Dana B. Hamel, who recently dropped a controversial bid to be reappointed chancellor of the Virginia community college system, has been named to coordinate the state's plans for a proposed $147 million nuclear research laboratory, according to an aide to Gov. Charles S. Robb.
Hamel, who receives $45,156 a year as director of special academic programs at Virginia State University in Petersburg, will assume the new position Monday at a salary of $50,000, said David McCloud, Robb's senior staff assistant. Hamel will work from offices at Virginia Commonwealth University here and be paid by the school, McCloud said.
Hamel had been considered a favorite to regain the chancellorship until he withdrew his bid in late June. At the time, he spoke of "another opportunity, which is very attractive, which will be available to me in the next two to three weeks." He had headed the college system from its inception in 1966 until he stepped down in 1979 after charges of lax management.
Robb was silent on his choice for chancellor, but it was believed he opposed Hamel. Hamel said today he was not named to the planning post in return for leaving the chancellor's race.
Energy Secretary Donald P. Hodel has endorsed Newport News as the site for the proposed federal lab and said he would include money for it in his fiscal 1985 budget.
McCloud said, "We're at a point where it is clear" that someone needs to take charge of planning to set up the accelerator.
"My responsibility is to get the infrastructure in place and be ready to roll as soon as the federal government comes through with the funding," Hamel said. "It's going to be exciting to work with highly intelligent and competent colleagues," Hamel said. "It's quite an honor in itself, and an opportunity for greater high-tech, applied and pure research." Hamel was an unpaid vice president for the Southeastern Universities Research Association, the consortium of universities seeking to build the lab.
While he was in Richmond he was accused of plagiarizing portions of his doctoral thesis, an issue that made him unpopular with the faculties at colleges in the system. An investigation showed he made extensive use of material without attribution.