In later winter, 2010, the Office of the Vice President for Research launched Aspire 2020 – a campus-wide planning effort to chart a course for research and creative activity for the coming decade. The planning was conducted principally via a number of faculty-led Action Teams that engaged the following topics: Research Incentives and Rewards, Arts and Humanities, Crosscutting Campus-Wide Research Themes, Graduate Research and Creative Activity, Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity, and Education Research and Creative Activity. More information about the process, including Action Team reports, may be found at Aspire 2020
The ultimate outcome of Aspire 2020, which involved a great deal of data analysis as well as personal discussions, was recognition that, although the Norman campus had made important progress in research and creative activity over the years, it was far from realizing its full potential. Collectively, the faculty agreed that realizing that potential required transforming our Research Engagement, our Competitiveness, and our Research Culture.
Numerous activities were undertaken toward achieving these objectives toward the ultimate goal of becoming the Nation’s foremost comprehensive research institution of our size. See vpr-norman.ou.edu/initiatives for details. We have made very substantial progress in five short years, as outlined in my yearly town hall meetings, and we are poised as never before – in terms of the quality of our faculty, our college and departmental leadership, and our physical facilities and other assets – to achieve even greater heights and move closer to realizing our substantial potential.
Consequently, recently launched Aspire 2020: The Second Half Kickoff!!! It is built around 10 key goals that represent an outgrowth of the original Aspire 2020 discussions, as well as important advances made during the past five years. In many respects, the original Aspire 2020 vision could be envisioned as a beautiful image of the future, not yet in focus, whereas the Second Half Kickoff as a turning of the focus ring to bring clarity that allows us to be more specific in our goals and more purposeful in our approaches. The VPR Office has met with each college leadership team to overview details of the Second Half Kickoff, and continuous engagement by faculty and staff — which led to Aspire 2020 — will be critical to its continued success.