Never Settle in Action
Some recent accomplishments of the UA’s Never Settle Strategic Academic and Business Plan, in no particular order.
1. UA establishes Arizona Transportation Research Institute
The University has established the Arizona Transportation Research Institute to address the many challenges of a rapidly evolving transportation ecosystem. In the spirit of Innovation, the institute will bring expert researchers together across campus to solve growing transportation problems in an era in which traffic congestion in the U.S. is at an all-time high. As the second state to authorize legislation for autonomous vehicle testing, Arizona now has the opportunity to create economic growth while addressing a national challenge.
2. UA engineers zero in on ovarian cancer
University of Arizona engineer Jennifer Barton is leading a two-year, $1 million project funded by the National Cancer Institute to decrease the threat of ovarian cancer, the most deadly gynecological cancer in the U.S. Today, 70 percent of women diagnosed have advanced ovarian cancer that has spread to other organs. Currently, the only way to confirm ovarian cancer is with a surgical biopsy. The innovative collaboration brings together UA researchers in physiology, medical imaging, and obstetrics and gynecology to work to identify biomarkers and use noninvasive or minimally invasive screening techniques like the microendoscope Barton invented.
3. Launch: 9.8.2016
The Osiris-REx spacecraft arrived at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida as final preparations have begun for launch. The University of Arizona-led mission has a 34-day launch period beginning September 8, 2016. With more than half of all known near-Earth asteroids and comets discovered by the University of Arizona, it seems natural that NASA selected the University of Arizona to lead an $805 million sample-return mission to an asteroid. OSIRIS-REx, NASA’s biggest mission this year, will orbit and explore asteroid Bennu for more than a year before closing in and collecting a sample of surface material, pristine enough to hold clues to our solar system’s origin and the source of water on Earth. The sample will be collected in 2018 and returned to Earth in 2023.
4. The UA tops $600 million mark in research activity
The University of Arizona’s research activity topped $606 million for the fiscal year 2015, surpassing the previous year’s total by nearly $20 million. The overall increase demonstrates that the UA’s Never Settle strategies to expand research under Innovation are working, and the increase in individual research activity demonstrates that expansion is a collective effort. Among the largest awards in FY2015 are:
- $5.6 million for research in finding planets similar to Earth (NASA)
- $3.8 million for identifying non-pharmacologic methods for enhancing sleep in PTSD (US Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity)
- $3.1 million for a study of biomarkers in ovarian cancer (National Cancer Institute)
5. Banner – University Medical Center breaks new ground
Banner – University Medical Center broke ground on a $400 million, nine-story hospital tower in Tucson as part of $500 million in capital investment to kick off Banner’s new relationship with the University of Arizona. This capital investment is in addition to Banner Health’s $1 billion commitment to the University of Arizona College of Medicine’s locations in both Tucson and Phoenix. The historic Partnership, signed by President Hart in early 2015, transforms the health care landscape in Arizona to meet new and existing demands and creates a new model for academic medicine. It also includes a $300 million endowment to provide a $20 million annual revenue stream to advance the UA’s clinical and translational research mission.
6. White House announces UA’s involvement in National Precision Medicine Initiative
The University of Arizona Health Sciences will commit significant resources to precision medicine in the spirit of Innovation, and in recognition that every patient is unique. Launched in January 2015 by President Barack Obama, the national Precision Medicine Initiative focuses on delivering the right treatment at the right time to the right person. As part of this initiative, UAHS will translate large-scale clinical and genomic data into actionable individual outcomes through the UA Center for Biomedical Informatics and Biostatistics and the UA Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine.
7. Mars navigator joins UA to launch space research initiative
Moriba Jah, a spacecraft navigator for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter aims to make the UA a world center of research and discovery on how objects behave in outer space. Under the pillars of Innovation and Partnership, the initiative will be part of the UA’s Defense and Security Research Institute. Jah recognizes that the US has only achieved significant technical breakthroughs by way of strong academic partnership, and that the UA provides a unique platform to bring research scientists and engineers together from across disciplines, along with public and private entities, to benefit the world.
8. UA launches Center for Regional Food Studies
The UA Center for Regional Food Studies was developed in the spirit of Partnering as a collaborative effort to better understand and improve our region’s food culture, fostering a more just, healthful, sustainable, and resilient regional food community. The new center will report to the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and will be led by Director Gary Paul Nabhan, the W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems at the UA’s Southwest Center. The center’s launch coincides with the city of Tucson’s designation as the newest UNESCO City of Gastronomy.
