To: President’s Cabinet
Provost’s Council of Deans
Provost’s Executive Committee
From: Edward Feser, Provost and Executive Vice President
December 12, 2017
I am pleased to inform you that Rich Duncombe has been appointed as Director of the new OSU Innovation Hub (IHUB), effective December 1, 2017. Rich will report to me and also receive guidance from an IHUB Oversight Board. Rich and I will be working with the key stakeholders to co-design the membership and functions of the Oversight Board over the next few months.
As we’ve discussed, the IHUB formalizes and continues the effort begun by Dave King in his role as Special Assistant to the Provost for Innovation. Dave, Rich and others spent last year working with stakeholders across the campus to surface and evaluate a series of ideas for their academic merit and capacity to generate net revenue for the University. The Gateway project, which Jeff Sherman has been appointed to lead, is the first such strategy to gain approval to launch as a pilot with appropriate stakeholder engagement and shared governance.
The IHUB will be a place for teams of faculty, administrators and staff to develop, test and incubate bold ideas that will advance the University’s strategic goals. As IHUB director, Rich will facilitate the work of such teams, and subsequently assist in the launch, incubation and transfer of programs that grow the University beyond our existing portfolio and audiences. Eventually, we will have a physical space to enable these activities, but in the near term, Rich will have an office in Cascade Hall or nearby so that he can work directly with all of you as we move this initiative forward.
Rich Duncombe’s unique skills and experience complement those held by our faculty and academic leaders. He has driven growth strategies and launched new businesses within Fortune 50 technology companies and organizations. He is passionate about catalyzing innovation from concept to reality and creating innovation systems that advance an organization’s mission, deliver profitable growth, foster a culture of innovation and motivate talented employees. His broad executive leadership includes company founder and business unit vice president, as well as director roles in strategy, product management, technology development, operations and sales. Most recently, Rich served as Founder and Managing Director of Corvallis-based Innovation Catalyst Group and Director of the Business Consulting Group at the University of Oregon. His work at the University of Oregon and with Dave King here at OSU demonstrate his ability to translate his experience and skills to an academic setting and shared governance model.
A higher rate of institutional innovation surfaced as a high priority through the Vision 2030 conversations, as were the needs for net revenue growth and diversification. Under Rich’s leadership, the IHUB will give the University a best practice approach and active venue for developing ways to respond creatively and nimbly to fast-changing trends in higher education. Please join me in welcoming Rich to this role.