New Director for the Office of Research & Creative Activities (ORCA)

Brigham Young University announced Gene R. Larson as the new director of the Office of Research & Creative Activities (ORCA) effective October 1, 2017. He will replace Gary R. Reynolds who is retiring.

“Larson is well suited for this position as he has extensive administrative experience and expertise in critical aspects of grants management and research compliance” said BYU Associate Academic Vice President Alan R. Harker. “He is multi-talented, devoted and will continue to make significant contributions to BYU through his service in the ORCA office.” Larson earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Brigham Young University in 1983 and an M.B.A. from the University of Utah in 1985.

Larson joined BYU in 2003 after a career in industry where he worked for IBM and Sun Microsystems in a variety of roles and management responsibilities ranging from sales, product marketing, and worldwide sales operations. Prior to joining ORCA in 2008, he served as the Operations & System Manager in the BYU Department of Computer Science. Larson has served in the role of Associate Director of ORCA for the past 9 years.

In Larson’s tenure as Associate Director of ORCA, he served as administrator of the university Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) in addition to managing the ORCA and MEG mentoring programs. Larson also led a cross-university team which evaluated and selected a set of online software solutions which will enable students, faculty, and oversight committees to pursue and review research more efficiently and effectively. These cloud-based solutions will be implemented in the coming academic year.

Reynolds spent 26 years in the ORCA office. During his tenure, ORCA managed a significant increase in the overall research of the university with approximately 1200 faculty and $11.4M in research funding when Reynolds joined the office in 1992, to approximately 1600 faculty and $38.4M awarded funding in 2016.

The student ORCA and Faculty MEG programs were also launched and grew during Reynolds service in ORCA. From 2001 through 2016 there were over 1250 faculty MEG awards given, and over 6,500 students were awarded ORCA research grants from 1993 through 2016.

“If I were to claim any legacy at all, it would be the privilege to assist in these programs and research projects,” said Reynolds.