Meeting Minutes

Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity


October 17, 2017

  1. Dan Larson, the Vice Chair, called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m.
  2. The Committee unanimously approved the minutes of the meeting held on September 12, 2017.
  3. Remarks by the Committee Vice Chair, Dan Larson:  After welcoming the members and visitors, Larson reviewed the agenda, noting that we had a number of important reports and presentations, and, following those reports and presentations, we would have a discussion of progress on the committee charge items.
  4. Remarks by the Vice President for Research, Neil Sharkey
    1. The University budget is very much on the mind of the university leadership, as evidenced in part by the email from President Barron and university press releases. Sharkey suggested that the Senate members and the university community should connect online, as suggested by President Barron, to send messages to the legislature. Sharkey noted a different feeling and more worry than in other years when the university budget was delayed. There are about 100,000 students at Penn State, with about 53,000 of the students coming from Pennsylvania. The support from the state covers approximately half of the tuition break that in-state students get. The university leadership hopes very much that the situation will soon be resolved but is also forced to think about possible options in the case that the delay continues.
    2. Sharkey mentioned that Sports Center will be here on Saturday, actually, starting on Thursday, and they will set up behind Old Main. The Penn State – Michigan football game is viewed as one of the top games in the country.
    3. Sharkey talked with enthusiasm about the great science being carried out by Penn State faculty and students. He talked about Penn State connections to the recent Nobel laureates in Physics (for the development of LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) and Chemistry (for the development of Cryo-electron microscopy or cryo-EM). Sharkey mentioned the latest LIGO results, and committee member Kevin Luhman provided additional information and perspective. There have been a handful of observations of gravitational waves from colliding black holes, and the event just announced, which is the first event seen in both gravitational and optical radiation, is due to colliding neutron stars. Sharkey also pointed out that we have one cryo-EM apparatus at UP and are getting another at the medical school. Cryo-EM, transmission electron microscopy carried out at cryogenic temperatures, is a revolutionary way to study the structure of biological specimens and biomolecules. Sharkey also talked about the great science and technology developed at the Penn State Applied Research Laboratory (ARL). ARL has been highly successful and accounts for over $240 million of our research expenditures, bumping up against a ceiling for its funding set by the federal government.
    4. Penn State has established a new interdisciplinary center on security, the Center for Security Research and Education (CSRE). The inaugural director is retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral James W. Houck, distinguished scholar in residence at Penn State Law and the School of International Affairs. The center incorporates 10 Penn State colleges, schools and research units to focus a broad range of academic endeavor on society’s most critical threats.
  5. Remarks by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School, Regina Vasilatos-Younken:
    1. Diversity is a high priority for the Graduate School. There are several initiatives underway. One issue is what happens to the TRIO programs, including the McNair Postbaccalaureate Program. The renewal for Penn State was this year, and despite talk of cutting or eliminating TRIO programs, the renewal of the McNair program was approved.
    2. A STEM open house event was held this last weekend – for underrepresented minority students. The open house event started in the Eberly College of Science and the College of Engineering but is now run by the Graduate School and involves other colleges. The open house is nationally advertised, students apply, and their travel and living expenses while here on campus are covered. Younken commented about students from Puerto Rico and the challenge getting here due to the hurricane and the resulting flight cancellations. The STEM open house program is four or five years old. A number of the students who visit wind up attending Penn State.
    3. Younken discussed tracking graduate students after they graduate (Michigan does it very well and Penn State is working at it) and seeing that students go on to a wide variety of careers, not just the academic careers that were the mode many years ago. The Graduate School is working on identifying and emphasizing core transferrable skills needed for success in business and other areas. Communication is a key skill – effective communication with a wide variety of audiences. Another skill is information literacy – being able to look at large volumes of information and being able to understand it and convey the essence of the information. A third skill is being able to work in teams. Some graduate education has traditionally been very insular, but that is changing.
    4. Dean Younken said that she is thrilled that in the development campaign, graduate education is playing a more central role. Efforts are underway to raise funds for fellowships, assistantships, internships, externships, workshops, and more. The Graduate School is working directly with Development
    5. There are various possible changes to the federal budget being discussed by Congress and the administration. We are getting information right now that the 2018 federal budget may cut the NSF graduate fellowship program in half. This would be catastrophic. The NSF graduate fellowship program includes all the STEM fields, including social and behavioral sciences. Several national academic organizations are working on the issue. The NSF graduate fellowship program makes three-year awards that provide living expenses plus about $12K for “educational expenses” such as tuition and fees. The awards are portable; undergraduates who are awarded the fellowships can take them wherever they go.
  6. Presentation and discussion regarding Policy SY45 on the use of drones with guests Debra Thurley, Executive Director of Research Compliance, and Michael Yukish, ARL and an Unmanned Air Systems Operations (UAS Ops) Manager.
    1. Michael Yukish presented a summary of the issues and principles involved in unmanned air systems operation. The rules apply to all of the Penn State locations. For example, drones cannot fly over people who are not participating in the project. If there are drones flying at an event where permission wasn’t obtained, call the University Police. Penn State will provide additional training for people who need to fly at a Penn State location. Near airports, such as at the UP campus, a waiver is needed to fly. Operating an unmanned air system is a privilege, not a right. The University provides insurance for research and education use, but not for student groups.
    2. Candice Yekel, Associate Vice President for Research and Director, Research Protections, led off the discussion, saying that she needs a response to say if we’re ‘good to go’ and take it to Presidents Council, or if it needs more consideration by the Faculty Senate. The report was presented to University Research Council and received approval. Should it be presented to Senate Council?
    3. A motion was made to present the report to Senate Council as an informational report regarding a change in an existing policy to comply with federal and Penn State regulations. The motion passed unanimously.
  7. Greg Madden, Senior Advisor for Research Computing and Cyberinfrastructure in the Office of the Vice President for Research, gave a presentation on research computing.
    1. The Research Computing and Cyberinfrastructure (RCCI) organization was created three years ago after research faculty made the case that research computing was underserved at Penn State. At its core, RCCI Governance relies on Communities of Practice made up of stakeholders tied to the University’s research mission. RCCI also has an Advisory Council with on the order of 85 faculty, IT personnel and administrators participating and an Executive Committee The Advisory Council is divided into 13 working groups (e.g., Data Center, high performance computing, Research data lifecycle, software, Researcher onboarding and communications,….). The Executive Committee (EC) includes 5 faculty members drawn from 5 different departments across five colleges. The role of the smaller, more nimble EC is to provide advice to, receive advice from, and serve as a steering body for the Advisory Council. The Executive Committee is the link between the Advisory Council and the senior leadership of the University, reporting to the Vice President for Research.
    2. Initially, there was very strong faculty participation, but active participation has declined over the three years of the RCCI. More active faculty participation is needed, in part because RCCI and research computing is being reconsidered; Michael Kubit, the Vice President for Information Technology/Chief Information Officer, would like to make a central IT research organization that puts Penn State at the forefront of research computing. The goal is to end the need for the faculty insurgency and get the right faculty presence in research computing conversations.
  8. Due to a lack of time, the discussion of progress on Committee charge items had to be deferred to the next meeting.
  9. The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 a.m.

