Opportunities for Excellence/Distinction in Key Research and Scholarship Areas

What are the areas, across the University and across disciplines, poised for distinction? How can we take the next steps in these areas?

Committee Charge

  • Assess the current state of our efforts around this theme and its place at Notre Dame
    • What is being done?
    • What are the strengths?
    • Where are the weaknesses or gaps? 
  • Identify a small number of priority areas within this theme where Notre Dame can be distinctive and have the most impact over the next decade;
  • Based on your conclusions about where we can focus our energy and resources, develop a vision and set of specific recommendations for the initiatives, resources, and structures needed to move this theme and our goals forward.

Key Questions

Explore the following questions related to the theme of Opportunities for Excellence/Distinction in Key Research and Scholarship Areas:

  • Identify our current areas of excellence and distinction in research and scholarship.
    • In what areas are we currently perceived as world leaders?
    • In what areas are we poised to become world leaders?
  • Determine, for the areas that are poised to become world leaders, what is needed to
    achieve world-class status. If investment is needed:
    • Which of these areas can be moved along incrementally to achieve world-class status?
    • Which of these areas need a step-change to achieve world-class status?
    • Is the lag strictly reputational/inaccurate perception? How to address?
  • Identify areas of distinction where we are not yet recognized as excellent but should be,
    given our mission. For each, assess for these factors:
    • Do we have some faculty expertise to build around?
    • Is it an area where external funding is available?
    • Is Notre Dame networked to serve as a convener as a way of building reputation?
    • Is it an area that will have impact on or address a grand/enduring challenge?
  • Recommend a set of key research and scholarship priority areas where we should invest
    to: maintain world-class; jump into world-class; become excellent.

Committee Members

Patricia Clark, Co-Chair
Associate Vice President for Research
Founder and Director, Biophysics Instrumentation Core Facility
Rev. John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C., Professor of Biochemistry
Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Concurrent Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Meghan Sullivan, Co-Chair
Wilsey Family College Professor of Philosophy
Director of Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study

Nick Berente, Committee Member
Viola D. Hank Professor of IT, Analytics, and Operations

Bob Bernhard, Committee Member
Vice President for Research
Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

Kasey Buckles, Committee Member
Professor of Economics
Concurrent Professor of Gender Studies
Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research

K. Matthew Dames, Committee Member
Edward H. Arnold Dean, Hesburgh Libraries and University of Notre Dame Press (effective July 1, 2022)
Concurrent Professor of Law

David Go, Committee Member
Viola D. Hank Professor and Chair, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Concurrent Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Michael Hildreth, Committee Member
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, College of Science
Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Chris Hinkle, Committee Member
Leonard C. Bettex Collegiate Chair and Professor, Electrical Engineering

Berthold Hoeckner, Committee Member
J.W. Van Gorkom Professor of Music and Department Chair

Ron Metoyer, Committee Member
Associate Dean for Diversity and Faculty Development, College of Engineering
Professor of Computer Science and Engineering

Sarah Mustillo, Committee Member
I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters
Professor of Sociology

Claudia Polini, Committee Member
Glynn Family Honors Collegiate Professor of Mathematics

Joanna McNulty, Committee Staff
Associate Vice President, Academic Finance and Administration, Office of the Provost 

Lisa Mercurio, Committee Scheduling and Administrative Support
Executive Assistant to the Dean, College of Science

Lissa Bill, OSPIR Liaison
Senior Strategic Planning Program Director, Office of Strategic Planning and Institutional Research