Julie T. Norris, Director, Office of Sponsored Programs at MIT from 1994 to 2004 passed away on November 17th, 2015.
Julie was widely recognized as one of the leading experts in the country on university research administration. She was tireless in her dedication to MIT, a pioneer in building new administrative systems, and a strong advocate in Washington for sensible regulation of university research.
She was also the kind of person that could answer most any research administration question off the top of her head. She might even give you the exact citation number for the relevant policy, or history if the regulation had changed in the last few years. She was kind, giving, and deeply committed to serving MIT and the community.
Her colleagues both inside and outside of MIT remembered her commitment and her impact.
“Even after her retirement she continued to assist MIT and generously returned to serve as interim director of OSP during a transition. MIT and the greater community of research universities have lost a truly outstanding colleague and friend.”
— Professor Claude R. Canizares, former Vice President for Research
“Julie embraced me during my early days at MIT when we both had offices over in E19. Her gracious spirit and vivacious personality left an impression on me that I will not forget. Julie showed me the human side of MIT."
— Israel Ruiz, Executive Vice President and Treasurer.
“Julie Norris contributed greatly to the outstanding system of university research support in the United States. She leaves a legacy of excellent practice and good dialog between university research administrators and government agencies. She upheld the highest values and inspired all to do the same. We will miss her very much.”
— Professor Alice P. Gast, President, Imperial College London, former MIT Vice President for Research
Julie “was always giving of her time and seeking solutions to issues on both a national and at an institutional level. Her advocacy for lessening the administrative burden not only impacted scientists at her institution, but nationwide. When Julie spoke, everyone listened.”
— Jane Youngers, friend and colleague
Julie volunteered significant amounts of her personal time to professional organizations like the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA). In 1994 she was awarded NCURA’s first Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research Administration. In addition to numerous conference presentations, she co-authored several publications and was a co-developer of NCURA’s long-running educational program, “Sponsored Projects Administration II: Critical Issues in Research Administration.”
Julie was a friend and mentor to many, many people in the field during her years of service to higher education. “She touched our hearts and ignited our passion for research administration. Her legacy will live on.”
— Gunta Liders, friend and colleague
At MIT, we also remember Julie as an early visionary of Coeus.
"I had the privilege of working for Julie for 25 years. She loved and embraced technology, insisting that MIT would set a new standard for research administrative software. As any true visionary, she knew what the world of research administration could look like in the future and set out to achieve her goals. She used technology to her advantage every chance she had. So, it was no surprise to me when Julie left the University of Houston and headed to MIT. I greatly miss my mentor and friend."
— Steve Dowdy, friend and colleague
Looking back on Julie Norris’ extraordinary contributions to MIT and the field of research administration, we wonder how the profession would have developed without her. She is and forever will be greatly missed by her friends and colleagues.