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September 12, 2017

Members present: Andy Schulz (chair), Dan Larson (vice-chair), David Atwill, Raghu Garud, Janet Hughes, George Moldovan, Gavin Robertson, Jim Song, Neil Sharkey (Vice President for Research), Michael Verderame (Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education), Jim Warren, Candice Yekel (Associate Vice President for Research), Jong Yun, Christopher Zorn

  1. The chair called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m.
  2. The minutes of the meeting held on April 24, 2017 were unanimously approved, with minor revisions.
  3. Remarks by the Committee Chair, Andy Schulz
    1. After a round of introductions, Schulz welcomed the members to this year’s committee, and went through the New Member Orientation Document (included in the meeting book), which was created last year by all committees. Schulz highlighted the membership of the committee, which includes elected senators, administrators with oversight for research, and members of the Graduate Council Committee on Research. Schulz noted the committee name change and the expanded charge to cover not only research, but also scholarship and creative activity, which were approved by the Senate at the April 24, 2017 meeting.   Schulz noted that a good collaborative relationship had developed with the Graduate School and the Graduate Council around matters relating to graduate education and research, and expressed his hope that this would continue this year and beyond.
    2. Schulz led a discussion of the Summary of Committee Charges (included in the meeting book), which was issued to the Committee by Senate leadership following a late summer meeting with Schulz and committee co-chair Dan Larson. Ideas were solicited for possible additional items for the committee to tackle this year. Two ideas mentioned that were not on the original committee charge were “mentoring” and “funding challenges and strategies for interdisciplinary graduate training programs.”  With regard to the charge item of “graduate research misconduct,” Schulz noted the ongoing work of a university-wide task force that is addressing undergraduate and graduate academic misconduct, and suggested therefore that the committee defer action on this item.
    3. Volunteers were then solicited to take the lead on various items that the committee will address this year:

      A1. Lab Renovations Costs.
      (No lead person from the Committee needed at this time since the University Planning Committee will begin work and we will respond.)

      A2. Course Buyout rates and policies across the University.
      Dan Larson
      Janet Hughes

      A3. Best practices for engaging undergraduates in research, scholarship, and creative activity.
      Jim Warren.
      WE NEED ANOTHER VOLUNTEER HERE.

      A4. Promoting greater participation in research and graduate education between UP and Commonwealth Campuses.
      Siela Maximova (who worked on this two years ago as a committee member)
      Andy Schulz

      B1. Graduate research misconduct.
      (Deferred, pending results from the University Academic Integrity Task Force)
      Best practices in student mentoring, particularly in relation to graduate students.
      Gavin Robertson
      Raghu Garud

      Funding challenges and strategies for interdisciplinary graduate training programs
      George Moldovan
      Jong Yun

    4. Schulz noted that the Committee would not have any reports ready for consideration at the October Senate meeting. Since the “course buyout” report will be a relatively simple data collection exercise, perhaps that will be ready for December.
  4. Remarks by the Vice President for Research, Neil Sharkey
    1. Research Expenditures were $863 million in 16-17, eclipsing the previous high of $848 million, set a few years ago in the wake of the economic recovery. Sharkey expressed concerns about federal funding, and noted that there are some areas of increased funding such as NIH.
    2. The private sector, the Commonwealth, and international opportunitie represent areas for potential growth, and the university is making progress in these areas. Examples include the Morgan Advanced Scientific presence at Innovation Park and the 17 entrepreneurial centers across the Commonwealth that are part of Invent Penn State.  To capitalize on international opportunities, SIRO is looking to hire a coordinator of such activity.
    3. Biomedical research is a priority and a growth area, with ongoing discussion regarding the possibility of a Biomedical Institute at University Park. Our NIH funding remains modest relative to peers.  Sharkey mentioned that he would be happy to share the proposal for the Biomedical Institute with the Committee.
    4. The F&A rate will increase again this year; details to follow.
    5. Work continues to implement recommendations made by the task force that was convened two years ago to examine conflict of interest issues arising from increased entrepreneurial activity on the part of faculty and students.
    6. A task force, chaired by David Dulabon, has been established to examine issues related to visiting scientists.
  5. Report by Michael Verderame, Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education
    1. Verderame discussed issues and challenges related to research and academic integrity as they relate to graduate students.
    2. The executive branch of the federal government has proposed eliminating Trio Programs (educational opportunity outreach programs designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds), of which the McNair Scholars Program is one. Our program has been funded for at least the next year, but long-term prospects are a cause for concern.
    3. PSU is well known for interdisciplinary research and has a number of interdisciplinary research programs that train graduate students. Funding of these programs presents an ongoing challenge in a university funding model that tends to be departmentally based.  It was noted that graduate education is a part of the current capital campaign for the first time in recent memory, and that research is also a part of the campaign in ways it hasn’t been before.
  6. The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 a.m.

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April 25, 2017

Present: Andy Schulz (chair), Andrew Geller (undergraduate student representative), John Hanold, Janet Hughes, Joshua Lambert, George Moldovan, Kevin Reuning (graduate student senator), Neil Sharkey (Vice President for Research), Alok Sinha, Jean Vasilatos-Younken (Vice-Provost for Graduate Education/Dean of the Graduate School).

