Letter From the Vice President — February 2014

Here in the office for Research Innovation and Graduate Education, we recently took time out to recognize our outstanding research administrators who keep our efforts moving forward at the University of Oregon.

 The RIGE Administrative Excellence Awards (see related story below) recognize leadership, dedication, teamwork and an overall willingness to go above and beyond to get the job done. These are qualities we see demonstrated every day by our research administrators and we are extremely grateful for the support they provide to researchers across campus.

Our office provides research resources in other areas, including media relations and communications expertise. One important service we offer is support in writing guest opinion pieces (aka, op-eds) for media outlets. Not only do op-eds promote the great research and scholarship happening here on campus, but they do so in a context that underlines the real world importance of our work. If you’ve got an idea for a guest opinion piece, here are the steps for making it happen:

1.    Draft a guest opinion piece. If you are unsure of what one might look like, contact our communications team and they will provide you with samples.

2.    Send a draft to our team. They will respond with edits and feedback.

3.    Re-send a final draft. Our communications team will submit the op-ed on your behalf and handle the rest.

The best op-eds are written on a timely topic, and they often offer a new perspective or have a “call to action” for readers. But the content guidelines are flexible and most media outlets would be happy to accept a thoughtful article on just about any subject — especially one written by a UO faculty member with relevant expertise to share.  

Guest commentaries frequently end up in local and regional newspapers such as The Oregonian and The Register-Guard but they can also land in national publication. Two recent examples of this include a piece in the New York Times' Opinionator section by the UO’s Colin Koopman, an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy, and a commentary in the Times’ Room for Debate section by the UO’s Dan Tichenor, a professor in the Department of Political Science.

One of our goals for the coming year is to share the story of the UO Research enterprise with a wider segment of the population. Op-eds are a great way to do this, but they are not the only means. Simply sharing your research success stories with our office is another way. We’re working to tell the UO research story as widely as we can – through the Web, social media, conventional media, government relations, presidential speeches and other efforts.

So please, let us know if you’ve got a research story that you think others might like to know about. And even if you’re not a faculty member with a point of view to share, you can help raise the profile of UO research by telling our story to the people you encounter — both on and off campus. Just think of yourself as an ambassador for UO research!

If you’d like assistance in submitting an opinion piece or would like to share a research success story, please contact RIGE’s communication director Lewis Taylor at lewist@uoregon.edu, 6-2816.