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Governance Minutes Archive

April 12, 1989

                                    Minutes

                            COMMISSION ON RESEARCH

                                April 12, 1989

                            President's Board Room

                                   3:30 p.m.

 

 

  MEMBERS PRESENT:  L. J. Arnold, F. M. Asche, G. E. Bunce, R. A. Comparin,

                    P. K. Edwards, W. L. Flowers (for M. R. Geasler), F. W.

                    Stephenson, H. H. Stoevener, E. R. Stout

 

  MEMBERS ABSENT:   P. P. Feret, V. R. Fu, G. R. Hooper, W. G. Huber, J. C.

                    Lee, D. F. McTaggart, M. Potts, J. Randolph, M. G.

                    Squires, W. L. Stutzman

 

  INVITED GUESTS:   D. V. Richardson, R. A. Teekell

 

 

 

  1.  ANNOUNCEMENTS.

 

      a.  The Chairman introduced Ms. Dorothy Richardson, Director of Spon-

          sored Programs and Research Administration.  He reminded the Com-

          mission that we had previously approved a resolution making her a

          permanently invited guest to the Commission.

 

      b.  The Chairman introduced Pam Pettry.  She succeeds Mary Ann Rudolph

          as secretary to the Commission.  The Commission sends Mary Ann our

          best wishes.

 

      c.  The Chairman briefly reviewed the meeting of the Commission of the

          University in the 21st Century held in Charlottesville on April 3.

          The meeting was devoted to the role of graduate education and re-

          search in the university of the 21st century.  Dr. Hooper addressed

          the Commission on the research mission.  Dr. Perry provided the

          concluding summary of the meeting.

 

      d.  Core Research.  The Chairman related that Core Research salary and

          operating allocations will be distributed to Colleges and Centers

          in the same fashion as last year.  The Research Division will not

          call for competitive proposals.  Concern was expressed about the

          timeliness of the budget allocations now that the academic year has

          been moved forward by more than one month.  The sense of the Com-

          mission was to urge the Budget Office to move the process forward

          as much as possible to allow Colleges and Departments time to set

          up budgets before Commencement.

 

      e.  Dr. Arnold reported on the activities of the Supplemental Grants

          Committee.  At their recent meeting, over $71,000 in requests were

          considered.  The Committee had only about $35,000 to award.  Conse-

          quently, they were not able to fund any request at the maximum

          level ($1,000).  The Committee requests that the Virginia Tech

          Foundation consider increasing its support of this worthy activity

          above the present $100,000 per year.

 

  2.  THE AGENDA WAS ADOPTED AS DISTRIBUTED.

 

  3.  MINUTES OF FEBRUARY 8 WERE APPROVED AS DISTRIBUTED.

 

  4.  MINUTES OF FEBRUARY 22 WERE APPROVED AS DISTRIBUTED.  However, Drs.

      Arnold, Comparin and others believe the definition of a subcontract in

      Appendix K of the Manual of Procedures is not clear.  Ms. Richardson

      will rewrite the subcontract definition and bring back to the Commis-

      sion at a later date.

 

 

  5.  REVISION TO APPENDIX H, RESEARCH AGREEMENTS WITH INDUSTRY, MANUAL OF

      PROCEDURES.

 

      The Chairman informed the Commission that legal counsel advises that in

      those cases where sponsors insist on ownership of the intellectual

      properties from a research effort that the sponsor must bear all of the

      identifiable costs.  This includes all direct costs and indirect costs

      at the calculated rate.  Heretofore, we have been charging indirect at

      the DHHS negotiated rate (currently 49% MTDC).  The difference between

      the negotiated rate and the calculated rate (currently 62.25%) is

      deemed to be University cost-sharing.  The Intellectual Property stat-

      ute of the state prevents the University from transferring ownership of

      intellectual properties if "substantial" Education and General funds

      were used in the research effort.  The difference between the calcu-

      lated and negotiated indirect costs rates if cost-shared would trigger

      the provisions of the law.

 

      The proposed amendment to Appendix H, Full-Cost Recovery Contract sec-

      tion, item 2 would charge the calculated indirect rate on those con-

      tracts where the sponsor demands ownership of intellectual properties.

 

      Amendment was approved.

 

 

  6.  FUNDING OF UTILITIES AND SERVICES AT OUTLYING FACILITIES.

 

      The Chairman indicated that there is a serious and continuing problem

      of a lack of normal services at research facilities located in the

      Blacksburg area but away from central campus:  Anaerobe Lab, Prices

      Fork, Plantation Road, Glade Road, Forest Products, etc.  For almost

      all of these facilities, the department, college or center occupants

      must pay for utilities, routine maintenance, custodial services,

      grounds maintenance, etc.  These normal services are not provided by

      the University.  Yet, these facilities are used for research and gradu-

      ate education in essentially the same ways as central campus facilities

      where such services are provided.  Research projects that are housed in

      these outlying facilities are charged the on-campus indirect costs rate

      which include facilities costs.

 

      Drs. Hooper and Stout have discussed with the College Administrators

      for Research (CARS) an idea to help departments solve the problem.

      Each facility would have an escrow account from which normal utilities

      and services would be paid.  Each escrow account would be funded "off

      the top" of the returned indirect costs generated by that department or

      center.  The remaining returned indirect would then be distributed in

      the usual way.  This admittedly would be a stop gap solution.  The ul-

      timate solution is for the university to treat these facilities as

      those on the central campus.

 

      Dr. Comparin expressed objections to this plan.  Short of the Univer-

      sity funding the utilities he would rather charge the off-campus indi-

      rect rate and bill projects directly for the facilities.  Dean

      Stephenson pointed out that departments work in these facilities be-

      cause they are forced to because of the inadequacy of central campus

      space and facilities.

 

      Questions about the definition of on-campus and off-campus were raised

      with no satisfactory answers.

 

      Dean Stephenson suggested that we invite Mr. Ridenour to a future meet-

      ing of the Commission to discuss their problem in its entirety.

 

  7.  Dean Flowers asked about the drug-free work place policy, specifically

      the certification requirement.  Ms. Richardson responded that she is

      signing the required certification and that principal investigators are

      not being asked to certify.  The certification is that the University

      has a plan in place.  We have a large task to get everyone informed.

      Ms. Richardson is working with Greg Ritter on the distribution method.

 

      Meeting adjourned at 4:40 PM.

 

  ERS/php

 

 

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