FACULTY SENATE MEETING
April 1, 1998
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - I'll call the meeting to order
- We don't have a quorum?
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - There is a quorum call.
- April Fool?
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - Will the senators please raise their hands? 46
- How many do we need?
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - More than that. 47. How many do we need? You can all count for yourself. All the senators are listed in the back of the agenda. We will have another one in a few seconds. All the senators are listed in the attendance sheets and we can decide how many we need. We have 137 senators. That means we need 68 [sic;69] Is there anybody out there from the Regional Campuses? Will the senators from the Regional Campuses please check in? If you have to leave to go to another room, do so. If any senators want to leave to call their colleagues you are welcome to do so.
PROFESSOR RICHARD CONANT - MUSC - I move that we move ahead with these reports although we may not be able to pass them.
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - There has been a motion to receive reports- there has been a suggestion that we receive reports and information although we cannot take any action without a quorum. We can't approve the minutes, but I can give you a report.
During the Faculty Advisory Committee meeting on March 26, 1998, concerns were raised with the UCTP ballot nominations. It was then observed by the chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee that she had not received any notice that the nominations were being made.
The Faculty Manual on page 26 states that the nominating committee consists of the elected members of the UCTP who are rotating off that particular year, members of the Faculty Advisory Committee and the Faculty Welfare Committee. A total membership of the Nominating Committee is twenty that is six from each of Advisory, Welfare and eight from UCTP. A quorum of that committee would be 11.
I checked with the Chair of the Faculty Welfare Committee on the morning of March 27th, and he stated he had never received notice of a meeting of the UCTP Nominating Committee. I called the Senate Office and instructed the staff to cease counting the ballots.
I then called the Chair of the UCTP and left a voice message that, under the circumstances as I then knew them, I was inclined to cancel the ballot as being improperly nominated for lack of a quorum to do business. Because even if all 8 of the UCTP members eligible for that committee has participated there would still be 3 short of a quorum. On the morning of March 30th, I received a voice mail message that was left late on the afternoon of the 27th from the chair of the UCTP concurring in my inclination and stating that he was attempting to convene a proper nominating committee at 4:00 p.m. in March 30th. I then e-mailed the Faculty Advisory Committee, the Faculty Welfare Committee and the Faculty Senate Steering Committee informing them of my decision to cancel the circulated ballot. (Incidentally, the Provost's Office independently called me later Monday morning and suggested that I cancel the ballot.) The Nominating Committee met on Monday and we will soon issue a new ballot for your consideration.
I hope that those of you who, like myself, actually filled out the first ballot will not feel inconvenienced having to vote again. It is crucial that the UCTP like all committees be unimpeachably constituted. Having improperly elected members on a committee would cast the whole processes into question and by the way it would probably make a lawyer salivate.
We, as a faculty, have been given governance responsibilities and it is incumbent upon us to discharge them with diligence according to form. If we do not, we could cause major embarrassment for the University and give ammunition to those who would assault our traditions and curtail our historic rights.
You will get your ballot shortly.
I. Reports of Officers.
PRESIDENT JOHN M. PALMS:
Thank you very much. It is regrettable to me that there is not a quorum here at this time but, hopefully, additional people will be coming. It has been a couple of weeks of good news and mixed news. The good news is obviously the campaign is going well. At least we have one college to set a good example with that $25 million gift, and we are looking now for the other colleges to be equally well-endowed. I think one of the most interesting things that happened with that gift is someone calling and saying they were very good friends of Darla Moore and also wanted to give a gift. I said how much is that and they said "$1 million dollars." I said, well, call your friends quick and continue to do that.
Other good news is that we have at this time of the year acknowledgement of the accomplishments of our better students. We have again received three NSF Scholarships--worth about $90,000 each. These people are: Elizabeth Endler, a Carolina Scholar from Aiken, and who will pursue a career in biochemical engineering; Bill Jenkins, who graduated last May and applied through USC experimental psychology and is now at the University of Michigan; and then Chuck Smith, who graduated last December in biology and is now a research lab assistant with Professor DeCoursey. The other good news is this is the second time in three years that we have a Truman Scholar Award. This is even more indicative of the quality of our undergraduate program and the caliber of students we are attracting to the institution. This is given to--let me remind you--to 75 students nationally, and it is worth $30,000 dollars. Our winner of a Truman Award this year is Megan Hoffman, a junior Spanish major from Alaska. She is an alumnae scholar. This is the fourth consecutive year that at least one USC student was a Truman finalist, and hopefully, this is not the last award that Megan Hoffman will receive. Increasingly students who are not in the Honors College and who are not Carolina Scholars are being very competitive, which is an indication that good students are bringing their friends who may not be recipients of those two prestigious scholarships--but they are better students. I want to thank the faculty who have worked with these students to make them as qualified as they are. Some more good news is the applicant pool is up and the quality of the applicant pool is up about 10%. You know last year we had 10,000 applications. This year we are getting close to 11,000.
The mixed views are what the Legislature is doing, (Laughing) but particularly how this affects higher education. You know the House had a budget with 2% increases. The Senate has always been better than the House, but nothing is being done at this time because of the filibustering on the video poker. There are also discussions about the Scholarship Program that the governor had recommended and discussions about the qualifications of the Palmetto Fellows. The performance funding is still being debated but without new money. It is unlikely that performance funding is going to have any major effect on the way our institutions are budgeted and are funded. No one is going to give up where they stand so anything that is going to be related to performance must come out of new funds (in my opinion) that would be allocated. The Council of Presidents of the public institutions has agreed to go ahead and implement the next phase of the performance funding process, providing there is $25 million newly allocated to higher education. That has not been the case. So we are trying to warn to increase the size of the raises, and we want to be sure that the raises, unlike last year are fully-funded, that is that they don't come out of our hide. Benefits are funded, so we won't have to begin a year with a really reduced budget in that aspect. I know the Provost has talked to the deans very realistically about how to prepare budgets for next year. We are watching the Senate very, very carefully, and Johnny Gregory is over there trying to look out for the University.
