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Manoa Faculty Senate Committee on Research (COR)

Research Committee Meeting Minutes January 10, 2007, 2:30 pm, POST 601

Attendance: Patricia Donegan, David Duffy, Rosanne Harrigan (SEC Liason), Michael Jones, Justin Levinson (Secretary), Dore Minatodoni, Rodney Morales, Norma Jean Stodden, Roy Wilkens (Chair), Larry Zane

Members absent: Mike Garcia

The minutes of the 5 December 2006 meeting of the COR were approved.

The Committee discussed the forthcoming change in the RTRF budgetary process. Chair Wilkens reported that his department fiscal officer predicted no adverse consequences stemming from the change.

After further discussion, the Committee members agreed that they have no problem with the policy but want to ensure that each faculty unit understands the new protocol for the use of funds.

Separate proposals on Classified and Proprietary Research drafted by Committee members Duffy and Jones were then considered and discussed.

Member Duffy presented his proposal, summarizing it as emphasizing the responsibility of individual researchers. Member Duffy summarized the preferences and features of the proposal. These included: (1) a preference for societal regulation over university regulation, (2) limiting restrictions to on-campus areas only, (3) minimizing the constraints on individual researchers, and (4) sensitivity to the fast-changing nature of research. Member Duffy also highlighted certain difficulties of drafting a policy on classified research, including the gray area of explicitly prohibiting and defining what constitutes a "weapon."

Member Jones then presented his proposal, summarizing it as a response to increased attempts by sponsors to restrict the dissemination of research results. Member Jones summarized the preferences and features of the proposal. These included: (1) striking a balance between individual freedom and openness of research results, (2) consistency with the spirit of past Manoa faculty Senate statements, and (3) consistency with policies at other major research universities. Member Jones also noted the progress made in the Committee this semester, noting that further discussions on some issues are needed.

The Committee then discussed the two policy drafts. The discussion first focused on the process of review, then turned to the substance of the proposals.

Regarding the process of review, the Committee considered how a broader discussion of classified research should proceed. In addition to full Senate consideration, various possibilities were discussed, including email/internet invitations for comment (such as listserv and other web-based), and campus-wide discussion. Some members noted the sensitivity of the issue and urged careful consideration before deciding how to best proceed with broader discussions.

Regarding the substance of the proposals, individual members discussed their general policy preferences. Several members expressed support for concise, streamlined, and transparent policies. Some members also expressed concern about oversight of the policy, focusing on the mechanical challenges (e.g. Will a review board have security clearance? Who will serve on a review board?). Members raised additional issues, such as the Patriot Act and export control. Further research would need to be conducted into these legal issues. Several members supported asking the administration to report (annually) to the Senate on classified research being conducted. These and other potential steps would be consistent with the principle of transparency.

Chair Wilkens noted the CommitteeÕs progress, but also noted the disparities between the form and substance of the two proposals. A sub-committee of the COR was created (consisting of members Minatodani, Morales and Levinson) to synthesize the two proposals into one document. The sub-committee will circulate the synthesized proposal prior to the February COR meeting.

Chair Wilkens initiated a planning discussion of next monthÕs meeting. The Committee agreed to invite Yaa-Yin Fong, Director of ORS, to attend the February COR meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:00pm.

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