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Appointment presents opportunities to expand undergraduate research

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Appointment presents opportunities to expand undergraduate research

Graeme Harper is the dean of Oakland University's Honors College. 
Oakland University’s Graeme Harper, DCA, Ph.D., has been elected a councilor of the Council for Undergraduate Research, the national body representing and supporting undergraduate research in the U.S. The appointment is for three years and promises many opportunities to expand undergraduate research nationally and at OU, according to Dr. Harper.

“My appointment should send the message to others that Oakland University is indeed a hub of world-class undergraduate research,” said Dr. Harper, dean of OU’s Honors College. “This is something on which we can build, and it is something that clearly links back to our history, as well as informing our future."

Dr. Harper’s election comes as Oakland continues to establish itself as a destination for strong undergraduate research. The university recently hosted the 2014 Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters Conference, which featured scholars from throughout the U.S. and Canada. OU undergraduate students presented original research at the conference and at other conferences, including the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Louisville Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900, Endocrine Society Annual Meeting and Expo, Midwest Political Science Association Conference and Claremont-UC Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union.

In addition, freshman students in OU’s Honors College take part in a “Making Discoveries” colloquium that combines research skills with creative thinking to solve social challenges. In Dr. Harper’s view, strong undergraduate research is the foundation for quality research at the graduate and faculty levels.

 “I have assessed faculty, graduate and undergraduate research in over 40 institutions around the world. But I knew some years ago that the strength of graduate and faculty research is dependent on building undergraduate research to the highest level of achievement,” he explained.

“That's why we have a considerable opportunity at Oakland. We know how to build strong undergraduate research, and it is my contention that strong undergraduate research will determine the future of higher education."

Founded in 1978, the Council on Undergraduate Research is a national 501(c)(3) educational organization representing more than 900 colleges and universities. To support undergraduate research, the council hosts an undergraduate research poster session on Capitol Hill, produces a quarterly journal, and provides special Institutes on undergraduate research and faculty development, along with a bi-annual national conference.