EDUCATIONAL AND RESEARCH POLICIES COMMITTEE
November 15, 2011
MEMBERS PRESENT: Marcus Agustin, Sarah Bailey, Rakesh Bharati, Darryl Coan, Robert Dixon for Leah O’Brien, David Duvernell (Chair), John Hunt, Christa Johnson for Jerry Weinberg, Joe Schober
MEMBERS EXCUSED: Terry Yan
Christa Johnson announced that the next LINC conference will be held on February 22, 2013.
II. Minutes of October 25, 2011
John Hunt made a motion to accept the minutes; Bob Dixon seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
III. Continuing Business
A. New Internal Funding Program – Conferences and Workshops
Last month, the Graduate School proposed that it offer an incentive to faculty to bring regional and national meetings to the SIUE campus. The award would offer up to $6,000 per project; the Graduate School could fund about ten awards per year. Summer salary would not be allowed, although salary items such as a graduate assistant or student worker would be permissible, as would a course buyout and all other line items. It was suggested that having the chairs and deans involved in signing off on the proposal and sharing expenses would be a good way to determine which conferences are highly regarded. All full-time continuing faculty would be eligible to submit proposals, as would staff members on continuing appointments who have served as a primary or co-investigator on an externally sponsored grant.
The Graduate School intends for this to be a means of hosting conferences that are sponsored by existing organizations, but could also be used to support a workshop offered by a school or department. The committee felt it was clear that a priority should be given to bringing in external groups. Johnson said that the Graduate School is already supporting individual requests for conference assistance on an ad hoc basis. Formalizing the process will equalize the opportunities for this type of funding across campus. Utilizing a committee to help determine the awardees will allow for faculty input. The proposal evaluation criteria is how the conference or workshop would impact the SIUE campus, particularly as it would increase activity and visibility. Jointly-sponsored conferences or workshops would be allowed. Johnson has been working with Marketing and Communications on a brochure to help faculty convince their organizations to come to SIUE.
The committee wished to exclude summer salary and course buyouts from the line items allowed. It felt that a) faculty members should serve their professions as part of their jobs, b) the money could be better spent on other items, and c) paying the host will not encourage the organization to hold its conference at SIUE. The committee wished to include the word “academic” in the first sentence (“This program offers partial support for academic conferences or symposia scheduled to take place on the campus of SIUE”) to clarify the intent. The committee struck out the eligibility requirement that an individual faculty member must have already fulfilled the terms and conditions of previously SIUE funded research. The proposal draft should be a maximum of five pages. Instead of asking the applicant for other sources of financial support, this sentence “Applicants are encouraged to seek external and internal sources of funding as appropriate” was substituted.
Marcus Agustin made a motion to approve as amended; Rakesh Bharati seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
IV. New Business
A. Strategic University Research Cluster Initiative (SURCI)
The Graduate School proposed this initiative to support projects that “foster and support interdisciplinary research groups” to develop their competitiveness for “large-scale [external] grants.” This award it not intended to provide seed funding, nor could it be used for remodeling of facilities. Faculty summer salary is limited to 2 months per summer. Funds may also be used for course buyout, post-doctoral positions, graduate assistants, and technical personnel. All non-salary line items are allowable. Maximum funding would be $50,000 per application for a two-year period. All full-time continuing faculty would be eligible to submit proposals, as would staff members on continuing appointments who have served as a primary or co-investigator on an externally sponsored grant.
This program is intended to unite a collection of faculty who are already doing research that would mesh with each other’s areas of interest. It is about building up the University and creating a sustainable infrastructure that could exist beyond the initial funding period.
It was suggested that the Graduate School require a report at the end of the first year to determine if the second year of funding would be released. The committee will discuss multiple benchmarks, a final report, sustainability, and streamlining the stated purpose at the next ERP meeting on Tuesday, December 6th.
The meeting adjourned at 12:57 PM.
Jerry B. Weinberg
Acting Associate Provost for Research and
Dean, The Graduate School