7-7-2006

Contact: Shelly Hoffman, (614) 247-4748

Ohio State to invest $100 million in high-impact areas

Ten programs chosen for additional university funding

COLUMBUS ? The Ohio State University has targeted some of society's most pressing challenges with a major investment of university resources in programs with a potential for a significant impact in their fields.

Executive Vice President and Provost Barbara Snyder told the university's Board of Trustees at its Friday (7/7) meeting that the university will reallocate some $50 million in central funds over the next five years to support 10 high-impact programs chosen for the Targeted Investment in Excellence (TIE) program.

These funds will be matched by the participating colleges for a total investment of $100 million.

“The programs chosen are ones that will provide the greatest return on our investment, elevating not only the university's academic stature but, ultimately, the quality of human life,” Snyder said. “These are well thought-out and, in many cases, interdisciplinary programs that will allow Ohio State to gain world-wide visibility as a top research university.”

The top-ranked proposal, the Climate, Water and Carbon Program, will address such critical issues as climate change, the availability of enough fresh water to maintain the world's population, and the impact of fossil fuel combustion on the earth's atmosphere. The program will bring together faculty experts from the Colleges of Mathematical and Physical Sciences; Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; and Social and Behavioral Sciences; as well as the Byrd Polar Research Center and the John Glenn School of Public Affairs.

Another TIE program with the potential to improve ? and perhaps save ? the lives of citizens is the Public Health Preparedness Program, a collaborative effort by outstanding researchers in the School of Public Health and the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine; Medicine; Biological Sciences; Pharmacy; and Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
“Together, these faculty will accelerate and expand the work that's being done in avian flu, anthrax, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases important in biodefense and in meeting public health challenges,” said Snyder. “As the program's research findings are implemented, Ohio State will become the international leader in public health preparedness.”

The future availability of energy sources is in the forefront of the public consciousness today, and the College of Engineering's Center for Clean, Sustainable Energy will receive TIE funding as its researchers explore the possibilities offered by clean coal and nuclear power, fuel cells, and breakthrough technologies, such as photovoltaics and thermoelectrics.

The other TIE programs outlined by Snyder include:
? Mathematical Biosciences Institute
? Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics
? Advanced Materials Initiative
? Population and Health Initiative
? Translational Plant Sciences
? Music Industry Program
? Micro-RNA Project

The 10 TIE programs were chosen from 46 programs identified by college deans as priorities having the best potential for high impact. The deans were required to provide plans for funding the programs whether they received TIE funding or not.

“This way, we are assured that all the programs will move ahead, since all of them demonstrate the commitment our faculty have in enhancing Ohio State's stature as an academic and research leader,” said Snyder.

The proposals were reviewed by the Council of Deans, the President's Cabinet, the President's and Provost's Advisory Committee, the Steering Committee of the University Senate and the University Research Committee, and the top 10 were chosen for central funding, which became available beginning this month.

“We are justifiably proud that this ambitious strategy for promoting the academic strengths and values of Ohio State was met with so much enthusiasm and cooperative effort, and we are confident the outcomes will be of enormous benefit to Ohio, our nation and beyond,” said Snyder.