Bill Dean selected as executive director of Auburn Research and Technology Foundation

Published: April 02, 2020
Updated: April 09, 2020
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Bill Dean, a veteran financial and research park executive with more than three decades of experience in developing innovative ideas for research parks, life science parks and biotech incubators, has been selected after a national search as the executive director of the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation, effective April 6.

Dean is a past president of the Association of University Research Parks, former director of both Cummings Research Park in Huntsville, Alabama, and the Piedmont Triad Research Park (Innovation Quarter) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and was the first chairman of the North Carolina Research Parks Network.

“Bill has a demonstrated track record of success in the innovation and idea spaces that are our nation’s research parks,” said Jim Weyhenmeyer, Auburn University vice president for research and economic development.

“Under his leadership, I am confident that the growth we are seeing both in Auburn Research Park and at the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation will continue and will evolve to meet the complex needs of our institution’s stakeholders and partners. Bill has both the passion and skill for linking science and business in ways that serve to drive our economy forward and improve quality of life in Alabama and beyond.”

“The mission of ARTF is to promote research-based innovations and advance economic initiatives that support our state,” said Provost and Senior Vice President Bill Hardgrave. “With his vast experience, Bill understands how ARTF can elevate the ingenuity and growth occurring on our campus while also enhancing Auburn’s industry partnerships,” said Hardgrave.

Dean is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in banking and finance. Additionally, he is an alumnus of the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University. Among his many honors, he is the recipient of the Triad Region Biotech Community Leadership Excellence Award from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, as well as the Career Achievement Award of Excellence from the Association of University Research Parks.

“My interest over the course of my career has been at the intersection of business and technology, working with those who innovate, collaborate and create new, world-changing technologies,” Dean said. “The Auburn Research and Technology Foundation is central to the university’s innovation ecosystem of leading technologies and I look forward to being a part of their many resources shaping our technology future into economic opportunities that can solve societal issues.”

In addition to his work with the Auburn Research and Technology Foundation, Dean will also serve as the executive director of the Office of External Engagement and Support, a division of the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development.

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.