TO: Faculty and staff
FROM: Provost Mike Sherman and VP George Newkome
DATE: Monday, July 23, 2012
RE: Achieving Distinction Update

We received an enthusiastic response from faculty to our call for research proposals that support Vision 2020's emphasis on interdisciplinary innovation

By the May deadline, faculty submitted 27 proposals as part of the Achieving Distinction Initiative. Proposals arrived from all colleges and cumulatively would involve 160 University of Akron faculty, administrators, staff and over 80 external partners. The proposals focus chiefly on four target areas:

  • regional solutions;
  • health care and medicine;
  • the human condition; and
  • innovative technologies.

Each proposal brings exciting possibilities to the future of research, strategic partnerships and interdisciplinary work across our campus. Each is testament to existing collaborations already being strengthened between our departments, schools and colleges.

The evaluations for first-round allocations are under way – a difficult challenge given the high caliber of the proposals. The Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of the Vice President for Research look forward to making these announcements in September.

The Achieving Distinction initiative, a 10-year investment, will further strengthen our capacity to conduct research that is relevant, connected and productive.

One decade out, our collective success will be evident. We will have improved the lives of many, and in doing so, drawn more prestige and distinction to our work and our University.