      1. The Chair called the meeting to order at 8:35 a.m.
      2. The minutes of the committee’s March meeting were unanimously approved.
      3. Remarks by the Chair, Andy Schulz.
        1. The senate plenary agenda includes a legislative report to change standing rules in relation to the committee. Important elements are the name change, revising the duties, and clarifying membership with regard to the Vice-Provost for Graduate Research/Dean of the Graduate School.
        2. Our New Member Document is on the senate plenary agenda as an Informational Report.
        3. Schulz solicited ideas for next year. Suggestions included continued work on priority item A5 (greater participation between UP and Commonwealth Campuses regarding research and graduate education); aligning HR-24 with recent senate legislation regarding faculty ranks (with Academic Affairs presumably taking the lead); and examining strategies for funding research in light of uncertainty regarding federal funding, a topic that has been discussed at many Research committee meetings this year.
      4. Remarks by the Vice-President for Research, Neil Sharkey.
        1. In response to 3.c, Sharkey noted that there are ongoing and concerted efforts to extend the research portfolio with private sector. At present this is a very small component of our portfolio in comparison to federal support. In terms of international possibilities for funding, global programs has hired an assistant VP to focus on research. “International” is an area we should try to grow. Foundations are important but present challenges in terms of the amount of competition and the fact that many do not pay F&A.
        2. “Health” is an increasing research priority for the university. Sharkey gave a presentation to development leaders on advancing biomedical research and outlined to that group a proposed biomedical initiative that would encompass a possible new institute, research space, endowed professorships, and graduate fellowships. This proposal grew out of discussions with the Health Sciences, as well as unit-level strategic plans, and would entail a modular approach. The total proposed cost is approximately $345 million.
      5. Remarks by Jean Vasilatos-Younken, Vice-Provost for Graduate Education / Dean of the Graduate School.
        1. The recent graduate exhibition was very successful. For the first time, officials from industry (AT&T) participated as judges. One of the goals in future is to increase industry participation in the exhibition, as well as industry sponsorship.
        2. Vasilatos-Younken discussed several instances of research misconduct on the part of graduate students that have taken place over the past two years. In these recent cases, there were elements that suggested that the faculty advisor and/or committees had not done due diligence in reviewing work products. The last case involved federally funded research and publications. She suggested that the committee take up graduate research misconduct as an agenda item for next year.
      6. Discussion of Graduate School Initiatives to Recruit and Retain Diverse Students, with Stephanie Preston, Senior Director of the Office of Graduate Educational Equity Programs.
        1. Preston discussed current efforts and initiatives aimed at recruiting students from underrepresented minorities, including the Summer Research Opportunity Program, the McNair Scholars Program, and the fall STEM Open House. She also outlined retention strategies, including monthly luncheons, programs to create community, and various workshops on writing and other topics.
        2. Topics of discussion included challenges regarding the timing of funding offers, whether PSU relies too heavily on the GRE in admission decisions, the lack of URM recipients of the UGF, the importance of active follow-up by faculty and others with potential students, and the fact that PSU departments often do not consider “middle-tier” students, who go on to succeed at our peer institutions.
        3. Out of this discussion emerged a proposal for an agenda item for the committee for 2017-18: To jointly with the Graduate Council develop recommendations for a set of best practices for graduate recruitment.
      7. Discussion of Proposed Policies Regarding Information Security, with Richard Sparrow, Director of Security Operations in the Office of Information Security
        1. Under Don Welch, PSU’s recently appointed Chief Information Security Officer, there has been ongoing work on policy changes that are currently in draft form.
        2. Sparrow noted that information security is about “putting up a perimeter.” At Penn State, we have very high walls with holes in them. Goals going forward are: 1.) a single, consistent security program; 2.) a risk-based approach, rather than one that is compliance-driven. The aim is to put the focus on the data and how the data is being used, with an emphasis on protecting the things that are really important; 3.) deployment of common architectures in areas such as email and storage; 4.) the develop of a “security community” across campus, comprised of partners in the units.
        3. To accomplish these goals, AD-20, 23, and 80 will be replaced by a single information security policy that outlines standards to help assess data categorization. There is a task force working on this policy, and Rich will forward the drafts to Schulz for circulation to the committee.
        4. The Office of Information Security is also looking to have a governance system around information security.
        5. There is consideration of centralizing some aspects of security; one example is a proposal to have one firewall group run all the firewalls at PSU. In addition to increased security, such an approach has the benefit of creating economies of scale.
        6. Sparrow noted that a big part of information security is “people and process,” rather than technology. We need to collectively develop and document better processes, and to increase awareness and conduct training.
      8. The meeting was adjourned at 10:30

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March 14, 2017 (Rescheduled for March 21, 2017) (Research Minutes)

Present: Andy Schulz (chair), Frank Chen, Andrew Geller (undergraduate student representative), John Hanold, Janet Hughes, Derek Kreager, George Moldovan, Kevin Reuning, Neil Sharkey (Vice President for Research), Alok Sinha, Michael Verderame (Associate Dean for Graduate Education), and Candice Yekel.

