Recreation and Anticipation
Every new season at the University of Oregon brings with it the potential for us to make new discoveries, share or create more knowledge, and help prepare students to make an impact on the world—and summer is no exception.
However, summer does takes on a different pace and offer unique opportunities. With fewer classes in session, it is often a time to read, reflect, travel, and explore our surroundings. It is also the season for the most glorious weather in Oregon—our reward for making it through a particularly long stretch of soggy weather.
During the summer months, our students often spend time applying what they have learned in the classroom and labs to real-world experiences. Members of our faculty may dig deeper into their research or prepare for the academic year ahead, and our alumni, friends, and supporters often enjoy the many cultural, artistic, and recreational opportunities the UO campus hosts.
In this edition of Oregon Quarterly, you will get a variety of perspectives on what the summer season means to the UO community. You will read how UO scientists will be involved in the study of the solar eclipse, a once-in-a-generation phenomenon, in its totality over Oregon’s skies. You may not have known that, if you will be grilling on charcoal briquettes this summer, you have legendary UO chemist Orin Stafford to thank for their invention. We offer summer travel tips from Terry Hunt, dean of the Robert Donald Clark Honors College and an expert on Easter Island, who knows how to travel fast and light to exotic places. We also offer suggestions on five not-to-be-missed concerts at the Oregon Bach Festival.
The vacation season does not slow the events of the world around us. In this issue, you can also read about the research of psychology professor Paul Slovic, recently inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, who continues his much-needed and noble work to understand the limits and potential of our ability for compassion.
Summer is a time of anticipation for our incoming UO students, many of whom are able to attend our university thanks to generous scholarships. I am extremely enthusiastic about our partnership with the Stamps Family Charitable Foundation, which awards full-ride scholarships to five incoming freshman per year. Soon, the Stamps program will double that number. The UO is one of only seven schools in the nation where Stamps offers expanded support. In this issue, we feature three graduating Stamps Scholars who are poised to make a difference in the world.
This July, we will welcome two new leaders to our academic community. Marcilynn Burke will take the reins as dean of the School of Law. Jayanth Banavar, our new provost, will take the baton from our retiring chief academic officer, Scott Coltrane. We thank Scott for the many roles he played in his nine years at the UO—dean, provost, interim president—all of them with grace and wisdom.
As for me, a stack of books sitting on my nightstand will continue to entice me. While I have no intention of slowing my pace this summer, I hope to make a dent in this very large stack. In these pages, I will share some of the texts I hope to read this summer.
My primary focus, however, will be the same as the day I arrived two years ago. I, with Provost Banavar and the UO community at my side, will be laser-focused on building our academic and research excellence, improving student access and success, and enhancing our student experience and diversity. No matter the season, we are working to elevate the standing of the University of Oregon as a world-class public research university, dedicated to improving lives, educating students, and benefiting our world.
I hope you enjoy your summer. Go, Ducks!
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law