Transcript Senate Meeting
May 1, 2012
Ann Beth Presley, chair: I’d like to call the meeting to order. Good afternoon, I’m Ann Beth Presley, chair of the University Senate. Welcome to the May Senate meeting. I’d like everybody to get a clicker and click in to make sure that we have a quorum.
Please do it again. We have a quorum. A short review of the rules of the Senate, senators and substitutes for senators please sign in in the back and get a clicker so that you can vote. If you’d like to speak about an issue go to the microphone and state your name, indicate if you are a senator and state what unit you represent. The rules of the senate require that senators be allowed to speak first, after all comments by senators on an issue are made, guests are welcome to speak.
I now invite Dr. Gogue to come forward to present the president’s remarks. [2:42]
Dr. Gogue, president: Thank you, it is good to be with you today. I wanted to share with you a few items. Number one, Chris Roberts was named the dean of engineering and will start on July 1.
Second, we’re in the final stages of the Provost search, we have two candidates, one interviewed last week and one interviewed earlier this week. We are meeting with the search and screen committee on May 8, so we will keep you informed on what we are doing.
The third item I wanted to mention was over the last couple of years faculty and administrators have mentioned the issue and the concern with international graduate students that come to Auburn and have difficulty finding housing. They move into apartments and they have to move in later than registration dates as I recall. So I give a lot of credit to Don and his people, they went out with RFPs in the community and actually we now have a number of rooms that the university is committed to pay for, assuming that graduate students come in and take those rooms. It’s a trial phase this year. If it works we will expand the number of rooms in the future.
We had a Board of Trustees meeting a couple of weeks ago. There was a 3- or 4-hour financial workshop with the Board. That went well. At the Board meeting we had seven areas that relate to the academics of the university that were on the agenda. All seven items were approved. One action that I’m sure you’ve read about, tuition increase was 8%.
The final thing I’ll mention is from looking at my schedule we have 6 graduations coming up here in the next few days, two on Sunday, two on Monday, and two on Tuesday. I just want to invite you if that’s not enough AUM has two that following Saturday, so we’d love to have you there. I’ll stop and just say thank you for a great year. I’d be happy to respond to questions. [4:57]
Ann Beth Presley, chair: Thank you Dr. Gogue. I’m sure you’re excited about getting dressed up for all of those.
Again a few reminders about the Senate, all senators whether ex-officio or not have a vote and should attend every Senate meeting, If you cannot attend please send a substitute who is not a sitting senator and the substitute has full voting rights. Each senator or substitute senator should already signed in and picked up a clicker to vote. Just a reminder that there is a June 5 Senate meeting, nominees for committees will be voted upon in June. Please arrange for a substitute if you canntot attend that meeting. There will not be a July meeting and the August meeting will be held after classes begin.
The first action item is on Phase II of the Faculty Handbook and will be introduced by Sue Barry, chair of the Faculty Handbook Committee. [6:06]
Sue Barry, chair of the Faculty Handbook Review Committee: First of all we wanted to thank everybody that participated in our survey. We got lots of comments, you can see most of the comments came in early on from the third to the seventh, then it was pretty flat except for a little bounce on the eleventh and then it went down to zero. It looked like there was plenty of time for everybody to comment on the Phase II Handbook that was posted.
We want to say that actually there were pretty many comments posted. There were some comments that will really apply to Phase III because they would have changed the Handbook. So we looked at those very carefully and if it doesn’t appear in what we are talking about today it’s probably because it’s more appropriate for Phase III. Thank you very much they were all very thoughtful.
I think this is on the agenda and you could have seen all of this prior to the meeting. You will note that 2 and 3 refer to changes that were made because the Senate voted on policies since January. One of those, the first one, relating to the deans and the department heads was just voted on April 3 and the one on clarifying the instructor ineligibility for de facto tenure was done on January 5, I think, and those were not there previously, so we put those in.
