Dear Monarch Nation:
For many years, Old Dominion University (ODU) has been clearly focused on both our teaching and research mission. Through our world-class faculty and award-winning researchers, we have made a profound and lasting impact locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. Over the past decade, the number of scientific publications from ODU faculty has doubled, while our external funding for applied research projects has tripled over the last five years, thereby contributing to $69 million annually in overall research expenditures. More than half of ODU faculty have been involved in externally-funded research projects, which have grown by 22 percent in total expenditures in the last decade. Additionally, during that same period, ODU has doubled the size of its non-faculty Ph.D. research staff.
Without question, we have made great strides in both the breadth and depth of our research areas. From coastal resilience to cybersecurity, ODU is at the forefront of discovery and innovation. For example, ODU researchers are collaborating with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), among other agencies, to model ocean currents to better understand the implications of sea level rise in Virginia and globally. Furthermore, ODU researchers are engaging with data scientists at Jefferson Lab(JLab) and pastors of African American churches in Hampton Roads to combine machine learning with community-based participatory research methods to reduce crippling health disparities in our region and create a new model for developing population health interventions. ODU is proud to serve as the largest academic research partner to JLab, where faculty and students detect nuclear particles, such as neutrinos, which may be the key to solving the origin of matter in the universe. Additionally, cybersecurity researchers at ODU are utilizing 5G technologies to profoundly change supply chain management for ports, as well as complex organizations, such as the Department of Defense (DOD).
Due to our accelerated efforts and meaningful contributions, The Carnegie Classification of Institutions recently designated ODU in the nation's "Doctoral Universities - Very high research activity" category, often referred to as a Research 1 or R1 institution. Our prior Carnegie ranking was "Doctoral Universities - High research activity" or a Research 2 or R2 institution. This is a significant milestone for our campus community and a historic moment in our research efforts. ODU is truly honored to join the elite ranks of the nation's top-producing research institutions, which comprise less than five percent of all institutions. Our faculty are so deserving of this prestigious honor and the limitless opportunities and well-deserved recognition that come with it!
This transformational work would not be possible without the leadership of Vice President for Research Morris Foster, Ph.D., the engagement of the Office of Research staff, and the expertise and time of the incredible professionals who are fully dedicated to advancing the knowledge base in their respective areas. In learning of our R1 status, Vice President Foster said, "ODU's strategy has been to focus on research that is meaningful to people living and working in Hampton Roads that also is applicable globally, such as in maritime domains. R1 designation recognizes the national significance of that local strategy." Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Austin Agho, Ph.D. added, "This accomplishment represents the collective efforts of our faculty, scientists, students, and staff to further ODU's mission as a leading public doctoral research institution. Being named a Research 1 institution signals ODU is well-positioned to support research faculty, provide robust opportunities to undergraduates and graduate students, and work with partners to find innovative answers to complex and challenging questions."
Due to the work of our fellow Monarchs who are visionary leaders in their chosen fields and highly-regarded scholars on our campus and beyond, ODU has reached unprecedented heights in our research enterprise. With strong support and continued excellence across all areas of our academic and research footprint, I am confident that, in the months and years to come, our undeniable impact as one of the nation's leading research institutions will continue to grow in meaningful ways!
With Monarch Pride,
Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.