Dear Willamette Community,
I write to report upon a reorganization that will help us to generate, refine and connect creative ideas that advance the strategic priorities of Willamette University. This fall, Shelby Radcliffe, deans from all three colleges and I agreed to create a collaborative Office of Grants and Strategic Initiatives (OGSI), combining the substantial intellectual and professional resources in our Foundation Relations (FR) office and the Office for Faculty Research and Resources (OFFRR). This collaboration will not change reporting lines or administrative FTE, but will result in a co-location of people to facilitate greater interaction, innovation and partnership related to faculty and university grants and initiatives.
Since Christine Shanaberger’s arrival at Willamette in 2014, she and Kendra Mingo have sought ways the university could capitalize on their collaboration — from idea generation to grantseeking to grants administration. Part of this exploration included a consultation with Ryan Sauder, senior director of college grants at Franklin & Marshall College, who spent time evaluating practices and advising university leaders on how to facilitate innovative grant activities in service to Willamette’s vision of “The Big W.” During two site visits, Ryan met with representatives from Advancement, Academic Affairs, Financial Affairs, CLA, Law and Atkinson to discuss their needs and ideas. His recommendations were shared with me, Shelby, Christine and Kendra, among others, and we are now beginning the work of implementation. Building on the strong foundation of Christine and Kendra’s partnership, the OGSI will serve as an “idea hub” on campus — helping to spur innovation and collaboration for grantseeking that advances both individual faculty research and pedagogy as well as broader institutional efforts.
Our first big step this spring was to combine FR and OFFRR in a single location in Gatke Hall. Christine has moved from Waller to Gatke, and Kendra’s new colleague in OFFRR, Tara Gregg, is now located in the first floor office adjacent to Kendra. The three of them welcome you to come visit them in their new space. In the coming months, Kendra, Tara and Christine will be reaching out to you to better understand the types and levels of support needed to advance grantseeking and Willamette’s institutional goals.
I am excited by this innovative approach to grantseeking, and look forward to working with Kendra, Christine, Tara, and all of you to explore ways to support Willamette’s continued growth in the years ahead.
Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs