Minutes - Feb 16, 2010

Date of Meeting: 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

11:00am-Noon, 201 Gilmore Hall

Council members Present:

Jordan Cohen, Laura Dallas, John Doershuk, Kenneth Hubel, Bob Kirby, Johna Leddy, George Malanson, Cheryl Reardon, Catherine Ringen, Paul Romitti, Alberto Segre, Michael Wichman


Frank Abboud, Richard Hichwa, Jay Semel, Jim Walker, Derek Willard

George Malanson called the meeting to order at 11:00am.

Approval of the minutes from the January meeting was tabled until the March session.

Agenda Item 1: Determining the List of Research Centers

Options for determining a list of research centers were discussed, including:

  • Survey Deans
  • Survey DEOs
  •  Vary the inventory method depending on the College
  • Trial-run survey with one College
  • Partner with Outreach & Engagement Taskforce
  • Partner with the Research Taskforce

Once recipient lists are finalized, survey would be conducted using an electronic surveying tool.  The initial survey would request that the DEO or Dean identify Centers in their area. A second survey would be sent to the Center Director.

In order to assure a robust response rate, the Council discussed the importance of providing an incentive for respondents. One possibility is posting the list of responding Centers/Institutes/Organized Research Units on the web. Groups who do not participate in the survey would not be included in the census.

Agenda Item 2: Draft of Research Center Questions

The Council discussed criteria for Centers/Institutes/Organized Research Units. Ideas included:

  • Mission of research or scholarly activity (not department, division, seminar)
  • More than 1 faculty member
  • An organized group with staying power – not a passing collaboration
  • Web presence
  • Group formed to draw attention to a specific area of expertise or focus that would not exist without the center’s focus.

Sensitivity to current campus/economic climate is important when developing the message in the survey. The Council discussed the importance of communicating the following messages to faculty, DEOs and Deans:  

  1. The key is to promote Centers. This exercise will help highlight what they do.
  2. In order to focus the University’s strengths and excellence, we must have a better understanding of our current resources and evaluate where our strengths are.
  3. The census will help us locate areas around the University that are not currently connected that could be. This could enable us to map out links between Centers and foster future collaborations.
  4. This inventory will promote opportunities for outreach and publicity for the Centers.
  5. This is a faculty-driven initiative.

A draft of center questions will be circulated over email.