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Office of Research and Creative Activities is now the Research Administration Office

Updated name more accurately reflects the office’s primary functions.

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The Office of Research and Creative Activities (ORCA) is now the Research and Administration Office (RAO). The name change, approved in June 2020, will more accurately reflect the office’s primary functions.

The Research Administration Office provides administrative support for research that is regulated or requires contracts with outside organizations. This name change has multiple benefits, including reducing confusion and helping faculty and outside partners (such as funding agencies, regulators, and subcontractors) make contact with the office.

The name change also coincides with a reorganization of the office, which has resulted in the creation of three subgroups within the RAO:

  • Sponsored Projects (focused on supporting external funding of research)
  • Research Compliance (human research subjects protection, animal use and care, and biosafety)
  • Laboratory Animal Resource Center (support for research involving animal models)

The ORCA name is associated with the former “ORCA Grant” program that was one of the predecessors of the current experiential learning initiative. In parts of campus, ORCA has also been confused with the Creative Works Office.

The revamped Research Administration Office is comprised of the following leadership:

  • Gene Larson, Director
  • Debbie Silversmith, Associate Director – Sponsored Projects
  • Sandee Aina, Associate Director – HRPP (IRB)
  • Jason Jay, Associate Director – IACUC/IBC
  • Sandy Garrett, University Vet & Associate Director – LARC

For more information about the RAO, please visit