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Manoa Faculty Senate Committee on Research (COR)

Research Committee Meeting Minutes March 14, 2007, 2:30 pm, POST 601

Present: Patricia Donegan, Rosanne Harrigan (SEC Liaison), Michael Jones, Justin Levinson, David Duffy, Michael Garcia, Dore Minatodani, Norma Jean Stodden (recording secretary), Roy Wilkens (Chair), Larry Zane.

Absent: Rodney Morales

The meeting was called to order at 2:30 p.m.

Chair Wilkens asked for update from Duffy on bills moving through legislature (bio-prospecting and coffee bill (still alive with no support from coffee industry).

Wilkens stated the secretary next month will be Pat Donegan.

Wilkens stated that V.P. Gaines office provided the same list of classified contracts: Brian Taylor (GPS operation); Paul Lucey (airborne mine sensors) and Milton Garces (infrasound detection and classification). Wilkens stated that he knew that Taylor (Dean of SOEST) had a classification because of the P-code GPS installed on the UH research vessel. Wilkens reviewed the information that he had received from Lucey and Garces after asking them for the following (the same information requested of PIs by the University of Washington review committee):

Project Title PI Name
Source of Funds
Short Statement of Justification (based on criteria in section C) -

The replies:

(1) "Support to Georgia Tech Hyperspectral Polarization Program" Paul Lucey, PI

Supported by the Army Research Office (ARO) There is a DD254 on this program, which allows us to attend classified meetings, which are relevant to the program goals.

(2) "Technical Support for Airborne Hyperspectral Imager (AHI) Data Collection"

Paul Lucey, PI

Contract from EO-IR/SAIC, but the money comes from somewhere in the Army. This is a Special Access Program (SAP), which has its own DD254. Under this effort we collect hyperspectral data on objects and turn ALL raw data over to the sponsor. These have been once a year ~3 week gigs for past few years.

Both allow access to information otherwise unattainable and help feed us.

(3) Project Title: UH Participation in UM's Advanced Acoustic Sensor Technology Exploitation PI Name: Milton Garces

Source of Funds: Space and Missile Defense Command, through University of Mississippi

Short Statement of Justification (based on criteria in section C): Some of the data and applications may correspond to active war zones where the opposing party may not be aware of the type of intelligence being collected, or may not have the expertise and technology to develop its own countermeasures. Incorrect interpretation of acoustic events of interest may destabilize political situations or trigger unnecessary military action. Through this contract, the University may provide expertise and assets to improve defense capabilities without compromising the safety of personnel or jeopardizing surveillance strategies.

Wilkens reported on a telephone conversation with Bill Bakamis from the University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory (a UARC) about contract restrictions and relations with the Faculty Review Committee. The UWAPL has considered several issues including publication restrictions. Federal contracts through the UARC are procurement actions, not grants, and as such include mandatory clauses on review of publications. APL added a stipulation of 30-45 days for the sponsor to review and if not returned, then the right to publish is assumed by default. Bakamis discussed 2 cases in which the sponsor said "no" to the 30-45 days. In the first case a dialogue with the sponsor resulted in a change and they stated this worked well (problem solved). In the second case the sponsor allowed publication with some of the information removed on "sensors." Bakamis offered the opinion that the UW review process isn't perfect, but worked well. He cited problems with constant rotation of the membership of the committee, which meant that new members often had to be educated in the grant process. Sometimes, particularly in the summer, it was hard to get together a quorum of the committee to review a fast-track project. He felt that sometimes Department of Defense projects were not given as thoughtful a review as those sponsored by other agencies - a prejudice against DoD support. Finally he wished that the university administration was a little more forceful in supporting research that might be unpopular with some segments of campus (specifically the prejudice against DoD funding).

Harrigan raised another point; the government is not the only one to restrict publications. Specific journals were cited as having policies about publications or release of information contained in papers waiting to be published.

Wilkens asked Minatodani to introduce the document on "A Policy on Classified and Proprietary Research" (policy document) from the subcommittee (Levinson, Morales, and Minatodani) to reconcile the policies proposed by M. Jones (Sept. 2006) and Duffy (Jan. 2007). Minatodani stated the subcommittee’s role was to merge the documents and the current document is a result of that effort. Minatodani clarified the subcommittee does not have a position of agreement or disagreement with the document. Their job was to attempt to reconcile differences and not to justify the content.

Wilkens asked if there was consensus on the document, would it go to UHARI. A brief discussion of reaching consensus first and who makes decisions on the document followed.

Wilkens asked Jones to comment on the policy document first. He referred to the third paragraph of the principles section. Discussion focused around academic freedom and "except in circumstances where it has been agreed beforehand that the restriction of access to the resulting information would be detrimental to the University, its faculty, its students, and/or the wider community." Opinions varied on whether or not to include, further define, or eliminate words or parts of sentences. Without a decision the committee focused on another section of the document – Transparency and Review.

Wilkens referred to the first statement, "The University will publish an annual list of all classified and proprietary research projects with brief descriptions of their scopes of activity." He reminded the committee that Jones had attempted to obtain a list of classified research projects unsuccessfully. The lack of UHM transparency in regards to classified research is an issue. Wilkens further stated that a list should be published yearly. Discussion on what would be included on the list (e.g., PI names), risks to PIs, and hysteria without a list, ensued. There was a consensus that a list should be published, but without PI names.

Wilkens focused the committee on the second paragraph on "appoint a committee …" Discussion of this section bounced from point to point. Stodden raised concerns about the committee duplicating the work of existing UHM procedures (ORS review of documents) and complicating the contract process. Harrigan mentioned there are examples of research that did not start out as classified and later changed to classified (e.g., weapons of mass destruction). Minatodani raised issues on the "restriction" line. Wilkens suggested one possibility is to eliminate proprietary research from the "review restrictions" line. The committee discussed publication issues and eliminating propriety research from review. Minatodani raised questions around publications and other restrictions. Discuss moved to examples of restrictions such as US citizenship, export controls, etc.

Further discussion moved to who would serve on the committee. Harrigan mentioned the new Chancellor expressed a commitment to shared governance and perhaps there was a possibility of placing faculty on the UHM Managerial Group which reviews classified research. Since this is a system level entity, this might pose problems. Questions were posed on the need for security clearances for this committee. A copy of Section 5-15, Sections D/E on Research policy was circulated. Discussion moved to looking at "restrictions" throughout the policy document. Minatodani suggested that the policy document needs to be clear and above board. Stodden suggested that our common ground was the concern for how the rapidly changing world is impacting universities and researchers and there needs to be a group to look at and help educate the university community on developing issues. The focus on line items in classified contracts may not provide the whole picture. Duffy mentioned that there are many issues arising outside of classified research, such as pharmacology, that are worthy of review.

Wilkens suggested the committee made progress and adjourned the meeting at 4 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by, Norma Jean Stodden


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