The University of New Orleans has selected longtime chemistry faculty member Matt Tarr to serve as the new vice president for research and economic development at the University. He assumed the role on Jan. 18.
Tarr has spent 21 years at the University and is the Eurofins Professor of Analytical Chemistry, as well as a faculty fellow in the University’s Advanced Materials Research Institute.
“Dr. Tarr is a proven and well-respected researcher, and he understands the importance of research and creative activity conducted by our University,” said President John Nicklow. “I believe he will be one of our strongest advocates as we work to grow the research enterprise, which is one of my top priorities. He also has a strong vision for growing research experiences across the campus, including faculty scholarship, undergraduate and graduate opportunities, and partnerships within our community and our Research and Technology Park. I am very excited to have him in this role.”
Tarr arrived at UNO after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Environmental Protection Agency in Athens, Ga. He served as the chair of the chemistry department from 2009-2015. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in chemistry from Emory University in Atlanta and a doctorate in analytical chemistry from Georgia Tech.
“The University of New Orleans has tremendous potential for growing its already successful research, scholarly and creative efforts,” Tarr said. “My experience at UNO as a researcher, teacher and chair, as well as service in national organizations, gives me a thorough understanding of UNO’s potential for improved productivity and some of the barriers we need to overcome. While expanding our research capacity, our scholarly output and our creative products, we can simultaneously provide unique and enriching educational opportunities to our students.”
Tarr conducts research in analytical chemistry, environmental chemistry, free radical oxidation of biomolecules, and synthesis and application of nanomaterials for biomarker detection and photocatalysis. He also coordinates outreach programs that provide research experiences for undergraduates, visiting international students, high school students and high school teachers.
The University of New Orleans is the only public research university in greater New Orleans and one of only two institutions in the state that is designated by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as a doctoral university with higher research activity. That is the second highest Carnegie status that can be achieved.