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Minutes for February 2001

February 26, 2001

Attendees: Bill Blass (chair), Gayle Baker (Co-Vice-Chair), Doug Birdwell (Co-Vice-Chair), Andrew Kramer (Co-Vice-Chair), Chris Cox, Mark Dadmun, Chanaka Edirisinghe, Arlene Garrison, Nathan Hammer, Marion Hansen, Thomas Handler, Zoe Hoyle, Nathan Johnson, Ted Labotka, Dewitt Latimer, Lillian Mashburn, Jim Moran, Faye Muly, Elizabeth Southerland, Phyllis Turner, Carolyn Webb, Karen Welch

  • Introductory Remarks:
    • Bill Blass announced that some members of Research Council would be participating in a meeting on high performance computing on February 28 and asked for input from other members.
    • Council members were reminded that the last meeting of the year in April is a luncheon meeting. At that time a new chair is electec. Blass asked that the names of nominees be sent to him and to Gayle Baker.
    • Arlene Garrison introduced Dr. Peter Alfonso, the new Associate Vice President for Research. Dr. Alfonso stated that he will begin at UT in early April.
    • Andrew Kramer reported that Bob Glenn, President of Faculty Senate, had e-mailed President Gilley with a description of the proposal, approved by the Faculty Senate on February 5, for the faculty development/professional leave program. A March 1 meeting on the proposal with President Gilley and members of Senate was canceled and will be rescheduled.
  • LDAP directory and general network support issues
    Faye Muly and Dewitt Latimer spoke on several issues of concern to Research Council:

    • Gayle Baker brought up the fact that the new directory service no longer provides phone and address information about faculty and staff to people off campus. She said that faculty and staff must do business with the rest of the world and that the only other top 25 public institution to have comparable minimal information in their directory for faculty and staff is UC-Berkeley. Faye Muly stated that SGA, with the support of the university administration, approached DII about only providing an e-mail address for students. Council members responded with concern that this was implemented with no input from the faculty. A solution to this problem should be implemented soon.
    • Dewitt Latimer brought Council up-to-date on the Volnet project. There is a listserv for net-events (see for news about the campus network. Doug Birdwell asked about the status of the campus security officer position and was told that interviews were scheduled. He also brought up the problem of units having to make decisions about networking and stressed the lack of appropriate cost information to make an informed decision.
  • Discussion of President Gilley’s remarks in the Beacon about rankings
    Bill Blass led a discussion in reaction to the article “UT selects official ranking system” appearing in the February 21 issue of The Beacon, which stated that the NSF ranking of federal research funds for public institutions would be used by the UT administration as the “official” ranking list. Concern was expressed about the focus on federal research dollars, faculty reward systems, and the effect of this on faculty in areas in which there is little federal funding. Dr. Alfonso stated that the premiere institutions are also excellent in the arts and humanities and noted that the new small centers will definitely cover these areas. Blass was asked to draft a letter to Dr. Gilley about the concerns raised by this article.
  • Updates
    • Lillian Mashburn announced that she is organizing 4 trips to Washington, DC:
      • NEH, Jefferson Day, March 28-29
      • Science Coalition, June 21
      • NSF, June 13
      • AAU/DOD, Hill Day, May

Meeting adjourned at 4:55 p.m.