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Oklahoma State University

Vice president for research announces position changes

(STILLWATER, Okla., September 24, 2015) – Vice President for Research Dr. Kenneth Sewell is pleased to announce two personnel changes in his division.Dr. Ron Van Den Bussche, formerly interim associate vice president for research, will now permanently fill that position. Dr. Dana Brunson, director of the OSU High Performance Computing Center (HPCC), has been named assistant vice president for research cyberinfrastructure; she will continue to direct the HPCC in her newly configured role.

Van Den Bussche was appointed interim associate vice president for research in 2014 by Dr. Sheryl Tucker, then interim vice president for research. Previously, Van Den Bussche served as the associate dean for research in the OSU College of Arts & Sciences. A Regents Professor of Zoology, he was the former interim head of the Department of Zoology (now Integrative Biology). Van Den Bussche earned his Ph.D. in zoology from Texas Tech University. In the role of associate vice president for research, he directly oversees several aspects of the research office, provides a critical link to the associate deans for research in the various colleges, and spearheads special projects assigned by the vice president for research. An accomplished researcher in his own right, Van Den Bussche continues to lead a zoology laboratory that studies, among other topics, how gene sequencing can be used to determine the geographic birthplace of migrating eagles.

“Ron has served in the interim role thus far with diligence and flexibility, applying his extensive institutional knowledge for the benefit of the entire university,” said Sewell. “I have found him to be a critical asset and I am delighted that he has agreed to serve on a permanent basis.”

Brunson was named the HPCC’s first director in 2006 and has managed the center through its steady development of supercomputing resources for OSU and statewide researchers. She has secured two National Science Foundation grants totaling nearly $2 million. The first, in 2011, resulted in the purchase and installation of OSU’s current central supercomputer, Cowboy. Earlier this year, a second NSF grant was announced that makes possible the purchase of a second, even larger and more powerful supercomputer (tentatively named Pistol Pete) that is expected to be installed at OSU and serving researchers in 2016.

“Dana has brought a truly game-changing array of skills, resources, and opportunities to OSU in the realm of research cyberinfrastructure,” said Sewell. “Her work and her reputation are beginning to burgeon at the regional and national levels.”

Brunson has emerged as a leader in the advancement of research cyberinfrastructure, including work to help develop the OneOklahoma Cyberinfrastructure Initiative (OneOCII) that makes high performance computing resources available to researchers at 55 academic and 48 non-academic institutions. She has been a key player in collaboration with fellow Oklahoma supercomputer administrators to develop the state’s growing national reputation for cooperation to make high performance computing resources more accessible.

“Research at OSU is strong and getting stronger,” Sewell said. “And people like Ron and Dana are helping OSU reach even greater heights.”

CONTACT: Jeff Joiner, Research Communications | 405-744-5827 |

Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU has more than 36,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 25,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 120 nations. Established in 1890, Oklahoma State has graduated more than 260,000 students who have been serving Oklahoma and the world for 125 years.