I don't have to tell you about the intellectual activities on the campus. Very distinguished speakers are here. Philosophy has been particularly very active. Tomorrow we have someone from the Jesus seminar. It will probably fill up the Russell Auditorium. Marcus Borg will be here to lecture in the evening.
We are preparing for the official public kickoff of the campaign, which will be on the 30th of April. You know we have had a celebration with the volunteers. We have had a number of meetings of the National Advisory Council, who have constantly raised the campaign goal so now it is $300 million, and on the 30th of April, the campaign becomes public, this is usually a major event in any kind of campaign. We will have over 2,500 individuals in the Koger Center with a major program, a lot of it reflecting on the history of this institution and our ambitions and the vision that we have set before us. Our guests will be volunteers and donors. We will also have a luncheon that day to honor those members on the Horseshoe Society. The Horseshoe Society is everyone who has given over a $100,000. When we started this, we didn't know whether we would have a Horseshoe Society, but enough people have given so we will have a large group at that meeting. There have been twenty-one $1 million gifts so far. Before the campaign started, we had one $1 million gift. We are making progress, and I think $300 million is a doable goal, and many of you will be present at the celebration on April 30.
We are not doing any formal business but I welcome questions from the faculty. I would be glad to hear your comments about anything that is going on.
PROFESSOR CHARLES MACK - ART- You have covered part of one of my questions but you also alluded to the situation of performance based funding. At the meeting of the Faculty Senate a month ago as we discussed changes in the tenure system we were told that in essence the willingness to make changes in the tenure system was linked to performance based funding.
But without the performance based funding, I am just wondering what is happening to that disappearing carrot.
PRESIDENT PALMS - Well, I think we are committed as a faculty to post-tenure review. We have already indicated through the years that as part of the annual review for tenured people we would have serious evaluations every year. I don't think that is really going to change whether we get performance funding or not. The faculty has made a tremendous amount of progress, at the last Senate meeting, we had a very good, open discussion, and I think we are prepared to do what we think is responsible as far as the faculty is concerned. Hopefully, that will put some pressure on the Legislature. Unfortunately, it is an election year and most of what is going on in my opinion is the politics of the year, and we are just going to have to live through them. Some students could help. We do need funding for next year, and they always seem to listen to students so we will see. If poker is kept we will have another $61 million in the state's budget. The poker industry has offered another $100 million to that and I can just imagine if we had a $161 million new dollars or at least $100 million. We need to be prepared to make our case for performance funding as well as the special allocations that we need. We've got a number of questions as far as EPSCOR funding and SCAMP funding and, of course, the scholarship money. We are trying to get matching funds for the new public health building, where we are in partnership with the federal government. We have some additional monies coming in all these kinds of partnerships. $800,000 in the House budget will be used to match the yield off a new endowment, so the yield off the $25 million could be matched. We could eat up all that $800,000 so we have already been capped as Clemson has also, but at least it is a beginning and shows that the state is willing to engage in a partnership with the private sector in fund raising. There is a lot of good things in this budget that came out of the House we just need to get it passed in the Senate. But I think we are making a good faith effort to commit ourselves to performance funding at least on the indicators, although it is a real challenge to put indicators in that are meaningful and are weighed appropriately to reward what our real aspirations are here. If you evaluate any major research university and ask what really means the most--the quality of the students, the quality of graduate students, the productivity of the faculty, the quality of the library, etc. and research funds--those elements should be evaluated and rewarded in a meaningful way. that we will be rewarded. Our challenge is to separate ourselves from the other institutions in the state and to get that endorsed so that we can have the resources necessary to build our institution. That's a continuing challenge right now.
I think the Provost will have more to say about that. He had a meeting this afternoon about performance funding. Any other questions?
PROFESSOR MACK - A totally different question. The Advocacy Center is nearing completion and will soon be opening its doors to the federal forces that are going to move into it--anyway that has got to raise some security questions, I would think. In light of recent history that does come to mind and does come to mind to a number of people. I was wondering what the heightened security in that area is going to do to the normal pedestrian and vehicular flow and second question related to that is who is bearing the burden of the cost of what I suppose to be heightened security?
PRESIDENT PALMS - Well, the last and easiest to answer. It is the federal government is bearing that cost. I do not believe there is going to be any impairment of the pedestrian or the vehicle movement in that area. If you go by there you will see some precautions have been taken, and I will be glad to have someone to talk about the affiliation with the University and what kind of precautions have been taken. This is a great opportunity. But you are right, it is a federal facility. But we do a lot of federallyfunded research, this is not like a primate center. I can't answer all your specifics. There has been an awful lot of precautionary things going on there.
PROFESSOR RICHARD CONANT (MUSC) and chair of the Safety Committee. We have talked about that quite a bit at the Safety Committee. The federal government is indeed funding things including video cameras. You might notice the big iron gates that they have, kind of striped like a barber pole, and they have got things that come up and down out of the ground that they can lower when they have to get a vehicle in there but raised to keep trucks from parking there and that kind of thing. I don't think it will affect our general traffic patterns or anything like that.
PRESIDENT PALMS - Just a comment about attendance. When we talked about the criteria for promotion and tenure, we talked about teaching, research, service, and faculty governance certainly surfaced, so I hope with the sparkle that you address an issue when we are talking about what aspects of your responsibility you wanted to have recognized, attendance at the Senate meetings would be a clear indication on how you feel (actually) about that third criteria for performance. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - Thank you, Mr. President. I will have those remarks clipped out of the minutes of this meeting and sent to all absent senators--we'll see.
