Initiatives

Initiatives

From Humanities to Fine Arts, University Libraries, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), the University of Oklahoma is at an exciting time of transformation and innovation. As a community with a wide range of expertise and interests, different units have embarked on various initiatives. These ongoing initiatives not only create new opportunities and improve efficiency, but also engage across the whole University to connect, collaborate, and push the envelope for OU to be a better institution. These initiatives reflect our shared goals and pursuit of success.
Over the last few years, the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) have grown significantly. However, American universities are not able to produce enough competitive workers skilled in these fields, and the pipeline of recruiting and preparing STEM students is leaking from K-12 to higher institutions. Currently, the World Economic Forum lists the United States at number 48 worldwide for education in science and mathematics. The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released a ranking that placed students in the US 17th in science and 25th in math out of a group of 65 nations. You can discover many questions and answers in STEM education and careers using the information from the National Science Board’s Science and Engineering Indicators report and STEM Education Data website.

The University of Oklahoma attaches great importance to STEM education. We believe that effective STEM education is not solely limited to the activities of STEM faculty, researchers and students. It is a problem that needs collective efforts from educators across many disciplines. With this understanding, we have formed a PACSTEM committee that includes faculty members, academic leaders, and staff across the campus. PACSTEM subcommittees include: Broaden STEM Participation, Undergraduate Committee, Graduate Education & Training, K-12 Education Outreach, STEM Faculty, STEM Network, and STEM Portal.

OU Humanities Forum Grants

The Humanities Forum at the University of Oklahoma awards up to five faculty grants of up to $5,000 each per year in support of research and other creative activities corresponding to the Forum’s selected annual theme. The Humanities Forum encourages faculty projects that are individual or collaborative, that create substantive intellectual exchange among a diverse group of scholars on multiple levels (locally, nationally, and globally), and that engage the “public square.” read more.

Arts & Humanities Faculty Fellowship Program

As part of the Aspire 2020 objective to transform the research and creative activity culture at OU, the Arts and Humanities Working Group, through support from the Office of the Vice President for Research (VPR), is pleased to announce the 2015 OU Arts & Humanities Faculty Fellowships (AHFF) program. The purpose of the AHFF program is to support dynamic and innovative research and creative activity projects proposed by regular faculty in the arts, fine arts, and humanities by providing them the opportunity to focus on a scholarly and/or creative activity that significantly transforms the faculty member’s research program and makes notable contributions to the field.

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It is an exciting time to be a part of the University of Oklahoma Libraries. The Libraries has various initiatives and provides a wealth of resources and services to support learning and research at OU.

Faculty Support

  • General Faculty Handout
  • Subject Specialists & Liaisons
  • Open Educational Resources: Our Open Education Resources Coordinator and our Subject Specialists & Liaisons will assist faculty in identifying open educational resources to support their courses.
  • Alternative Textbooks: This pilot program provides funding for faculty wanting to develop an open textbook for their course in an effort to lower the costs of higher education for our students.
  • SHAREOK: This institutional repository provides online access to OU’s electronic theses and provides an open platform for faculty research.
  • Open Access Fund (application, policy): This fund supports faculty who wish to publish their research in open access publications.
  • Data Management for OU Researcher: This tool provides faculty with links to resources for writing data management plans to support grant applications and the preservation of their research data.
  • Digital Scholarship Laboratory: This lab provides workspace, technology, and expertise to faculty working on digital scholarship projects.

Student Support

  • Helmerich Collaborative Learning Center: The HCLC has quickly become a favorite study spot for OU students and provides group study rooms, collaborative technologies, a recording studio, and staff expertise on emerging technologies.
  • Undergraduate Services Department: This new library department focuses on providing services and resources to undergraduate students and liaisons with many of the student support services on campus.
  • Financial Literacy: Developed in conjunction with the Financial Aid Office, this guide provides students with the information they need to become financially literate.
  • Primary Sources in the Undergraduate Curriculum: In support of the University initiative to integrate primary sources into the undergraduate curriculum, this guide directs students to online primary sources and provides search tips for locating these unique items, especially in our special collections.
Faculty Activity System

Contacts:

Simin Pulat, Vice Provost for Faculty Development – pulat@ou.edu
Karen Horne, Project Manager for Activity Insight – khorne@ou.edu

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.