Report to the President

Research

Through research the University should commit to elevating its current global standing to membership in the top tier of research universities in the world. Research is an integral part of the University’s mission and is necessary if BU is to augment and sustain the quality of its undergraduate, graduate, and professional education. Our challenge is one facing all major research universities: to create an open process that produces a dynamic balance between supporting individual creativity and strategic research initiatives. We seek to reduce impediments to the interactions and free flow of ideas that lead to new discoveries while also developing a process that identifies the most promising researchers and research directions.

Recommendation

Create conditions and incentives to promote and support the pursuit of new knowledge that expands our understanding of the world, including research that can lead to solutions for pressing and anticipated problems.

  • Nurture new investigators, individual creativity, and the pursuit of bright new ideas through a well- funded, peer-reviewed University-wide grant program for seeding research efforts.
  • Develop an open, collegial, and collaborative University-wide process to identify promising thematic areas for future strategic initiatives. It is essential that this mechanism rely fundamentally on the input of scholars and researchers.
  • Enhance support for undergraduate research-based service learning opportunities; significantly expand the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP); and provide mentoring and funding support for interested undergraduates to participate in research.
  • Support and expand the BU Humanities Foundation to provide seed money for books, library acquisitions, conferences, research, course development, sabbatical time, and the development of creative programs in the arts and humanities.
  • Encourage faculty whose interdisciplinary work crosses departmental, College, School, and campus boundaries.
  • Create incentives to enhance the diversity of faculty engaged in research.
  • Foster faculty and post-doctoral exchange programs with universities around the globe, in consultation with departments, institutes, and programs.
  • Reward and recognize the mentoring efforts of senior faculty in guiding the career development of younger faculty scholars and students.
  • Inform the BU community through University publications and electronic media about the contributions to research and scholarship of members of different faculties and Schools.