Research Infrastructure Committee

Minutes of Meeting, 2/16/17

Research Infrastructure & Faculty Support Committee Meeting

Thursday, February 16, 2017

9:00 – 10:00 am, WAN 402

Co-Chairs: M Nugent & S Puryear


Committee Member



Nugent, Matthew


Puryear, Susan


Duffy, Mignon


Hamelin, Terri


Hart, George


Karim, Khondkar


Kaushik, Rajnish


Lu, Chung-Dar


Major, Elaine


Morgan, Brent


Sherwood, Jim


Tith, Michael


Uy, Phitsamay


I.     New Member – Michael Tith

Michael Tith, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, has joined the RIFS Committee.


II.     Co-Chairs meeting in January with A Maglia & A Harris


M Nugent and S Puryear met with the Pillar III Co-Chairs to request the addition of a committee member from UA, and to discuss directives for the committee, which were discussed in more detail at the Pillar III co-chairs meeting in late January.


III.     Pillar III co-chairs meeting in January


a.     Updates to Pillar III Strategic Priorities

Our committee’s suggested changes to the strategic priorities language were presented at the quarterly Pillar III co-chairs meeting in late January.  Some additional edits that came out of the Pillar III meeting were shared at today’s RIFS meeting.  A Maglia and A Harris have brought all suggested changes to the larger commission. 


b.     Charge moving forward


At the quarterly Pillar III meeting all subcommittees were charged with identifying “challenges” relevant to their area that they will define and explore, coming up with creative ideas and solutions to address said challenges, as well as an implementation plan for said solutions.  Co-Chairs will come to the quarterly meetings with their committee’s progress for discussion to ensure alignment of the work with the other committees within the Pillar, as well as that of the commission.


IV.     Discussion of challenge(s) for committee focus


a.     Discussion of departmental/college level research administration support

There was extensive conversation about whether there is a need for decentralized research administration type support at the department and/or college level.  This discussion addressed the potential benefits of this type of support, questions as to whether and how this support is already happening around the campus and how could this type of support be funded, and would such an initiative be sufficiently leveraging our existing resources at the university.

b.     Other challenges


In addition, there was discussion about what are/should be the roles and responsibilities of senior level faculty in supporting junior level faculty in learning how to navigate the processes of obtaining and managing research support.  Also the question of faculty time for research and scholarship was also discussed briefly as one of the challenges facing faculty.

c.     Town Hall & Surveys (May 2017)


The committee is interested in doing two Town Hall type meetings to share some of the experiences of faculty, departments, and colleges with utilizing staff support for their research activities (such as administration type support) and to discuss research infrastructure support needs and experiences of faculty generally.  Surveys could be distributed at the Town Hall meetings to capture information from participants who do not speak at the meetings.


V.     Meeting schedule


The committee agreed to monthly meetings over the next three months (March, April, May) for 1.5 hours/meeting.



VI.     Action items


·     S Puryear will follow up with FAHSS (A Harris and R Toof) to get information on the survey they recently conducted with their faculty.

·     S Puryear will work to have upcoming meetings scheduled.

·     M Nugent will begin contacting individuals, such as Associate Deans of Research, who could potentially participate in the Town Hall meetings.

·     Dates and rooms should be booked ASAP for Town Hall Meetings given the time of year.