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Governance Minutes Archive

April 26, 1989


                            COMMISSION ON RESEARCH

                                April 26, 1989

                            President's Board Room

                                   3:30 p.m.



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

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

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


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

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

                    Squires, W. L. Stutzman


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






         The Chairman thanked the four members of the Commission whose

         terms expire with the end of today's meeting.  They are Dean

         Stephenson, a deans level administrative appointment, Dr.

         Comparin, a departmental level administrative appointment, Dr.

         Feret, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences represen-

         tative, and Dr. Edwards, the representative from the College of

         Architecture and Urban Studies.


  2.  The MINUTES OF APRIL 12 were approved including the revised language to

      Appendix H, Research Agreements with Industry, Manual of Procedures.


  3.  WASTE POLICY INSTITUTE.  The Commission has been asked to nominate two

      of its members for the Waste Policy Institute Board of Directors.  By

      acclimation the Commission nominated Dr. Ed Bunce and Dr. Ed Henneke.


  4.  OUTLYING FACILITIES.  The Chairman introduced Dr. David R. Ford, Asso-

      ciate Vice President for Facilities, and Ms. Kathye Johnston, Director

      of Budget and Financial Planning.  The Chairman informed the guests

      that at the last meeting of the Commission a discussion was held about

      off-campus facilities.  Those are facilities in the Blacksburg area

      that are not contiguous with the core campus and the problems associ-

      ated with utilities and maintenance at those sites.  For the most part

      the utilities, maintenance and custodial services are funded by ad hoc

      arrangements by the department, center or college that uses the facil-

      ity.  Consequently, only the most vital services are supplied.  It is

      often the case that no custodial service and no grounds-keeping ser-

      vices are performed.


      Dr. Ford reviewed the history of the situation.  Briefly, facilities

      were built on the periphery of the campus, usually by funds not ac-

      quired through the normal capital process, and these facilities were

      never included in the maintenance and utilities budgeting process.  The

      magnitude of the problem is difficult to identify.  Dr. Ford related

      that he had recently visited with the College of Agriculture and Life

      Sciences Faculty Association and the department heads there, identified

      approximately $250,000 of annual maintenance and utilities that they

      are funding.  The Chairman related that Dr. Hooper and Dr. Steiss had

      collected some data about a year previously again trying to identify

      the utilities and maintenance costs associated with outlying facili-

      ties.  That estimate was somewhere in the neighborhood of $250-300,000.

      It may in fact be considerably larger than that.


      A discussion ensued about the definition of on-campus versus off-

      campus.  Dr. Ford related that he did not believe that on-campus ex-

      tended only as far as the steam lines and that everything beyond that

      was off-campus.  Clearly, no one has a clear-cut definition.  Ms.

      Johnston is of the opinion that the on-campus/off-campus is not the is-

      sue.  The issue is that the facilities in question were built with non-

      general funds and that the state to this point has not committed

      general funds for maintaining these buildings.  That is the same issue

      associated with maintenance and utilities at the Anaerobe Lab.


      Dr. Comparin raised the question as to whether or not facilities and

      maintenance of facilities is included in our indirect cost calcu-

      lations.  Ms. Richardson believes they are.  Dr. Comparin believes that

      all sponsored programs whether they are conducted in buildings on the

      core campus or in other facilities should have the same services since

      all are being used in the indirect calculations.  The question then is

      who pays the bills.


      Mr. Shelton returned to the on-campus versus off-campus issue.  His de-

      finition of on-campus includes all those facilities that are accessible

      to those same services and activities as others.  This would include

      access to the library and other general campus services.


      Dean Stephenson pointed out that the crux of the problem is that we

      have a group of faculty who have been successful in generating research

      and often in generating the funds for the facilities and because they

      are unfortunate enough to be in a department which doesn't have space

      to accommodate them, we charge them a "penalty" by insisting that they

      maintain their facilities.  It is difficult enough to coordinate re-

      search with students getting back and forth to classes from outlying

      facilities and on top of that there is a charge for utilities, custo-

      dial and maintenance services.  He argued that the burden should be

      shared across the research community because the entire community is

      benefiting from the entrepreneurial activities of these successful fac-

      ulty.  Ms. Johnston pointed out that the dollars to fund such services

      and activities have to come from some place.  If they come from the 208

      budget that simply means that the total amount available for allocation

      to departments for operating is thereby reduced.  However, the Univer-

      sity certainly may use its funds for maintaining a building built with

      non-general funds.


      Clearly, no consensus was reached by the Commission on how this problem

      should be solved.  With the three new facilities now under construction

      or in the final planning stages at the Plantation Road Research Com-

      pound, the problem clearly will get bigger not smaller.



  5.  ADJOURNMENT - 4:35PM.






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