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December 9, 1987

                                    Minutes

                            COMMISSION ON RESEARCH

                               December 9, 1987

                            President's Board Room

                                   3:30 p.m.

 

 

  MEMBERS PRESENT:  L. J. Arnold, F. M. Asche, P. K. Edwards, P. P. Feret, V.

                    R. Fu, W. L. Flowers (for M. R. Geasler), D. B. Hodge, D.

                    G. I. Kingston, M. D. Pierson, G. G. Schurig, A. S.

                    Steiss, F. W. Stephenson, R. A. Teekell

 

  MEMBERS ABSENT:   J. Cairns, Jr., R. A. Comparin, W. G. Huber, D. F.

                    McTaggart, M. Potts, J. F. Wolfe

 

  INVITED GUESTS:   G. R. Hooper, C. D. Waring, K. A. Wilkins

 

 

  1.  ANNOUNCEMENT:

 

      An advanced copy of the NSF report for FY 1986 shows Virginia Tech

      ranked 44th in total research expenditures and 77th in federal obli-

      gations for research and development.

 

  2.  MINUTES OF THE NOVEMBER 11, 1987 MEETING

 

      The minutes of the November 11, 1987 meeting of the Commission on Re-

      search were approved as distributed.

 

  3.  COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

      a.  COMPUTING COMMITTEE

 

          At the end of November, 47.1 percent of the 230-01 SMARTDOLLARS al-

          located to the Colleges and Centers had been expended.

 

      b.  PURCHASING COMMITTEE

 

          More flexible procurement procedures will be in effect at Virginia

          Tech on a trial basis.

 

      c.  CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION COMMITTEE

 

          Mr. Ridenour has written a letter to the Commission, dated December

          3rd, in response to the report of this Committee.  The letter

          states a reorganization plan is being developed with major emphasis

          on facilities.

 

  4.  COMMISSION RESOLUTION 86-87A

 

      The Resolution was discussed in some detail at the December 7 meeting

      of the University Council and will come up for second reading at the

      next Council meeting on January 4th.  Mr. Ridenour has suggested that

      representatives of the Commission meet with him and others, including

      someone from the Development Office and the Foundation, to go over the

      resolution and some closely related matters.  Dr. Kingston, Dr. Arnold,

      and Dr. Hodge volunteered to serve on this Committee.

 

  5.  CORE RESEARCH PROGRAM

 

      A memo, entitled: "Academic and Institutional Support:  Further

      Questions", was distributed in response to further questions raised by

      Dr. Stephenson.

 

      The term Core Research is used as a shorthand for what the State views

      as four programs.  Six subprograms--AFR, CER, EWRR, IEDR, SR, and

      VMR--are unique to Virginia Tech.  The other three programs--Academic

      Support, Institutional Support, and Operations and Maintenance--are

      common to all institutions of higher education.  The supporting activ-

      ities are funded, in part, from the State's portion (the 30% account)

      of the indirect cost recoveries which are reallocated to Virginia Tech

      as part of the Core Research budget.

 

      Dr. Hooper offered to furnish an explanation to the research community

      when solicitations for Core Research proposals are sought this year.

      The Core Research Program will remain an agenda item.  Suggested strat-

      egies for the Core Program will be discussed in the January meetings.

 

  6.  RESEARCH SPACE LONG-RANGE PLANNING

 

      The Virginia Tech Foundation will provide a line of credit for short-

      term building and remodelling.  Also, a blanket authorization in the

      amount of $3 million for the 1988-90 biennium to finance building re-

      quests at the Research Compound and certain remodelling projects has

      been submitted to Richmond.

 

      Research Division will assume the goal of making sure, to the extent

      possible, that space is available for conducting research and that it

      is properly heated, maintained, etc.  Most of the "flex" money in the

      Research Division will be directed toward space--building special

      structures, remodelling certain space, and trying to add space.  Once

      this plan is implemented, the Research Division will gradually have

      less and less money available for cost-sharing of special equipment

      needs, etc.

 

      While this plan for short-term off-campus space is laudable and speaks

      well to the more pressing immediate needs, care must be taken to pre-

      vent it being interpreted as the solution to research space needs.  The

      long-term planning effort for on-campus space is essential and will be

      pursued vigorously.

 

  7.  RESEARCH ASSOCIATE/RESEARCH SCIENTIST

 

      Appendix M of the Manual of Procedures was distributed.  The defi-

      nitions of the Research Associate, Research Scientist and Senior Re-

      search Scientist positions may need further amplification.  The

      Research Associate position is now used as a professional staff posi-

      tion.  The Research Scientist position is being viewed by some as a

      promotion category for Research Associates.  This is not the intent.

      It was suggested that, rather than trying to reclassify the person, the

      focus should be on the definition of the position.

 

      This item will be carried over to the next meeting because time ran out

      for further discussion.

 

  The meeting adjourned at 5:05 p.m.  The next meeting will be January 13,

  1988 at 3:30 p.m. in the President's Board Room.

 

 

  OWL:mar

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