Jon Darsee appointed as chief innovation officer after UI restructures Office of VP for Research

Following the UI’s decision to refocus the Office of the Vice President for Research, the UI has appointed a UI graduate as the chief innovation officer.


Wyatt Dlouhy

The Old Capitol building is seen in 2018.

Jordan Prochnow, News Reporter

The University of Iowa has appointed a chief innovation officer who will lead Innovation and Economic Development, focusing on researching commercialization and economic development activities, following the decision to refocus the Office of the Vice President for Research.

Jon Darsee, a UI graduate, was appointed on Oct. 19 after a nationwide search after the departure of Daniel Reed in October 2017, the UI announced Thursday. His annual salary will be $238,500.

RELATED: Dan Reed, former UI administrator, headed to University of Utah

In the role of chief innovation officer, Darsee will lead Innovation and Economic Development at Iowa, which encompasses UI Ventures, Protostudios, the UI Research Park, the Office of Corporate Engagement, and MADE.

After Reed’s departure, the UI decided to restructure the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development; the office’s realignment has caused it to focus on achievements in research, scholarship, and creative ventures. 

The university decided to emphasize the importance of finding new ways to support innovation in academic and federal areas.

“Economic development is a natural outgrowth of research but requires different tools and skills,” UI President Bruce Harreld said in the UI’s statement. “This realignment will allow us to better utilize the expansive technology and innovation capabilities that have been built up in recent years to move the university’s research from ideas to impact.”

Darsee most recently worked for iRhythym Technologies, which develops biosensing technologies and analytics to diagnose heart arrhythmias. He retired from the company in 2017.

The search for the next vice president for Research is ongoing. Graduate College Dean John Keller is currently filling the role on an interim basis.

“As always, we’ll continue to help investigators secure meaningful funding, provide safe and well-resourced spaces to work, and look for ways to expand opportunities for faculty and staff across disciplines to innovate and collaborate on ‘big idea’ research and scholarship,” Keller said in the announcement.