A recently formed unit at The University of Alabama will support the campus research enterprise through expertise in contractual matters and related research support operations.
Collin Rich will lead the UA Office for Research and Technology Agreements as director. ORTA supports sponsored research, technology commercialization and other related activities through effective and efficient review, drafting and negotiation of research-related contractual agreements between UA and various external partners.
Situated in the UA Office for Research and Economic Development, ORTA plays a vital role in the University’s research mission by ensuring that research-related contractual agreements are in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations, as well as UA and UA System policies.
“Organizing this office with Collin as director gives the University a strong unit to handle the details that come with operating a robust and rapidly growing research institution,” said Dr. Russell J. Mumper, UA vice president for research and economic development. “With this office taking the lead on executing contractual agreements, our researchers and scholars can focus more on their innovative work that meets society’s challenges and propels our students to succeed.”
ORTA is responsible for ensuring agreements related to the research enterprise are in alignment with Office for Research and Economic Development objectives, University policy, and applicable federal and state laws, rules, and regulations. It oversees the implementation of a wide variety of agreements, including, those related to sponsored research and other sponsored activities, collaborative activities with industry and other research institutions, and intellectual property and technology commercialization.
The office also provides educational opportunities for faculty and staff researchers and administrators related to research issues. It will work closely with other units across campus and within the Office for Research and Economic Development.
Rich was promoted after serving the past two years as a contract specialist for the Office for Research and Economic Development. Before that, he worked in contract management for the UA Office of Contract Management. He joined UA in 2016 after working in private law practice in the Tuscaloosa area.
Rich earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and his law degree from UA, the latter in 2011.
The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.