Monday, July 7, 2014

UO raises the bar on higher education

Register Gaurd
June 29th, 2014

Call it UO 2.0.
The University of Oregon hopes to improve its scholarly standing by hiring new faculty in academic “clusters,” to lift the university to pre-­eminence in specific narrow fields, mostly in the sciences.
The 2014 Cluster of Excellence Faculty Hiring initiative involves adding up to 40 new professors in 10 fields ranging from volcanology to obesity prevention to sports products — if the UO can attract the money for the hires.
The hiring would be outside the UO’s normal academic staffing process.
The plan is to “move the needle on those academic metrics that really count: publications, research grants, faculty awards, citations — just the prominence of what it is we’re doing as researchers,” UO Provost Scott Coltrane recently told the UO’s new Board of Trustees.
The UO has a precarious perch in the Association of American Universities, or AAU, the league of the nation’s top-ranked research universities. The university wants to steady its grip by improving academics.

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