RESEARCH COUNCIL MINUTES
January 27, 1997
Attendees: Bill Blass, Chair, Jim Adcock, Gayle Baker, Debora Baldwin, Jack Barkenbus, David
Bemis, Doug Birdwell, Ham Bozdogan, Chris Cox, David Dobbs, Dawn Duncan (President of the Graduate Student
Association), Burt English, Pat Fisher, Zoe Hoyle, Kim Jensen, Dennie Kelley, Steve Pulik, Hal
Schmitt, Flora Shrode, Dwight Teeter, Ken Walker, Carolyn Webb, Jodie Wehr and Gail White.
Invited speaker: Tom Garritano.
NOTE: The next Research Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 24, 1997 at
3:30 p.m. in the 8th Floor Board Room, Andy Holt Tower.
Comments by Bill Blass: Blass announced that Walker was added as a reviewer to the Chancellor's
Research Awards panel.
Blass reported that the Instructional Technology Fee was now in place. The Technology
Appropriation Board (co-chaired by Sue Mettlen and Rob Power) is responsible for overseeing how
these funds will be spent. The Board is composed of faculty, administrators, and students. Subgroups
have also been created that allow others to have input in how the technology fee is used (e.g. Student
Technology Assessment Team and an Infrastructure Team, chaired by Blass). Blass indicated that
these committees insure that students are participants in the processes which determine how
technology funds are spent.
Blass stated that the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Planning and Budget was composed of five task forces with each group providing a report to the Chancellor. These draft reports have been combined into one document by the Chancellor. The Task Force for the Criteria and Processes for Program Evaluation is of particular significance. All entities will be reviewed. Self- evaluations by departments and deans will be conducted. English asked if formal academic
reviews will still continue - he felt that these two efforts could be combined. Blass commented that
there is no plan to abolish the academic review process. The reports from these five task forces are
available from the Chancellor's Office and the WWW.
Blass introduced Dawn Duncan, President of the Graduate Student Association which is a part of
Student Government. According to the University By-laws, two graduate students should be selected
by the GSA to serve on the RC.
Comments by Ken Walker: Walker stated that the Center Review process was working well. In Fall
1996, two new centers were created, five standing centers were reviewed and granted continuation,
and one center was closed. Seven centers will be reviewed in Spring 1997.
Walker stated that contract processing in the Office of Research is often slowed down due to the fact that many contracts have added time in the Legal Office. Effective February 17, all contracts, with the exception of foreign contracts, will be signed by the appropriate person in the Office
of Research. This new procedure was initiated by the UT-system. "Strange" contracts will be sent to
legal. Adcock asked what constituted "strange". Examples would be those that involve unusual
intellectual property issues or risk-related matters. The processing of contracts through OR should be
much more efficient.
Walker announced that R-expenditures as reflected by indirect cost recoveries appear to be similar to
last year at this time - with indirect cost recoveries totaling about $4.8M.
Comments by Jim Adcock: Adcock stated that the input of students in developing the Instructional
Technology Fee was very mature and helpful. He felt we should recognize the students and their
efforts. Dawn Duncan said she would pass the RC's comments onto the SGA. A motion to adopt a
resolution commending the students for their participation in the Technology Service Fee
appropriations process was made by Adcock and seconded by Bozdogan. The resolution was adopted
Presentation by Tom Garritano: Garritano discussed the services provided by the Office of
Academic and Research Services (detailed information on these services are enclosed). Garritano
stated that the Faculty Information Service (FIS) was created in 1992 prior to the WWW. The FIS
currently has 850 faculty entries. One problem with the FIS is keeping the information updated. The
Science Alliance (SA) uses the FIS for collecting information for their SA awards; faculty who
compete for these funds keep their entries up-to-date. Other UT campuses have access to the FIS,
and are in the process of making entries. Currently, the FIS is only available to UT faculty, staff, and
students. There was lengthy discussion concerning the FIS and making it available to the general
public. It was felt that faculty should be able to choose whether or not they wanted their entry
available for public access. Some concerns voiced were:
Personal security - faculty feel that their personal security is at risk if anyone has access to this system;
Private companies - companies who are involved in research with faculty would like their involvement to remain anonymous;
Committee membership - faculty who serve on special committees do not want their names known to the public; and
Data security - concern over someone gaining access to the system and modifying a faculty
Blass suggested assigning the Special Projects Subcommittee (chaired by Jensen) to look into this
Policies and Procedures Report: Adcock distributed a P&P report on computer equipment
procurement. He felt there was vast improvement in this process.
Databases: Baker announced that several databases will be accessible through the WWW. The
Instructional Technology Fee paid for the hardware needed to make this service available. Baker
distributed a flyer describing the Innovative Technologies Center. This center will help faculty with
the creation of homepages, provide workshops, etc. Birdwell inquired about the contract between
UTK and TVA on courseware training materials. He commented that it went to Tennessee
Technology University. Baker responded that one reason could be because UT has their own
computer-based training program.
Adjournment: 5:10 p.m.