As you will also note at the top there was a slight change in some wording that had to do with…this was posted so you should have seen all of this…and that was taken care of do to also I think comments. All of the rest of the comments had to do with editing, so 4–12 are just simple edits. There was some formatting that we would like to do later so that is more accessible, a little bit easier to get through the document, but we didn’t have time to do that a this point so we will do that in Phase III. Hopefully it will be a little bit easier to see what you need to see. That’s all that I have to say.
Ann Beth Presley, chair: Are there any questions or comments? [9:10]
Mike Stern, senator, economics: There was an e-mail sent out Friday night saying that there were
Ann Beth Presley, chair: Just a second Michael, I have to listen to my parliamentarian. [9:37]
Sue Barry, chair of the Faculty Handbook Review Committee: This is a motion to adopt the revised posted document (Auburn University Facutly Handbook, April 27, 2012) as the official handbook of the Auburn Faculty, replacing the May 10, 2011 Handbook now in effect.
Ann Beth Presley, chair: This motion is coming from a committee and does not require a second. Now are there any questions?
Mike Stern, senator, economics: There was an e-mail sent out after hours on Friday by the secretary of the Board indicating that we were modify or doing something to all the P&T policies in this document as opposed to what we’d done previously. That’s fine but I thought that we were doing that in Phase III. What we said last time was that Phase I had no policy changes, Phase II had no policy changes, that was the title of the slides that were provided as information items so, not that I don’t mind visiting the P&T policies, but those are of particular interest to faculty and I have not had time to review them or discuss them with all my faculty. I see the first item there is making a change also to one of those policies and whatnot. So if we are going to change those, cause I thought we were going to do those in Phase III, I would like some time to review them carefully and discuss them and get feedback from my faculty, because I was not aware that we were going to do P&T policy now, previously. [11:43] So I would like to make a motion to separate Chapter 3 and delay it’s consideration from the overall handbook.
Ann Beth Presley, chair: The motion is not in order at this time, but I think there is another answer coming.
Claire Crutchley, immediate past chair, not a senator from the department of finance: Michael brought this to our attention that we had perhaps misled the Senate. So I went back to all of our minutes of all of our Senate meetings and found in the minutes from May we clearly said, that the promotion and tenure policy that we voted on would be put into the Handbook. There were no comments on this it said, Bill Sauser said this: “we are going to forward that back through faculty leadership and the Provost’s Office and the President who will make a decision about taking them to the Board of Trustees. At that point then they would be adopted. So I just wanted to let you know that…” So Bill mentioned P&T documents and last month in response to a question I believe from Dr. Stern.
“You might also recall that last year we were also in the process of making some real changes in the promotion and tenure policy… Those have also been incorporated in this latest version. So this new version adds to it things that were passed by the Senate last time.”
So these were brought up both back in May (2011) and also last month. We were worried that we hadn’t been clear but I believe we were.
Ann Beth Presley, chair: Thank you Claire.
Mike Stern, senator, economics: Let me respond. Would you like to put up the slide show that was presented last time to the Senate that states what we did in Phase I and Phase II.
Ann Beth Presley, chair: Excuse me, Ruth Crocker stepped up to the mike first.
Mike Stern, senator, economics: Okay, go ahead.
Ruth Crocker, senator, History: I suggested not obviously a change in P&T policies but in improvement to clarify the language of the document that we saw just now. Thank you, you’ve put it up, I sent this in. The present first small paragraph is apparently what we did vote on, so I’ll read it very quickly.
“For tenure, the candidate must demonstrate quality and potential to contribute as a productive and collegial member of the academic unit in all relevant areas.”
So I suggested to clarify this: “For tenure, the candidate must demonstrate that he/she contributes as a productive and collegial member of the academic unit in all relevant areas.”
My rationale for that is that “potential” is a real snake pit. I think it’s…
Ann Beth Presley, chair: Is this offered as an amendment?
Ruth Crocker, senator, History: Yes a friendly amendment. Potential is something really hard to judge. I would like in the suggested language it uses only what the person has done and what they are doing. It doesn’t speculate, I think “potential” you get into the realm of speculating about the future and therefore as I wrote here, “potential” gets us into what we think the candidate will or might perform in the future. This opens the decision making to guesswork, and therefore bias.
