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Graduate School


Minutes of

December 6, 2011

MEMBERS PRESENT: Marcus Agustin, Sarah Bailey, Darryl Coan, Robert Dixon for Leah O'Brien, David Duvernell (Chair), John Hunt, Christa Johnson for Jerry Weinberg, Joe Schober

MEMBERS EXCUSED: Rakesh Bharati, Terry Yan

I. Announcements

In light of her imminent departure for Washington University, Dave Duvernell thanked Christa Johnson for her service to the ERP. Robert Dixon stated that she has taken the Graduate School to another level, mainly due to her leadership on research issues.

Johnson announced that the Distinguished Research Professor (DRP) and Hoppe applications are due in February and the Lindsay applications are due in March. The main criteria for evaluating the DRP candidates is a strong national reputation in research.

II. Minutes of November 15, 2011

Robert Dixon made a motion to accept the minutes; Marcus Agustin seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

III. Graduate School Policy Development and Implementation

The proposed policy provides a "standardized and centralized process under which a proposed policy related to graduate education or sponsored projects may be initiated, developed, reviewed, approved, implemented and disseminated in accordance with SIUE Policy 7A1." ERP and the Graduate Council have attended to graduate education and research policy updates on an as-needed basis, however an audit of the process determined that a regular schedule of review was necessary. One requested change to the draft submitted was in Section V.b under Miscellaneous Rules and Procedures. Instead of "Records: the Office of Research and Projects shall retain, to the extent reasonably practicable, an official record and archive of all …. policies," the sentence was switched to "Records: the Office of Research and Projects shall retain an official record and archive, to the extent reasonably practicable, of all …. Policies."

Johnson has been working on an inventory of graduate and research policies which will be presented at a later time as a spreadsheet. It will now also serve as a review schedule. The policies will be reviewed in three year cycles, although if needed, a policy could be reviewed prior to its scheduled review date. The Graduate Dean will be responsible for initiating the review process according to the schedule. The committee suggested adding, under III.c, "The Dean of the Graduate School will initiate the schedule of review process." There was a brief discussion concerning reviewing policies on a five-year cycle; Johnson will check the report to determine whether the auditors recommended three or five year cycles. The motion below is pending confirmation of the timeline.

The document, "Guide to Graduate Council Policies and Graduate School and the Office of Research Policies and Procedure" was provided for reference. It functions as a definition of terms for the 'standard operating procedures' document that is under discussion.

Robert Dixon made a motion to approve the "Graduate School Policy Development and Implementation Policy" as amended, and the "Guide to Graduate Council Policies and Graduate School and the Office of Research Policies and Procedure" without amendments; Marcus Agustin seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

IV. Continuing Business

A. New Internal Funding Program - 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. The proposals are reviewed by an ad hoc committee whose members' names will remain confidential.

The committee noted that the examples listed in the proposal were science-oriented. The NEH Challenge was added to clarify that the SURCI program is intended for all programs on campus. The committee wished to clarify that second year funding would be contingent on positive results from the first year of the project. They would seek proof of administrative support from outside the university, such as letters of support from industry or educational institutions. There was much discussion on the advisability of offering summer salary, how much should be allowed, and whether summer salary with fringe benefits would use the whole budget. Johnson stated that these funds should be issued from a state-funded account so that fringe benefits would not be charged to the SURCI project. Members of ERP felt that salary and travel were the only lines necessary for completing this type of project. The units could be asked to contribute to the expenses of the projects as a show of support. ERP suggested changes of wording of the proposal to bring it in line with the issues raised.

John Hunt made a motion to approve as amended; Joe Schober seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

V. New Business

There was no new business.

VI. Adjournment

Marcus Agustin made a motion to adjourn; Robert Dixon seconded. The meeting adjourned at 1:00 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Jerry B. Weinberg
Acting Associate Provost for Research and
Dean, The Graduate School

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