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Governance Minutes Archive

September 11, 1991

                                    Minutes

                            COMMISSION ON RESEARCH

                              September 11, 1991

                                206 Sandy Hall

                                   3:30 p.m.

 

 

  MEMBERS PRESENT:  V.  Bonomo,  T.  Brandon,  C.  Burger, J.   Cowles, D. M.

                    Denbow, E. G. Henneke, G.  R.  Hooper,  P.  L.  Knox,  M.

                    Lambur,  J.  C.  Lee, R. Lytton, R. Olin, E. R. Stout, T.

                    Wildman

 

  MEMBERS ABSENT:   R. Rich, P. Scanlon, L. A. Swiger, V. Wall, J. Wightman

 

  INVITED GUESTS:   T. Hurd, M. D. Shelton, J. Tank, S.  Trulove, J. Viers

 

 

 

  1.  INTRODUCTIONS.  Dr. Stout welcomed everyone to the 1991-92  edition  of

      the  Commission.  Each member introduced himself/herself and stated the

      constituency represented.

 

  2.  ANNOUNCEMENTS.  A.  MISSION OF THE COMMISSION ON RESEARCH.   Dr.  Stout

      provided a copy of the mission of the Commission taken from the Univer-

      sity  Constitution.   B.  UNIVERSITY GOVERNANCE SYSTEM.  In preparation

      for the change in the governance system, Dr. Stout stated that sometime

      in spring semester the Commission would need to make  arrangements  for

      the transition.

 

  3.  APPROVAL  OF AGENDA.   Dr. Stout suggested that the item "Transition to

      Revised Governance System" under the goals be added.   With that  addi-

      tion Dr. Henneke motioned approval.  Dr. Knox seconded.  Motion passed.

 

  4.  APPROVAL  OF  ANNUAL REPORT.  Dr. Knox motioned approval and Dr. Lytton

      seconded.  Motion passed.

 

  5.  SUPPLEMENTAL GRANTS COMMITTEE REPRESENTATIVE.  Dr. Stout asked for nom-

      inations to the Supplemental Grants Committee.  Dr. Hooper informed the

      membership that the Committee meets approximately 3-4 times  per  year.

      Dr.  Stout  stated that the appointments generally last two years.  Dr.

      Knox asked Dr. Hooper if there needs to be a person from the pure  sci-

      ences  area.  Dr. Hooper responded that yes it would be nice to balance

      it out.  Dr. Denbow offered to serve on the committee.  The  membership

      enthusiastically accepted his offer.

 

  6.  COMMISSION  ON  RESEARCH COMMITTEES.  Dr. Stout provided the Commission

      with the membership of the  two  standing  committees  -  Committee  on

      Interdisciplinary  Research  and  Committee on Core Research.   He sug-

      gested that perhaps they should wait until everyone had had a chance to

      think over the election of two new members  to  each  committee  before

      they  vote.  Dr. Stout provided an overview of each committee and their

      responsibilities.  The Committee on Interdisciplinary Research  drafted

      the  centers  document  that was approved last year, and they also help

      evaluate applications for university center  standing.    Another  task

      that  was built into the centers document was that all existing univer-

      sity centers be evaluated on a five year cycle.   Dr.  Stout  suggested

      that a committee member be on the review committee of those centers be-

      ing reviewed each year, maybe even chair the committee.  He stated that

      he  had  yet to convene the Committee on Core Research and that perhaps

      it needs to be disbanded.  He stated that the  Committee  on  Core  Re-

      search  was  created to give balance to the two parts of research - the

      core research program and interdisciplinary research.  The Core budget-

      ing and allocation process is such that there is relatively little room

      for input.  The membership agreed to take up elections next time.

 

  7.  GOALS FOR THE YEAR.

 

      A) PROCEDURES TO COMPLY WITH THE 1991 AMENDMENT TO THE  STATE  CONFLICT

      OF  INTEREST  ACT. Dr. Stout provided an overview of the State Conflict

      of Interest Act.  It was established in 1986 and previous to this  July

      an  employee  of  the University owned a personal interest in a private

      company  and  that company entered into a contract with the university,

      the employee was in conflict with the State Conflict of Interest.   Be-

      ing  in  violation  carries  with it both civil and criminal penalties.