      1. The Chair called the meeting to order at 8:34 m.
      2. The minutes of the meeting held on January 24, 2017 were unanimously approved.
      3. Remarks by the Chair, Andy Schulz.
        1. Schulz has heard many positive remarks regarding the new communication piece on F&A that has been produced by the OVPR, following one of the recommendations of our F&A benchmarking report (A1 on the SCoR priority form).
        2. The regularization of fixed-term ranks is a major issue on the agenda for the afternoon Senate plenary session.
      4. Remarks by the Vice-President for Research, Neil Sharkey
        1. The proposed federal budget includes significant cuts to all agencies that fund PSU research, with the possible exception of defense. If passed in its proposed form, this would mean a loss of tens of millions of dollars in research expenditures. Estimates are a 7-8% reduction in our research portfolio, which equates to $36-40 million. In light of the federal situation, there was discussion about other possible avenues—and ongoing initiatives—for funding research, such as industry partnerships, and about effects on graduate education. Sharkey also noted that federal immigration policy also presents significant challenges.
        2. The AVPR search has yielded a favored candidate, and negotiations are underway.
        3. Peter Hudson, the director of the Huck Institute, will be stepping down, and a search committee is being assembled.
        4. The OVPR has organized an event called Science Saturday that will take place April 22. The event will have a “TED talk” format, with two simultaneous sessions.
      5. Update on CATS IACUC Project, Jim Taylor, Office of Research Information Systems.
        1. As a prelude to Jim’s presentation, Debra Thurley introduced Jeremy DeRicco as the new director of the animals, biosafety and animal compliance program. Jeremy joined the OVPR in January.
        2. Taylor presented a powerpoint outlining the CATS IACUC rollout. This project concerns the creation of a less burdensome system for submitting and processing protocol submissions for research involving animals. It is part of a broader initiative—the Centralized Application Tracking System (CATS)—that also involves protocol submissions for humans, radioactive materials, etc. CATS has already been deployed for IRB submissions, with a 50% reduction in the time to approval. For IACUC, the system will be piloted in June, and assuming that goes well, will go live in September. The CATS IACUC team is actively engaged in communication to key users and groups in advance of the June pilot phase, and is also piloting support and training.
      6. Priority Item A7 – “Conflict of Interest Task Force April 2016 to provide industry access to PSU Laboratories.”
        1. In response to the committee’s charge to consider issuing a report regarding the Conflict of Interest Task Force that was convened last year, task force co-chair Debra Thurley gave an overview of the work of the task force, focusing on the charge and the report that it submitted to the Provost of the VPR in late March 2016. (The full report was included in the SCoR meeting book; highlights are contained in the executive summary.) The aim of this project wa”s how to consider issues arising from the University’s increasing focus on entrepreneurship and commercialization. The task force identified three overarching principles: to reduce impediments to entrepreneurship, to ensure compliance with University (and federal) policies, and to do so with the least possible burden on faculty. It was recognized that a key challenge was in the realm of communication, and the need to enable faculty to understand policies and have easy access to resources that will enable and ensure compliance.
        2. Sharkey then reported on how the task force’s recommendations have been implemented thus far, noting that it will take time to do all the work that is necessary. One important step has been to hire Amanda Snyder to work on communications for the OVPR. In addition, a group from the OVPR meets regularly to focus on implementation of the task force report. One aspect of their work has been the creation of a survey to get a “lay of the land” in terms of what faculty do and don’t understand. That survey will go out soon. In addition, there is ongoing work to update and create a number of policies, and to make them easier find through an interface on the OVPR website. One example are the proposed STTR/SBIR policies.
      7. Discussion of Proposed STTR/SBIR polices, Dave Dulabon, Office of the General Council.
        1. Dulabon followed Shakey’s remarks by describing the policies that are being proposed in regard to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The aim of these federal programs is to catalyze private sector commercialization of technology innovations. Only small businesses can apply to these programs, and they can then subcontract some of the work to university researchers. Compliance concerns center around the need to maintain distinctions between those with a stake in the enterprise and university affiliates engaged in supporting research. Penn State investigators receive 20-30 awards per year in the range of $30,000. Dulabon noted that two policies have been proposed (in contrast to the approach taken by many peer institutions) because PSU attorneys see greater flexibility in the STTR program. FAQs, flow charts, and other communication tools will be key in helping faculty navigate these policies. Committee members mentioned the importance of including information that indicates was CAN be done, in addition to what CAN’T. Dulabon agreed to forward the draft policies to Schulz so that they could be distributed to committee members in electronic form for further comment.
      8. Remarks by Michael Verderame, Associate Dean of the Graduate School.
        1. Verderame provided an update on recruiting of graduate students from diverse backgrounds. Four key initiatives are underway to work on this issue, with a group working on each of these. Recommendations are anticipated in June.
        2. Graduate Exhibition will take place this coming weekend (March 24 and 26) and is one of the signature events sponsored by the Graduate School.
        3. Verderame echoed Sharkey’s concerns regarding emerging federal policies, and mentioned H1-B visas in particular.
      9. Priority Item A5 – “Greater participation with University Park and Commonwealth Colleges with research and graduate education.”
        1. A draft list of questions for a PSU-wide faculty survey was included in the meeting book and discussed by the committee members. Schulz indicated that suggestions made by committee members would be incorporated as work on this item continued.
      10. The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 m.

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January 24, 2017 (Research Minutes)

Present: Andy Schulz (chair), Rogerio Neves (vice-chair), Frank Chen, Andrew Geller (undergraduate student representative), John Hanold, Janet Hughes, Derek Kreager, Josh Lambert, George Moldovan, Kevin Reuning, Neil Sharkey (Vice President for Research), Alok Sinha, Jean Vasilatos-Younken (Vice Provost for Graduate Education/Dean of the Graduate School), Michael Verderame (Associate Dean for Graduate Education), and Candice Yekel.

      1. The Chair called the meeting to order at 8:30 m.
      2. The minutes of the committee meeting held on December 6, 2017 were unanimously approved.
      3. Remarks by the Chair, Andy Schulz
        1. There is one SCoR item on Senate agenda this afternoon: Informational Report Benchmarking Penn State’s F&A rate.
        2. Revisions to SCoR duties and committee name are still under review by CC&R.
        3. Ranks for fixed term faculty will be a major agenda item on the afternoon Senate agenda.
        4. Overview of priority items this year’s committee agenda, noting that the committee has made good progress so far this year, with work still to do on several items.
        5. Introduction of Dr. Jean Vasilatos-Younken, who was in attendance for the first
      4. Remarks by the Vice-President for Research, Neil Sharkey
        1. Jenny Evans has been appointed director of the Institute for Cyberscience.
        2. The F&A rate is projected to rise for next year, based on continuing under recovery
        3. There are many questions about the future of funded research due uncertainty in Washington, D.C. Defense and health spending seem to be more secure than other domains, such as environmental sciences. The AAU and APLU, as well as disciplinary-based organizations are taking a pro-active approach.
        4. A Conflict of Interest Task Force was charged last year, with the aim of providing better resources and guidance to assist faculty navigate a range of issues and its report was submitted in April. The recommendations are being pursued. A faculty survey will be going out shortly. New policies will lead to greater clarity, and these will be shared with SCoR for feedback. One approach will be a more robust set of resources on the OVPR website for “one-stop shopping.” A new communications person has been hired who will assist in this area. Yekel noted that there is a new COINS interface this year, and the OVPR is looking forward to receiving feedback.
        5. Visiting scholar policies and guidelines are in need of revision, and Yekel noted that meetings are underway to begin addressing this topic. Sharkey noted that English proficiency is one example of a case in point, with important differences between what is needed in the classroom and the lab.
        6. Yekel noted that the OVPR would like feedback on the process for consulting disclosure, which is under development
        7. Research expenditures are holding steady in comparison to last year
        8. In response to questions, Sharkey noted that health is an important area of growth and opportunity that figures prominently in strategic planning and campaign planning. We lag behind many of our peers in this domain
      5. Remarks by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education/Dean of the Graduate School, Jean Vasilatos-Younken.
        1. There are concerns over the possible elimination of J-1 visas, which would affect research as well as graduate education. These developments are being closely monitored.
        2. Vasilatos-Younken echoed the feeling of uncertainty in the current federal climate with regard to higher education and graduate education in particular.
        3. Diversity is the top priority in the grad school strategic plan, and an active topic of conversation and action in the Graduate Council, the ACGE, and other fora. The fact that admission takes place at the program level creates challenges. One change that would make a difference would be the adoption of proxy measures in admissions beyond standardized test scores, and champions of this approach involved in the admissions process. One striking statistic is that in last 500 University Graduate Fellowship recipients there has not been a single African American recipient. The support of college leadership is crucial in more effectively recruiting under- represented minorities. An important related issue is the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty. There was discussion of the higher attrition rate of URM students, and of existing and potential strategies to address this issue. Recruiting PSU undergraduate students into our graduate programs is a strategy that we could better employ.
        4. Three graduate degrees have been revoked in less than two years. There are some common elements in these cases that warrant further examination, including plagiarism. In one case, there had a been a history of plagiarism that had not officially been addressed beyond the level of individual courses. It is important that cases of plagiarism lead to the creation of an institutional record. In another case in which a degree was revoked due to the falsification of data, there as a complete absence of appropriate oversight by the faculty advisor. Advisors and committees must play an active role in the evolution of the research so as to be in a better position to identify potential problems.
      6. Alan Rieck, Assistant Vice-President and Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education, was invited by the chair to address the committee and take questions regarding new developments in undergraduate research.
        1. Rieck arrived on November 1st and his top priority has been learning what is going in regarding undergraduate research.
        2. A common question has been “what is the incentive for faculty to engage with undergrad research?” The answer varies by discipline, and is the object of active discussion.
        3. An important priority is engaging more students in domains of research and investigation that are more individualized, such as the arts, social sciences, and humanities.
        4. Rieck hopes to foster a culture of curiosity and wonder, and to enable students to understand and employ legitimate means for investigation and communication
        5. Following Rieck’s remarks, topics of discussion included: ways connect students to research opportunities, including ways for investigators to browse CVs of available students; the issue that summer is often not the best time for mentorship in more individualized domains, such as the arts and humanities, and so programs such as the Discovery Grants might be modified; the important role that grad students can play in fostering undergrad research; the possibility of offering credit rather than compensation for participation in research, and looking at best practices in units where this is happening; how to create opportunities for undergrads interested in biomedical research, particularly at Harrisburg
        6. Rieck thanked the committee and invited committee members to share additional comments or ideas with him via email
        7. Schulz wondered whether it would be worth considering adding Rieck as an ex oficio member of the committee
      7. Discussion of standardizing fixed-term titles, in advance of the forensic at the afternoon Senate meeting
        1. Sharkey discussed the importance of the “professor” title for researchers seeking external funding
        2. Schulz noted that there is recognition on the part of Faculty Affairs that there will be some individuals who will not be covered by the revised policy. That may be the case for researchers in ARL
        3. There was some discussion of the meaning of “teaching” and “professing,” and the need to alter the language of HR-24.
        4. Verderame noted the lack of clarity in the terms “terminal degree” and “clinical professor” and the need to carefully define what these mean
      8. Priority Item A5 – Greater Collaboration between UP and Commonwealth Campuses in Research and Graduate Education
        1. Discussion of this item was deferred until the March meeting. Schulz suggested that the committee may wish to request a forensic on this topic at the April Senate meeting.
      9. There was no new business
      10. The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 m.

