November 14, 2019
Dear University of Oregon Colleagues,
We are writing to let you know that David Conover is retiring from his role as vice president for research and innovation at the end of the academic year, effective July 3, 2020. David has served the university with distinction and been instrumental in promoting interdisciplinary research excellence and innovation in every corner of campus. He has determined that now is the right time for him to step down to wrap up some important research he has developed over his long and distinguished career. Upon retirement, he will hold the title of emeritus professor in the Department of Biology.
The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (OVPRI) supports the university’s research centers and essential core facilities, encourages innovation and economic development through strategic partnering and technology transfer initiatives, and helps identify ways to support our efforts as a top-tier research institution. The office oversees and coordinates the UO’s research proposal submissions, compliance, and contract and grant administration.
David has provided leadership around research opportunities across the university with a steady hand, an eye toward problem-solving, tenacity, and an earnest wit. He helped develop OVPRI’s new strategic plan, reduced administrative bottlenecks, and improved the ways the university uses data to benchmark and evaluate our research success.
David joined the university in 2016 and in the nearly four years of his tenure, the UO’s research and development expenditures grew almost 20 percent. For fiscal year 2018-19, the value of new research awards increased 70 percent, and federal research expenditures were up 9.6 percent. David and his team have done a great job in supporting these achievements in part by encouraging and incentivizing faculty to apply for more and larger grants.
We are committed to seeing that activity and trajectory continue under the next leader of OVPRI. We will launch an open, national search in the coming months for a new vice president to support the great work and research occurring across the campus and leverage the momentum of the last few years. We hope to be able to have the role filled prior to David’s departure next summer. Going forward, we will consult with David, his office, and campus stakeholders on next steps and will provide more information as a search plan is developed.
Please join us in thanking David for all he has done to serve the University of Oregon. We are happy that he will remain a friend and partner to the university in the capacity of emeritus professor.
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law
Provost and Senior Vice President