J. Bisagni, SMAST - ’11
S. Sibdari, Business - ’12
F. Karakaya, Business - ’12
T. Walker, Humanities - ’11
G. Russell, Nursing - ’12
L. Richardson, Social Science - ’12
S. Ladd, CVPA - ‘12
B. Ram-Singh, Science - ‘10
S. Jenkins*, Soc. Science - ‘10
H. Michel, Engineering - ‘10
S. Zhang, Engineering - ‘11
E. Winiarz, Library - ‘10
L. Petrovic, Administration Liaison
3 full time graduate students appointed by the Student Senate
General charge: Oversee policies and procedures in regard to campus research activities, report on ethical and financial issues
Specific charge: Continue dialog with campus administration re: new policy on funding for graduate research and graduate teaching assistants, examine peer institutions and their policies and make recommendations
Reports to Faculty Senate: December 2009
From: Fahri Karakaya, Chair, University Research Committee
To: Dr. Anthony Garro, Provost
Re: Recommendations from University Research Committee
CC: URC Members and Dr. Michael Baum, Faculty Senate President
Date: May 22, 2008
1) During the meeting of May 15, 2008, the University Research Committee discussed the new policy on funding for graduate research and graduate teaching assistants and it has produced the following observations and concerns.
The new policy may reduce the chances of receiving grants from outside agencies because it increases the funding amounts requested. This is especially true in the arts, humanities, and social sciences where smaller grants, relative to science and engineering, are the norm.
The new policy is likely to make the competition for highly qualified graduate students more difficult. Graduate students are more dependent than ever on stipend support, tuition waivers, and fee reductions in order to continue their graduate education. The new policy may cause hardship for graduate students and can result in potential UMass Dartmouth graduate students choosing other graduate institutions.
Recommendation: Examine peer institutions and their policies. The committee will gather data on this issue in Fall 2008. It is also recommended that the policy should be revised if it damages the graduate admissions and education at UMass Dartmouth.
2) The University Research Committee also considered the faculty travel policies at the university and has the following observations and recommendations:
Increase the provost's travel grant award. Currently, the amount for travel to international conferences (national conferences) to present scholarly or creative works is $1,000 ($500). Inflation factors, including increases in airfare, lodging, and conference registration fees make it difficult, if not impossible, for faculty members to go to international and national conferences, without incurring large personal expenses. A quick survey of the University Research Council members revealed that some professors have cancelled attendance at meetings due to the large personal cost of attending these meetings and conferences, despite the travel assistance from the provost.
Faculty members who have been granted the provost's travel award should be allowed to use the full award for one or more approved conferences as they wish regardless of the conference being national or international. Limiting faculty members to two national conferences or one international conference reduces travel opportunities for faculty and their potential for research.
The current award period for the provost's travel grant runs from September 1 to August 31st. This is inconsistent with the travel policies of the UMassD Colleges and Schools. The Committee recommends consistency and to use the fiscal year for the provost's travel grant award period. The Committee could not determine a strong rationale for the travel applications to be received by college deans 60 days prior to travel. The Committee recommends that faculty members traveling to conferences should be able to apply for travel grants even after they complete their travels. It is understood that faculty members will risk funding of their travels if their travels do not meet the criteria for approval.