Ann Beth Presley, chair: This doesn’t come from a committee so it requires a second. Do I hear a second? Yes.
Now we are voting strictly on this amendment.
Mike Stern, senator, economics: May we comment on that?
Ann Beth Presley, chair: Yes.
Mike Stern, senator, economics: Could you put up the full text of that section 9 that we are supposedly voting on? Because there are multiple statements about this in that section. You can’t change one.
Ann Beth Presley, chair: It’s not relevant to the motion.
Mike Stern, senator, economics: The sentence appears twice in the same paragraph.
Ann Beth Presley, chair: It’s not relevant to the motion.
Mike Stern, senator, economics: Well, which sentence are we changing? Because it appears twice in the section. Are we changing the first one or the second one?
Ann Beth Presley, chair: Ruth?
Mike Stern, senator, economics: Do you want to change the sentence at the end or do you want to change the clause earlier in the same section?
Ann Beth Presley, chair: Ruth has clarified what needs to be changed. We have a second, we have a vote on the floor. We will vote on the amendment. So let’s proceed. All those in favor press A, all those opposed press B. A=37, B=11.
James Goldstein, senator, English: I actually have 3 amendments to propose to the document. I don’t know whether you want me to introduce them all at once, or get at the end of the line for each one.
Ann Beth Presley, chair: You can do them one by one.
James Goldstein, senator, English: I’ve prepared a brief statement to go along with motion #1 to amend.
The Senate resolution for September 2009 that authorized the Lecturer/Senior Lecturer title series specifies that the purpose of these positions is the “need to provide term appointments to instructional faculty that accommodate a major undergraduate credit load.” However that mandate has been exceeded in ways that should be of concern to the Senate. The proposed Phase II changes to the Faculty Handbook include making lecturers eligible for membership in the graduate faculty. In the past the administration has repeatedly assured this body that lecturers were not intended to replace tenure-track faculty, but I can think of no better proof that lecturers will replace lines needed for tenure-track faculty then by allowing them to teach graduate courses and even to direct theses and dissertations. What is most disturbing to me about this development is that lecturers work assignments are primarily instructional and are not supposed to include research in their workload. I seriously doubt that the Senate would have passed the original resolution if it had been clear that lecturers could end up teaching PhD level courses and directing dissertations.
So I therefore move that the following paragraph on page 60 be struck from the document. And the mention of graduate faculty is confined to this one paragraph. So if we get rid of the paragraph that will remove the possibility of lecturers becoming graduate faculty members.
Ann Beth Presley, chair: All right, this doesn’t come from a committee so it requires a second. Okay (we have a second), discussion? No discussion so we’ll vote.
All those in favor press A, all opposed press B. This is just on this amendment. A=38, B=11 Motion passes. [20:44]
Your second one.
James Goldstein, senator, English: Oh, I’ve still got the floor, okay. I’ll go ahead and do both of them and then we can vote separately on them.
My second point is that I found in the Phase II Handbook something that I hadn’t seen before which explain that lecturers need to undergo third year review. I would challenge the need for lecturers to undergo third year review since their annual reviews are already required to evaluate progress towards promotion to senior lecturer. Third year reviews are necessary for tenure-track faculty because they have a tenure clock. Since there is no tenure for lecturers, there is no clock that requires an extra effort at evaluating progress towards promotion during the third year.
I therefore move that the following paragraph on page 58 be struck from the document. And that contains the reference to third year reviews for lecturers.
I’ll go ahead before we vote and introduce my third motion.
Ann Beth Presley, chair: All right, this doesn’t come from a committee so it requires a second. All right, we’ll be voting on strictly this amendment. A for yes and B for no.
James Goldstein, senator, English: Is there call for discussion first in case anyone …
Ann Beth Presley, chair: Yes, sorry. Let’s strike the vote. Need for discussion. Any discussion on this? Okay we will go ahead and vote. A=34, B=17 Motion passes. [23:03] Third amendment?
James Goldstein, senator, English: This is my last one and I promise to sit down.