PROVOST JEROME D. ODOM:
Thank you, Don. The President and I sometimes do and sometimes don't discuss what we are going to talk about at the Senate. This is one time we didn't and so I have these notes about these students who have won all these scholarships which I can almost do away with but let me give you a couple more pieces of good news with respect to our scholarships. Elizabeth Endler who did win the National Science Foundation Fellowship as the President mentioned, also won the Tau Beta Pi Fellowship which is a national fellowship. She was one of thirty-five winners nationally. She is a senior chemical engineering major and has won two awards. Iris Coxe, a junior accounting major from Bennettsville, won a State Farm Exceptional Student Fellowship--she is one of fifty and every state doesn't just get one. They are competitive. Last year we had two of the fifty and this year we have one. One that the President didn't know about because it has just come up on the WEB just a little while ago. We again for the third year in a row have won three of four that we nominated Goldwater Scholarships. Now I don't know that the students know this yet so I can't tell you who they are. But I would like to tell you that last year there were only six schools in the nation that won three of four and I didn't have a chance to really look at this so I don't know how many schools this year. Clearly this is a very consistent award for us and I would like to thank the faculty committee who has pretty much remained constant in their membership: Doug Meade of the Mathematics Department, chairs the committee; and the other members are: Sally Woodin in Biology, Jim Stiver in the Honors College, Michael Sutton in Mechanical Engineering, and Cathy Murphy in Chemistry and Biochemistry. So a big thank you to those faculty members because this is truly an impressive performance.
In terms of deans' updates, I tried to call the Public Health prospective dean just a few minutes ago, to ask him if I could announce that he had accepted and I was not able to get him. He has accepted verbally. I don't have his signature on the bottom of the letter, and so I will wait for that. I think that will be a done deal. In the College of Science and Mathematics search, we have the first of four candidates arriving today. Those candidates are Ernest Agee from Purdue University, Howard Grotch from Pennsylvania State University, John Conway from the University of Tennessee and Gerard Crowley from Michigan State University. These four candidates will all be here within the next three weeks. Education - The President and I have the cv's and files on three people that have been recommended by the Search Committee and we will be meeting shortly with the Search Committee to talk about those individuals. The Liberal Arts search - It is my understanding that they will recommend candidates very shortly and the Search Committee will also meet with President Palms and me to look at those candidates.
We have a faculty member who has won a very prestigious award - Fred Roper who is Dean of the College of Library and Information Science has won the Medical Library Association Marcia Noyes Award which is that association's highest honor. This is their centennial year so I think that honor is even more prestigious. Fred will accept the award at their 1998 annual meeting in Philadelphia in May.
I would like to mention that today is Graduate Student Day. Some of you were at the luncheon for graduate students earlier today. Some of you had students who were involved in the oral and/or poster presentations in the Russell House. A tremendous amount of work by Marcia Welsh and Richard Lawhon and the staff in the Graduate School goes in to that event and it is truly a celebration of research and productive scholarship on this campus.
With respect to the Child Development Center, I think you are all aware that we are going to relocate that to a temporary location at the top of Pickens Street - Pickens and Whaley behind the building that used to be the University Press warehouse. We are using modular housing for that location. We have fully discussed this with the staff at the Child Development Center. They have been very helpful, very instrumental in making the accommodations that we needed and we have done the same for them. This is a two-year temporary situation. It is very clear that we need to start now planning a permanent facility, what we are going to do with respect to child development and child care. As soon as we announced the temporary location the State immediately called and said can we be involved at this point. We have agreed that we will let them have up to twenty slots in the current day care or child development center. Again that was done in full consultation with the staff at the center to see if we could do that and the State clearly wants to partner with us in the future. There need to be discussions in this group and in other groups on campus about child development and research and academics and how that plays into our situation and also with respect to what we would call routine day care. It is a faculty issue. It is a staff issue. It is a student issue. It involves the entire University family. I intend to appoint a task force of faculty, staff, parents and students to study this issue. I would hope that we might be able to arrange at least one visit to the Frank Porter Graham Center in Chapel Hill to look at an operation of what a lot of people tell me is a first-class child development center and try to see if we can incorporate into a larger center what can be called truly child development research. I will be calling on some of you and your colleagues in the near future.
My final comment echoes that of the President not only with respect to the Faculty Senate, but we have a General Faculty Meeting on April 28th. That is a very important meeting this year. No. 1, because this is where we honor our colleagues who have won University-wide awards. Last year those of you who were at that meeting know that with few exceptions the attendees were awardees and some of their close colleagues. I would urge you to urge your colleagues to attend that meeting first of all to honor other faculty members. No. 2, to discuss post-tenure review and No. 3, to discuss recommendations that have been made by the Blue Ribbon Committee on tenure and promotion. It is a very, very important meeting and I hope that if we have it here and I am not sure where that is scheduled at this point we will fill it up. I really would like to see this auditorium full.
I will be happy to answer any questions.
PROFESSOR BRUCE MEGLINO - BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION - What can you say about the capacity of the temporary child development center? Will you be able to accommodate all comers or ...?
PROVOST ODOM - Right now, we have 93 children there. The new center will accommodate 80 of those children plus 20 additional. The reason it is going from 93 to 80 is that the staff told us that 13 children would be basically graduating.
PROFESSOR MEGLINO - And then the 20 additional would be the ones that we have allowed the state to co-op?
PROVOST ODOM - Yes. That will be done. What we have done within the last several days is to develop a budget for site preparation, for leasing of these units - these units are what is called kindergarten units. They are for small children. We are developing a budget for the siting, for the leasing, for staff and for additional staff and we will present a number to the state basically for their share of that and tell them we would be happy to have them partner with us for that amount of money.
PROFESSOR MEGLINO - So if anyone was interested in getting their children involved in this they will be on a waiting list, is this correct?
PROVOST ODOM - There is already a waiting list of 175 and so I would say there will still be a waiting list. This is a problem and this is why this body and other groups across campus need to be involved in a discussion. After we started talking about this, I had e-mails and telephone calls from a number of faculty and staff and students saying this is a rather elitist organization, they are only taking a certain number of people and I've had my name on that list since before my child was born and I don't think my child is ever going to get to go there - to that center. So there is clearly a need to look at that, at accomodating is more than 93 children. It's a facilities need. We need to look at perhaps a much larger facility and then the question becomes and a question that we need to address very seriously - can we do true academic research within a very large facility or are we going to do day care? What exactly are we going to do as University? So a lot of questions that have to be put before a task force.
Thank you very much.
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - Don't anyone of you move. We have a quorum. I did a count while the reports were going on.
II. Correction and Approval of Minutes.
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - Are there any objections to the minutes as printed?
