As we begin the final weeks of the academic year, I have exciting news to announce about our plans to attract outstanding faculty from across the country to the UO. We are moving forward with funding for two of the proposals identified last year in the Clusters of Excellence hiring program. These two clusters, in addition to recruiting efforts for a third cluster, will add up to a dozen new faculty researchers to our already stellar team in the coming months. The two clusters are:
The Faculty Cluster in Chemistry and Physics to Amplify Excellence in Energy and Sustainable Materials, coordinated by Professor Jim Hutchison, and
The Center for Genome Function, coordinated by Professor Eric Selker.
Initial funding for these Clusters of Excellence will be provided through a combination of previously identified sources, including recurring funds from licensing revenues and recurring funds identified by the Budget Advisory Group earlier in this year’s strategic investment process. We will continue to look for philanthropic and other external funds to enhance these clusters.
Hiring is also underway for a third Cluster of Excellence in Health Promotion & Obesity Prevention, coordinated by Professor Elizabeth Stormshak. This endeavor was made possible by a generous gift of $20 million.
Incoming President Michael Schill has expressed strong support for our efforts to advance our research and creative capacity and expand our outstanding research faculty ranks. He and I, together with the other members of the leadership team, know these foundational hires are paramount to our success. We are committed to competing for top researchers from around the globe. We continue to actively seek resources to fund the other seven selected clusters and will begin planning for future rounds of additional cluster proposals in the future.
This is a time of new beginnings for the University of Oregon, and the Clusters of Excellence Faculty Hiring Initiative is a key component of our next chapter. I will keep you apprised of our hiring efforts and will continue to work to expand our engagement in cutting edge research and creative endeavors.
Thank you for all you do to advance research excellence at the University of Oregon.