Scott L. Campbell is the Senior Strategic Advisor of Baker Donelson Washington, DC, and is the President of the Howard Baker Forum, its public policy and international affairs affiliate.
Strategic Research Advisory Board Discusses Research Goals, Outlook in May Meeting
One of the hallmarks of higher education is the meeting of expert minds from diverse fields to explore solutions to and overcome challenges. Now, with the campus just beginning to reopen, one such gathering began online to share perspectives on how to safely resume research and creative scholarship on the Norman campus.
On May 21, the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships’ leadership team met virtually with its newly founded Strategic Research Advisory Board. This group of 13 experts from across academia, industry, and government participated in a day-long discussion of OU's response to COVID-19 and goals for advancing the research mission of the university.
Here are our top 5 key takeaways from this first meeting.
- With the return of the campus population over the coming months, OU's priority should be to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19, monitor the population, and ensure adequate contact tracing.
- Similarly, OU should identify interim steps and measures which could be taken should the number of COVID-19 infections start to increase on campus during the summer or fall.
- Preemptive and ongoing planning must engage leadership from all areas – students, faculty, staff, and the community.
- Culture transformation and communication are essential. Transparent and regular communication from trusted sources within the campus community will be paramount to ensuring compliance with safety measures and support for potentially difficult decisions to adapt to a new normal college experience for the campus community.
- While managing the COVID-19 crisis, OU should continue to invest in the university's strategic priorities. The Board applauded OU’s initiative to support new research projects focused on what OU faculty and staff can bring to the battle against COVID-19. Such efforts amplify the impact of the university on the state, nation, and world and should be continued and enhanced.
We thank our board members for their time to learn about how OU has responded to the pandemic to date, and for their expert guidance on preparing for the immediate future of resuming research and creative operations, as well as strategic planning for the ongoing investment in research excellence at the University of Oklahoma.
We also look forward to future meetings where the focus will be on leveraging the Board’s vast and diverse experience to improve and propel OU’s strategic plan for research and creative activity forward.
SRAB Board Members
Scott L. Campbell
Dona L. Crawford
Dona L. Crawford is the former Associate Director of Computation at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. She is currently the President of the Livermore Lab Foundation.
Bonnie Jenkins is the Founder and Executive Director of the Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security, and Conflict Transformation. Jenkins is currently the Chair of the Steering Committee of the International Women's Conference on Preventing the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction to Non-State Actors, and the Chair of the Committee on Radioactive Sources: Applications and Alternative Technologies of the National Academies of Sciences.
Neal Lane is the Senior Fellow in Science and Technology Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and holds the titles of Malcolm Gillis University Professor Emeritus and Professor of Physics and Astronomy Emeritus at Rice University.
Sha-Chelle Manning is the Vice President of Technology and Innovation for Cimarex Energy, Co. Manning previously built and led Pioneer Natural Resource’s Innovation Program. She currently serves on the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board for the Innovation Committee, the Institute for Advanced Composite Manufacturing and Innovation, and the Texas A&M TEES’ Advisory Board.
John McCue is the retired Vice Chairman and former U.S. Energy & Resources industry leader of Deloitte LLP. During his 31-year career with Deloitte and Deloitte Consulting, he specialized in strategic planning and operations improvement consulting for many of the largest energy companies in the U.S. and globally, with a particular focus on mergers, acquisitions, and profitable growth.
Paul J. Mitchell
Paul J. Mitchell is the founding President and CEO of Energy Systems Network, a 10-year consortium of companies and institutions focused on the development of the advanced energy technology sector.
John M. Poate
John M. Poate is Emeritus Senior Vice-President of Research at the Colorado School of Mines and Editor-in-Chief of Applied Physics Reviews. He previously served as a Harwell Fellow of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, Head of the Silicon Processing and Interface Physics Research Departments at Bell Laboratories, Dean of the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Chief Technology Officer of Axcelis Technologies.
Gen. Robin Rand (USAF, Ret.)
General Robin Rand (USAF, Ret.) served on active duty in the United States Air Force for over 40 years before his retirement in 2018. Currently, he is the Chief Executive Officer for the Gary Sinise Foundation, a military veterans and first responder non-profit support organization. He is also a senior consultant for the Boeing Company’s Defense, Space, and Security business; proxy board member for Top Aces Corporation; and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings.
Gen. Charles F. Wald (USAF, Ret.)
General Charles F. Wald (USAF, Ret.) is the President of Jones Group Middle East. Before joining Jones Group Middle East, General Wald served as Vice Chairman, Federal Practice Senior Advisor, Deloitte Services, LP. He provided senior leadership in strategy and relationships with the U.S. Department of Defense as well as Deloitte's Commercial Aerospace and Defense Clients globally.
Laurel Weldon is a Distinguished Full Professor of Political Science at Simon Fraser University in Canada. She was previously a Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Director of the Purdue Policy Research Institute (PPRI) at Purdue University in Indiana.
David A. Whelan
David A. Whelan is currently a professor of practice at the University of California, San Diego in the Jacobs School of Engineering. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and also serves as chairman of the board for AOSense Inc., a quantum sensing company. He is a member of the Defense Science Board for the Office of Secretary of Defense and he retired from The Boeing Company in January 2017, as the vice president of engineering of Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS).
Hon. Deborah L. Wince-Smith
The Honorable Deborah L. Wince-Smith is the President and CEO of the Council on Competitiveness, a non-partisan leadership coalition of CEO’s, University Presidents, Labor Union Leaders, and National Laboratory Directors, all committed to developing policy solutions and national initiatives to drive future productivity growth, prosperity for all Americans, and the global success of American business. She has more than 20 years of experience as a senior U.S. government official, as the first Senate-confirmed Assistant Secretary for Technology Policy in the U.S. Department of Commerce, and as the Assistant Director for International Affairs.