RESEARCH COUNCIL MINUTES


January 25, 1999

Attendees: Bill Blass (chair), Gayle Baker (co-chair), Debra Baldwin, Valerie Bales, Benjamin Bates, Doug Birdwell, Ham Bozdogan, Mike Devine, ZoŽ Hoyle, Madhu Madhukar, Faye Muly, Rob Powers (GSA), Otto Schwarz, Flora Shrode, Phyllis Turner, Ken Walker, Gail White, Pete Wicks, Clif Woods,

Opening Remarks - Blass
Blass reminded everyone that the 1999 Chancellor's Award nomination letters are out among the departments. He encouraged all faculty to have their department heads make nominations.

Desktop Computing Replacements for Faculty - Faye Muly and Clif Woods
Faye Muly is now handling the day-to-day operations for DII, while Chancellor Snyder is Acting Vice Chancellor. Clif Woods started the discussion on replacing desktop computing for faculty. Unfortunately there is no formal plan in place to address these issues, but Dr. Peters has recommended forming a committee of faculty members, DII personnel, and other appropriate individuals to look at how we might proceed. The problem is multi-folded: not just placing computers on desks, but also training to use the equipment for instructional purposes and research purposes, and the need for maintenance of the equipment. These are issues Dr. Peters and Dr. Woods feel the committee should address.

Another concern is funding. With no additional funds coming from the state such a program would have to be funded from the re-allocation of existing funds. Because of the funding problems it is not likely that this will be addressed on a large-scale initially, but administration feels it is important to get something in place.

Faye Muly looks at this issue as being a cooperative agreement to deal with the impact of instructionally programming in academic affairs and the impact of research being done. DII wants to help provide the type of services and faculty-training opportunities that are needed. Muly agreed that the committee Dr. Woods referred too is a good practical plan and should be able to come up with a realistic proposal on these issues.

The new committee is to start as soon as possible, according to Dr. Woods. After discussing in more detail it was decided that the Research Infrastructure Committee would meet with Faye Muly.

Remarks - Walker
Discussed the 8- Focus Area Committees that were set up by Dr. John Peters'. Dr. Woods and Dr. Walker serve on all committees. One of the ways the Office of Research is using the focus areas is when we get proposals in our office for cost-sharing, Dr. Walker asks how does this proposal support the different focus areas. The office is doing the same with foreign travel requests, EPPE requests and internal competition proposals.

ORNL Management and Operation Contract - Devine
Last August, DOE announced its intention to re-bid the contract to manage ORNL. UT decided to look into options and strategies in taking an active role in the re-bid process. Several reasons came into play; one being that DOE wants more university involvement with the national labs.

The last 5-months have been spent looking at various options knowing that UT did not want to manage the lab by ourselves. A UT Team was formed with 12 individuals, led by Homer Fisher, Senior Vice President. The UT team met with approximately 30 groups to review options as to who to partner with in the re-bid process. UT has decided to team with Battelle, who is a not-for-profit research institute headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

Now, UT and Battelle are in the process of forming a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) which will actually hold the contract if awarded. ORAU and number of universities (NCSU, GA. Tech, VPI, and Duke) will be brought into the management team as well.

DOE has issued a "draft" RFP, which UT and Battelle has used to start outlining the proposal. The expected final RFP is due mid- to late March, with the final proposal being due within 45 to 60 days. The primary part of the proposal will be oral presentations to DOE. The final RFP will outline specifically what points need to be outlined in the oral presentations.

Report of the Faculty Senate Ad Hoc Coordinating Committee on Tenure Policy - Blass
Blass reported that the Faculty Senate was holding a special meeting today on tenure policy, where the attached report will be distributed. A committee was appointed by Faculty Senate Chair - Mark Miller, with Bob Glenn as ad hoc committee chair. The charge to the committee was to take the input from the Budget Committee, the Teaching Council, the Faculty Affairs Committee, and the Research Council and response to the proposed implementation of to Trustees Tenure Policy that came out in Notes from Academic Affairs. This was the Trustees' policy statement modified to incorporate some implementation steps into the policy. This means the Faculty Handbook will have to be modified to account for any changes. Blass reminded everyone that the policy is a given, which was passed by the Trustees last June. However, there is a lot of the existing tenure policy that was not even discussed. The reasons being that only the post-tenure review and accountability sections of the existing policy were open for discussion.

Generally speaking it deals with the annual reviews of faculty (mostly tenured faculty); and that every department will do annual written evaluations on faculty members. This has been happening on campus for a long time in some departments, but not all. Departments will have by-laws, which will explain the annual review process and procedures. However, there is a lot of discussion on how faculty should be evaluated.

If a faculty member receives an unsatisfactory evaluation, the faculty member and department head must form a plan to improve specific areas, which will then be evaluated at the end of the year. If faculty member receives 2 unsatisfactory evaluations, then a different process takes place - starting with a peer review. After the mandated review, if there is 2 successive non-performing reports the faculty member could be at risk for loss of tenure, loss of position, or lesser penalties.

The ad hoc committee's report summarizes their recommendations. Blass recommended reading the recommendations and sending your comments/suggests to Bob Glenn or the Faculty Senate.

Update on Explorations - ZoŽ Hoyle
ZoŽ Hoyle reported that in December - 12 members of Research Council offered to help rank the possible projects for the next Explorations publication. The rankings are almost complete and then she will start writing the articles and gathering the photos.

Committee & Panel Updates

Meeting adjourned.