9. Tech Launch Arizona gets boost as NSF I-Corps site
In the spirit of Innovation, Tech Launch Arizona has been selected for a National Science Foundation initiative that will provide $100,000 a year for the next three years to help move innovative UA research toward commercialization. TLA, the UA office that commercializes inventions stemming from university research, has been designated an NSF Innovation Corps site. The $100,000 will be awarded to teams that have developed intellectual property with the greatest potential for social and economic impact.
10. Roger Angel inducted into Inventors Hall of Fame
In the spirit of Innovation, Regents' Professor Roger Angel of the College of Science and College of Optical Sciences is one of this year’s 16 inductees into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Best known for making extremely large curved mirrors with a lightweight structure, Angel has expanded the horizons of astronomy and optics enabling us to see deeper into the history of the universe. His latest work on the mirrors of the Giant Magellan Telescope will allow us to see 10x clearer than the Hubble Space Telescope. Learn more at gmto.org.
11. Tech Launch Arizona wins as Innovator of the Year
In FY15, Tech Launch Arizona disclosed more than 200 UA inventions, licensed or optioned more than 80 technologies, and launched 12 startup companies. TLA was recognized at the Governor's Celebration of Innovation as Arizona's Innovator of the Year in academia, after previously earning the UA recognition as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University from the Association of Public Land-grant Universities. TLA is responsible for more than $2.1 million in revenue from royalties and patent reimbursements, and the launch of successful startups such as SinfoníaRx, contracted by Wal-Mart to proactively monitor prescription medications for patients.
12. President Hart signs sustainability agreement
The UA is expanding its commitment to building a sustainable future by training the next generation of environmentally minded professionals to focus on working synergistically. President Hart signed a nationwide, solution-oriented pledge to reduce the UA’s carbon waste while also contributing to initiatives meant to drive environmental vitality.
13. UA partners with Uber on research
Under the strategic pillar Partnering, the UA will become home to Uber’s sate-of-the-art mapping test vehicles, yielding new jobs, economic development, and increased public safety and transportation options for Arizona. Uber’s gift to the College of Optical Sciences will also help future scientists, engineers, and researchers continue to explore new, innovative technology.
14. Largest freshman class has diversity, distinction
The UA welcomed approximately 42,100 students in fall 2015 and is on track to exceed several of its ABOR enrollment goals. In addition to enrolling the largest freshman class on record, which speaks to our focus on Engaging initiatives, the UA also received its highest number of applications, and more than 40 percent of new freshmen come from underserved populations.
15. Unique approach to veterinary medical education
The University of Arizona Oro Valley campus will be home to the new Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program. Another example of strategic Partnering, this first public veterinary school in Arizona offers a hybrid approach to clinical rotations in satellite university facilities as well as private and public facilities statewide. The campus also will support a new UA initiative tied to One Health, a worldwide effort to address disease threats to humans and animals simultaneously and improve the health for both populations.
16. UA debuts its greenest building at ENR2 dedication
The UA’s Environment & Natural Resources Phase 2 building officially opened its doors on Sept. 10, 2015. The iconic LEED certified building with slot canyon design fosters interdisciplinary interaction and sustainability in the spirit of our strategic pillar Synergy. Key environmental programs, currently spread across campus, will come together in ENR2 for critical interdisciplinary research in earth, environmental, natural resources, math, and related sciences.
17. UA part of a national team picked to lead flexible electronics research
The U.S. Department of Defense awarded the UA-affiliated FlexTech Alliance more than $170 million between federal and non-federal sources to create and manage a flexible hybrid electronics manufacturing facility. Flexible electronics involve mounting circuits on flexible plastic substrates, which allows them to conform to a desired shape or flex during use. This Innovating and Partnering award marks the first of seven Manufacturing Innovation Institutes (MMI) to be headquartered on the west coast.
18. Future of cancer care has arrived: University of Arizona Cancer Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital is open
The University of Arizona Cancer Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital in downtown Phoenix began seeing patients on Monday, August 24, 2015. National Cancer Institute facilities are dedicated to fighting cancer through groundbreaking research. The new five-story, 220,000-square-foot facility provides comprehensive outpatient cancer care for a wide spectrum of malignant diseases. This development is part of the UA’s commitment to Partnering, and improving the lives of all Arizonans.
19. UA announces partnership with Air Force Research Lab
The University of Arizona and Air Force Research Laboratory New Mexico recently began a partnership that will improve students’ career opportunities, provide access to specialized test facilities, and expand STEM education outreach initiatives. The UA is only the fifth institution in the country—and the only school in Arizona—to have signed a Strategic Educational Partnership Agreement with AFRL New Mexico. This agreement aligns the UA’s long-standing strengths in optics, space and physical sciences, and engineering, and gives UA students and faculty increased access to AFRL personnel, specialized test facilities, and surplus equipment to be used for research and education.