I move that the following sentence on page 59 be struck from the document. “The expectation of continuous employment provides the guarantee needed to ensure academic freedom.”
My comment is that this sentence identifies a fictitious guarantee. Stock analysts have expectations about the performance of the stocks, but those expectations are not a guarantee of the stocks performance. Not only is it a fictitious guarantee but it’s in conflict, an obvious conflict, with the sentence on page 57 that says that “the appointments of lecturers are not tenureable and are made on an annual basis with no right or expectation of employment beyond the period specified in the letter of appointment.” So they are in conflict. In the experience of the AAUP the only guarantee of full academic freedom is tenure and the due process of right that it includes.
Ann Beth Presley, chair: All right, this doesn’t come from a committee so it requires a second. A second. Any discussion? All right, A for yes and B for no. A=42, B=3. The motion passes. All three amendments pass.
The floor is open for discussion on the amended document.
Mike Stern, senator, economics: A point of clarity before we vote on this, what does section as amended…what does the tenure section from Chapter 3 now look like? Can I see the text of what we are voting on for that section? [26:02]
(technician Looking for it)
Ann Beth Presley, chair: Are you wanting it from the Handbook?
Mike Stern, senator, economics: I just want to be clear since we changed it here what it will read?
I think it’s Chapter 3 section 6.2
Ann Beth Presley, chair: that was struck from the document…because of the lecture title series being in there.
Mike Stern, senator, economics: Not lecturers, it should be the tenure criteria, 6.2 in Chapter 3 under the new numbering…
(trouble finding the correct page. Lots of discussion back and forth, not really relevant)
Okay, the middle of the paragraph says, “the candidate for tenure must also demonstrate potential to contribute as a productive and collegial member of the academic unit in all relevant areas.” The last sentence says, “for tenure, the candidate must demonstrate quality and potential to contribute as a product and collegial member of the academic unit in all relevant areas.” But we have the same clause the difference being the word quality. If we are going to repeat ourselves is it going to be consistent between the middle of that paragraph and the end? Because the middle says, “the candidate for tenure must also demonstrate potential to contribute as a productive and collegial member of the academic unit in all relevant areas.” And then down below it has to be quality…
Ann Beth Presley, chair: Are you offering a motion?
Mike Stern, senator, economics: Well was that her (Ruth Crocker) intent to change both of the sentences or just the last one? I mean…
Ruth Crocker, senator, History: It says an identical text you found in this section 6.2 and the Senate just voted quite considerably for the amendment to the other identical passage then maybe it would be, I don’t know the procedure here, but it would be sensible to obviously make it uniform.
Ann Beth Presley, chair: Are you offering a motion? To delete it?
Mike Stern, senator, economics: It’s her…
Ann Beth Presley, chair: No, not at this point.
Mike Stern, senator, economics: If she wants to it’s fine. I’m not, I just wanted to make sure we know how it going to read before we vote on it. You answered my question, but it’s not my text change, as I oppose the sentence period, so…
Ruth Crocker, senator, History: I’ve lost sight of the procedure here, but if I am allowed to I would like an amendment to make that text uniform with the clause or the sentences that was just voted on ten minutes ago.
Ann Beth Presley, chair: Do we have a second? All right, any discussion? Could you restate that please? I can’t restate it, okay to make both things uniform, to what was previously voted on. That’s what we are voting on now. All those in favor press A, all those opposed, B. A=43, B=1. The motion passes. Now it’s uniform. Now we can vote on the amended document, is there any discussion on the amended document?
It comes from a committee so it does not require a second. All those in favor of the document press A, all those opposed, B. A=42, B=6. The motion passes.
Speaking of approval, we need to approve the minutes of the past meeting. Does anyone have any corrections to the minutes? The minutes are passed for the meeting of April 3.
The first information item is from the Library Committee, brought by Wesley Lindsey.
