Oregon University System

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Research and Innovation

OUS’s strong research enterprise energizes teaching and learning, attracts Southern Oregon Universityand retains a strong faculty, and informs the work of public and private industry. The innovation resulting from OUS’s research work has become the keystone for the economic success for Oregon and is perhaps its greatest competitive advantage in a rapidly changing world economy. This research has great value to the state, country, and the world, as universities disseminate the discoveries and ideas of university faculty and students into the economy and society at large.

Oregon’s public university faculty members are among the most successful in the country at earning federal support for their research and discoveries. According to the National Science Foundation's report Academic Research and Development Expenditures: Fiscal Year 2010, Oregon public universities (including Oregon Health & Science University) rank 22nd in total expenditures, and 17th in total research funded by the federal government. Oregon has also received national attention for programs in sustainability, green energy, technology and other areas are gaining attention both nationally and internationally.

Federal grants are competitively awarded and, as such, provide a testament to the expertise and entrepreneurism of OUS faculty. Nearly all OUS sponsored activities (96% in FY11) are funded by sources other than state dollars. Federal sources account for the largest percentage of total expenditures (82% in FY11) and they provide a substantial economic impact in Oregon by attracting money from outside the state.

Research Measures and Leadership 

OUS’s Academic Strategies division monitors and reports performance results and achievement compacts annually to the State Board of Higher Education, Oregon Education Investment Board, campus communities, the legislature, and the public. OUS research measures focus on total grant and contract expenditures as well as expenditures per full-time faculty. Research indicators are discussed under one of five goal areas derived from the long-range plan and strategic, called “Knowledge Creation & Resources” with a performance goal to: Engage in the creation and dissemination of original knowledge in support of academic excellence and partnerships for innovation and economic development, and leverage the reputation and resources of OUS institutions to provide academic, economic, civic, and cultural benefits to Oregon and its communities.

Oregon Engineering and Technology Industry Council (ETIC), has a mission to make post-secondary engineering and technology education and research a strategic resource that fuels the Oregon economy and creates opportunity for all Oregonians. It establishes measurable outcomes for investments including research productivity, makes specific investment recommendations, and monitors the results of these investments.