Phillips to lead UF in Scripps affiliation


Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 28, 2004 at 1:13 a.m.
University of Florida Vice President for Research Win Phillips has been tapped to spearhead affiliation efforts between the university and Scripps Florida, a new biomedical research campus in Palm Beach County for the prestigious Scripps Research Institute.
UF President Bernie Machen announced the appointment Tuesday. To make time for his new responsibilities, Phillips will step down as dean of the graduate school. The appointment is effective Sunday.
"Due to the significance, anticipated time of commitment and complexity of this assignment, I have asked Dr. Phillips to devote considerable attention to his new duties," Machen said in a prepared statement.
State lawmakers in the fall agreed to spend $310 million to staff and equip a Florida facility for Scripps, which operates near La Jolla, Calif., near San Diego. Palm Beach County will put forward at least an additional $200 million.
As the largest research university in the state, rewards from a positive relationship with Scripps could be considerable.
"There's going to be lots of room for collaborative opportunities," said Phillips, contacted late Tuesday afternoon.
Universities across the state have been jockeying for position with Scripps, even going so far as to propose satellite campuses on the proposed Scripps site.
Phillips' job will be to help match and coordinate Scripps' needs with existing research, researchers or facilities at UF.
He acknowledged that the distance between UF and Scripps could be a problem, but he indicated that UF has more to offer than some of the other universities.
He did not rule out the possibility of locating a building in South Florida.
More likely in the short term, however, Phillips said graduate students and faculty will be made available in specific fields to work with the three dozen or so Scripps scientists expected to begin studies in Florida later this year.
Phillips has been vice president of research and the dean of the graduate school since 1999. Before that, he served as dean of the College of Engineering for nine years.
UF is expected to name an interim graduate school dean later this week.
Phillips was one of 11 finalists for the job of UF president during the search in the fall.
Janine Young Sikes can be reached at (352) 337-0327 or sikesj@gvillesun.com.

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