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Denise McCartney Retirement

Published October 27, 2017

Dear Colleagues, ​

I am writing to announce that after a 24-year career at Washington University, Denise McCartney is retiring as Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Administration, effective December 1, 2017. While we are happy for Denise as she transitions to a well-deserved next phase of her life, the faculty and staff here at Washington University will miss her good will, her dedication, her sincerity, and her deep and wide knowledge of all matters “research”.

Denise was appointed as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Administration in 2001, to lead research administration activities for the University; such as the grants and contracts offices and research compliance programs. She currently oversees the programs for research education and information, conflict of interest, animal care and use, research integrity, export controls, funding coordination, human research quality assurance, and research reporting.

Denise has been the driving force of our research administration program for many years and has an unending devotion to the University. She has worked closely with leaders across the University to develop and implement programs to support the University’s nearly $650 million in research funding. For many, she is the first person we turn to as a thoughtful leader, problem solver, and consensus builder – to name a few.

During her career here, Denise has been instrumental in shaping the research administration enterprise at the University. She has worked tirelessly to restructure, streamline, and build many of the research administration programs we have today. Denise’s leadership has led to the development of a coordinated and integrated research infrastructure, a few examples of her efforts include:

  • Consolidating the Danforth and Medical School grants offices into the Office of Sponsored Research Services and then consolidating the preaward and award grant services
  • Delivering education and communication programs, such as launching the University’s Responsible Conduct of Research training program, Research News, and Research Administrators forums
  • Establishing research analytics as a joint program between the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and School of Medicine
  • Directing the first successful application for accreditation of the University’s human research protections program

Denise has also played a vital role in facilitating the development of a joint research office for contracts (JROC). Previously a source of confusion for faculty and staff, the creation of JROC established a partnership with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, Office of Sponsored Research Services, and the School of Medicine’s Center for Clinical Studies to provide a central resource for the execution of federal and foundation contracts, industry supported research agreements and clinical trials and other research related agreements.

Currently, with the primary goal of identifying ways to reduce administrative burden on research faculty and staff, Denise has been a key leader in launching the PAAMCO Project to develop the Research Management System (RMS), a new multi-purpose research management system for pre-award and award management, conflict of interests and funding opportunities database (SPIN).

Denise first arrived on the medical center campus in 1984. With a master’s degree in business administration and undergraduate degree in medical technology, both from The University of Missouri-Columbia, Denise joined the staff of Barnes Hospital, managing the hospital’s clinical lab services and reference labs, before being appointed as the Business Director for the Department of Rehabilitation in 1989. In 1993, she accepted the position of Assistant Dean for Management Services with Washington University School of Medicine, where she was responsible for research administration, human resources, performance improvement, and faculty affairs. She then transitioned into her current position in 2001.

Denise is well recognized nationally among her peers for her vast knowledge and expertise, and is often invited to speak at national meetings. Denise has been an active leader in several national associations, including serving as the Board Chair of the Council on Government Relations (COGR).
It has been my pleasure to work closely with Denise for the past several years. She has been a patient mentor, teacher, and friend to me and many others across the University.

Please join me in congratulating Denise and thanking her for her years of service to the University. We wish her the best as she transitions into this new phase of her life. Details regarding her retirement party will be forthcoming.

Jennifer K. Lodge, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Research​​