November 24, 1997


Attendees: Bill Blass, Gayle Baker, Kim Jensen, Martha Alligood, Valerie Bales, Benjamin Bates, Tammy Berry, Doug Birdwell, Mike Devine, Burt English, Pat Fisher, Kerry Henry, Zoe Hoyle, Andrew Kramer, Ravi Krishnan, Ron Maples, Hal Schmitt, Flora Shrode, Ken Walker, Gail White, Pete Wicks.

Note: The next Research Council meeting will held on Monday January 26, at 3:30 p.m. in the 8th Floor Board Room, Andy Holt Tower.

Opening Comments: Bill Blass opened the meeting with a brief overview of the letter addressed to Chancellor Snyder from the Faculty Senate regarding the APEC Report.

Mike Devine discussed the “draft” Analysis of UT and UTK’s Externally Funded Research. The figures were gathered by Zoe Hoyle of the Office of Research and Tom Garritano of the Office of Academic and Research Services (OARS). The report shows how UTK compares to their “peers” and specifically with THEC peers. The data is collected yearly by NSF but is limited to science and engineering disciplines. The data is collected in two categories -- federally funded and total funds -- total funds being funds from both external and internal institutional support. Mike noted that every institution uses different formulas to calculate figures for internal support.

NSF reports UT System data not the individual UT campuses. OARS collects the data from each UT campus and compiles into one report for NSF. The UT System is ranked 46th nationally. NSF database has over 300 institutions listed with 100 being research institutions and only 88 rated as Carnegie I Research Institutions.

Research Infrastructure Report (Baker): Gayle Baker reported on three issues that the Research Infrastructure Committee discussed at their October 31st meeting. The first issue was indirect cost recoveries. A large portion of indirect cost recoveries goes to the general fund. The committee suggested a general fund be created for research or more indirect cost recoveries go back to PI’s for needed equipment and upgrades for existing equipment instead of to the general fund. Second issue discussed was the number of faculty retiring and/or leaving UTK. Some feel the extra workload -- due to the open position not filled and no pay increases -- has caused some junior faculty to leave for other institutions. The third issue was the decrease in graduate students, due in part to the low stipends offered compared to our peer institutions.

Burt English asked about an existing entity on campus who could compile numbers regarding stipends from other institutions to use as a guide. He asked why during the budget process a department couldn’t ask for more money especially for the graduate stipends? Ken Walker offered to ask the Graduate School- Jan Allen if a list of graduate stipends from other institutions did exist. Martha Alligood thought John Peter’s office was working on a plan on how to get more graduate students enrolled knowing the more graduate students the more federal funds available.

Faculty Senate Response to APEC Report (Blass): After reading the APEC report the Faculty Senate had a few concerns in which they addressed to the Chancellor in a letter Dr. Blass wrote and enclosed for review. The main issue being that the APEC report does not differentiate UTK from any other institution in the state. Another concern is that the report does not emphasize that research and creative activities are a priority at UTK.

Chancellor’s Research and Creative Activities (Jensen): Kim Jensen reported on the Chancellor’s Research and Creative Activity Awards. The subcommittee feels a need for a new faculty specifically for junior faculty. It was discussed that there is $25,000 available for the Chancellor’s Awards and last year 10 awards of $2500 were awarded. It was discussed on how to split this pot of money between 2-types of Chancellor’s Awards. The subcommittee has been charged to write criteria for the new award for approval.

Adjournment: 5:10 p.m.