Wesley Lindsey, chair of Senate Library Committee: Thank you very much, proud to be here in front of you today to represent the Senate Library Committee. [33:58] So it is sort of in the tradition of the committee each year that we take on one major project and we work with the Library staff. Last year when Bob Kemppainen for Vet Med was the chair of the committee he created a sense through the Senate and a resolution etc. that got some existing and continuing funding for the Library as some of their temporary funds that were running out, last year’s project. So this year’s project we decided to take on was to survey the faculty to see, are we meeting the needs of faculty, are there areas that we can improve, are there areas that we are doing well, and then to take this information and apply it to some future projects. I’ll have that at the very end of the powerpoint.
First of all I want to thank the members of the committee for engaging in the discussion, creating the survey, contributing questions and reviewing it as well. As well as Marcia Boosinger and Michael Zekoff who are, and the library, they are the ones that constructed the survey and qualtricks and analyzed the data and presented it at our spring meeting.
Just an overview of some of the results. Some additional data if you would like it. It’s a fantastic pdf and we’ll be happy to send it to you, just let me know, but just to hit some of the highlights and demographic information, I’ve been at Auburn at… and you can see the distribution there of how long folks have been at Auburn that responded to our survey. [35:20] A little bit of background; we got 71 responses on approximately 1,200 surveys sent out. So we had roughly a 25% response rate, and I’m sure every senator in here filled out your survey as leadership in your department because I know that you did that for us. Anyway, you can see how long the folks have been at Auburn and you can see where their home departments are located. Not surprisingly, larger departments had larger total numbers.
So the resource most recently used from the library, not surprisingly, articles, databases, ejournals, but something that was a little surprising was how many faculty are actually using the physical spaces in the Library and referencing or using the print books. So that’s something we need to know, to know that faculty actually are coming in the doors and using the physical spaces and using the physical resources that are still there.
The portion of the research process that was most difficult that was responded to was information overload, keeping up with technology, keeping track of articles, coming up with ideas, and another one that got quite a few responses was time management.
So later on when we talk about making an orientation or reorientation of faculty to library resources, that can be an area of emphasis is using a reference librarian to keep you up to date on what’s going on to finding information and making some of that information, the weeding process a little more efficient for you.
Staying in touch with my current field, you could answer any of the answer choices which was there’s so many responses to each of those boxes. You can see attending conferences, communicating, professional mail lists, books and journals etc.–all of those high on how people stay in touch with information in their field.
Again just touching on some of the major highlights of which services are most important, you can see book collections, ejournals, online catalog, and interlibrary loan are some of the services that faculty feel are most important for them and that they are using with the most frequency.
Just a little about the library staff and their utility, they make a substantial contribution as you can see keeping current and finding information, being more productive researcher, being a better instructor and providing outreach in your various fields.
Here’s where you think the libraries’ greatest strength is: elecronic access, physical collections, staff, document delivery, and facilities got a few votes in there as well. If I could change on thing: more ejournals, more databases.
So I think one of the fair statements to take away from this that we worked out with the library staff would be it seems like we are able to meet most of the needs of the university if we’re not necessarily able to supply all of their wants. So we are at least meeting the basis needs of what our faculty would like for the library and for those resources to be able to provide.
Looking forward: obviously we’d like more e-access to journals and databases, books, etc. One of those challenges is that every different publisher has a different access pricing, concurrent user model etc. so there is a lot of things that library staff has to juggle, but I think that they do a fantastic job of that.
Impressions of the coverage of ejournals through the Libraries, most people responded at least average, so again, going back to that statement; maybe we are meeting all of needs if not necessarily supplying all of the wants of the faculty of the university. This is one question that had a particular purpose, orientation for new faculty or reorientation for existing faculty the vast majority of folks felt that might be a useful exercise to undertake to get faculty more in tough with what resources are available to them and making it more effective in their research and scholarship.
So as I said the Library Committee likes to take on one project each year. If you’ve been to the library recently you’ll see that they did the student survey a couple of years ago and they are making a lot of changes in their physical space and services in response to that survey. So we would like to do the same to meet the needs of faculty. So an additional project that we thought about is to take the information from the survey which has a little bit more detail and create an orientation or reorientation package for new and existing faculty, again to remind them of what the library can offer them and maybe get them back in tough with their reference librarians and the specialty staff and make them more effective in their job, and make it a little easier for them.
