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New Titles for Research Leaders to Better Reflect Scope of Responsibilities, Growth of Research Institute

The University of Dayton today announced changes in the titles of two senior research leaders to better reflect the scope of their responsibilities and the expansive growth of the University of Dayton Research Institute.

Effective July 1, Vice President for Research and Executive Director of the Research Institute John E. Leland will be titled vice president for research. Research Institute Director Allan S. Crasto's new title will be executive director of the Research Institute. 

"The University's Research Institute continues to thrive and grow under the bold and visionary leadership of both John Leland and Allan Crasto," said Paul H. Benson, provost and executive vice president of academic affairs. "The strategic direction they provide has enabled the institute to be nimble in taking advantage of current opportunities and positioned well for continued future growth." 

Leland explained that while responsibilities remain the same, the change in Crasto's title better reflects his leadership in shepherding UDRI's unprecedented growth, which helped the University reach a record $149.8 million in sponsored research in fiscal year 2018. 

"Since becoming director in January 2016, Allan has led the institute in four years of double-digit revenue growth, including a $350 million contract that represents the largest single award in UDRI's history," Leland said. "With this growth, he has overseen an increase of more than 200 research employees and significantly expanded the institute's operations beyond the Dayton area and with new customers." 

Leland said Crasto has also led a number of strategic initiatives to position the Research Institute for sustained, long-term success, including a major reorganization and rebranding, as well as fostering entrepreneurship in employee start-ups and technology spin-outs. 

Crasto has more than 30 years of experience at UDRI performing and managing research and development projects for government and industry and earned a doctorate in engineering science from Washington State University in 1986. 

Leland's university-wide responsibilities for academic and professional research, research performance and compliance will not change. He joined the University in 2000 and was named to his current position in 2015. He earned a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Kentucky in 1994. 

The University of Dayton performs more sponsored materials research and development than any other college or university in the country, according to the newest data available from the National Science Foundation. 

For more on the Research Institute, visit For interviews, contact Pamela Gregg, UDRI communication administrator, at 937-229-3268 or


News and Communications Staff