Twila Reighley

Number of Years in Research Administration: 41

Institutions: Michigan State University, University of Iowa, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Arizona State University


Twila Reighley has been in senior sponsored programs leadership roles for more than 20 years, facilitating and supporting the research mission.  She currently is the Associate Vice President for Research and Innovation at Michigan State University.  She has oversight of two MSU centralized offices providing pre- and post-award administration.  Twila reports to both the Senior VP for Research and Innovation and the VP for Finance and Treasurer.  Prior to joining MSU, she had 30 years’ experience at three state institutions:  AVP for Research at the University of Iowa, Director of Grants and Contracts at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (now known as CU Anschutz Medical Campus), and positions of increasing responsibility in research administration at Arizona State University. 


Director and AVP roles have given her many opportunities to work with faculty and administrators on pragmatic approaches related to securing and implementing sponsored awards.  During her career, she has initiated/supported streamlining activities and has chaired faculty and administrative committees related to policy, process and implementation.  She values the opportunity committee work provides to collaborate with faculty and administrators in setting direction and/or making recommendations to improve the Institution's approach to facilitation of and compliance in research.  Twila has managed during crisis and major changes, including a natural disaster, relocation of the institution, and the opportunity to oversee implementation, as it related to sponsored activity of system-wide human resources and accounting systems implementations.


Twila has selected and mentored top-notch directors, managers and staff, and led teams in effective strategic planning and evaluation.  She has had oversight of educational programs, provided in-person training and managed the development of a Web-based training program for administrators.  


At ASU, she started research administration in a college office, then moved to the centralized accounting unit.  As the organization evolved, she was promoted into roles that expanded her pre- and post-award hands-on experience, while gaining management expertise. 


Twila has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Arizona State University and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri.  NCURA roles have included:  Co-Chair of 2017 Annual Meeting, Workshop Faculty for Fundamentals of Sponsored Project Administration, 2012 Chair of the NCURA Professional Development Committee and 2003-04 member of the NCURA Board of Directors.  In 2018, Twila received the NCURA Julia Jacobson Distinguished Service Award.  Twila also serves on the Board of Directors for the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) and on the COGR Committee for Contracts and Grants Administration..