PROFESSOR SARAH WEDLOCK, SECRETARY - On page 1, it should read March 4th instead of February 4th.
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - March 4th instead of February 4th. Are there any other corrections?
Hearing none, I will order the minutes approved as printed. We have the Vice Provost for Research with us to give us a little dog and pony show about where we are, where we need to go and how we are going to get there. Welcome.
MARSHA TORR, VICE PROVOST FOR RESEARCH:
Thank you for inviting me to have this opportunity to talk to you. This is the first time that we have attempted to do a video presentation in this forum and simultaneously to the two- and four-year campuses. We are hoping the connections and all of our wiring stays kind to us for the next few minutes.
USC is very much an institution in transition and you all are part of that transition everyday. The University has set itself some ambitious goals. These are goals that I am convinced are absolutely necessary goals and Eldon has asked me to talk this afternoon about the impact on research and on the faculty of these goals. Principal amongst these goals is our wish to become eligible for AAU membership in the near term. What does this mean for research? Well, it colors everything that we do at the University and it has a significant impact on what we do in the world of research. So in the course of the next few minutes, I am going to briefly touch on these items that Eldon specifically asked me to address. What does this AAU goal mean for research and for all of the faculty? Where are we presently? Where do we have to be to even be contenders for this goal? How are we going to bring about this significant increase to get from where we are now to get to where we need to be, and what help have we got available right now for faculty who wish to become involved in sponsored research, service and training? What additional help are we putting in place to help all of our faculty who wish to become competitors for outside funding?
To begin with I am going to show you, in a few charts, that an obvious implication of this is that we have to bring about a very significant increase in our sponsored programs-made up of research, service and training. And there is the requirement that we first become a Carnegie Research I university in order to be eligible for AAU membership. That is one of the few parameters that AAU will admit that they look at in order to consider membership.
How are research universities ranked? First I am going to explain to you what is meant by a Carnegie Research I university. This is a ranking that is done every five years by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It will be done next in the year 1999 and it is based on a very simple parameter. The only parameter the Carnegie Foundation looks at is the total federal funding to the University for research. We can argue that this is too simplistic, but this is the single parameter that they consider and it is based on the logic that the federal funding for research is very highly peer reviewed. It is very competitive. It requires a very significant base at the institution in terms of infrastructure and faculty and students, and so that is the measure that they have chosen to use.
Currently, the AAU membership includes sixty universities in the United States and Canada. The Research I ranking includes the eighty-eight top research universities in the United States. So when we become eligible, as we will do in the next five years, we will join the top 2.8% of higher education institutions.
Universities are ranked in different ways but most of the rankings are made by the National Science Foundation and the most well-known of these rankings-the one that is published in the Chronicle of Higher Education-is the first on this chart. It is the National Science Foundation's annual ranking of total sponsored programs at universities. We are currently ranked 98 on that list. We made our way into the top 100 in the last three years, and we are currently seeing a little bit of fluctuation in this position as we build the federal component of our total, but for many years we hovered at 110. We are starting now to make nice progress. We need to be in the top 75.
The NSF publishes other listings that are of particular interest to us. One is total federal funding to an institution. We are currently ranked 83 on that list. We also need to be in the top 75 on that list. The list that the Carnegie Foundation uses is the NSF's ranking of agency reported funding to universities for research purposes only. So those three are of particular interest to us.
Status of USC's Sponsored Programs I am now going to show you, very briefly, where we are now in terms of our sponsored programs and from that we can assess where we need to be.
This chart shows a fifteen year history of the sponsored programs at the University of South Carolina. Last year, we reached $81 million in sponsored programs. This represents 15 years of continuous growth. I will show you whether the growth curve is strong enough in just a moment. Our funding comes principally from the federal government. 19% of our funding comes from state and local agencies. The bulk of our funding comes from federal agencies with Department of Defense - 28% this past year--an unusually large sector because we got some very big grants, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health, Department of Education and Department of Commerce.
Those are the largest sources of our funding. The funding basically goes to these USC units: Science and Math is ranked first in our ranking with 33% of the funding. Medicine came second last year, 15%. Engineering was third with 12%. Liberal Arts had a very good year and rose to fourth in the University's ranking in sponsored programs with 9%. Public Health was next on this list. You will notice 4% of our sponsored programs comes in through our two-year and four-year campuses. So all of our system is very important to our principal goals.
The Benchmarking Process: Now, we can look at our own data and say "well, fifteen years of increases is pretty good," but we have to have some means of benchmarking ourselves against the institutions we want to join. I am going to show you data on some of the nation's leaders first. These are not our benchmark institutions. These are the country's top ten research universities and these are the giants in the research world: Johns Hopkins, Michigan, Wisconsin and so on down to Cornell. The average funding annually for sponsored programs at these universities is close to $400 million a year. You can imagine the impact that a university of this scale would have on South Carolina if we had such an institution in our state. On a trivia point, you will also notice that Johns Hopkins, historically the first research university, could drop by $300 million annually and still be first in the ranking. These are the giants.
This chart shows our benchmark institutions. These are the nine universities that USC has chosen against which to compare itself. So it is these universities that I am looking at very closely from the perspective of their research, service and training enterprises. They include the regional leaders: University of Florida, North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Virginia. They include flagship, public leaders in the states of Pennsylvania, Indiana, Colorado; and they include two of the most recent additions to the AAU-University of California at Irvine and Davis. These are our benchmark institutions and to show you their annual funding for last year these nine, their average funding is just above $200 million a year--remember we were at $81 million last year. So these are good size, aggressive, competitive schools for us to be modeling ourselves against. These are the universities we are looking at their business practices, the way they conduct research, the way they position themselves, the kinds of strategic decisions they are making.