Another item that came up, Steering is also, it may not necessarily come through the Senate committee but also to do a survey of the graduate students next. So we did the undergraduate students, we’ve done the faculty, and then the next group that might get the attention of the library staff are going to be the graduate students.
I’ll be happy to take any questions about the survey, the library services and what the committee has been up to. [40:22]
Rusty Wright, senator, Fisheries: I run into some problems with our ejournals that seems like the publisher changes on almost an annual basis the access to that. How does our library deal with these publishers? Do we have someone who is a liaison with (them) per subject matter or is it general because it affects me because of a particular journal. Every year I have to go and send the same e-mail, they are not letting us in again. So how is that structured with our library?
Wesley Lindsey, chair of Library Committee: That’s a good question. I don’t have the exact answer, Marcia I am going to sheepishly going to punt that to you if you don’t mind. You could shed a little more light onto the senator’s question.
Paula Sullenger, head of electronic resources and serials, not a senator: You can always call me and yes there are two or three publishers each year that somehow don’t recognize that we have paid them. It’s an argument, the same two or three every year. I try to keep ahead. Sometimes it’s the publisher, sometimes it’s us, sometimes computer glitches. You can always let your liaison know or let me know directly and we’ll check with them. [42:31]
Wesley Lindsey, chair of Library Committee: Any other questions, comments?
Ann Beth Presley, chair: Our next presenter is Carl Pinkert, associate VP for Research, he is going to talk about Research week and Intramural Grant Program. [42:47]
Carl Pinkert, Associate VP for Research: We appreciate the invitation from Ann Beth and from Larry to say a few words about these two activities and the Office for the Vice President for Research. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say John Mason sends his regrets for not being here. he is newly elected chair of the Alabama Ebsco Steering committee, they had a calendar meeting that was up in Birmingham that had been done prior to his election and so he was unable to join us today. I want to cover these two areas.
I’m just curious if I could get a show of hands, how many people participated in Research Week that we recently had? Fantastic. [43:30]
That’s the really great news of the event, we had a group that got together that spent probably close to two years in various aspects in what ultimately became Research Week 2012. I’m excited because we got faculty, students, and a host of constituencies here on campus, both from AU and AUM to participate in the event. I don’t want to reiterate the points that Provost Boosinger made at the last meeting, but we considered it a major success. Yes, there were a few hiccups along the way but over all we met our major objectives and some of the things that some folks earlier on said that we were biting off more than we could chew, the accolades go to Paula Bobrowski and the team that came together that brought us Research Week.
We had a lot of folks participating. We were able to showcase a lot of activities and when we talk about interdisciplinary work and the various opportunities that are on campus, the poster sessions did a phenomenal job of bringing folks together. We also had folks from outside Auburn University particularly with our Research Advisory Board and it was really well received.
That said, planning for Research Week 2013 now. We have the general idea of when it’s going to be held in the first week of April. Dr. Bobrowski has again graciously re-upped for another year as far a leadership. The arm twisting really wasn’t too bad and we’re really appreciative of her efforts.
We know that communications and methods communicate various activities in how we are bringing the whole program together will be a priority for 2013. There were a number of glitches in particular in getting words out about different programs along the way, we know we can do better. We are visiting with all of the various constituencies. We’ve talked about doing post-mortem analysis, if you will, I think that’s from the pathobiology side of the house for how we can make things better. How we can go ahead and build on the successful opportunities in bringing students and faculty together.
We are also going to try using Research Week 2013 as a recruiting tool. We are looking at HCBUs, black colleges and universities as well as various high school related programs and students that were really trying to recruit to Auburn University in addition to other folks that might be brought in under the umbrella of Research Week to see all that is Auburn University research.
We are also looking at other types of sponsorships. We had a number of major sponsors that stepped up this past year to help defray some of the cost, but clearly this endeavor does get expensive. We had a number of different groups participating in the financial aspects of this program, but we are looking at possibly adding, I won’t call it a trade show, but an opportunity for various vendors to talk about things that would be of interest to Auburn faculty and students for 2013. We’re going to see if we can’t meld that into the overall program as something that will add venue for a host of folks that have interest in where Auburn University is headed.