      With the leadership of the CIT and the  six  doctoral  institutions,  a

      proposed  amendment  was developed to the Conflict of Interest Act that

      would basically move that kind of activity from a prohibited state to a

      disclosure state.  The amendment passed in the  1991  General  Assembly

      without  discussion  and without opposition in both houses.  Basically,

      it says that if you as an employee of an educational institution have a

      personal interest in a private firm and the private firm enters into  a

      research  and development contract with the university, that you as the

      employee must disclose that fact.  Dr. Stout, in working with the other

      five doctoral institutions over the summer, has developed procedures by

      which they propose to put that into effect.  These procedures  are  now

      under review by the Attorney General's Office.  There is proposed to be

      an appeals committee that would hear disputes about the conflict of in-

      terest procedures.  Dr. Stout proposed that that committee be a commit-

      tee of the Commission on Research.

 

      B)  INITIATE  FIRST  ROUND OF FIVE YEAR CENTER REVIEWS.  Dr. Stout pro-

      posed that the Committee on Interdisciplinary Research help him make up

      a calendar of those reviews.  He stated that he  thought  it  would  be

      based  on  how long they have been in existence and when they were last

      reviewed.  The reports of those review committees will come to the Com-

      mission.

 

      C) COMPLETE ACTION ON THE PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES INSTITUTE.  Dr.  Stout

      stated  that  the  Professional  Practices Institute would be a private

      university affiliated corporation that could sit next to the university

      and through this mechanism faculty could do some kinds of research  and

      development  and practices that don't fit very well under the Sponsored

      Programs at the university now.  Testing, evaluation and many kinds  of

      activities that faculty would like to engage in could be done under the

      Professional  Practices Institute.   This Commission, the Commission on

      Graduate Studies, and the Commission on Extension all approved the same

      resolution that stated that we approve of this  idea  in  practice  and

      that  a  committee should be appointed to draft the bylaws and charter.

      The committee needs to be appointed to finish up that issue.

 

      D) CONSIDER THE REPORT OF THE AD HOC  COMMITTEE  ON  INDUSTRIAL  AFFIL-

      IATES.  Bud Harris in the Office of Sponsored Programs chairs an ad hoc

      committee which is looking into some problems associated with  the  in-

      dustrial  affiliates  program.    Industrial affiliates are basically a

      partnership program whereby a group of industries each pays  a  member-

      ship fee for the general support of a program.  For that they get early

      access to research information and get to know and interact with gradu-

      ate  students.  The fees are deposited in the Foundation as though they

      are gifts.  That committee should give us a report sometime this year.

 

      E) MISCONDUCT IN SCIENCE PROCEDURES (NIH).   In January of  1990  every

      institution  that  has NIH funding was required to file with the Office

      of Scientific Integrity of NIH a statement and  set  of  procedures  to

      deal  with  Misconduct in Science allegations.  Dr. Stout, with assist-

      ance of the President of the Faculty Senate and  the  Chairman  of  the

      Commission   on  Faculty  Affairs  drafted  a  document  to  deal  with

      allegations of misconduct.  This was sent to NIH as an  interim  proce-

      dure.  A final document needs to be completed.

 

      F)  OWNERSHIP  OF RESEARCH DATA.  There is an issue of ownership of re-

      search data that has been raised.  Such things as who  owns  the  data,

      where  do the notebooks stay?  This item has become a national issue as

      well.

 

      G) TRANSITION TO THE REVISED GOVERNANCE SYSTEM.   At the  beginning  of

      the  meeting  Dr. Stout stated that sometime in the spring semester the

      Commission would need to make arrangements for the transition.

 

 

  8.  230-01 BUDGET UPDATE.  Dr. Stout provided the Commission with a  couple

      of  handouts  to  help  the membership understand the Research Division

      budget and where we are at this time.  He provided an overview  of  the

      Research  Division  summary  of  the budget reductions for the biennium

      1990-92.   Dr. Stout went over Rounds 1, 2 and 3 budget reductions.  He

      stated that all these reductions are permanent and are carried  forward

      each  year.  He also informed the Commission that we still have the po-

      tential for Round 4.  So far, Round 4 reductions seem unlikely.  We  do

      not  yet  know  how the early retirement program is going to affect the

      budget.  When Round 2 came it was  clear  that  the  Research  Division

      could  not  possibly meet Round 2 reductions without significant layoff

      of personnel.  In order to soften that Round 2,  Mr.  Ridenour  brought

      $300,000  into  the 230 budget for each year of a four year commitment.

      The first of that $300,000 is to be the excess 30% account.  When Round

      3 came, the Budget Office and Mr. Ridenour reduced our central  assess-

      ments  by  $721,000.    That commitment continues into this year.  This

      year because Round 3 doubled and because of the loss of  general  funds

      related  to  growth  in  indirect  cost  recoveries, the administration

      agreed to help with another $500,000.  That was a  1  year  commitment.

