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Dean Chang Named to Interim Post Leading UMD’s Innovation Efforts

By Maryland Today Staff

Interim Vice President for Research Amitabh Varshney and incoming Vice President for Research Gregory Ball sent the following email this morning to deans, department heads and directors:

We are excited to share with you that Dr. Dean Chang will serve as interim chief innovation officer and associate vice president for innovation and economic development in the Division of Research at the University of Maryland. In this capacity, he will oversee our innovation, entrepreneurship, intellectual property and technology commercialization enterprise, including UM Ventures and the Discovery District, providing support for inventors, entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses.

For the past nine years, Dr. Chang has served as the founding associate vice president for innovation and entrepreneurship for UMD’s Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (AIE), reporting to the president and the provost. In this role, he has been tasked with engaging all 41,000 UMD students in all 12 colleges and schools in innovation. Before leading the AIE, Dr. Chang oversaw the A. James Clark School of Engineering’s technology startup venture programs. He is also the lead PI and instructor for the National Science Foundation's I-Corps Hub program. He has also served as a lead instructor in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services IDEA Lab Ignite innovation program, and an instructor and a coach in Stanford University’s Teaching and Learning Studio.

Prior to joining the University of Maryland, Dr. Chang spent 15 years in Silicon Valley, serving dual roles as chief technology officer and vice president, gaming business of Immersion Corp. He helped transform the venture-backed spinout of the Stanford University robotics lab into a publicly traded, world-leading licensor of haptics technology embedded in hundreds of millions of products from companies like Sony, Microsoft, Apple, BMW, Samsung, CAE, LG, Logitech and Electronic Arts. As vice president, gaming business, he was responsible for maximizing revenue from licensing Immersion's patent portfolio to the video game industry. Dr. Chang was also part of the executive roadshow team that raised $51 million in the company's initial public stock offering.

Dr. Chang earned a B.A. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and robotics from Stanford University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

We would like to thank Julie Lenzer, our previous chief innovation officer over the past five years, who is taking on the role of chief innovation officer of the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Dean Chang in his new role as interim chief innovation officer and associate vice president for innovation and economic development.


Amitabh Varshney
Interim Vice President for Research
University of Maryland

Gregory Ball
Incoming Vice President for Research
University of Maryland

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