Date and location: Wednesday, November 2, 2005
Time: 3:00 p.m. - 5:25 p.m.
Members in Attendance: Patricia Donagan, David Duffy, Michael Garcia, Jennifer Herring, Patricia Lorenzo, Roger Lukas, Jim Tiles (SEC Committee Liaison), W. Steven Ward, Bruce Shiramizu.
By invitation: Gary Ostrander, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (VCRGE)
The meeting was convened by Committee Chair at 3:10 p.m.
Minutes of October 5, 2005 meeting were approved.
Gary Ostrander came to discuss RTRF and presented a draft of the RTRF report for FY2005. He noted that the report was not intended for circulation in the draft format but it would be made available on the Web in its final version. This draft included the following topics: RTRF return to Manoa each year, revenue and allocation, distribution to the units (including the five largest departments), expenditures (who authorizes them; primary focus of the VCRGE), and the projected funds for the current year.
The first page covered the Manoa' allocation from FY2001 to FY2005 and included information about return to the units, and the VCRGE and VPR distributions. Manoa's allocation represented 75% of the RFTR generated. From this percentage, 50% of funds were returned to the units that generated them, and 25% went to VCRGE. Roger Lukas pointed out that the portion returned to Manoa in FY2004 was higher than in FY2005. He asked whether this was a result of the Vice President for Research (VPR) office returning more overhead to JABSOM. It seemed to him that VPR was taking more than 25% from the top. Ostrander did not think it was the case but he said he would find out.
One of the units listed in the VCRGE-RTRF distributions was the Office of the Provost. There was a question as to what this office represented. Ostrander explained that it comprised some of the initiatives directed by Neil Scott, related to the development of programs and technologies to enable people with disabilities to use IT devices. [When Neil Scott came from Stanford University he could not be housed at either the School of Education or the School of Engineering].
The VCRGR-RTRF distribution by discipline brought some discussion about the percentage of funds going to Humanities, Social Sciences, and Art (19%). Some of the funding is currently used to support faculty travel and conference support programs through the URC. Discussion revolved around whether hard scientist had a difficult time applying for this type of awards since they were considered well-funded.
The Laboratory of Animal Services (LAS) received a 1.295% of RTRF from VCRGE. Ward wanted to know is LAS was at the System level or at Manoa level. Ostrander replied that it was at the System level, but his office provided some level of support because some initiatives were exclusively related to Manoa activities.
Lukas asked what FGS was (listed to have received 9.6923% of VCRGE-RTRF). Ostrander was not sure, although he thought it was related to Facilities.
There was some discussion about distribution of funding to assist with post-flood recovery. Lukas said he was led to believe that Manoa would recover a portion of the money spent on the flood, and Ostrander indicated that 75% of the money would come back to Manoa. Ward asked about the Hamilton Library and how the VCRGE office distributed funds to the people from the Library. Ostrander explained that his office provided start-up funds for people whose research was affected by the flood. He noted that his office had received some requests for extensions of deadlines for spending the funds; he indicated that he would probably not allow extensions.
Ostrander noted that authorization on RTRF expenditures would be solely made by VCRGE. Ward asked if there could be some kind of assurance from the System about it (whether it could be institutionalized). Ostrander believed that it was institutionalized.
The current RTRF policy says that authorization of RTRF greater than $5,000 is held at the office of VCRGE until funds are expended. Garcia wanted to know whether money could be rolled over by VCRGE into the following years. Lukas and Ostrander noted that it could be done.
Regarding the use of funds to support and build research infrastructure that brought the funds to the system, Ostrander believed it was appropriate to distribute 20% of the portion received by his office to units that do not generate funds, such as Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Liberal Arts initiatives. Garcia said that he thought it was a great policy since Humanities and Social Sciences were an important part of the university life. This led to some discussion about the importance to distribute RTRF to units that do not generate funds.
Ward asked whether the RTRF policy was going to be changed and if so, when. Ostrander said that he was comfortable with the current policy and would like it to be kept the way it was.
Herring noticed that the Curriculum & Research Development Group and the Center for Disability Studies were not represented in the chart describing the allocation of RTRF to the units. She wondered whether they were included within the College of Education. Ostrander indicated that they were represented under the Office of the Provost. He further said that if the College of Education wanted to embrace them, it might be fine, but he thought there were some issues like recruitment ones.
Lukas asked next how Ostrander would handle research initiatives. Garcia thought that there was a perception in Campus that this was a back door to getting funds. Ostrander noted that he did not want it to be that way. This topic brought the issue of the Center for Genomics, Proteomics and Bioinformatics (CGPB). Ostrander noted the center was doing good work, but that there were some issues about its function as a core facility. Last year, SEC reviewed the CGPB business plan and was not comfortable with it. Ostrander has recently approached Maqsudul Alam (Director of CGPB) and asked him for a revised business plan. Ostrander wanted to know whether CoR would be willing to reconsider a business proposal from CGPB. He mentioned that the RTRF support to CGPB would expire soon [Peter Engler's commitment to support this initiative ends in 2006?]. He did not think his office would continue the support after that.
Ostrander pointed out that Manoa had many centers that provided sequencing services in Campus and were subsidized by VCRGE. He noted that it did not make sense for a campus of the size of Manoa to have those many facilities, and he organized a panel chaired by Tom Humphreys to review all the sequencing facilities at Manoa. Ostrander is waiting for a recommendation from the panel. [After Ostrander left, CoR decided to wait for the report from Tom Humphrey before considering any business plan from CGPB. Ward also suggested inviting Marla Berry or Tom Humphreys to present the report to CoR].
As a result of the discussions about business plans, Duffy asked whether there was a way that CoR could evaluate business plans of future initiatives before they were way into place.
Other topics discussed with Ostrander were related to the flood and how the Library was struggling to get the help needed.
Discussions on RTRF continued after Ostrander left. The committee decided to invite Jim Gaines in January to present a report of RTRF expenditures at the System level. Herring also raised the issue of RTRF use by the units. Apparently, there is policy about how the funds should be used by the units. Tiles said that the Senate might want to enforce that policy.
2. Proprietary Research
Bruce Shiramizu, who participated in last year's discussions about classified research, will chair a sub-committee of CoR to review proprietary research. Garcia will also participate in this sub-committee. CoR suggested that other non-CoR Manoa faculty could be included in the sub-committee. There was also a suggestion to ask Brian Issell from the Cancer Center.
Duffy wondered whether CoR could do anything useful in the time allocated for the meetings, or if the topic would demand much more time than what the committee could devote to it. Lukas noted that another issue the committee might want to consider was that of academic freedom. This led to a heated discussion about what academic freedom meant. Duffy asked whether Lukas could draft a resolution about academic freedom. Lukas decided to decline further committee work for a while.
The discussion revolved around whether Manoa should take over some of the Compliance aspects that are not efficiently managed at the System level. Steven Ward may chair a sub-committee to look at some of the issues, like LAS.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:25 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Patricia S. Lorenzo