SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Higher Education Policy Commission has approved the selection of a Texas researcher to head up efforts at the West Virginia Regional Technology Park in South Charleston.
The HEPC voted Friday to authorize state Higher Education Chancellor Paul Hill and the tech park board to negotiate a contract with Rusty Kruzelock, the search committee’s top choice for the job out of 39 candidates.
Kruzelock, a Penn State graduate, has a 20-year resume in research, strategic planning and scientific partnerships. He is currently president and part-owner at Cenovance, a biotech business in Austin, Texas.
Kruzelock will be the second executive director in the brief history of the regional technology park, which is the former Dow Chemical Tech Park, given to the state a few years ago. Phil Halstead resigned earlier this year. His last day was Feb. 25.
Chancellor Hill said Kruzelock has a broad background as a scientist but also on the business side of the equation.
“He’s set up new corporations and managed other kinds of park activities,” Hill said.
The tech park has had lots of activity during the past two years with renovation and construction projects. Chancellor Hill said he’s ready for Kruzelock to take the operation to the next level.
“To build out that capacity in terms of those that might be recruited to have operations in the park and those like Cenovance that might be new companies that are created right here in West Virginia that might find a home there as well,” Hill said.
The chancellor added he’s viewed the development of the tech park in two phases. He said the first has been the construction and renovation that’s taken place the last few years. Now it’s time for the next step.
“So there had to be some time spent doing that (phase 1) but I think this next phase I’d like to see growth of the number of companies that call the park home,” Hill said.
Kruzelock’s career includes positions as chief scientific officer; work in pharmacogenomics and as a scientific advisor. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Penn State and earned a doctorate at the University of Texas Health Science Center.
Chancellor Hill said he hopes to have a contract finalized in the next 30 days. Kruzelock will actually work for the technology park board, not the state but state code requires the HEPC to approve the hire.
The regional technology park is also home to Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College and part of Bridgemont Community and Technical College.
Also Friday, the HEPC approved the contract of Fairmont State University President Maria Rose and the presidential search procedure for Concord University.