The other area I was supposed to touch on briefly was the Auburn University Intramural Grants Program. As most of you know we are just about to start our third year of the program. We really took a number of funding opportunities within the office of the vice president for research of which in any calendar year, at most we are talking about 280,000 dollars a year, in some cases disciplinary specific opportunities making the monies that we had available to all faculty across the entire campus.
We talked about specific research initiative in the areas that we really thought we had the greatest opportunity to build teams to bring various program activities and funding streams into Auburn University. [48:23] But at the same time we wanted to build teams we didn’t want to leave any discipline specific or individual faculty member’s interest aside and not have opportunities for every faculty member on this campus. So we talk about 5 possibly 6 major initiatives on campus. The Gulf of Mexico initiative would be the sixth one here really falls under the broader Energy & Environment umbrella. These were our key areas where we planned on putting about 50% of the money that we had available to use based on the proposals that were submitted. I will tell you that the majority of faculty members were able to point to various aspects of these target areas in the proposals that were provided.
The reviews, as you all know, were conducted principally by the Competitive Research Grants committee of the University Senate and what we tried to do was really provide resources for both funding streams and developing scholarly activities across all disciplines on this campus. So we had a number of areas, and it wasn’t just the money, but at the end of the day for the larger grant opportunities here there had to be some sort of expectation of leveraging what resources we had here to keep these programs moving forward.
We had 4 different levels ranging from individual one-off opportunities including travel related interests faculty members might have and level 1 opportunities all the way to large-scale interdisciplinary research seed projects and equipment proposals. For 2012–2013 we will increase the level 1 opportunity a bit based on some of the suggestions that came in following this year’s reviews.
As President Gogue mentioned a while back, there were a couple of numbers that were thrown out there as far as how much money we put into this program, as I mentioned earlier, prior to John Mason’s arrival the most in a calendar year that was ever provided by our office was about 280 thousand. In the 2010–2011 program was 3.1 million dollars, this past year was about 2 million dollars. For 2012–2013 we are trying to maintain that level. Again when we start looking at the various costs we’re responsible for in addition to the Intramural Grants Program, start up costs and cost performance, some of which are really escalating this year, we are doing our best to maintain all these programs as best we can.
The point, it’s come up a number of times and I know I’m reiterating this one, this has been designed to be inclusive across all colleges and schools. Some cases in the past it was specific to individual colleges and others were left out of the fold, but when we look at the various areas and we’re talking basic, applied, translational, outreach, policy related activities there has to be something in there for everybody. We had a couple of concerns in the first year of this program where some colleges felt that they didn’t have the same opportunities along the way. We talked about the specific examples with those departments when John Mason and I met with them. There are opportunities that are here and again we will meet with anybody to try to help really jump start and add to the visibility programs on our campus. [51:44]
If I look at the one part that’s highlighted, in the orange area under level one and level two proposals in particular, what we’ve highlighted is that concerns for summer salary effort weren’t fully identified or available for faculty members and that was a stumbling block or blockade forcing people to say “I can’t really work in this way.” Well working with the Provost’s Office, there are two areas where funds are available. Again you are looking at two applications along the way here, but salary related funds can be identified in concert with the program that we have right now. Again for any faculty member or any department where that becomes a concern, that’s something we want to help with and we’re definitely willing to talk about how these things can come together.
The other thing about level one and level two awards, one college in particular brought up the point again that this is all about the funding streams. We say that extramural support is an important feature for various proposals, but if a faculty member can identify how an award will result in furthering their research and scholarship missions of Auburn University, their college, their school, and their department and raise the visibility of their program, that’s fair game and if you take a look at the awards that were provided the last two years; we had faculty members traveling to collect data to do research, to visit various programs, to bring their graduate students along the way. We have a wealth of opportunities that we’re willing to fund with this mechanism.
