Trustees approve IU distinguished law professor Fred Cate for university's top research post

  • Aug. 14, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The appointment of Indiana University Distinguished Professor and C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law Fred H. Cate as IU’s new vice president for research was approved today (Aug. 14) by the university’s board of trustees.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie originally announced Cate’s appointment July 15.

An international expert on privacy, security and other information law and policy issues, Cate also serves as director of the IU Center for Law, Ethics and Applied Research in Health Information and the Center for Information Privacy and Security and also holds an adjunct appointment in the School of Informatics and Computing. Cate served as the founding director of IU’s Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research from 2003 to 2014, where he is now a senior fellow.

McRobbie described Cate as “one of the most distinguished academics in the university” and “immensely versatile.”

"During his years of service to Indiana University, Fred Cate has distinguished himself as one of the nation's leading authorities on issues concerning privacy and security. He also is a highly accomplished teacher and scholar, and a skillful administrator," McRobbie said. "His experience, leadership and vision make him an ideal candidate to lead and strengthen IU's research enterprise and to squarely focus the creative and scholarly work of our artists and scientists on the grand challenges facing our state, nation and world.

"In addition, Fred is extremely well-suited to furthering the investments we have made in multidisciplinary and multicampus research endeavors, reimagining our research programs so that they remain relevant and responsive to local and national economic needs, and building upon the university's traditions of excellence in the humanities, professions, and social, natural and clinical sciences."

McRobbie made the announcement following the endorsement of Cate’s appointment by an 18-member search committee headed by Bernice Pescosolido, Distinguished Professor of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences at IU Bloomington, and David B. Burr, associate vice chancellor for research at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. The committee included faculty, administrators and students representing IU’s Bloomington, Indianapolis and regional campuses.

Cate’s appointment will be for a two-year term, which is designed to allow him to oversee the launch of the university’s Grand Challenges initiative and to conduct a review of the vice president for research’s role and responsibilities within Indiana University. Cate will also work to expand and diversify support for research and creativity at IU, facilitate public-private partnerships and technology transfer, and increase collaborative research opportunities.

“I am honored to be chosen as Indiana University’s vice president for research and to have the opportunity to work with colleagues at IU, the IU Foundation, the IU Research and Technology Corporation and many external partners to advance support for research at IU,” Cate said.

“Research is critical not only to the university and our students, but also to the people of Indiana and the world whose lives are advanced and transformed through new discoveries and creations,” he said. “It is a privilege to be part of the team working to facilitate world-class research at IU.”

The author of over 150 scholarly articles and books, Cate has generated more than $10 million in external research funding in the past decade. He has testified in congressional, state legislative and agency hearings more than 50 times, and he sits on a number of national and international committees, councils and boards, including the National Security Agency’s Privacy and Civil Liberties Panel, the National Academy of Sciences’ Forum on Cyber Resilience, Intel’s Privacy and Security External Advisory Board, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Committee, the International Foundation for Online Responsibility’s Policy Council and the Kinsey Institute board. He also serves as editor of Oxford University Press’ International Data Privacy Law journal.

Cate has served on numerous university-wide committees, including as the current chair of the Distinguished Professor Selection Committee and past chair of the Committee on Classified and Restricted Research, the University Intellectual Property Policy Committee, the University Conflicts of Interest Committee, and the Provost and Executive Vice President Search Committee. He served as special advisor to then-Vice President for Research McRobbie in 2005-07, and in 1998-99 he chaired the Committee to Review Dr. George Walker when he was vice president for research and dean of the University Graduate School. In 2005-09 Cate served as co-chair of the Alliance of Distinguished and Titled Professors.

A senator, fellow and past president of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and an elected member of the American Law Institute, Cate received the IU Trustees’ Teaching Award in 2004 and 2010, the IU Maurer School of Law Public Interest Faculty Award in 2010 and the IU Teaching Excellence Recognition Award in 1999.

Cate first came to IU as an associate professor at the Maurer School of Law in 1990; he did his undergraduate work at Oxford and Stanford universities and received his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1987. His wife, Beth Cate, is a member of the faculty in IU’s School for Public and Environmental Affairs.

Cate succeeds Jorge José, who steps down July 31. José will serve as Rudy Professor of Physics at IU Bloomington and a member of the Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology at the IU School of Medicine in Indianapolis. During Jorge’s five-year tenure, IU saw an 18 percent increase in federally funded research to a record $534 million in research expenditures in FY2014.

In addition to being responsible for research administration and research compliance, the vice president also oversees and is responsible for the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at IU Bloomington and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research at IUPUI.

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