Next to show you where these benchmark institutions are ranked by the NSF in the total sponsored programs ranking: They span the first three quartiles. Penn State is ranked number 11. University of California at Irvine is ranked sixty-sixth. While this is a broad spectrum, it again indicates that we need to be in the top 75 schools on this ranking. If you look at the funding of the lower edge, so to speak, of the AAU schools, and if you look at the funding of these universities that we have selected as our benchmark institutions, the numbers tell us we need to boost our total sponsored programs from the current level of $81 million to roughly $140 million a year in research, service and training. We need to be in the top three quartiles in the rankings, and the next time the Carnegie Foundation does a ranking to determine which universities will get the Research I designation they will use $50 million as the threshhold. So we need to be above $50 million in federal funding for research. Those are some of the parameters that give us an idea of how aggressive we have to be in the growth we need to bring about. To go back to this is the chart that I showed you earlier illustrating growth over the past fifteen years: If we just continued on that growth curve, by the year 2002 which is five years from now, we would reach a $100 million. We believe that to be competitive with our peers we should be at $140 million today, and so we need to approximately double our rate of growth on an annual basis in research. These are significant tasks.
I will show you one more parameter from our benchmark institution comparisons. Last year the University of South Carolina submitted 1300 proposals for sponsored programs of one sort or another. Our benchmark institutions on the average submitted twice as many and some of them submitted almost three times as many. These are universities that recognize if you submit five. proposals only one of those may be accepted or if you submit three proposals to some agencies, only one of them will be accepted on the average. These universities are very aggressive. They are keeping the proposal pipeline full. They are being persistent. They are not taking no for an answer. When a proposal comes back with those heartbreaking reviews that make us feel like giving up, we need to recognize that everyone goes through this process--we need to revise the proposal and try again. It is very important for us to compete--we've got to keep the proposal pipeline into the agencies and the sponsors full.
What are our strategies for growth? What are some of the things that we are doing in terms of bringing about this increase in our sponsored programs? We are currently at $81 million. We have to get to about $140 million. We have to add another $60 million a year to the research, service and training enterprise. To do this, we need to get many more of our faculty involved in sponsored programs. Three years ago when I came to USC I found that less than 30% of our faculty were involved in competing for outside funding. This is very low by comparison to these benchmark universities. They are typically higher than 60%. We know it can't be 100%. Not all of us can play musical instruments, not all of us can paint wonderful paintings, not all of us are in areas we can compete for sponsored research. We know that--but it needs to be up above 50% and close to 60% for us to be competitive. We need to submit more proposals. Right now if you look at our faculty system-wide we have 1700 or 1800 faculty system-wide. Last year about 500 faculty competed for outside funds. We have about 1200 faculty who currently do not have a grant of any form. I know not everyone is really able to get one but just imagine for the moment if we could go get a $10,000 grant for everyone of those 1200 faculty system-wide who currently do not have one. It may not be entirely feasible but nonetheless a good goal to consider. Yes, it would add $12 million to our bottom line but that would not be the most important impact of such an effort. Imagine the independence in scholarship, the summer salary support, the ability to buy equipment, the ability to travel, that something like that would bring about. Those benchmark institutions have a far larger percentage who are bringing in that independence through the form of outside funding and so our job is to try and work with as many of you as possible to go after the grants.
But the big increase is not going to come only by increasing our current faculty's participation in research. Today our faculty go out every month and bring in $6.7 million in sponsored programs. We need to go out every month and bring in $12 million in sponsored programs. Much of that growth is going to come about using the strategies that our benchmark institutions are using--that is by building strong institutes and centers that are staffed with research staff, technicians, programmers, soft-money research assistants, research professors, data analysts--all of these categories of individuals. Right now if we look at the number of soft money supported people at USC compared with our benchmark institutions, we have one-third to one-tenth the number that they have for conducting sponsored research, service and training. So this is where I believe the big increase in our sponsored program base must come from-building these research capabilities with people who have the time to do very competitive research programs. The bulk of our faculty have heavy teaching loads, limited time in many areas for very large research endeavors, but could clearly play vital roles in research programs if there are these center/team capabilities to do a lot of the additional work-and that is where we are headed.
We are also, of course, putting emphasis on building name recognition for the institution wherever we can because agencies fund institutions and people they know. Sponsors give money to people they know and that is very important to us.
What success are we having? Are any of these strategies working? We have evidence that they are starting to work. We are focusing on the larger scale initiatives to some degree that bring in multimillion dollar awards that let us put in infrastructure, hire research assistants, graduate students, buy equipment, and supplement our overall competitiveness. This chart shows our successes in this area: in the last eighteen months, we have brought in approximately $40 million in these larger scale awards. Three years ago, the typical award to a USC faculty member was a $35,000 or $40,000 award, a single investigator type award. We would have had to bring in 1,100 of those to be equal to these eight awards. We need both kinds. We need the thousands of the smaller awards. We need a significant number of these large scale awards that really let us build name recognition and let us build infrastructure to be competitive. And so we are having success in this area.
Some other indications of progress: Total funding last year rose by 5% and the past two years went up 10%. But our federal funding, if you remember, is the indicator that the Carnegie Foundation will use in assigning us Research I ranking when we meet their threshold. That component of our funding has grown 30% in the last two years. This measure is very important to us and a great indication of success. The number of faculty who are submitting proposals rose 4% last year. It rose 3% the year before. This year it will rise again. I believe this year we will reach 40% of our faculty involved in going after external funding. We need to get that above 50 or 60%.
We are making progress in the rankings. This chart shows that we are rising steadily in the NSF's total ranking; our goal to be in the top 75%. So things are starting to move.
One thing that I stress is that we are an institution that is changing very quickly from the small grants awarded to single faculty working on their own within a department--to these larger scale initiatives that make a place for many people to be involved in research who would not have been fundable on their own. The process of planning within your departments, within colleges and between colleges as a team is very important because this opens up all kinds of opportunities for other disciplines to enter into the larger team initiatives. If you, as any group, bring to me a thought-out concept or proposal of how to join faculty from this college and that department and that institute together to go after funding, it helps me in making the decision as to where to invest--because we clearly have got indications of a strategic initiative and existing capability in that particular research direction. I encourage you to think about team planning and building the larger scale initiatives. I am ready to help with this and already spend much of my time in these endeavors.
Last year for the first time at President Palms' request, all of the colleges submitted goals for growth in research. This chart shows this year's list of college goals for growth in research and, with one exception, these are all very good goals. This is a critical element in growth success. If we are going to achieve Research I and to achieve AAU status this is very important that everyone be a player in this in one way or another.
