To the University of Oregon research community,
The U.S. Government supports research and development in numerous ways that are essential to advancing knowledge, informing policy, maintaining our global leadership in technology and the training of new generations of scientists. Research universities across the nation depend heavily on 1) federal funding to engage in research, 2) unfettered access to the vast amount of data collected by the federal agencies and 3) collaborations with federal research scientists. Hence, it can be alarming when a new administration directs certain federal agencies to freeze research grants, restrict data access, and cease external communications.
As we interpret the meaning of such actions, we should remember that other presidential administrations have also asked federal agencies to put certain decisions on hold during the transition until a newly appointed leadership is in place. Nonetheless, we must remain vigilant and be prepared to respond to any lasting changes in policy or practice that would undermine the progress of science and technological innovation.
Scientific research is global and the international exchange of scholars and students has enriched our lives immeasurably and led to countless discoveries and innovations that have changed the world. I am concerned that the new president’s executive orders related to immigration may have a negative impact on research activity at the UO and across the nation. In a recent letter to the UO, President Michael Schill and Provost Scott Coltrane outlined the university’s commitment to global engagement and the international scholarship community. Be assured that the UO’s leadership will do everything we can to protect the free exchange of ideas and people as it relates to our research activity, the process of inquiry and the advancement of knowledge.
The UO’s Office of Government and Community Relations and Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI) are closely monitoring the emerging polices and decisions of the new administration that affect research. As developments take place, we will keep the university community informed. We will voice our concerns in concert with the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and other organizations. We will also reach out directly to federal agencies, members of the Oregon congressional delegation, and other elected officials.
If you have questions or concerns about your federal grants or contracts, please contact Sponsored Projects Services at email@example.com or (541) 346-5131.
David O. Conover, PhD
Vice President for Research and Innovation
Professor of Biology
University of Oregon