The Muse: F(l)at Tires

usa-pro-cycling-challenge201Cruising along on two wheels, at a nice speed, on a gorgeous sunny day in Colorado and “Pshhhht”. Your whole world is changed in an instant. I can’t deny that sometimes my first reaction is a choice four letter word (that often rhymes with Pshhht) at decibels synchronized with the population density nearby. I succumb to the realization that I am well prepared to restore order and pull over to go through frequent ritual that leaves me covered in grease. The sense of satisfaction in returning to the road having made even a minor repair or course correction is always so great.

I am not sure why I draw this experience out other than to reflect on our summer at OVPR and our renewed energy toward an agenda of research success. In the first 18 months since storming the front range the new OVPR launched the catalyst for innovative partnerships initiative for interdisciplinary teaming and created 7 new teams poised to generate future superclusters of impact and engagement, established a new framework for research infrastructure facilities (institutional, foundational, and emerging), new metrics for determining high need high impact research facility renovations, and created a new multidisciplinary teaming award for individuals and groups that cross boundaries and work at interfaces of discipline discovery, just to name a few!

This summer we took the bike into the shop and tuned it up for our next academic year. Like many groups on campus during the summer the OVPR held a retreat to discuss future efforts and prioritize activities. Our renewed energy into the new academic year will sustain our resolve in the new initiatives launched but also allow us to focus on continued service to the research enterprise. Of particular note is our attention to reducing administrative burdens in facilitating our faculty’s hunt for new funding. This year we will roll out substantive new electronic systems for proposal preparation (Kuali Coeus) and a faculty activity reporting system (digital measures). The digitization of research administration is strikingly similar to the effort to promote electronic medical records; everyone knows it’s a good idea but getting it done is very hard. In our own case Kuali Coeus has been talked about for over 6 years and it is only now we are prepared to implement. These efforts will require patience, persistence, resolve (and yes some primal screaming) to get the job done.

So pump up your tires and get out on the road this new academic year. If you pop a tire, don’t fear, there’s a patch awaiting and plenty of air and pavement ahead! We look forward to working with you to sustain and grow our phenomenal research enterprise here at CSU.