RESEARCH COUNCIL MINUTES
March 31, 1997
Attendees: Bill Blass, Chair, Jim Adcock, Gayle Baker, Mike Devine, David Dobbs, Pat Fisher, Robin
Hardin, Zoe Hoyle, Ron Maples, Ben Oliver, Kerry Richardson, Hal Schmitt, Flora Shrode, Phyllis
Turner, Ken Walker, Carolyn Webb and Jodie Wehr. Guests: Micah Beck and Terry Moore
NOTE: The next Research Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 28, 1997 at 12:00
noon in the Volunteer Room, University Club. Please RSVP to Jodie Wehr (4-2469
or email@example.com) if you are able to attend.
Comments by Mike Devine: Devine announced that the 51st National Conference on the
Advancement of Research (NCAR-51) will be held in Oak Ridge on September 21-24, 1997. The
NCAR-51 conference is being co-hosted by UTK, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and the
Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). Devine also commented on the changes taking place at
ORNL. UTK receives approximately $25M in contract and grant activity through ORNL. Lockheed
Martin is not bidding on the Environmental Management contract for cleaning up and re-industrializing the K-25 site. UTK has had a series of meetings with other companies that plan on
bidding on this contract. UTK will play a role in this process, especially as regards economic
development. Two positive developments have already resulted from these meetings. One company
has become a member of the Maintenance and Reliability Center in Engineering and another company
is working with the Electrical Engineering Department. A final RFP will be announced in a few
Comments by Ken Walker: Walker announced that the Office of Research has been working with its
research centers to develop new titles for non-faculty, professional research staff. Currently there is
only one title, "Research Associate"; this allows little room for career advancement. A proposed list
of titles has been developed and a meeting will take place with Associate Deans in the College of Arts
and Sciences and Engineering, along with other people in research centers. Research Council
members will receive a copy of the proposed list of titles for their comments. Adcock commented that
the Chemistry Department has worked with the DRES to allow them to hire Postdocs with the
promise that these were only temporary positions. Often they receive a months notice that a grant has
been awarded and they need to hire a postdoc immediately. This process works well for the Chemistry
Department. He would like to ensure that these types of positions do not become permanent, while
also allowing other Research Associates to move ahead in their career.
Comments by Ben Oliver: Oliver reported that the SARIF/GRA Awards Committee met to consider
55 proposals (this is a correction from the 54 mentioned at the meeting). Twenty-four proposals were
awarded totaling $81,604. Last year 29 awards were made. The reduction in the number of awards is
due to recent budget cuts. The list of awardees is attached and will also be posted on the WWW.
Comments by Bill Blass: Blass distributed a plan (attached) for reorganizing the management of the
Research Council. He suggests having two co-vice chairs that would take responsibility of the Special
Panels, the ad hoc Committees, and the Standing Committees. He is continuing the appointment of
Gayle Baker as vice chair and is appointing Kim Jensen as a vice chair for the remainder of this year.
He requested feed-back on his proposal. Also, he requested nominations for the Chair of the Research
Council for next Academic Year be forwarded to him prior to the final meeting in April. Voting on
this proposal and for the Chair will be held at the last meeting.
Report on SARIF: Devine distributed a report (attached) on the Scholarly Activities Research
Incentive Fund (SARIF). There are four different categories to SARIF: (1) Small Grants, (2) EPPE,
(3) Summer GRA, and (4) Grant Matching. Of the four, expenditures for Grant Matching is the most
difficult to control since matching commitments are made on proposals that may or may not be funded.
The actual award amounts have exceeded expectations, which has resulted in an overexpenditure of
funds. Many proposals require a large amount of matching funds for equipment. There are currently
no other equipment funds available at UTK except for SARIF funds. Devine felt such funds are
needed in order for UTK to maintain its Research I status. UTK is one of 88 universities in the
country with Research I status. Baker asked what the Council could do to help. Devine stated that
active participation in the budgeting discussions occuring on campus would be helpful (e.g. the
Academic Program Evaluation Process and the Non-academic Program Evaluation Process being
implemented as recommended by the ACPB.
Campus Cache: Terry Moore from Telecommunications and Network Services (TNS) gave a
presentation on cache. SunSite is a network server that is a shared dynamic cache. It allows
frequently accessed sites to be stored on a local computer. The benefits are increased speed and
performance since the Internet is not being accessed. Sites that are used most frequently are loaded on
a regular basis. To be valuable for the University, TNS needs to now what sites are the most
frequently accessed by faculty, staff, and students. A copy of Caching Frequently Asked Questions is
FIS: Council members will receive an electronic ballot and a copy of the FIS proposal for voting
purposes. Dr. Blass will present the recommendations of the Council to the Faculty Senate in April.
Adjournment: 5:15 p.m.