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March 9, 1988


                            COMMISSION ON RESEARCH

                                 March 9, 1988

                            President's Board Room

                                   3:30 p.m.



  MEMBERS PRESENT:  L. J. Arnold, F. M. Asche, J. Cairns, Jr., R. A.

                    Comparin, J. Randolph (for P. K. Edwards), P. P. Feret,

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

                    Hooper, D.G.I. Kingston, D. F. McTaggart, G. G. Schurig,

                    R. A. Teekell


  MEMBERS ABSENT:   V. R. Fu, W. G. Huber, M. D. Pierson, M. Potts, A. W.

                    Steiss, F. W. Stephenson, J. F. Wolfe


  INVITED GUESTS:   M. D. Shelton, C. D. Waring, K. A. Wilkins



  The meeting was chaired by Gary R. Hooper in the absence of Dr. Steiss.




      a.  The report from the Committee on Goals and Objectives was intro-

          duced to the Faculty Senate at its March 8 meeting. Dr. Arnold

          plans to move for endorsement at the next Faculty Senate meeting.


      b.  A memorandum from Research Universities Network concerning Presi-

          dent Reagan's FY 1989 budget request was distributed.


      c.  Dr. Hooper announced that Alan Steiss will be leaving Virginia Tech

          in mid-May to become Director of Research Development and Adminis-

          tration at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  Dr. Hooper is

          very interested in having the members' thoughts on a possible re-

          placement candidate, and invited members to pass their suggestions

          on to him.




      The new accounting system is one of the most complex systems that the

      University has undertaken.  The current system was built in the early

      70's, and the end of its life cycle is rapidly approaching.  The Finan-

      cial Records System (FRS) has some significant advantages that are not

      present in the current system.


      A receivables system was also acquired.  A new purchasing system is be-

      ing examined and will be acquired once the problems of initiating the

      other systems are resolved.  The conversion to FRS will occur on July



      Researchers will be temporarily disadvantaged in that some of the adap-

      tations made in the existing system will not be available initially in

      the new system.  Individual faculty members will be able to access

      their Foundation accounts in the same fashion as they can their project

      accounts, however.


      The security system will be similar to the IMS security system.  Once

      an individual is assigned a USERID and password and enters this into

      the system, an access menu will appear.  The system will know what ac-

      tivities the user is able to access and will prevent access to unau-

      thorized areas.


      The Chairman thanked Mr. Shelton for his presentation.




      The policy and procedures on funding ending dates were issued by

      Provost Wilson in 1981 in an effort to minimize cost overruns arising

      from salary charges exceeding funds available in project budgets.  A

      mechanism to permit appropriate charges to be made to sponsored

      projects, regardless of the timeliness of the personnel action was

      adopted last year. These procedures were not updated in Appendix G of

      the MANUAL OF PROCEDURES.  The Chairman invited the Commission to bring

      their suggestions to the next meeting when Appendix G will come up for

      second reading.




      This proposed appendix provides guidelines for establishing and main-

      taining "Various Accounts."  Funds placed in various accounts are gen-

      erally quite small, are for roughly the same general purpose, and are

      without expectation of stated deliverables.


      The Commission was asked to study this Proposed Appendix N and bring

      their comments and suggestions back to the table for the second read-



  The meeting adjourned at 4:50 p.m.  The next meeting will be March 23, 1988

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




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