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Michael Purcell named Interim Executive Director of ORS

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July 2, 2020

Interim Executive Director of the Office of Research Services Named

Dear OU Community,

Many of you know Andrea Deaton from her role as an Associate Vice President for Research and Partnerships and Executive Director of the Office of Research Services (ORS). Since becoming the Executive Director in 2006, Andrea has been responsible for ensuring the continuity of daily operations of all pre-award functions related to the administration of sponsored research and creative activities for the Norman campus and related programs on the Tulsa campus. Andrea will be retiring effective August 31, 2020, but her last day in the office will be July 15.

Andrea is an institution at OU. Over her 26 years of service to the University, she has earned the trust and admiration of her colleagues and peers within OU and beyond. Throughout her career, Andrea has developed many strong programs at ORS, making it one of the premier research administration offices in the nation. During her tenure, research awards have grown steadily marking a notable increase in sponsored research award dollars from $143 million in 2017 to $218 million in 2019 to our highest yet at $255.6 million for FY20. We are deeply grateful to Andrea for her dedicated service to the University and congratulate her on her well-earned retirement.

It is very difficult to replace a leader who has had such an impact on an organization but I have asked Michael Purcell to take on the role as Interim Executive Director of ORS and Associate Vice President for Research and Partnerships, effective July 16, and I am pleased to announce that Michael has agreed to take on the role. Currently, Michael is a staff attorney for the OU Board of Regents in the Office of Legal Counsel. Michael has worked extensively with ORS in the past and his familiarity with ORS operations will ensure continuity and a smooth transition going forward. Michael is very involved in the community as an active volunteer for multiple non-profit and professional organizations.

At the same time, we are preparing to conduct a national search for the permanent Executive Director of ORS. The search committee with be chaired by Dean Berrien Moore.

Please join us in welcoming Michael to the Office of Research Services and congratulating Andrea on her retirement.

Tomás Díaz de la Rubia
Vice President for Research and Partnerships