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VPR Research Operations Update

Dear Colleagues, 

Welcome back from the holiday break! I hope you enjoyed a safe and happy holiday with close family and friends, and know many of you may still be thinking about Saturday night’s historic game for the U. It was a heart-breaking loss, but we played well! As we embark on a new year, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for all your contributions in driving research excellence and growth together as One U. Our remarkable research community ended 2021 with the largest research portfolio in U history and I can’t wait to see what this new year brings for research at the U.  

As we prepare for spring semester, I would like to share the following research updates and new initiatives to look forward to this year. 

COVID-19 Research Update
First and foremost, as the new omicron variant continues to increase across the country, we encourage research faculty and staff to continue to work from home if supported by your supervisor. If you are unable to work from home or have not received testing after the holiday break, please sign up for the university’s free asymptomatic testing on campus. This resource is also extended to U-affiliated household members. If you have not received a vaccine or booster shot, you can visit to find and schedule a vaccine appointment. I also recommend checking the U website (campus-wide community) and VPR COVID-19 website (research community) for important COVID-19 updates and changes. 

Main Campus Research Unit 
The Office of the Vice President for Research is excited to explore the development of a new Main Campus Research (MCR) unit at the U. The MCR unit will support critical research missions in sustainability, societal impact, and mental health. The MCR unit is anticipated to launch in Summer 2022. Please keep an eye out for new MCR unit updates at Researcher’s Corner or sign-up here to subscribe to the newsletter. 

Farewell and thank you to VPR Weyrich 
As of January 2, 2022, Dr. Andy Weyrich stepped down as the vice president for research (VPR) to serve as the new president of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. I would like to take a moment to thank Dr. Weyrich for his hard work and dedication to growing research excellence at the U. Our research community has reached many notable achievements and milestones under his leadership, and we are truly grateful to build upon the strong and robust research foundation that his legacy will leave behind. Please join us in congratulating Dr. Weyrich on a remarkable tenure and best wishes on his exciting journey in Oklahoma. 

Once more, I would like to express my gratitude to our research faculty, students, and staff across campus. As a leading research institution, we are committed to finding life-changing discoveries and solutions to address society’s critical problems and this is made possible because of all of U. We are grateful for everyone’s role in U research and hope this new year will bring many opportunities and exciting endeavors for research at the U. 


Erin Rothwell
Interim Vice President for Research 

CC: College Deans and Research Deans 

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Last Updated: 1/3/22