20. UA part of national team to receive $110M to launch Photonics Institute
On July 27, 2015 Vice President Joe Biden announced that a New York-based public-private partnership involving the University of Arizona was selected to receive $110 million in federal funding to revolutionize Internet communication. As part of a response to President Obama’s fall 2014 announcement of Integrated Photonics as a major component of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation program, the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics team was formed. The technology from this effort will have a significant impact on many industries, including defense, and establish the U.S. as a global leader in photonics.
21. New support for student retention in the study of science
The STEM-focused Arizona Science, Engineering, and Mathematics Scholars program received $300,000 in private foundation funding to aid the recruitment and success of transfer students. The UA’s program aims to recruit 69 transfer students to study in the College of Science per funding year, and improve graduation rates among science students. Nearly 18 percent of UA degrees awarded are in STEM fields, compared to the national average of 15.6 percent. Under the pillar of Engaging, ASEMS has taken an evidence-based approach regarding retention methods targeting first-generation students and underrepresented students in STEM.
22. New degree expands UA access in Phoenix
To better serve Arizonans who wish to earn a bachelor’s degree, the UA offers a Bachelor of General Studies degree program in Phoenix. The UA North Valley initiative is the result of a unique partnership between the UA and the Maricopa County Community College District. Students take upper-division classes from UA faculty members at the UA North Valley headquarters on the Paradise Valley Community College campus, conveniently located for students across metropolitan Phoenix. Students will have access to the same academic, advising and student services resources available to all UA students.
23. A new way to earn a UA degree
UA Online offers 21 fully online undergraduate degree programs in addition to the University’s robust slate of online graduate degrees and certificates. Under our strategic pillar Synergy, the programs reflect the University’s vision and commitment to meeting the evolving needs of today’s students and working professionals of all ages by optimizing campus resources and virtual reach.
24. Exploring the mysteries of the human brain
The UA is a global leader in brain research and has launched the Center for Innovation in Brain Science to unite campus wide neuroscience efforts, creating Synergy. The center will serve as a hub for linking fundamental discoveries to solutions for important clinical problems and will provide training for the next generation of biomedical investigators.
25. Internship growth presents new opportunities for students
The UA has introduced more than 400 new internships with major companies such as Apple and General Mills, representing a 13 percent growth in internships offered since 2014 under the Engaging strategic pillar. Internships are one of the critical component of the University's 100% Engagement initiative to ensure students graduate real-world ready. As of fall 2015, such experience is notated on graduates’ transcripts.
26. Building an Extension program in Mexico
As the state's land-grant institution, the UA has led outreach efforts through its Cooperative Extension offices across Arizona. Now the University is assisting efforts to build a similar network in Mexico. The UA has launched a new project called the Red de Extensión e Innovación Nacional Universitaria, also known as project REINU, under the Partnering pillar. The name translates to the National University Extension and Innovation Network. Project REINU will serve Mexico as a national university-based network of scientists and educators to provide resources and educational services across the country.
27. Institute for Career Readiness and Engagement connects students with real-world experiences
The UA has launched the Institute for Career Readiness and Engagement to help students build their résumés and prepare them to graduate workforce-ready. With support from the Office of the Governor's Workforce Development Grant program, the institute will connect students with experiences and employers like never before, through expanded early career coaching programs, an enhanced Internship Readiness Program, and more.
28. Support for UA Native American grad students gets boost with $2.4 million grant
This grant from the Sloan Indigenous Graduate Partnership will renew for three years, enabling the UA to realize the Never Settle goal to bolster efforts to recruit, retain and graduate Native Americans, specifically in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, the STEM disciplines.
29. UAHN and Banner agreement represents a significant investment into Tucson and the University for health care and related education and research activities
The Partnering transaction includes $500 million in capital commitment within five years of closing for new construction, renovation and expansion in support of the clinical enterprise; an additional $20 million in annual academic support for the clinical enterprise for at least the next 15 years, and the establishment of a $300 million endowment that would provide a guaranteed $20 million a year over the next 30 years in support of the academic endeavors and activities of the University's Colleges of Medicine.
30. Making sense of how we do things
Since its launch, the Campaign for Common Sense, a quality improvement program that solicits employee recommendations, has generated more than 1,000 unique ideas to diversify revenue, increase efficiency, grow our research enterprise, enhance the student experience, and improve the quality of work life. Under the strategic pillar Synergy, improvements implemented to date include an expedited approach for managing clinical trials, a more flexible course withdrawal policy, a streamlined faculty hiring process, more transparent communication about academic program fees, and a cost-saving enterprise learning management system for employees.
Last updated September 30, 2016