business partners, and investors to position UTRF to serve UT’s needs optimally.
- Negotiate and secure commercialization-related agreements and other transactional agreements.
- Develop appropriate terms for options, licenses, and related agreements, considering factors including norms in industry and fields, technology maturity, timelines, necessary investment levels to reach markets, etc.
- Implement, refine, and maintain standard operating procedures and continuous improvement for technology commercialization processes and procedures.
- Ensure effective, efficient, and transparent processes and communication with all stakeholders.
- Serve as a resource for information about intellectual property and licensing and promote recognition that such functions are meaningful and valuable aspects of university life.
- Plan and implement programs to stimulate intellectual property disclosure among faculty, student, and staff.
- Develop and communicate clear and cohesive processes and expectations for the MCO staff and foster a collaborative team environment within UTRF.
- Train and mentor MCO staff regarding UT’s intellectual property portfolio and effective negotiating skills relative to various industries or potential funding sources.
- Build and support outreach efforts with industry, academia, investment community, entrepreneurs, and potential collaborators to form partnerships to transfer UT’s innovations to the marketplace.
- Maintain professional growth by participating in educational programs and professional organizations to maintain knowledge of current trends, practices, and developments.
- Adhere to UT, state, and federal guidelines concerning technology transfer agreements.
- Represent UTRF at national and state events (panel discussions, presentations, etc.).
- Manage special projects as required.
- Perform related responsibilities as required.
The Executive Director and Vice President will support a culture of engagement and belonging by treating others with dignity and respect at all times, and by exhibiting conduct that reflects a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The successful candidate is expected to contribute in measurable ways to the systemwide mission and fully embrace the systemwide Be One UT Values.
Research has shown that many candidates (specifically, women and minorities) disqualify themselves from positions if they feel that they don’t meet every single qualification listed in the job description. At UTSA, we recognize that talent is not solely related to job history and that skills from personal and professional experiences are valuable but not always reflected on a resume. If you are excited to make a positive and impactful contribution at our university, we encourage you to apply. You may be the right candidate for UTSA, in this
- Must be a US Citizen or permanent resident
- Master’s degree or JD
- Seven-plus years of licensing experience in an industry or an academic environment
- Effective negotiating skills
- Experience supervising staff
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Experience working in academic research environments
- The ability to manage a team, including setting individual and team goals and conducting performance evaluations, and providing constructive feedback
- Master’s degree or Ph.D. in Engineering, physics, chemistry, or Biotech/Ag Biotech discipline, business
- Experience supervising licensing staff
- Startup or venture launch experience
- Ten plus years of experience in intellectual property management, law, regulation, and policy with additional expertise in relevant research administration regulation and policy, patent law, contracts, business, and company formation.
For full consideration applications should be accompanied by a deal sheet, letter of interest, resume and three references. Review of applications will begin immediately.
Compensation for the position will be competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience within the market range. The target salary for this role is $155,000 – $180,000
The University offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits and much more. Additionally, Tennessee residents do not pay a state income tax. For more information on the University of Tennessee’s benefits, visit https://hr.tennessee.edu/benefits/