RESEARCH COUNCIL MINUTES
September 28, 1998
RESEARCH COUNCIL MINUTES
Attendees: Gayle Baker (co-vice-chair), Kim Jensen (co-vice-chair), Valerie Bales, Benjamin
Bates, Dania Bilal, Hamparsum Bozdogan, Terri Combs-Orme,
Chris Cox, Mike Devine, David Hacker, Zoë Hoyle, Andy Kramer, Brenda Lawson, Madhu Madhukar,
Ron Maples, Hal Schmitt, Flora Shrode, Phyllis Turner,
Ken Walker, Kadesha Washington (GSA representative), Pete Wicks.
General Comments/Remarks: Kim Jensen called meeting to order. Due to Bill Blass’ (chair)
absence from meeting, Kim Jensen and Gayle Baker (co-vice-
chairs) facilitated the meeting. Asked everyone if they received packet of materials that was mailed out
with copies of the Research Council by-laws, mission
according to Faculty Senate by-laws, year-end committee reports from last year, and committee
assignments for this year. The majority of time spent in this
meeting was to have a round-table discussion reviewing issues that members believe are important to the
UTK research mission and use these ideas to prioritize
issues for upcoming meetings.
Jensen welcomed the new members and asked everyone to introduce him or herself and what department
and area of research they are in. Jensen noted that the
Research Council does act as an advisory body for the Office of Research and part of their charge is to look
at issues that may impact research productivity.
Some areas of concern are looking at research incentives and support, facilitating interdisciplinary research
activities, research compliance, research
infrastructure and other issues.
Mike Devine (Vice Chancellor for Research) welcomed and thanked everyone for agreeing to serve on the
Research Council. He discussed the importance of
the Research Council and the various committees. Some of the committees help with the awarding of
SARIF (scholarly Activity and Research Incentive
funds and center reviews. A lot of things are happening university-wide that will effect research in the
future, just a few examples are:
- Research Self-Study document (everyone should have received a copy). which identifies issues that
need to be addressed.
- Joint Institute for Neutron Science - JINS (now established on paper). This is a focus of university
resources in research in the area of Neutron Sciences to
take advantage of the support for the Spallation Neutron Source.
- National Transportation Research Center – NTRC: to step-up our level of activity in transportation
related research, engineering, and various other units;
this is a collaborated project with Oak Ridge National Laboratories and will be housed in a building off
Ken Walker (Associate Vice Chancellor for Research) welcomed new members to the Research Council.
He explained his job in Office of Research was two-
fold: (1) working with faculty to put together creditable cost-sharing packages to forward to agencies and
foundations; and (2) working on behalf of the Office
of Research with most of the council committees; especially the committees that review SARIF
proposals/award, Summer GRA stipends awards, and the review
of new and existing centers.
Committee Overview: Gayle Baker gave a brief description of committees and their charges.
Three types of committees: standing committees that are
issue-oriented committees; special panel committees are business related committees as far as allocating
awards and moneys; and ad hoc committees or special
project committees. Last year’s committee reports were included in your packets that were mailed out.
Prioritization of Issues for Discussion/Action of 1998-99: (Baker/Jensen)
The issues for discussion/action for Research Council 1998-99 that were identified during the round-table
discussion have been edited for consistency. They are
listed in five different groups below. If an issue is related to a section in the Research and Creative
Achievement Self-Study, we have listed the objective from
the self-study by the notation –RS Objective #. Members were asked to help us prioritize the issues for
discussion at the next meeting (October 26, 1998).
- Computing Infrastructure:
- What should be the minimum, centrally provided, computing and networking support for faculty?
For new faculty members coming in?
- For new faculty members coming in?
- Upgrades for continuing faculty? (Is there potential for a matching program (hard-soft funds match
for upgrades- RS 4f)?
- What are the terms of the CAS hardware contracts fixed prices or fixed percentage discount?
- Are graduate students receiving a proportionate benefit from the Tech. Fee?
(They may have more specialized needs with respect to hardware and
software than undergraduates)
- What is intensive computing needs for research and what should policies be regarding cost-sharing for
high performance computing?
- Should there be total movement away from mainframe computing to
- Should the Research Council recommend to the VC/Information
Infrastructure and the Senate, the establishment of the following Faculty
- Faculty Senate Advisory Committee to the VC/II
- Faculty, staff, and student technical-policy advisory committee to TNS
- Faculty, staff, and student technical-policy advisory committee to CAS
- Faculty, staff, and student technical-policy advisory committee to ITC)
- Other Infrastructure:
- Why are facilities renovations and modifications so slow and so expensive?
- How can a plan for maintenance and replacement of non-computer equipment be formulated and
- How can more adequate technical support for equipment be provided and
efficiently distributed across campus?
- Graduate Students:
- How can UTK increase support for graduate research: stipend numbers
and stipend levels, travel funds, etc.-RS 4G ?
- Can we find creative solutions for increasing graduate student stipends
(What portions of the scholarships are undesignated so that they could be
allocated to graduate students?) - RS 2B
- How can a Graduate Research Forum at UTK, similar to the one for
undergraduates, be implemented?
- How do departments deal with their needs for graduate students when the
market demand may be low for Ph.D. in their subject area?
- Can a more flexible international student admission policy be implemented
during times of low graduate enrollments? -RS 2C
- How can RC facilitate initiation of a permanent archive for graduate
- Research Incentives/Promotion:
- How should research and creative achievement be measured under the
new Tenure Policy?
- How can access to research output be facilitated: journals, databases (including citation databases) -
RS 1E, 5B
- How can better publicity/communication about available funding resources
for research be provided?
- Can a sabbaticals Policy be implemented or a more broadly scoped Policy
on research leave? (Need innovative solutions. Research leave is an option in
some departments, but not across the board on campus.) -RS 3E
- How can University/industry relationships be improved? -RS 4E, 6
- Can a replacement for the FIS be put in place that is easy to use and that
could be put in a format where faculty to administrative reporting could be
streamlined? -RS 5A
- Should Research Council recommend that more F and A recoveries from
research grants be allocated to the PI's research or to support research in their
respective units and that policies be put in place, if possible, to enable
carryover through a change in fiscal year? -RS 1A, 1B
- Can more mentoring, more frequent evaluation meetings, and “how to”
seminars be provided for Human subjects/IRB?
- Research Self-Study:
- What is the role of Research Council and Research Council committees in
implementing the self-study?
Meeting adjourned 4:55 p.m.