NOTE: The next Senate Committee on Research meeting will take place on March 14, 2017, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. in 214 Business Building. The final meeting of the year will be April 25, 2017

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December 6, 2016 (Research Minutes)

Present: Andy Schulz (chair), Rogerio Neves (vice-chair), Andrew Geller (undergraduate student representative), John Hanold, Kathleen Hodgdon, Janet Hughes, Josh Lambert, George Moldovan, Sudarshan Nelatury, Kevin Reuning, Neil Sharkey (Vice President for Research), Alok Sinha, Michael Verderame (Associate Dean for Graduate Education; attending on behalf of Dean Jean Vasilatos-Younken), Candice Yekel

      1. Schulz called the meeting to order meeting at 8:30 a.m.
      2. The minutes of the committee meeting held on October 18, 2016 were unanimously approved, with minor revisions.
      3. Remarks by the Chair, Andy Schulz
        1. There is one committee item on Senate agenda this afternoon: The informational report on the ARL drug testing policy (item A6 on the committee priority form). There was discussion regarding whether administrative staff from ARL should attend the full senate meeting to answer questions, and Kathleen Hodgdon agreed to arrange for this.
        2. Schulz met recently with Stephanie Preston, who spearheads diversity initiatives in the Graduate School, to begin developing a strategy to work on the informational report (together with EECE) on the recruitment of diverse graduate students (item A4 on the committee priority form). ACTION ITEM: THE COMMITTEE WILL INVITE STEPHANIE TO A FUTURE COMMITTEE MEETING.
        3. Schulz met recently with Michael Verderame to discuss how the committee might constructively engage with the Graduate School in examining how to create a workable funding model for intercollege graduate degree programs (IGDPs). (Verderame had mentioned this issue in his remarks to the committee at the October 18 meeting.)
      4. Remarks by the Vice-President for Research, Neil Sharkey
        1. In light of the presidential election, Sharkey noted uncertainty regarding the future of federally funded research. In terms of good news on the federal side, he noted that the NIH just received a $4.8 billion boost, with a significant portion for cancer.
        2. There are two task forces at work in the OVPR. One relates to technology transfer and is examining how to make this activity less burdensome for faculty in terms of regulatory issues. There will be a faculty survey on this topic. The second task force is looking at processes that might make contracting with private industry go more smoothly. Both of these task forces are the outcome of recommendations provided by a task force convened in 2015-16 to examine a broad range of issues related to conflict of interest. ACTION ITEM: AGENDA ITEM A7 RELATES TO THE 2015-16 COI TASK FORCE REPORT. SCHULZ WILL POST THIS REPORT TO THE COMMITTEE WORKROOM ON BOARD EFFECT.
        3. Ongoing searches: The Provost and OVPR are negotiating with the preferred candidate for Chief Sustainability Officer/Director of S.I.; there are three finalists for Associate Vice President for Research, who will be focused primarily on Washington and on building relationships with federal agencies; there are three finalists for Director of the Institute for Cyberscience. Ron Huss, Associate for VP for Technology Transfer, decided to take the voluntary retirement program offer and will be retiring effective June 30, 2017. Following a review to examine the possible reorganization of that office, there will be a search for his replacement.
        4. In the domain of Energy: Sharkey was invited by the European Commission on Economics to participate on a panel in Geneva on energy efficiency in building industries; there is a group meeting with Siemens on the topic of smart cities/smart buildings; Sharkey/PSU are helping to coordinate the American Energy and Manufacturing Competitiveness Partnership, an initiative of American Council on Competitiveness.
        5. Sharkey stated his desire for a better interface between UP and Hershey, and for the need for more integrated approaches to biomedical topics. This was followed by a discussion of silos at Hershey, and the need to overcome them.
        6. Sharkey said he anticipated significant concerns to be raised at the full senate meeting this afternoon regarding the ARL drug testing policy.
      5. Remarks by the Dean of the Graduate School, given by Senior Associate Dean Michael Verderame.
        1. Verderame shared Graduate School’s desire to use the Starfish system (recently implemented at undergraduate level) for graduate advising. He noted that a significant challenge is the present lack of a robust system for advising graduate students. As a result, a task force will make recommendations regarding graduate advising in both research and professional programs.
        2. Diversity is a top priority for graduate school and is the topic of a series of ongoing meetings involving associate deans for grad education and college-level multicultural officers, with a day-long workshop planned for June 2017. The challenges are well understood; the question is how to address them in ways that will make a difference.
        3. Echoing comments made by Schulz in his chair’s remarks, Verderame reiterated the importance of finding a workable model to fund interdisciplinary graduate education, and he underscored the value of SCoR/Grad Council collaboration in tackling this issue.
      6. Remarks by the undergraduate representative, Andrew Geller
        1. We will have a robust discussion on undergraduate research at the January committee meeting, when we will be joined by Alan Rieck, Assistant Dean and Assistant Vice President for Undergraduate Education.
      7. Remarks by the graduate student representative, Alison Franklin
        Franklin had indicated to Schulz that she would be unable to attend the meeting. Therefore, there was no report.
      8. Discussion of draft Informational Report benchmarking the Penn State F&A rate (A2 on the committee’s Priority form)
        The committee discussed a draft document circulated by Schulz. It was agreed that John Hanold would share the draft with the controller’s office to ensure accuracy. Schulz agreed to make final revisions to the report and post it for an electronic vote by the committee in time for inclusion on the agenda of the January 24 senate meeting. Hanold circulated a draft of a communication tool similar to one posted on the University of Minnesota website (alluded to in the draft informational report), and it was met with broad approval. Committee members agreed to forward any additional comments to Hanold. In response to a request by Sharkey on how to use this communication tool, suggestions included giving it to new faculty, encouraging colleges to post and circulate it, and including it—or incorporating some of the information is will contain—into the annual report produced by the OVPR.
      9. Discussion of draft SCoR orientation (A1 on the committee’s priority form).
        The committee discussed a revised draft document circulated by Schulz. (A preliminary document had been discussed at the October meeting.) The new version framed the committee’s duties in much broader terms than the present senate bylaws, with the aim of clearly encompassing not only sponsored research and related policy/resource issues, but also the full spectrum of research, scholarship, and creative activity/inquiry in which faculty and students—both undergraduate and graduate—engage to create new knowledge. The document also proposed that the name of the committee be changed to “Committee on Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity,” and this met unanimous approval. It was noted that the document should list the resource people in the OVPR who attend committee meetings. Schulz agreed to make final revisions to the report and post it for an electronic vote by the committee in time for inclusion on the agenda of the January 24 senate meeting.
      10. Preliminary discussion of advisory/consultative report on greater collaboration between UP and Commonwealth campuses in research and graduate education (A5 on the committee priority report).
        Schulz provided background information on the ways in which this issue has been percolating within the committee, as well as in other administrative bodies, for the past several years. It was agreed that the committee should begin examining this issue by collecting data on the current state of collaboration and participation, the degree of interest in increasing these efforts, and the barriers and costs to doing so. A subcommittee was established, composed of Alison Franklin, Joshua Lambert, George Moldovan, Sudarshan Nelatury, Kevin Reuning, and Michael Verderame.   ACTION ITEM: THE SUBCOMMITTEE WILL CONVENE BEFORE THE JANUARY COMMITTEE MEETING AND REPORT BACK AT THAT TIME.
      11. There was no new business.
      12. The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 a.m.

