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2009-2014 Strategic Plan Goal 3:Invest Strategically in Research to Spur Economic Growth

Position Old Dominion University as an economic development leader for the region.

Further develop our nationally recognized Research Institutes and Centers of Excellence, such as the Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics, Virginia Modeling Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC), the Center for Accelerator Science (in collaboration with the Jefferson National Laboratory), and the Laser and Plasma Engineering Institute, and focus in areas such as Supply Chain Management, Alternative Energy, Biomedical Sciences, and others to solidify the university's role as an economic development leader for the region. Employ Old Dominion's entrepreneurial ethos to create economic development impact by extending research discoveries and technology into business attraction and business creation opportunities. Leverage existing investments in computational and technology resources and in infrastructure such as Innovation Research Park (IRP), and develop planned facilities such as the Systems Engineering Building, to create new opportunities for translational research, technology transfer, cross-disciplinary and other collaborative research projects, that create real-world solutions for our communities and the world. Expand opportunities for collaboration with the City of Virginia Beach with an expected emphasis on graduate-level Health Sciences research in the Princess Anne Commons corridor. Seek out new strategic partnerships and build on existing collaborations, such as with the nearby Naval Postgraduate School, regional maritime industries, local teaching hospitals, and national laboratories. Hire and retain research-active and highly creative faculty and increase faculty productivity in research, scholarship, and creative work by reassessing teaching loads and broadly enhancing the University's research infrastructure.

Rationale: Having committed itself to become a nationally recognized, highly-ranked research university, ODU must continue its pursuit of excellence in attracting and retaining top-flight research faculty and foster the conditions under which nationally recognized research, scholarship, and creative activity can take place. Not to do so is to risk putting in jeopardy the gains that have been made in recent decades. We have several high profile research efforts that have, or are positioned to have, significant national impact in both fundamental and applied research. ODU is also committed to working with local, regional, and state economic development agencies to foster business attraction opportunities in the Hampton Roads region.

ODU has faculty clusters of excellence, such as in modeling and simulation at VMASC, and has developed attractive, modern facilities, such as IRP, that are poised to have considerable local and regional impact on workforce development and that can attract new businesses and economic opportunities to the region. We need to leverage our investments and assets to promote additional economic development and success in the region and further develop IRP as a focal point for business attraction and creation through translational research, technology transfer, and business development opportunities. By advancing the University's research infrastructure and encouraging a culture that supports patent applications and grant proposal submission, we will increase the success of external grants and contracts to faculty, draw continued positive attention, and attract top quality students and faculty to ODU. (Also linked to Goal 2)


Pursue strategic collaborations, including economic development and cross-disciplinary research opportunities.

Identify economically and academically beneficial collaborations with external institutions and companies. Work with neighboring cities such as Virginia Beach to identify mutually beneficial programs that will address regional need. Develop joint or dual degree programs in key disciplines with other universities and teaching hospitals. Provide opportunities and support for faculty, including standard technology services, to develop spin-off companies, accelerate existing business enterprises, and/or develop strategic research connections with other institutions or entities in the region. Encourage external collaborators to work with faculty and graduate students in IRP, VMASC, or other high-profile facilities.

Responsible Parties

Vice President of Research, Vice President of Administration and Finance, Provost, Executive Director of Economic Development, Executive Director of VMASC, Deans, Office of Computing and Communication Services,

Measures of Success

  1. Using 2009-10 baseline number of collaborations, track the number of new collaborations established or terminated.
  2. Using 2009-10 baseline number of dual or joint degree programs, track the number of new
    dual or joint programs established or terminated.

Hire and retain research active faculty.

1. Establish endowed chairs and other endowments that support retention and recruitment of top research faculty in identified strategic research areas.

Responsible Parties

Office of Development, Vice President of Research, Provost, Deans,

Department Chairs.

Measures of Success

  1. Increased funding for endowed chairs and research faculty recruitment.
  2. Increased number of new research faculty hired annually and retained two or more years from initial hire in strategic research areas.
  3. Using 2009-10, as a baseline, track the number and dollar amount of startup packages provided to, and research productivity of, newly hired research faculty.
  4. Increased annual externally funded research expenditures in strategic research areas.
  1. Assist faculty to increase research output by evaluating, and adjusting as necessary (a) faculty workload policies and practices, including graduate student supervision; and (b) departmental staff support in departments or programs that have high research and/or graduate program commitments.

Enhance the resources available to support research areas of excellence.

1. Identify and widely promote our current and potential research areas of excellence, and those that deserve continuing support. Review, revise or formalize as necessary, and implement criteria for establishing, supporting, and phasing out of Centers, Institutes, and external Partnerships.

Responsible Parties

Vice President for Research, Provost, Deans, Associate Deans, Graduate Studies, University Space Committee, Faculty Senate.

Measures of Success

  1. By Fall 2010, the University will identify existing and potential Research Institutes or Centers of Excellence for sustained support, and Centers, Institutes, or external partnerships that should be discontinued.
  2. Recommended policy for Centers, Institutes, and Research Partnerships to take effect Spring 2011.
  1. Review all research support areas for improvements in efficiency, including the allocation, upkeep, and enhancement of physical facilities needed for research purposes. Ensure continuation and upgrade of necessary computational resources, including high performance computing, research network connectivity, mass data storage, and research computing expertise.

Responsible Parties

Provost, Vice President for Research, Vice President for Finance, Capital Planning Committee, University Space Committee, Office of Computing and Communication Services, Faculty Senate, Deans, Department Chairs.

Measures of Success

  1. Report with recommendations for improvements and projected costs for implementation to the Vice President of Research and the Provost by September 2010.
  2. Annual report documents planning process and priorities for allocation, upkeep, and improvement of research facilities/space for the year, with associated operating and capital budget resource needs and allocations.
  3. Status report on completion of adopted and funded recommendations published on the Office of Research website, by September 2011 and annually thereafter.

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