Office for Research and Economic Development Launches Strategic Plan

The University of Alabama Office for Research and Economic Development launched a five-year strategic plan to help facilitate growth and impact of the research enterprise on campus.

The plan focuses on growing and developing faculty as well as significantly increasing the size and impact of research and scholarly activity.

The strategic plan builds on the University’s designation by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education as a Very High Research Activity doctoral university, the nation’s highest level of research activity for institutions that grant doctoral degrees.

“The University is uniquely positioned to become one of the premier comprehensive research institutions in the southeastern United States over the next five years and in so doing translate research productivity and innovation to economic and societal development,” said Dr. Russell J. Mumper, UA vice president for research and economic development.

Mumper spent the first five months of his tenure at UA working collaboratively across campus to develop the strategic plan that emphasizes the University’s research mission. This strategic plan originates directly from the University’s strategic plan that aims to increase impactful research.

The ORED plan has six strategic themes including research environment, research institutes, transformative initiatives, translating intellectual property, economic and business engagement, and assessing progress and impact.

“The strategic plan was inspired by guiding principles that serve as both a compass and gauge for framing the strategic themes and strategic objectives within each theme,” Mumper said. “A dominating guiding principle is that ORED must support and foster the initiatives and innovation of faculty and staff, and support and foster students as the future workforce talent for the state, nation and world.”

Major aims, or themes, of the strategic plan include:

  • providing world-class core analytical facilities to support the research enterprise,
  • significantly enhancing and expanding opportunities for undergraduate research,
  • nominating faculty for more external honorific awards,
  • growing the Alabama research institutes and their impact,
  • establishing a new state-of-the-art research and creative conference program,
  • launching an intellectual property gap fund,
  • establishing an Office for Economic and Business Engagement to develop robust funded partnerships and retaining more opportunities to retain alumni in the state
  • doubling research awards to the University within five years.

“We greatly appreciate all the critical input and feedback we received around campus in helping us to create a strategic plan we all can be proud of and that best represents our collective ambitions,” Mumper said.