I want to give you an example of one of the larger scale initiatives and how such programs open up opportunities for many faculty to participate in research. Just a few months ago we were funded at $3 million by the Department of Energy to build a Center for Water Research. The first phase of the center involves 10 different departments and institutes across the Columbia campus. For example, the College of Journalism would not have been able to go to the Department of Energy in this particular area and get $60,000 a year for 4 years to do research. But because they were part of this particular team--all making each other more competitive--the College of Journalism gets a fairly significant research award out of this initiative. The Center provides opportunities for faculty in areas that DOE might not traditionally consider funding on their own. This approach opens up a great deal in terms of opportunities for individuals who could not go and compete for money on their own and it draws on the very large strength of USC as a comprehensive institution.
These larger, multidisciplinary programs represent an area where our two- and four-year campuses can play significant roles-in terms of being field agents, data gatherers, data analysts, a connection to the community in environmental issues or health issues--and these are areas that I am very interested in working with you to increase.
How are we doing so far this year? We are three-quarters of the way through this year so we still have 3 months to go. As of yesterday we have $67 million in awards to the University versus $52 million at this point last year. We still have 3 months to go so we could lose some ground yet, but currently we are 30% ahead of where we were last year. We have submitted a 1,056 proposals compared with 974 at the same time last year. We are 8% ahead of where we were last year. It is good that we are increasing the submission rate, but this number has to increase quite a bit more. The more proposals we submit the more will be accepted.
What assistance is available? This is the last topic I am going to talk about and I will do it very briefly: Eldon asked me to tell you what kinds of help are available for individuals and teams who want to become involved in research, who may not previously been involved in research or service or training, and who may not have the infrastructure in their departments or colleges to start out. First of all-many of you may know this and some of you may not--there is quite a bit of money invested each year in small seed money internal grants to faculty. These are from $3,000 to $50,000 depending on what you propose, but these are good ways to get started in research. In addition, there are opportunities for undergraduates to become involved, there are opportunities for people to join the larger teams for a summer or for several summers, there are opportunities to start up soft money key researchers in the multidisciplinary teams. All in all, the University puts about $1 million of institutional funds into this kind of support.
In addition (and I encourage all of you who have not yet done so to take advantage of this) go and spend some time with the staff in our Sponsored Programs Office. They have an individual who is designated just to help you search for likely sponsors. They can search, on keywords, through significant databases. They can help you find a list of potential sponsors that you may not have considered in your particular area . We have a capability in SPAR to list each of our faculty profiles on the WEB and we are finding that sponsors are starting to search on these profiles looking for individuals that they might fund.
SPAR is only too willing to help, and I think does more in this area than any university I have encountered, in helping faculty formulate budgets, formulate proposals, provide advice on what the sponsors looking for dealing with regulatory requirements. They are willing to come and talk to your group or with you about how to get started.
But this next item--an initiative in grant development--is something that I encourage all of you to consider very strongly. We have had quite a success story in the first attempt to do this. One of our institutes, the Institute for Families in Society, which is largely supported by grants and contracts went through a 2 or 3 month exercise this last fall which involved everybody in the institute. The goal was that at the end of this workshop each of them would submit a proposal. The way they did this is a good model for us to consider and this is something in which I would invest resources in helping other teams to repeat. The process is this: one forms a team of 15 or 20 people who may have a concept or may wish to get into research. One then forms a team of more senior researchers who serve as an internal review panel. Everyone presents their concepts for their particular project. This gets critiqued and reviewed by the whole team, alternative sponsors are suggested, additional areas of focus are suggested. The participants then go away and write proposals and return to present them to the review panel . The proposals are criticized by the internal review panel and revised accordingly. In the course of this workshop, seminars are given on effective proposal writing. SPAR comes in and explains how to formulate a budget, gives talks about what the agencies are looking for, and discusses key issues of compliance where these exist. At the end of the exercise, everyone in the team submits a proposal. Families in Society submitted 20 proposals as a result of their workshop. Because these had been so well scrutinized in-house before they were submitted they will have a higher than normal chance of being successful. Instead of being the 1 in 5 or 1 in 3 acceptance--out of those 20 it is likely that 7 to 10 of will be accepted. So if there are groups who want to go through this process I am very interested to talk with you because I believe this is the kind of thing that we need to be doing a lot more of. Basically, the idea is to form a group so there is enough critical mass to talk with and we would help forming review panels if you have any difficulty doing that and providing the incentives for those reviewers to serve on those panels.
Where do we need your help? This is my last slide but it is essentially the help we need from you to bring about the goal . As I mentioned, we are undergoing a change from the single investigator grants to more of the larger team activities. We need your assistance and advice and help in bringing about appropriate recognition in the tenure and promotion process for those who are now doing their key research and playing very valuable roles in perhaps a $4 million program with 6 researchers versus a $50,000 program which they were the only investigator. We need to be sure we are recognizing or have a means to recognize those who are really entering a slightly different arena of research at the University of South Carolina-these larger scale team activities. We also need your help and advice in building recognized and well-respected positions for the soft money researchers who will come in to staff the teams, institutes and centers--the non-tenure track individuals who will be spending the bulk of their time on research. We need your help in formulating how those positions are to be made attractive and seen as worthwhile. Finally, we recognize that perhaps not every scholar at USC may be fundable by outside sources--but each of you has a very large influence on new faculty and others that you encounter. We need your help to encourage those who want to get involved in research.
Back in the late 1800's, David Starr Jordan, President of the University of Indiana. In 1892 he wrote a wonderful essay in which he described the role of the University and in particular the newly emerging research university. Jordan wrote:
The University should be the great refuge-hut on the ultimate boundaries
of knowledge, from which, daily and weekly, adventurous bands set out
on voyages of discovery.
. . . The same house of refuge and supply will serve for a thousand
different exploring parties, moving out in every direction into the
Some of us spend our time going out in those exploration teams, and I have spent much of my life on those exploration teams. I am now spending my life inside that hut as many of you do, to help train and equip and supply those who will go out on voyages of discovery. But each element is very dependent on the other and we need your help in supporting our expeditions. Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to talk with you.
