RESEARCH COUNCIL MINUTES
March 26, 2001
Attendees: Bill Blass (chair), Gayle Baker (Co-Vice-Chair), Doug Birdwell (Co-Vice-Chair),
Andrew Kramer (Co-Vice-Chair), Mark Dadmun, Arlene Garrison, Christian Halloy,
Zoe Hoyle, Nathan Johnson, Ted Labotka, Lee Magid, Aubrey Mitchell, Faye Muly, Stan Pinkleton,
Jesse Poore, Elizabeth Sutherland, Karen Welch
Meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.
- Introductory Remarks:
Chair Bill Blass made several announcements:
- The panel for the Provost's Awards met and selected 5 persons for the Research Award
and 4 persons for the Professional Promise Award.
- Reports from committee and panel chairs should be sent to Gayle Baker by April 23 for
the last meeting.
- Letters about the summer SARIF graduate research awards were sent out last week with
a short turnaround time. He asked Council members to encourage colleagues to apply.
- Science Alliance
Jesse Poore, Director of Science Alliance, described the changes in the Science Alliance
Award program. Prior to this year, the program was housed in the College of Arts and Sciences,
with the awards limited to faculty of that college. Dr. McCay formed an oversight committee,
made up of deans from several colleges across UT and other persons, to reorganize the program
to leverage research opportunities across the whole University and to find other partners, such
as ORNL, for the Alliance. The previous award program was said to have little support outside of
those who regularly received the award. That program was restructured this year to have fewer,
but larger, awards to reward persons with significant achievements (publications, number of
students graduated, 3 other notable achievements, collaborator) in a single year. Participation
was opened up to all colleges in Knoxville, as well as the Space Institute and Memphis Health
Sciences Center. Up to 42 awards will be given, with at least 10 for associate professors and
10 for assistant professors. Council members expressed concern over the limitation to a
single year, the focus on students graduated, and the lack of coordination with other campus
- Community of Science (COS)
Zoe Hoyle, recently named Knoxville campus liaison for the Community of Science (COS) service,
announced that COS will probably replace both the Funding Opportunities System (FOS) and the
Faculty Information System (FIS). Training sessions will be held in the spring and fall. The
Office of Academic and Research Services (OARS) will assist in inputting vita information.
Lee Magid stated that it would be useful for graduate students and postdocs to have access to
COS. Hoyle stated that she would look into whether they may become registered users.
- Research Computing
Fay Muly introduced colleagues Stan Pinkleton and Christian Halloy to address concerns
brought up at a February 28 meeting about scientific computing that was sponsored by DII.
- Stan Pinkleton described statistical consulting services for students and faculty on
campus and stated that, in budget hearings, DII was hoping to increase support for GIS and
mathematical support. Council members expressed concerns about software licensing administration,
the need for central support of the growing Linux community on campus, and the need for more
attention to security.
- Christian Halloy spoke about the support of scientific high performance computing activities
at UT and the need for increased support in terms of professional personnel and computing hardware. He
described the services provided by the staff of JICS (Joint Institute for Computation Science).
Currently, the main hardware in support of high performance computng, the IBM SP2, is operating
at capacity. Options for the future are another large computer and/or PC clusters. Another
alternative may be to use machines at ORNL. Halloy and Doug Birdwell discussed various alternatives.
Concerns were raised that UT needs to be cautious in becoming too dependent upon ORNL.
- Old Business
Gayle Baker stated that Doug Birdwell had been nominated for Chair of Research Council
for 2001-2002. Members were asked to send other nominations to her before the April 30