      Next  year the budget gets reduced by $1.221M whether anything else bad

      happens or not.  Even though there may not be any other  formal  budget

      reductions from Richmond, the pain for the Research Division is not yet

      over.   Without Round 4 calculated the overall budget reduction for the

      Research Division is about 19%.  The second handout that Dr. Stout pro-

      vided showed how the funds for the academic programs  are  distributed.

      The  230  budget  like the other two budgets supports both academic and

      non-academic areas.  Out of the $33.5M budget, only 2.5M  is  spent  in

      operating funds.  Most of the budget is spent for personnel.

 

  9.  SPONSORED  PROGRAMS  REPORT.   Tom Hurd presented the Commission with a

      set of handouts which reflect the  activities  of  Sponsored  Programs.

      Mr.  Hurd  stated  that  while  we  are still growing, we are at a much

      slower rate than last year.  Our largest single sponsor now  is  indus-

      trial sponsors followed by Federal flow-through dollars.  For the first

      time,  the  largest  Federal  sponsor  is the Department of Energy.  In

      years past it has been the Department of Defense.  Mr. Hurd stated that

      with all the other institutions that he has talked are also  experienc-

      ing a slow rate of growth.  He stated that everyone seems to be working

      harder  but  enjoying  it  less.    We are getting more awards for less

      money.  Mr. Hurd stated that as the economy goes so goes sponsored pro-

      grams.  Mr. Hurd stated that the base for the indirect cost  recoveries

      is  $48M.    The  actual recoveries that were received was $13.4M.  The

      rate that we recovered at was 27%.  Mr. Hurd stated that we will  never

      recover  the  full  amount  of our negotiated rate.  Mr. Shelton stated

      that we hope the rate will go up a little because we have  had  an  in-

      crease in the indirect cost rate.

 

  10. INDIRECT  COSTS  - FEDERAL.  Dr. Stout stated that a sheet was provided

      concerning the indirect cost rate with the agenda.   The  handout  pro-

      vided  information  on where the indirect cost rate proposals are as of

      June 5.   Two have  originated  in  Congress  -  Waxman-Dannemeyer  and

      Boucher.    One  has originated in the Office of Management and Budget.

      They all have many features in common.  They would cap the  administra-

      tive  part  of the indirect cost 26%.  Dr. Stout stated that if you add

      up the administrative parts it would 26.3%.  Mr. Shelton said that  the

      Federal  government  sometimes  does  not  take tenths of a point.  Dr.

      Stout stated that there would be a requirement that  the  building  and

      equipment allowance parts of the indirect pool should be set aside in a

      special account and that those dollars be used to build or renovate re-

      search  space  to  be used for federally-sponsored research or the pur-

      chase of new equipment  in  support  of  federally-sponsored  research.

      Currently  that  equipment  and  building allowance is about 20% of the

      total indirect cost pool.   One of  the  other  provisions  that  would

      clearly affect how we do business is in the Waxman-Dannemeyer proposal.

      It has language that the Federal government always has the lowest rate.

      If  the university should charge any other sponsor a rate less than the

      Federal government, the Federal government will get that  lesser  rate.

      We  either  charge  everyone the negotiated rate, or we charge everyone

      zero.  If this takes effect, there might be some sponsors with whom  we

      simply  can't  do business.  We obviously don't want that.  Mr. Shelton

      stated that the state already has a policy and that  it  will  conflict

      with  the Federal proposal.  Dr. Stout said that the latest OMB version

      says that the building and use allowance must be set aside in an inter-

      est bearing account.  That is contrary to state law.

 

  11. INDIRECT COSTS - STATE.   In the 1990  General  Assembly  language  was

      written  into  the  appropriations act requiring that the Department of

      Education do a study on the uses and purposes of indirect cost.   SCHEV

      has  done that study.  A copy was circulated with the agenda.  Overall,

      it is far more university friendly and  positive  than  expected.    It

      makes  lots  of  good  statements about the importance of sponsored re-

      search and indirect cost recoveries.  There are a few things, that  de-

      pending  upon  how  they  ultimately  are determined, may cause us some

      problems.  One is a recommendation that  the  state  controller  should

      look  at  institutions which historically under-recover indirect costs.

      The implication is that there should be some financial penalties  asso-

      ciated  with under-recovery.  Overall, it is rather positive and should

      be helpful to us as time goes by.

 

  12. ADJOURNMENT.  Meeting was adjourned at 4:50PM.

 

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