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Minutes for February 2002

February 25, 2002

Attendees: Gayle Baker (Co-Vice Chair), Doug Birdwell (Chair), Bill Blass (Co-Vice Chair), David Buehler, Billie Collier, Chris Cox, Bill Dockery, Denny Dukes, Pat Fisher, Arlene Garrison, Marion Hansen, Jon Levin, Carol Malkemis, Lillian Mashburn, Tamara Miller, Bill Moles, Faye Muly, Bonnie Ownley

  • Introductory Remarks:
    • Chair Doug Birdwell opened the meeting. An error in printing caused the approval of the minutes to be postponed until the next meeting. Birdwell brought two items to the attention of the Council:
      • SAP/IRIS- The Chair reported on his meeting (1/25/02) with Sylvia Davis and Neal Wormsley. He spoke to them about the Strategic Planning Group on Computing and Networking. They then discussed SAP/IRIS problem areas: contract & grant reporting requirements, security, effort certification and encumbrances. A committee was to have been set up to deal with SAP/IRIS problems by Neal Wormsley. Research Council was to have representation; however, there has been no announcement of the membership of the committee. A summary of the meeting is available.
      • Network Security (URL)- The Chair provided members of Council with a summary of IBM’s security assessment of the University and a suggested response to the study. Birdwell stated that it is important for Research Council to ensure that the problems noted in the report are addressed. He voiced concerns that the current security officer would be blamed for any shortcomings and that problems would not be addressed. Faye Muly stated that the report was contracted last fall at Dwayne McCay’s request. She felt that it was premature to react to the individual findings and that McCay wanted to review the findings with President Fly. Arlene Garrison suggested that Council members review Birdwell’s summary and resume the discussion at the March meeting.
    • Dr. Billie Collier, the new Interim Vice President for Research stated that she is looking forward to working with Research Council. She covered the some top priorities of the Office of Research:
      • Compliance monitoring
      • Readvertisment of the position for a Director of Compliance, a 1/2-time faculty position
      • Negotiation for the Radiation Safety Officer position
      • Communications to the research community
      • Work-flow audit
  • Research Communications (Bill Dockery, Coordinator of Research Information Services, Office of Research: The new Coordinator of Research Information Services, Bill Dockery, spoke of the communication plans for the Office of Research and the importance of identifying the “publics” for the different kinds of communications that the Office needs to do. He identified internal communications (Research Good News, Office of Research web site, other research web sites, Community of Science web site) and external communications (Explorations, media placements by UT Public Relations, alumni magazines/other magazines). Dockery reviewed the mission of Research Good News and then described ideas for new communications, a science magazine for middle/high school students and a weekly column on Tennessee science. He spoke of the need to determine how to obtain information about research from faculty members. Doug Birdwell suggested linking to all research-related web sites on campus, but recognized that the uneven quality of the sites is a problem. When asked about the annual report on research, Dockery replied that it should be completed by the end of March.
  • Procedures Audit of Office of Research (Bill Moles, Campus Audit Services): Campus Audit Services will conduct a study of the workload/workflow, procedures and staffing of the Office of Research. It should take 2 months. Students from Pat Fisher’s SIS course on information systems will be assisting. They will survey PI’s, contact assistant deans/directors of research, and review related procedures in the Finance and Treasurer’s areas. The final report should be ready in the fall. The last major audit of the Office of Research was was performed in 1986.
  • OIT Strategic Plan(Faye Muly, Assistant Vice President, Office of Information Technology): The purpose of the strategic plan is to develop a vision for the Office of Information Technology. A workable draft should be available in a week. Six more faculty will be added to the Academic Advisory Group, with representatives from Research Council and Teaching Council. There was a positive response from Council members to this action.
  • Updates:
    • Federal Relations (Lillian Mashburn): A copy of the President’s Budget Chapter on R & D was distributed to Council members. NSF is to receive a small increase. There are plans to lengthen the time of grants and increase the amounts; however, this would reduce the number of awards by 1/3 to 1/2. There are also plans to increase graduate stipends and put more dollars into the physical sciences. The CIPRIS system, used to track international students, may not be in full operation next year, as planned.
  • Old Business
    • Faculty Titles (Bill Blass): Bill Blass stated that the latest draft of the document on faculty titles has improved, but continues to ignore the fact that some non-tenure track faculty are involved in 2 or more of the following: instruction, research and service. Council suggested changing the wording of the sentence “Non-tenure track faculty are hired for instruction or for research” to “Non-tenure track faculty are hired principally for instruction or for research.” During the discussion, Bonnie Ownley pointed out that the Institute of Agriculture has its own faculty handbook.
  • New Business
    • Call for Nominations for Chair (Doug Birdwell): Council members were asked to submit nominations for Chair of Research Council. The election will be at the April meeting. Bill Blass nominated Doug Birdwell. Pat Fisher seconded the nomination. Other nominations should be sent to Gayle Baker. She will send an e-mail message to remind members about the nominations.

Meeting adjourned at 5:12 p.m.