New leaders named for Engineering, Business and Office of Urban Research and Community Engagement

New leaders named for Engineering, Business and Office of Urban Research and Community Engagement
Wednesday, May 6, 2020

UNC Charlotte announces new leadership for three academic areas—business, engineering, and urban research and community engagement—pivotal to the University’s mission to serve the greater Charlotte region and beyond. All three leaders will report to Joan Lorden, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs.

  • Jennifer Troyer is named dean for the Belk College of Business, one of the Carolinas’ largest business schools. Troyer has served UNC Charlotte for 20 years, most recently as interim dean of Belk College.
  • Robert Keynton is appointed dean for The William States Lee College of Engineering, a leader in engineering research and education for nearly 50 years. He joins from the University of Louisville where he was interim executive vice president for Research & Innovation and professor and Lutz Endowed Chair of Biomechanical Devices in the Department of Bioengineering at the Speed School of Engineering.
  • Byron White will join UNC Charlotte as associate provost for the newly reorganized Office of Urban Research and Community Engagement, focused on connecting UNC Charlotte with community research, collaboration, and engaged scholarship to continue building a thriving, inclusive region. White joins from StrivePartnership where he is vice president and executive director of the public-private collaborative focused on cradle-to-career outcomes in urban education. 

"We sought innovative, accomplished leaders who are gifted in building nationally recognized programs and research, developing strong internal and external partnerships and possessing a deep commitment to student success,” said Lorden. “Following a national search, we believe these three leaders embody the right qualities to further UNC Charlotte's mission as we enter the next chapter in the University's story." 

About Jennifer Troyer, dean of the Belk College of Business

Troyer has served UNC Charlotte for 20 years, most recently as interim dean of Belk College. 

Prior to becoming interim dean of the Belk College, Troyer served in the same role for UNC Charlotte’s College of Health and Human Services. Previously, she held several administrative roles within the Belk College, including senior associate dean, associate dean for research and graduate programs and chair of the Department of Economics. As associate dean, she was instrumental in the creation of three new graduate certificates and the Master of Science in Management program. She also helped launch the first Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) program in the Carolinas.

Troyer holds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Economics from Florida State University. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Memphis. She has conducted policy-relevant research on the quality of U.S. nursing homes, the cost-effectiveness of medical interventions and strategic behavior in the pharmaceutical industry. Her research has earned several awards and has been funded by the National Institutes of Health. 

Read more about the Belk College of Business.

About Robert Keynton, dean of The William States Lee College of Engineering

Keynton led the creation of the Speed School of Engineering Bioengineering Department and its associated curriculum at the University of Louisville and was successful in realizing the vision to achieve national recognition of the bioengineering program by being named a Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Translational Partner. Keynton’s area of expertise is development of biomedical micro-electromechanical systems (BioMEMS) and cardiovascular mechanics, the development of micro Total Analysis Systems (uTAS), experimental and computational microfluidics, acoustic transducer design and fabrication and experimental fluid mechanics. Author of over 100 published works, he has applied his research in areas as diverse as diabetic retinopathy, detection of autism and diagnosis of lung cancer. Keynton holds 15 patents for his discoveries. 

Keynton is an elected fellow in the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) and the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). He received a B.S. in Engineering Science and Mechanics from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Akron.  

Read more about The William States Lee College of Engineering.

About Byron White, associate provost for the Office of Urban Research and Community Engagement

Byron White will lead the Office of Urban Research and Community Engagement (known historically as Metropolitan Studies). Comprising the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, the Women + Girls Research Alliance, the Charlotte Action Research Project and Engaged Scholarship, its interdisciplinary partnerships will focus on increasing access to community-based learning and community-engaged research, streamlining collaboration among shared research and expanding community partnerships. 

White previously served as vice president for university engagement and as chief diversity officer at Cleveland State University, vice chancellor for economic advancement at the Ohio Department of Higher Education and associate vice president for community engagement at Xavier University, following a career at the Chicago Tribune. He received a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University, an M.A. in social science from University of Chicago and an Ed.D. in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania.

He led the successful applications for the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification at both Cleveland State University and Xavier University by facilitating the co-design of strategies to demonstrate alignment of curriculum and research with the changing demands of an urban workforce and civic needs. He also co-developed programs to support engaged scholarship through grants for community-engaged research, training by industry experts and community recognition.

Image: Keynton, Troyer and White.