The call is actually online this morning. Our original target date was May 1 and we actually made our original deadline. We will have an additional workshop. We had a workshop during Research Week. In all honesty we expected a large turnout based on early interests, this was a communication issue again. The turnout was not what we expected, but we will have another workshop to address all interests after the start of fall semester.
We’ve modified the dates. The application due date will be November 1, 2012. One of the concerns that Competitive Research Grants Committee as well as the Faculty Research Committee of the University Senate raised was you have new faculty and new people coming on in the fall, folks on 9-month appointments, the timeline at the beginning of fall semester isn’t as fair as it could be, how can you go ahead move these dates around still get the reviews done in a reasonable amount of time without undue burden to the reviewers on these grant proposals and still get the money funded for folks by spring, hopefully February 1 of 2013. [54:44] That’s what our target is. The application date will be November 1. We will have that workshop in advance of the due date with enough time for people to take the information in. From an anecdotal standpoint, for those folks that did come to the workshop or worked with their associate dean for research, or came to our office, their success rate was far higher than those folks that just winged it at the last minute. So we are asking people to try to plan in advance, if this is something that will be worthwhile or of interest to you we really want to try to help.
The information is on our research Web site (fp.auburn.edu/vpr/iga/igp/default.aspx). I believe this will be posted as well with the University Senate meeting minutes, but again you can go right to our Web site and go through two links to get there or the bottom line, I know it’s hard to find but it is there.
So in summary, level one and level two grants can be very broad and be used for faculty to really do a host of activities. It’s not just a given research project, but we can be talking about travel about travel for faculty and students, all types of support to help research and creative scholarship within anybody’s program on campus. Faculty Research Committee and the Competitive Research Grants Committees of the University Senate are intimately involved in all phases of this program from the original drafting of what was being put together to actually going all the way through to review and identifying those meritorious proposals.
And after this year we are going to work with both the Faculty Research Committee of the Senate and the Associate Deans for Research to review the impact that we’ve had by this program and how we are best utilizing leveraging the funds that we have available to us right now. Again we only have one year of data in hand telling us a little bit about the scholarship that faculty members with those first year awards have been able to achieve and we want to see if we can actually demonstrate that we have deliverables and expectations that are being met and the faculty is being served more than adequately.
That’s what I have if there are questions or concerns I am happy to address them now or any time between now and November 1. Thank you. [57:10]
Ann Beth Presley, chair: Thank you Carl. Is there any new business?
Martha Taylor, assistant vice president for research: I respectfully request an opportunity to bring forward an item of new business related to conflict of interest. I believe we have a copy of the draft policy for your review. I don’t expect anybody to go through it at this moment and I know that time is short but I will try to be brief.
In February of 2009, the University Senate looked at revising the Conflict of Interest and Consulting Policies. There was a decision made at that time that we probably should have a separate Conflict of Interest Policy that was removed from the Consulting Policy.
At the February 16, 2010 Specially called Faculty meeting, this particular policy was presented and according to the minutes there were no comments at that time. However at about the same time as this was presented the Public Health Service of the Federal government decided to revise their policies and procedures on Conflict of Interest that had been in place since 1995. Those policies and procedures and regulations were finalized last August and there was a lot of discussion after they were finalized because they increased in some people’s minds substantially the burden on institution to monitor Conflict of Interest.
So what we’ve attempted to do is take the policy that was presented back in 2010 and modify it to include those regulatory requirements for the Public Health Service that we have to have in a policy statement. So I would just like to present that for the Senate’s consideration and possibly voting and implementation at the next meeting.
Ann Beth Presley, chair: An information item at this meeting and voting at next meeting.
Martha Taylor, assistant vice president for research: There’s a requirement that we have a policy in place August 24, 2012 to address the PHS regulations. If anybody has any other questions for me at any time, I’ll be happy to respond.
Ann Beth Presley, chair: All right, we’ll send that out with the agenda if you could send it to Larry.
Martha Taylor, assistant vice president for research: I will do that, thank you.
Ann Beth Presley, chair: We will post that as well.
Is there any old business?
Thank you, this meeting in adjourned. Be sure to drop your clicker off on your way out.