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October 28, 1987

                                    Minutes

                            COMMISSION ON RESEARCH

                               October 28, 1987

                            President's Board Room

                                   3:30 p.m.

 

 

  MEMBERS PRESENT:  L. J. Arnold, F. M. Asche, R. A. Comparin, P. K. Edwards,

                    M. J. Benson (for V. R. Fu), J. J. Blum (for D. B.

                    Hodge), W. G. Huber, D. G. I. Kingston, D. F. McTaggart,

                    M. D. Pierson, G. G. Schurig, A. W. Steiss, F. W.

                    Stephenson, L. A. Harris (for R. A. Teekell), J. F. Wolfe

 

  MEMBERS ABSENT:   J. Cairns, Jr., M. R. Geasler, G. W. Norton, M. Potts

 

  INVITED GUESTS:   W. E. Haas, G. R. Hooper, M. D. Shelton, C. D. Waring

 

 

  1.  ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

      Two of Tech's Commonwealth Center proposals have been endorsed by the

      State Council of Education.

 

      The Center for Innovative Technology is proposing to establish two ad-

      ditional Technology Development Centers each in 1988 and 1989.  CIT

      will solicit preproposals of 3-5 pages around January 1st and make de-

      termination for seeking full proposal requests in February.

 

  2.  MINUTES OF OCTOBER 14, 1987 MEETING

 

      The minutes of the October 14, 1987 meeting of the Commission on Re-

      search were approved as submitted.

 

  3.  COMMITTEE REPORTS

 

      COMMITTEE ON CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION PROCEDURES

 

      Dr. Hooper has met once with Minnis Ridenour to inform him that this

      report will be forthcoming.  A letter of transmittal has been written

      and a second meeting is being scheduled.

 

  4.  FACULTY SALARIES UNDER SPECIAL ASSIGNMENTS

 

      A memorandum was distributed at the October 14 meeting in which possi-

      ble options to "standardize" salary calculations of faculty on special

      assignments were outlined.  These options were discussed at length.

 

         MOTION was made and seconded that method #3, whereby the academic

         year and summer salary equivalent is paid in the normal manner,

         using the P-3A and S-3 mechanism, and loss consulting time is

         paid as wages on a 1/12th per month basis, be used in calculating

         faculty salary under special assignment under normal circum-

         stances.  However, if the faculty member can justify using an-

         other method would be more advantageous to him/her, the details

         can be worked out.  Motion approved.

 

  5.  RESEARCH EQUIPMENT PURCHASING - Bill Haas

 

      Since the forum, Mr. Haas has discussed with Bill Stephenson some

      short- and long-term solutions to problems we are experiencing.  They

      talked about forming a subgroup of the Commission to develop some goals

      and objectives for submission to President Lavery who would then work

      with his counterparts at other universities to get the needed legisla-

      tive changes to the state procurement laws.  All too frequently, ef-

      forts to correct a problem result in more, not less, controls.

      Purchasing has done everything they can legally do to try to shorten

      the acquisition time to accommodate the needs of researchers within the

      guidelines of the state procurement law.

 

      Bob Comparin and Bill Stephenson volunteered to serve on the committee.

      The Chairman invited members to suggest individuals outside of the Com-

      mission who would be willing to work on such a committee.

 

      Further guidelines will be issued by Purchasing with regard to sole

      source.  They are working on new forms to try to streamline and clarify

      the procedure.  If resources can be found, Mr. Haas hopes to initiate a

      training program to help educate the buyers.

 

  6.  CORE RESEARCH PROGRAM - SELF-STUDY EVALUATION

 

      Data were distributed on the Core Research budget allocations to the

      colleges and centers during the last four fiscal years.  The figures

      represent PROGRAM SUPPORT only.  Central assessments, such as utilities

      and computing, and fringe benefit commitments are not included in these

      data.  Several question were raised regarding these data and the budget

      allocation procedures.

 

      o   The Core Research budget includes a specific line item requirement

          that a certain amount of the appropriated funds go to support the

          Virginia Agriculture Experiment Station.

 

      o   The operations of LSS will be scheduled for further discussion at a

          future Commission meeting to provide an opportunity to clarify var-

          ious issues raised in the discussion.

 

      o   Since allocations under the Core Research Program cannot be carried

          over from one fiscal year to the next, expenditures usually equal

          allocations.  Roughly $75 million was expended last year in re-

          search, about $30 million of that in Core Research and about $45

          million in Sponsored Research.

 

      o   The awards of dollars and positions to the Colleges can fluctuate

          from year to year, depending on the individual College's success in

          the proposal competition.

 

      o   Each Center has, at a minimum, a half-time Director position allo-

          cated to it.  Funding also is provided to cover some secretarial

          support.  Basically, there is an allocation that might be called

          "fixed cost" associated with the existence of that Center.  Beyond

          that, the Centers compete by submitting proposals just like the

          Colleges.

 

      It was suggested that if the Core Proposal were effectively publicized

      more proposals would be received.  Most faculty are not aware of what

      Core Research is, what is involved in the funding process, what fits

      under the funding, etc.

 

      The Research Division seeks opportunities to meet with the faculty that

      might be interested in submitting proposals.  It would be advantageous

      to sit down with those faculty to discuss the types of proposals that

      are appropriate before they make the effort.  Too often, the proposals

      that have not been successful are not directed to the objectives of the

      Core Research Program.  What is hoped is that, through the input of

      this Commission, some of the objectives might be

      changed/clarified/expanded, and the process might be improved as well.

 

  The meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.  The next meeting will be held November

  11, 1987 at 3:30 p.m. in the President's Board Room.

 

 

 

  OWL:mar

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