RESEARCH COUNCIL MINUTES
September 9, 1996
Attendees: Bill Blass, Chair, Jim Adcock, Gayle Baker, Debora Baldwin, David Bemis, Doug
Birdwell, Chris Cox, Mike Devine, David Dobbs, Burt English, Pat Fisher, Dorothy Habel, Zoe
Hoyle, Kim Jensen, Paula Kaufman, Michael Keene, Dennie Kelley, Ron Maples, Lillian
Mashburn, Kula Misra, Ben Oliver, Joan Paul, Steve Pulik, Hal Schmitt, Flora Shrode, Dwight
Teeter, Phyllis Turner, Ken Walker, Carolyn Webb, Jodie Wehr, and Dhyana Ziegler.
Comments by Bill Blass: Blass welcomed all members of the Council. He announced that Sue
Mettlen, Vice Chancellor, Information Infrastructure was unable to attend the meeting but will
join the Council as an ex-officio member.
Comments by Mike Devine: Devine thanked the Council members for their willingness to serve
on the Council. He commented that despite the current budget climate, research funding rose
from $78.8M in FY94/95 to $83.7M in FY95/96. Devine felt that this was attributed to the hard
work of faculty and research staff. Indirect cost recoveries for FY95/96 have maintained the
FY94/95 level of $9.8M.
Devine announced that the Office of Research will be sponsoring a "Proposal Writing Workshop
Series" that is more comprehensive and in-depth than previous workshops (enclosed).
Devine introduced Hal Schmitt, Director, of the Office of Industry Programs and Technology
Transfer. IPATT was established to promote, initiate, and coordinate activities in the areas of
technology transfer, business/industry cooperation, and economic development (see enclosure for
A transcript of remarks made by President John V. Lombardi, University of Florida to the 1996
Council on Research Policy and Graduate Education (CRPGE) Summer Forum was distributed to
the Council (enclosed). Devine thought this paper would be interesting and provocative reading.
It provides a new perspective on research universities.
Comments by Ken Walker: Two draft copies of the "yellow sheet" were provided to the Council. The main difference between the two is the location of the signature block. One change includes an entry field for the location where research is to be done on campus. This field will eventually tie into the Space and Facilities database which will allow this information
to be more accurate. Another change includes a field for entering costsharing for all years of a
project. Council members were asked to review the new "yellow sheet" and send any comments
Comments by Lillian Mashburn: Mashburn stated that the likelihood of passing a budget was
zero. A continuing resolution may be passed September 17. The only Bill passed to date was for
Committee Assignments: A draft of the committee assignments were distributed. Blass
encouraged members to review the list and let him know if any changes needed to be made.
Birdwell commented on the Research Infrastructure Committee and its various subcommittees
and stated that there are many other issues equally important (i.e. purchasing, space, physical
plant, space, equipment, etc). It was pointed out that the Policy and Procedures Committee deals
with many of these issues.
Comments by Zoe Hoyle: Hoyle commented that two publications are currently in progress by
the Office of Research. An Annual Report will replace the Sponsored Programs Report and will
include more information than previous years (see enclosure). The second publication will be The
Biennial Review highlighting research on campus (see enclosure). The Biennial Review will not
be able to feature every research project, but over time many different programs will get featured.
English asked that the inclusion of how much money has gone into past projects should be
mentioned. It was stated that the intended audience is perspective new faculty or new graduate
students and that the inclusion of detailed data would not be appropriate. The goal is to have this
publication done by the end of the calendar year.
P&P Committee: Devine stated that the goal of the P&P committee is to get the appropriate
research people together with others in the colleges and departments and those in administrative
offices who deal with research-related activities and to work cooperatively to identify and solve
problems. The big question is how to solve the problems once they are identified.
Adcock stated that over 20 people were involved in the P&P Committee last year which was
mainly run via e-mail. Many issues were covered involving campus business offices, the Office of
Research, and the Treasurer's Office. A main goal of the committee is to review procedures in the
ordering of computers. He hopes to distribute an agenda soon. Adcock requested that if
members want to be included in discussions to send him their e-mail address. He does plan to
have a few face-to-face meetings this year. He will also pursue setting up an on-line discussion
page perhaps via Lotus Notes. Blass stated that he would see if Ramsey Valentine would present
a demonstration on Lotus Notes to the Council. Blass felt that such new technologies are
important. Keene stated he appreciates new technologies but questioned why can't we get the
stuff we have be made to serve the purpose and work better.
Additional discussion: Devine commented that the new Technology Fee was filling an obvious
need for the University and encouraged members to write a letter to the Beacon to support the
fee. The Board of Trustees can make the decision but the support of the SGA is desired.
Devine stated that the overall state budget for higher education likely will not improve. The
lower enrollment of students will result in less funding from the state. The budget cuts are a
result of the formula not being fully funded. The formula must be changed but it is not easy to do.
Devine commented that the Chancellor sets the budget in consultation with faculty, deans, the
Vice Chancellors, and the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate Budget Committee provides
analysis and makes recommendations. The Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Budget and
Planning also advises the Chancellor and will play a much larger role in the future. It consists of
five subcommittees. Devine encouraged the Council to look at the budget making process as it
relates to the research enterprise.
English commented that he was the Graduate Coordinator in Agricultural Economics for
Graduate Students. In 1988 there was a budget of $140K for graduate students and now it is
$100K. This difference resulted in a decline of five to six students. He feels that the Chancellor
needs to be made aware how the budget cuts are hurting the research enterprise.
Keene commented on the new computer contracting of $50 an hour by CAS but yet that
departments are told that they cannot use an outside vendor for any computer problems. He felt
these policies were ridiculous. English commented that departments do not have the money to
pay for these services. Teeter mentioned that more graduate students are needed but yet the
Graduate School budget was cut by 10%. Blass stated that the Council could raise some
interesting issues to the Chancellor.
Birdwell commented that he feels that the important people in Nashville see UTK as lacking a
coherent vision and that they have no perception that UTK is a lead research institution in
Blass stated that the Council should reflect on these discussions and decide how to approach these
issues. Reasonable recommendations need to be made.
Adjournment: 5:09 PM