NOTE: The next Senate Committee on Research meeting will take place on January 24, 2017, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. in 214 Business Building.

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October 18, 2016 (Research Minutes)

Members present: Andy Schulz (chair), Rogerio Neves (vice-chair), Alison Franklin (graduate student representative), Andrew Geller (undergraduate student representative), John Hanold, Michael Hickner, Kathleen Hodgdon, Janet Hughes, Derek Kreager, Josh Lambert, George Moldovan, Sudarshan Nelatury, Neil Sharkey (Vice President for Research), Alok Sinha, Michael Verderame (for Jean Vasilatos-Younken), Candice Yekel

        1. The chair called the meeting to order meeting at 8:30 a.m.
        2. The minutes of the meeting held on October 18, 2016 were unanimously approved, with minor revisions.
        3. Remarks by the Chair, Andy Schulz
          1. There is one item related to SCoR on the Senate meeting agenda for this afternoon: Legislation from CC&R to make the Vice Provost for Graduate Education/Dean of the Graduate School a non-voting member of the committee.
          2. SCoR agenda for 2016-17 includes a report on strategies for recruiting diverse graduate students, on which work had begun last year in collaboration with EECC. Chair will coordinate on this matter with Chair of EECC and graduate school staff.
        4. Remarks by the Vice-President for Research, Neil Sharkey
          1. Information on recent events sponsored by OVPR: 1) visit by PA Governor and Secretary of Agriculture as part of a White House gathering on “rural America;” 2) Penn State Research Days: industry reps from the private sector attended to see what faculty have to offer; organized through Institutes under OVPR, expanding on what had been done with MRI in the past; 3) first Penn State Venture & IP Conference: 600 registrants, with venture capital companies from all over the country here; 60 venture firms, about 40 interviewing Penn State startups and inventors, ranging from undergrads to faculty; judged to be a huge success.
          2. Updates on the searches. Searches currently underway: Chief Sustainability Officer, Director of Institute for Cyberscience, Associate VPR (key role will be providing a strong, proactive presence in DC as well as coordinating large interdisciplinary projects), and a second data analyst for strategic evaluation of research in OVPR. Negotiations with lead candidate for Water Institute are ongoing, but not looking promising. The university has appointed a Chief Information Security Officer, and the appointment of Chief Information Officer is expected soon.
          3. Volvo Truck was honored recently as Penn State “industrial partner of the year.” Sharkey noted that industry partnerships/relationships are increasingly important in light of flat or decreasing federal research dollars.
          4. Research expenditures for last year were $836 million, which is the second highest total ever. This is good news in light of flat federal funding.
        5. Remarks by the Dean of the Graduate School, given by Senior Associate Dean Michael Verderame.

      PSU has significant strengths in interdisciplinary research, and this extends into grad education. One example is the current proposal for a dual-title PhD in Visual Studies, about which the grad school is facilitating discussions between Arts & Arch, Liberal Arts, and Communication. A challenge presented by interdisciplinary grad programs is funding, since these don’t fit into the traditional college/department funding structure. Sharkey pointed out that such programs need to align closely with the PSU strategic plan. Sharkey also pointed out that the university needs to grow graduate programs in terms of volume and sustainability in funding and noted that PSU is last in the Big 10 in terms of the ratio of grad/undergrad students. Some peers have substantial endowments for graduate education; we lag far behind. Capturing such dollars will feature in the current capital campaign in a way it never has before. This is made possible by the thematic focus of the plan and campaign, and the emphasis on addressing global challenges. There was discussion about the importance of crafting the right message to garner philanthropic support for graduate education since most alumni were undergrads. One key is emphasizing the importance of excellent graduate programs for high quality undergraduate education. ACTION ITEM: Vererdame suggested that the SCoR and the graduate council could collaborate on examining possible sustainable funding models for interdisciplinary graduate programs. Verderame and Schulz will meet to discuss.

