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Graduate Council

EDUCATIONAL AND RESEARCH POLICIES COMMITTEE

Minutes of

February 19th, 2009

MEMBERS PRESENT: Marcus Agustin, Chair, Rakesh Bharati, Wai Hsien Cheah, Christa Johnson, Craig Miner, G. Stacey Staples, Jianpeng Zhou

MEMBERS EXCUSED: Laura Hanson, Mariana Solares, Erin Timpe

I. Announcements

Christa Johnson announced that there were 61 STEP proposals requesting roughly $700,000. The Graduate School has $325,000 allocated for this project. She is in the process of putting together review panels.

II. Minutes of October 21st, 2008

After Jim Zhou made several corrections, Rakesh Bharati made a motion to approve the minutes as amended; G. Stacey Staples seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

III. Including the Professional Schools in the Graduate Council

This item of business will be addressed next month.

IV. Continuing Business

A. Matching Funds for External Grants

Jianpeng Zhou raised the issue of providing matching funds in those cases in which matching funds were required for external grants. He feels that there is a need to provide this service if funds become available because this strategy would increase the odds of getting funded. After some discussion, the committee agreed to keep this item on the agenda for the next meeting.

B. Responsible Conduct in Research Training

Christa Johnson announced that there were no new updates. The ERP will continue this discussion next month.

V. New Business

A. Distinguished Scholars Council

The proposed Distinguished Scholars Council is meant to provide a body of scholars who would be able and willing to assist other faculty by reviewing internal or external grant proposals and providing "substantive, constructive feedback," and by assisting in "writing and/or reviewing appropriate portions of university-wide, collaborative proposals." The members of the Council will be asked to serve on a voluntary basis. Rakesh Bharati proposed that this Council could be expanded to be an advisory board for all types of work, including working papers and grants and publications. Johnson said that the original idea was to create a review board, not a body of mentors, since such a body already exists. Zhou asked whether this Council is meant to be proactive or reactive. Johnson said that it might be appropriate for the board to take on a strategic planning role. Agustin suggested the committee examine this idea on a small scale, and Johnson asked for volunteers to help revise the proposal.

The ERP agreed to revise this by e-mail then submit it to the Graduate Council.

B. Non Tenure Track Faculty Funding

The committee discussed a proposal to allow non tenure track faculty in the School of Pharmacy to be eligible for internal competitions, since they have substantial expectations to conduct research. Christa Johnson pointed out that for equity reasons the Graduate School would not grant non tenure track faculty eligibility in only one school. Secondly, if all non-tenure-track faculty become eligible, then the union will have to be involved in discussions. One possibility to explore is to allow internal funding for non tenure track faculty and staff who have received an external grant. This possibility needs to be cleared with the union and with Sue Thomas. The ERP will discuss this further at its next meeting.

C. Impact of Budget Cuts on Research

Johnson announced that in terms of research and development, the Assigned Time for Research and the Equipment and Tools competitions might be items subject to budget cuts. The Excellence in Graduate Education/SAGE funds might also be cut. The Graduate School is optimistic that the other budget items will be left untouched.

D. Internal Review Process

The revised Research and Development (R&D) Committee ran into unexpected problems this academic year. The question arose of what to do in cases where the elected R&D member is unable to perform the expected scope of work. Should the Graduate Council put something in our policy about missing deadlines? Jianpeng Zhou suggested putting in language that the Graduate School could find a temporary replacement to finish a given task, but not replace him or her. In consultation with the unit, the Graduate School would choose a temporary alternate. Bharati suggested electing a member and an alternate. Johnson suggested working on the language to add to the Operating Papers through e-mail.

E. Biosafety Policy Update

The Committee decided that this item can be taken up at the next meeting, scheduled for Thursday, March 19th.

VI. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 12:25 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen L. Hansen
Associate Provost for Research and
Dean, Graduate School