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Dr. Robert N. Shelton assumed the role of President of Research Corporation for Science Advancement in March 2014. Dr. Shelton previously held top-level leadership positions in highly ranked public research universities. He enjoyed a distinguished career as an experimental condensed-matter physicist focusing on novel materials and their properties.
Dr. Shelton was educated at Stanford University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in 1970. He also attended University of California at San Diego, earning a Master of Science in 1973, and a Doctorate in 1975.
Dr. Shelton began his career in academia at UC-San Diego as an Assistant Research Physicist in 1975. Moving to Iowa State University in 1978, he was promoted to associate professor in 1981, and professor in 1984. Dr. Shelton was a guest scientist at the Kernforschungsanlage in Jűlich, Germany in the summer of 1981. He was also a visiting professor in the Département de Physique de la Matière Condensée, at the Université de Genève, Geneva, Switzerland, during the 1983-84 academic year. He spent six weeks as a guest scientist of the Japanese government, working at the Institute of Metals in Tokyo, Japan.
Dr. Shelton returned to California as Chair of the Department of Physics at UC-Davis in 1987, and served in that capacity until 1990, when he was named Vice Chancellor for Research. In 1996, Dr. Shelton joined the President’s Office at the University of California as Vice Provost for Research. In 2001, he assumed the position of Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
On July 1, 2006, Dr. Shelton began his appointment as the 19th president of the University of Arizona, where he served for five years before retiring. He went on to serve as Executive Director of the Arizona Sports Foundation, an organization dedicated to economic development and philanthropy in the State of Arizona.
While president of The University of Arizona, Dr. Shelton was an active member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). He also served as co-chair of the NASA Presidential Working Group for the American Association of Universities (AAU), and was a member of the American Association of Universities (AAU) Presidents’ Executive Committee. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, and a member of Sigma X and Phi Beta Kappa.