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - Thank you, Marsha. Are there any questions or comments? Observations? Thank you for those inspiring words.
? Could you compare what is the investment in this University; had we measure up with start up funds available at USC?
VICE PROVOST TORR - It is hard to arrive at an accurate estimate of what goes into start-ups as we do not know what the colleges do. As you saw we basically put about a million dollars into seed research initiatives from the University-side. The colleges probably put in a similar amount of $1 or $2 million. What we have that is very unusual at U.S.C. is a policy in which 50% of the indirect cost--I think we are the highest in the nation in this regard--is returned to the generating colleges. So the University only retains half with which it operates the research enterprise. But we are making every effort to put everything we have to spare on the University's side of that direct cost share into start up for these new initiatives. That is where it needs to go and building those venture capital funds, building the war chests for start up of initiatives is the most important area that we can be putting that money into.
Same person - What is say at the University of Florida- what is the total of start up.
VICE PROVOST TORR - I can make some rough estimates. Last year we brought in $8 million in indirect costs of which I would say probably $3 million to $4 million went into startup and seeding of new research initiatives. We bring in very low total indirect costs because we are still at a low point in our transition and the types of funding that we get. Our peer institutions who instead of bringing in $80 million bring in $200 million and instead of bringing in an effective 10% indirect cost rate bring in an effective 20%-30% indirect cost rate will have a correspondingly higher amount to invest. So my guess is our benchmark institutions have built an indirect cost base from which they can invest about $20-$40 million a year in startup. Now some of our neighbors like the state of Georgia, of course, get at least that much per institution again for research startups as a result of their lottery system. So big institutions will have more to spend. No question. We need to build and as we build we will have more but we need to build our indirect cost base and we need to build our total base and that's where investment needs to go in the startups.
PROFESSOR MICHAEL HUGHNS - ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING -
Do you have any data from these target institutions about faculty salaries and do you have any idea whether we are catching up in that area?
VICE PROVOST TORR - That survey is published annually in the Chronicle of Higher Education by institution, by state and that would be a good place for you to do that comparison. The Provost may have more current figures. I guess we are somewhat lagging in that area and I have heard President Palms say on a number of occasions that that is one of the highest priorities for the University's addressing that faculty salary differential. Of course, it is a bit of a boot strapping process. The better we are the more competitive we are, the more we can draw. We are kind of at that node in our evolution to becoming a much better university.
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - I want to go on record as saying that your observation about the Georgia lottery--it was just an observation and not a plug. Right? I wanted to make sure the legislators knew that.
PROFESSOR CAROLINE EASTMAN - COMPUTER SCIENCE - I wonder if it would be possible for you to make your power point presentation available in some form so we may share it with our colleagues that we are representing here?
VICE PROVOST TORR - In fact next month, you should all get copies of the first newsletter from the Office of Research and we will put a fair amount of this information into that first issue of the newsletter. If you need something sooner than that we can make hard copies.
PROVOST ODOM - I just want to make two points. First of all with respect to the question of faculty salaries. The average faculty salary at the nine universities that Marsha listed is about $66,000. That's all ranks. The faculty salary here is about $56,000. We are $10,000 low overall. Those institutions by the way are the institutions that we are using with respect to benchmarks versus performance funding. The second point I would like to make Marsha listed a number of things that SPAR does for us. One that wasn't on there that I think is important particularly for the younger faculty are these flights to Washington. If you identify a possible source of funding, I just can't tell you how important it is to make your face available to the person who is deciding whether or not to give you money. I talk to so many research program directors at the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy. If they have a proposal in front of them and it is on the bubble if they know your face and they know your name and you have sat in front of them and talked to them about your research more than likely you will be funded. If they don't know you then many times you won't be funded. The SPAR flights to Washington is usually twice a week. Its schedule is listed on the WEB. There are six seats available and I would encourage you and encourage you to talk to your colleagues particularly your younger colleagues about going to Washington meeting people, talking to them about research. It doesn't cost anything. When I talk to other universities about this flight that cannot believe that we fly our faculty to Washington free twice a week. So take advantage of it.
DR. NOWAMAGBE OMOIGUI - SCHOOL OF MEDICINE - Just a comment followed by a suggestion that you further split up the classification of "research" and other "tenured" faculty. In your last slide you separate "research" faculty from other "tenured" faculty. From a clinical standpoint, the School of Medicine has added complexity. I would like to make everyone aware of an issue that is increasingly becoming a problem to many university faculty who are also clinicians. We are being caught up in the pressures of the managed care environment where the flow of patients (who would ordinarily be the substrate for teaching and research activities) is moving from a retail to a wholesale type of situation. Many clinicians who come into academic medicine with the express purpose of being teachers and researchers are being caught up by pressures to fill their clinics. An analogy would be a Professor of History who (rather than focus on teaching and research) spends part of his/her time lobbying for students to get admitted to USC and then recruiting students to take his/her course. This represents a huge diversion of effort and is undermining the interest level of clinical faculty to pursue tenure track positions. One way this can be dealt with is clarify exactly what you mean by "tenure" and further split up the tenure types to recognize the peculiarities of clinical faculty. This would be a win-win situation for everyone. If we do not come up with an imaginative way to deal with this there could be problems with tenured clinical faculty recruitment and retention down the road. Thank you.
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - I think one of the officers took my notes from the podium so I don't know where we are on the agenda. There we go. You got to watch these guys. They'll pick your pocket without looking.
Reports of Committees.
A. Faculty Senate Steering Committee, Professor Sarah Wise:
B. Grade Change Committee, Professor Richard Clodfelter:
PROFESSOR CLODFELTER - I present for your approval the grade changes that appear on the attachments on page 34-36.
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - You have heard the motion. Are there any comments? Questions?
Amendments? All those in favor signify by saying aye. Opposed. So ordered.