        1. Remarks by the undergraduate representative, Andrew Geller

      Geller discussed the rich opportunities available to undergraduates wishing to gain research experience. Schulz mentioned the need of SCoR to pay closer attention to graduate education. There was considerable discussion about how to make it easier for students to find research opportunities, and for faculty to find qualified students. Hickner noted the need for more research funding for undergraduates. ACTION ITEM: Schulz suggested that the committee invite the new Assistant VP/Assisant Dean for Undergraduate Education, Alan Rieck, to a future meeting.

        1. Remarks by the graduate student representative, Alison Franklin

      Franklin discussed the need to make graduate students more aware of interdisciplinary opportunities. Verderame mentioned ongoing work to create up-to-date lists of faculty associated with interdisciplinary programs, and the additional challenge of faculty updating their web pages. Hodgdon noted that the greatest impediment for faculty updating web pages is multitude of demands on their time. A new digital system called “Pure” will provide an important resource for research matchmaking; Orcid ID is another evolving approach. Hanold noted that grant abstracts are searchable for faculty and that perhaps this resource could be made available to students. Singa noted the importance of face-to-face interactions, departmental cultures, and interdisciplinary gatherings. Hodgdon suggested it would be useful to have various digital resources and information on interdisciplinary gatherings/event, such as Millennium Café, aggregated in a single web site.   ACTION ITEM: Schulz suggested that the committee invite Michelle Hutnik, Director of Research Analytics and Communication in OVPR to a future meeting to discuss various research analytics and communication initiatives.

        1. Status Report on Priority A1 – Create a SCoR orientation document.

      The committee reviewed and commented on a draft written by Schulz. Yekel noted the need to add all RP policies to the list of relevant policies. There was general consensus that the purview of the committee needs to be framed more broadly, so as to clearly encompass not only sponsored research and related policy/resource issues, but also the full spectrum of research, scholarship, and creative activity/inquiry in which faculty and students—both undergraduate and graduate—engage to create new knowledge. Schulz suggested that the document should indicate that the chair of SCoR serves on the University Research Council. Sharkey indicated his support of this suggestion. ACTION ITEM: Schulz post a revised for discussion/revision/approval at the December committee meeting.

        1. Status Report on Priority A2 – Benchmark F&A and examine possible impediments to research productivity.

      Schulz and Hickner presented a pdf available on the University of Minnesota research website that offers in a well-designed format the breakdown of how facilities and administration fees are spent, and provides accessible answers to FAQs about F&A and related issues. They suggested that PSU take a similar approach so as to avoid the annual exercise of addressing fundamental questions about F&A and to take a more transparent approach to F&A. Sharkey and Hanold stated that this information exists and a similar document could be created, but that it would require the collaboration and consent of the Controller’s Office. Information could also be incorporated from the existing F&A FAQ document (designed for researchers and research admins) and from RA-30. Hanold noted the risk that, should a breakdown of costs be made public, sponsors might balk at paying for costs (such as libraries) that don’t relate to specific projects they are funding.

      The committee also discussed the issue of graduate tuition as a research cost, incentives such as RIF, and possible ways to reduce the costs for young investigators. Verderame noted that tuition is lower for students on assistantships and that the approach to grad tuition vis-à-vis sponsored research varies widely by institution. It was agreed that benchmarking of peers would be helpful for informational purposes. Sharkey noted the need to keep in mind PSU budget constraints and realities, which relate to the Trustees’ desire to keep tuition flat and falling state appropriations.

      It was agreed that the best approach at this point would be to address the issues posed in the agenda item from Senate Council (F&A and related issues), and to consider undertaking a separate report examining additional issues such as graduate tuition, RIF, assistance for young investigators. Schulz noted that the University Planning Committee would be doing a benchmarking report on how colleges/departments distribute RIF, and Senate discussion of this report could be timed to coincide with our supplementary report. ACTION ITEM: Schulz and Hickner will draft the F&A report for discussion at the committee’s December meeting.

        1. Status Report on Priority A6 – ARL Drug Testing Policy

      The committee discussed the draft report written by Hodgdon. Various suggestions were made, and Hodgdon will post a revised document. The committee will vote electronically to approve in order to meet the deadline for putting this item on the agenda for the December meeting of the Senate.   ACTION ITEM: Hodgdon will present the report at the Senate meeting in December.

          • Status Report on Priority A5 – Report on the potential for greater participation by CC faculty in research and graduate education

      Due to time constraints, discussion of this item was deferred to the committee’s December meeting. ACTION ITEM: Schulz will communicate with SCoR members who volunteered to work on this item.

          • There was no new business.
          • The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 a.m.

      Note: The next Senate Committee on Research meeting will take place from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. in 214 Business Building.

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      September 6, 2016 (Research Minutes)

      Members present: Andrew Schulz (chair), Rogerio Neves (vice-chair), Frank Chen, Alison Franklin (graduate student representative), Andrew Geller (undergraduate student representative), Michael Hickner, Kathleen Hodgdon, Patricia Hswe, Ronald Huss, Derek Kreager, Todd LaJeunesse, Josh Lambert, George Moldovan, Sudarshan Nelatury, Neil Sharkey (Vice-President for Research), Alok Sinha, Michael Verderame (for Jean Vasilatos-Younken), Candice Yekel

