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November 9, 1988

                                    Minutes

                            COMMISSION ON RESEARCH

                               November 9, 1988

                            President's Board Room

                                   3:30 p.m.

 

 

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

                    W. L. Flowers (for M. R. Geasler), W. G. Huber, J.

                    Randolph, M. G. Squires, F. W. Stephenson, H. H.

                    Stoevener, E. R. Stout, W. L. Stutzman

 

  MEMBERS ABSENT:   G. E. Bunce, P. K. Edwards, V. R. Fu, G. R. Hooper, J. C.

                    Lee, D. F. McTaggart, M. Potts

 

  INVITED GUESTS:   J. L. Eaton, H. T. Hurd

 

 

 

  1.  ANNOUNCEMENT

 

      Candidate interviews for the position of Director, Office of Sponsored

      Programs and Research Administration have been scheduled through the

      first week in December.  It is expected that a recommendation can be

      made to the Provost by mid-December.

 

  2.  APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF SEPTEMBER 14 AND OCTOBER 12, 1988 MEETINGS

 

      In concurrent actions, the Minutes of the September 14 and October 12,

      1988 meetings of the Commission on Research were approved as distrib-

      uted.

 

  3.  NOMINATION OF TWO COMMISSION FACULTY MEMBERS TO VTIP BOARD

 

      The VTIP Board has requested that the Commission nominate two faculty

      representatives for service on that Board.  One of these individuals

      will be chosen to serve.

 

      Peter Feret and Ed Bunce were nominated as possible members to serve on

      the VTIP Board.

 

  4.  PROPOSED REVISION TO APPENDIX E, MANUAL OF PROCEDURES

 

      Appendix E in the Office of Sponsored Programs MANUAL OF PROCEDURES was

      written in 1981 to deal with Retroactive Salary Transfers.  It de-

      scribes the procedures by which retroactive salary transfers can be

      made.  At a later date, Appendix G which has to do with funding ending

      dates, was developed to address the excessive number of such transfers.

      Appendix G had a penalty clause wherein if the paperwork was not initi-

      ated in a timely fashion, the salary involved would be charged to the

      college's overhead account.  If this action was taken, it could only be

      reversed by concurrent action of the Provost and the Vice President for

      Finance.

 

      In 1988 the penalty clause was removed and approval of transfers was

      placed with the Office of Sponsored Programs and appropriate officials

      in the Research and Extension Division.  This action was approved by

      the Commission, apparently without realizing that Appendix E had some

      of the same procedures for getting retroactive salary transfers ap-

      proved.  Appendix E needs to be changed to bring it into agreement with

      Appendix G.  The suggested change would be in the last paragraph (sen-

      tence) of the section "Policy", which currently reads "Exceptions to

      this policy will be evaluated jointly by the offices of the Provost and

      the Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer on the advice

      of the Vice Provost for Research and Graduate Studies or the Vice

      Provost of Extension."

         MOTION was made and seconded that the last sentence under POLICY

         in Appendix E: Retroactive Salary Transfers, be changed to read:

         "Exceptions to this policy will be evaluated by the Office of the

         Provost."  Motion approved.

 

      This action takes the Provost and the Executive Vice President and

      Chief Business Officer out of the signature loop at this point; how-

      ever, they will remain in the appeal process.

 

  5.  FINANCIAL RECORDS SYSTEM (FRS) - Dwight Shelton and Tom Hurd.

 

      At the last meeting Mr. Shelton presented a proposed summary sheet that

      has since been sent out to a sampling of individuals for reaction.  Dr.

      Stephenson reported that he had not received feedback from most of the

      Engineering faculty who were part of those sampled but expects to have

      this very shortly to give to Mr.  Shelton.  Mr. Shelton stated that the

      report is ready to run and can be run against the October data if the

      green light is given in a reasonable time.

 

      Dr. Stephenson asked whether the balance at the end of the sheet which

      includes the overhead can be changed to the balance actually available

      for spending.  He finds that this combined balance confused the fac-

      ulty.  Mr. Shelton responded that there are actually two balances

      given; one being the balance available for expenditure.

 

      Mr. Shelton was asked if it would be possible to include the sponsor

      name on the condensed summary.  His response was yes.

 

      The problem of lag time in getting the new projects entered on the sys-

      tem is being worked on.  Mr. Hurd reported that the Office of Sponsored

      Programs is pretty well caught up with the backlog; however, it still

      takes three days to get a new project fully set up because of 'batch-

      ing'.  Mr. Shelton stated they will try wholeheartedly to streamline

      the entry process.

 

      Mr. Hurd was asked what suggestions the people he had interacted with

      had made.  He responded that most had to do with including payroll

      data, listing individual sponsor names on the printout, and putting the

      pennies back in the figures.  Several examples of problems with round-

      ing to whole dollars were given.

 

      Mr. Hurd pointed out that whole dollar figures were a real problem for

      the Post Award Section of the Office of Sponsored Programs because they

      have to bill the sponsor to the penny.  He stated that from the working

      standpoint, the pennies have to be included in the reports.

 

      The Chairman thanked Mr. Shelton and Mr. Hurd and said they would be

      invited back in a month or two to update the Commission.

 

  6.  SELF-STUDY RECOMMENDATIONS - Dennis Hinkle.

 

      Dr. Hinkle, Chair of the Self-Study Monitoring Committee, stated that

      several months ago he spent some time trying to come up with groups of

      recommendations to be assigned to different individuals, committees and

      commissions around the campus.  He assigned the Research recommen-

      dations to Gary Hooper, Ernie Stout and also identified some that were

      maybe more policy oriented that he thought the Commission would be in-

      terested in.

 

      Dr. Hinkle feels the Recommendations can be identified in three groups.

      The first group is those Recommendations that have already been dealt

      with; they have either been implemented or else cannot be done.  The

      second group is those that probably cannot be dealt with in their pres-

      ent form.  The third group is those that really need to be addressed

      over the next two or three years.

 

      He explained the Committee's request for a report by December 15th that

      outlines:

 

      o   Any misassignments that may have been made.  Recommendations they

          feel they should or should not be working with.

 

      o   The documentation of any and all of the Recommendations that have

          been dealt with.

 

      In March or April of next year the Self-Study Committee will ask for a

      list of those Recommendations each assigned group feels cannot be dealt

      with in their present form.  They suggest rewriting the Recommendations

      into a form that can be dealt with.  They will also ask for some prior-

      ities of those that need to be dealt with and for some guidelines as to

      when these might be dealt with.

 

      An annual report will be prepared by the Self-Study Committee for each

      of the next three years.  The basis of these three reports will be a

      report submitted to the Southern Association of Colleges five years

      from now.

 

      The Chairman asked for suggestions on how to proceed with this task.

      In response to a suggestion that a small sub-committee be set up to

      identify those recommendations that might already have been acted on

      and figure out where some priorities might be, the Chairman asked Bill

      Stephenson and Bill Huber to serve with him as a Sub-Committee of

      three.

 

      The Sub-Committee will report back to the Commission in a short time.

 

  The meeting adjourned at 4:35 p.m.  The next meeting will be December 14,

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

 

 

  ERS:mar

 

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