C. Committee on Curricula and Courses, Professor John Winberry, Chair:
PROFESSOR WINBERRY - The report of the Curricula and Courses Committee can be found on pages 37 through 44 of the agenda. And there is also one course on the addendum for
THSP 470M a May session course that I distributed before the meeting. There is one change on page 38 and that is in relationship to ARTH 569 Topics in Film History, the first entry and under prerequisite "one film course (FILM 240...". It should read "Prereq: FILM 240 or MART 270
or ENGL 565 or 566 or THSP 580 or consent of instructor". I would like to request the approval of this in two parts - one of which is pages 37 through 43, I through IV and then secondly I would like to look at V. and VI.
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - The first part of the motion, I through IV, are there any questions or comments, or amendments? Hearing none, are you ready for the question? All in favor signify by saying aye. Opposed - no. So ordered. The second part of the motion V. and VI. Do you want to address that any more? Any comments? Suggestions? Amendments? Hearing none, are you ready to vote on the motion. All in favor signify by saying aye. Opposed. So ordered.
D. Faculty Advisory Committee, Professor Caroline Strobel, Chair:
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - I don't think there is a report although we will - I will mention that later.
E. FacultyWelfare Committee, Professor Robert Wilcox, Chair:
PROFESSOR WILCOX - More of an update of everything but you should also have before you have a resolution circulated regarding the Child Development Center. The first thing I want to tell you about before we act on the resolution. I have met with Dr. Terry and we have discussed the computing policy situation at the University and our committee is working with him at this point to develop a proposal to create a new computing policy committee in some format that would be within the province of the Faculty Senate. A faculty driven committee to develop long range computer policy for the University. Our concern is right now there are several different committees- ad hoc committees - set up. There is a lot of localized rules that go on and we feel the need for some long range planning to keep costs down and to make the computer policy work. We should have a proposal before you on that, hopefully, at the meeting at the end of the year. We are still waiting for some information from his office and the committee then needs to consider some things and we need to get with the Steering Committee and if all that works out we will get the proposal to you.
The resolution that is in front of you we bring before the Senate is primarily to seek the advice of this body the issue and any comments that need to be made we commend the University for its efforts to find a suitable replacement for the Booker T. Washington Center which must be closed but we urge the administration to continue and the indications are that they are continuing with the development of a task force to address the broader day care issues of the University. This center has worked very well for the 80 or 90 children that are in it but there is a waiting list of 175 and a significant interest of a larger number of faculty, staff and students. We feel there is a need to address it from a broader child care perspective. The purpose of the resolution is to indicate the support of the Senate. I will note that it is a very carefully worded resolution in one sense that it urges the University to work actively to assure that faculty have access to child care. It does not assert a position as to how that access is to be funded or provided. That is something that the task force will have to work on. We felt it important that the faculty to at least have the opportunity to express their views. So on behalf of the committee I would like to move that resolution.
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - You have heard the motion. Are there any amendments? Suggestions? Open for discussion. Are you ready for the question? All those in favor of the resolution signify by saying aye. Opposed. So ordered.
PROFESSOR WILCOX - One additional point on that regard one of the things that has become apparent to us dealing with issues like child care and parking and a few other things is that there is an increasing trend toward services that we have to contribute money to and one of the things that we feel might be important in the long range is to look into ways of recapturing some of those expenses. We are beginning discussions just raising the issue with the University on a long range development of a cafeteria plan and to try to find some ways pretax dollars to create some ways to fund this. The money may not be there this year or next year but we want to at least explore what would be involved. Would regulations allow it? How could it be set up? So we could have some information to bring back to this body at least if at some point it is possible to do this. We feel that the circumstances are going to necessitate that we address these issues as increasingly benefits become things that we also support out of our own pockets. We are meeting this month with people from Finance and Human Resources to try to get that process started.
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - Thank you, Robert.
f. Committee on Admissions, Professor James Burns, Chair:
g. Committee on Scholastic Standards and Petitions Committee, Professor John Lopiccolo, Chair:
IV. Report of Secretary.
V. Unfinished Business.
VI. New Business.
VII. Remarks for the Good of the Order.
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - Any remarks for the Good of the Order?
PROFESSOR RICHARD CONANT - MUSC - I promised my students I would give a pitch to have you come to our 25th anniversary of Carolina Alive's Show. They've worked hard on it and long. It has been a long 25 years sometimes but they have worked real hard. Randy, you will be glad to know that you are safe - both the sheriffs are coming as well as DEA so it will be the safest place on campus.
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - Any news about the Faculty House?
PROFESSOR CONANT - Actually a lot of us go over there after this meeting and spend time discussing what happened and why. Also we would like to have business over there. We're trying to keep things going there. We would like to have you come by.
PROVOST ODOM - Richard, in that regard, I saw new menus from the Faculty House and it looks to me like they are doing a good job in terms of improving the menu and even the price. You can get a petite fillet mignon for $12.00 which is not too bad.
PROFESSOR CONANT - Well, they had a Taste of Carolina for all Faculty House members to introduce the new faculty house menu. We wished more faculty colleagues had attended. We need to keep abreast of announcements and developments and put them on your calendar.
When you get the bill with the printout and the newsletter please write down on your calendar and enter these things and perhaps people won't come in and say we didn't know about it because the word was out. I think they are trying to do a lot there.
CHAIRMAN WEDLOCK - I guess that was an announcement. Any other announcements?
The agenda for the faculty meeting on April 28th is going to be very heavy. In addition to the post-tenure review and the Blue Ribbon Committee reports, suggestions which have already been mentioned, we will also be looking at resolutions from Advisory that have to do with the qualifications of the UCTP membership, qualifications perhaps for the Grievance Committee membership, an expansion of the Faculty House Board of Governors, and amendments related to the qualifications of faculty who were appointed to committees as opposed to elected committees. So there is going to be quite a bit to do and we hope to have these proposals up on the WEB so that you can access them beforehand and have firmly composed comments and suggestions at the meetings. The meeting will run hopefully a little smoothly--not just a little smoothly--very smoothly. Any other announcements? Hearing none. The meeting is adjourned.
Adjourned: 4:30 p.m.
This page updated 20 April 1998 by the Office of the Faculty Senate,
and copyright 1998, The Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.