On Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, David Conover, vice president for research and innovation, announced his plans to retire. He sent the following message to friends and colleagues:
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
I am writing to inform you that I will step down as the Vice President for Research and Innovation at the University of Oregon effective July 3, 2020. Thankfully, however, I will not be leaving the UO or Eugene. I am very much looking forward to occupying the position of Emeritus Professor in the Department of Biology and reengaging in research and scholarship that has defined the majority of my career. I also wish to spend more time with family and friends and be active in the Eugene community.
It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to serve as your VPRI over this nearly four year period. I thank President Schill for this opportunity. I am proud of what we have accomplished collectively during my watch. Expenditures on research and new awards received have increased steeply since 2016 and so have our innovation metrics. We have expanded the services we provide and improved the infrastructure that supports research and innovation. Key highlights include the acquisition of high speed internet connectivity, the launching of the high performance computer facility, the expansion of proposal development services, the revamping of core facility operations, greatly enhanced seed funding, new and improved commercialization opportunities, and emerging partnerships with industry and other universities. Most importantly, we have brought many outstanding new people into key leadership positions within the OVPRI family. I thank my Executive Team and the entire staff of OVPRI for their dedication to serving the UO research mission and supporting me in my role as VPRI. Finally, I thank our customers: the faculty and students who fuel our research enterprise by acquiring grants, advancing knowledge, creating innovations and works of expression, and sharing these with the world.
I often think of senior leadership as akin to a relay race. I pick up the baton handed to me by my predecessor and run as far and as fast as I can go on an upward trajectory. Eventually, it becomes time to hand that baton to another runner. But there can be no slowing down as the transition approaches. Quite the opposite, now is the time to sprint to the finish line. My pledge to you is to keep us moving forward at full speed until the moment when the baton is passed. I know you will join me in that effort.