          1. The meeting was called to order by the chair at 8:30 a.m.
          2. Introductions by chair, vice-chair and new members.
          3. The minutes of the SCoR meeting held on April 19, 2016 were unanimously approved.
          4. Remarks from the Chair
            1. Overview of membership: elected senators from colleges/campuses, one grad and one undergrad senator, reps from the Graduate School Committee on Research, resource people from the OVPR (non-voting), and the Vice-President of Research (non-voting). New this year (pending revision to Senate by-laws): the Dean of the Graduate School or her representative will attend SCoR meetings (non-voting). At the suggestion of the vice-chair, committee members are requested to fill out their profiles on BoardEffect.
            2. Purview of the committee: PSU research enterprise, broadly defined, often in collaboration with other committees, particularly University Planning Committee and Faculty Affairs.
            3. No all-consuming Senate issue this ye ar(as Gen Ed was the past two years). Preview of afternoon full Senate meeting: frustrations with LionPath; panel on student diversity (expect diversity to appear on many Senate meeting agendas); university smoking policy; demonstration of Starfish; and questions of consultation in revisions to HR-80 (consulting policy).  Ron Huss and Candy Yekel gave an overview for the committee of key changes to HR-80. At request of Provost/OVPR and in response to faculty requests, the goal was to combine reporting on conflict of interest and on consulting. Benchmarked consulting policies at peers, and adopted some elements of UC Berkeley policy. Eliminated requirement for prior approval for those consulting under 40 hrs/month. Clarified what must be reported. Met with Assoc Deans, URC, and Senate Council. A senator has raised questions about robustness of consultation, which will be taken up at Senate. Research Protections staff will be on hand at full Senate meeting to answer questions as needed.
          5. Report by the Dean of the Graduate School, given by the Senior Associate Dean.
            1. Comments on efforts at diverse recruiting of graduate students, which is a SCoR agenda item for the year.  A tough challenge; need to make a strong push.  The Grad School has an office dedicated to diversity efforts, which can be a key resource.
            2. Comments on further integrating Commonwealth Campuses into graduate education, also on SCoR agenda.  Four campuses in particular, but not limited to them.  Challenge: grad education is really a local effort, rooted in departments and programs.  Grad School is eager to collaborate on this issue with SCoR.
          6. Report by Vice-President for Research
            1. VPR and Provost accepted the conflict of interest task force report submitted last spring, created by a university-wide committee.  Implementation will take a while.  There are plans to conduct a brief survey of faculty who work with industry partners or are otherwise affected. VPR is sensitive to increasing burdens on faculty.  Some policy rewrites are under review.  Much has to do with communication/getting information out.  OVPR has been short-staffed, but a recent hire will make an important difference.  New website has been launched and will include short, succinct bulleted items for faculty reference.
            2. Ongoing searches: Director of Water Institute in IEE, negotiating with preferred candidate; Associate VP for Research; Director of Sustainability Institute, finalists to be announced soon, will report to Provost and to VP for Finance and Business; Director of the Institute for Cyberscience.
            3. Overview of other recent hires and ongoing initiatives: Michelle Hutnik working on research analytics, using SciVal and other tools.  Jeff Fortin overseeing industry partnerships and related efforts; new relationship Morgan involving a new building in Innovation Park that will be first light industry building in IP; James Delattre and progress in commercialization of intellectual Property.  Fortin/Delattre under the umbrella of Invent Penn State.  Venture/commercialization conference on October 6 and 7.  Happy Valley Launchbox located on Allen, co-working across from Borough building; SCoR members should feel free to stop by any time.
            4. Near record research expenditures expected, almost back to 2013 level of $848M.  Will be near $830M, second highest year ever.  Good news in spite of flat federal funding.  OVPR Expects expenditures will be level for next few years.
            5. Hoping to build biomedical enterprise.  PSU has a smaller NIH portfolio than our peers.  NIH is the only institute that received a healthy increase recently.  In response to questions from SCoR members: growth will require creating a bigger enterprise by adding senior faculty around key areas as the medical enterprise at UP grows.  This item is a “target” rather than “low-hanging fruit.”
          7. Overview of the Committee chargeThe SCoR agenda is about average in terms of number of items, compared to other Senate committees.  Chair provided an overview of agenda-setting process over the summer, which involved conversations between the Chair, Vice-Chair, and Senate leadership, as well as consultation with the Vice-President for Research.
            1. A1.  Create a “New Members” document defining the charge of the committee, membership, and relevant documents.  To be discussed at October meeting.  Lead: Schulz.
            2. A2.  Create a report benchmarking overhead costs and discussing effect/ways to mitigate.  Jump in F&A rates last year to 57%.  Topics of discussion: graduate tuition is also a big cost of doing research, with a larger effect than a few % increase in F&A.  Benchmark this with peers as well.  Issues of affiliation with Hershey College of Medicine vs. Medical Center, with researchers being pushed toward clinical work.  Questions about distribution of Research Incentive Funds.  Planning Committee benchmarked RIF distribution across units and has follow-up on RIF on their agenda.  Conclusion: change report from Informational to Advisory/Consultative, and broaden to include not only F&A rate but other issues that are impediments to research.  Target: December Senate meeting.  Leads: Neves, Hickner, Schulz.
            3. A3.  Renovation costs for lab research space.  University Planning Committee will take the lead.  Of particular concern to the Eberly College of Science. Lead: Planning Committee, with SCoR input and assistance as warranted.
            4. A4.  Recruitment of diverse graduate students, together with Educational Equity and Campus Environment.  Work had begun last year; SCoR provided input.  Senior Associate Dean of Grad School noted that a summit was held last spring with College EE officers and Assoc Deans, and a data report was compiled.  This topic will be on the agenda of the December Grad Council meeting.  EECE does not have this on their agenda; didn’t feel they had “standing” to submit questions to OVPR and Grad School; therefore, on hold at the moment.  SCoR chair will suggest Stephanie Preston from Grad School attend EECE meeting.  Lead: EECE.
            5. A5.  Greater participation in grad ed/research between UP and Commonwealth Campuses.  Work on this began last year.  Chair and OVPR went to May 2016 meeting of Graduate Council.  We will utilize Grad Council reps to create a subcommittee.  Create a survey for UP/CC faculty: current engagement? capacity? impediments? interest?  Make recommendations based on findings.  Brief discussion of what is already in place.  Question of costs: who pays for shared students?  Incentives?  Chicken-and-egg problem.  Information sharing.  Is there untapped capacity?  CSTI as an example of successful mechanisms for increased collaboration.  Target: January Seanate meeting.  Leads: LaJeunesse, Moldovan, Schulz.
            6. A6. Implications, if any, of ARL drug testing policy for university-wide researchers (faculty as well as students).  ARL drug testing policy was adopted over the summer, based on existing policy for university employees required to do drug testing.  Target: December Senate meeting.  Lead: Hodgdon.
            7. A7.  Examine report from Conflict of Interest Task Force.  Change this to an Informational Report.  Lead: Hodgdon.  Other volunteers?
            8. A8. Naming of Dean of Grad School to Senate Committee on Research.  Target: December meeting.  Lead: Schulz
            9. B1. Examine policies relating to visiting scholars, bench fees, and connected issues.  OVPR: This issue has been raised by a federal investigation over the past few years.  Need for greater clarification at unit level.  Lead: Kreager. Other volunteers?
            10. Proposed additional item, resulting from SCoR discussion: Examine ways in which the definition of “research” can be expanded beyond “externally funded research” so as to include the full spectrum of research, scholarship, innovation, and creative practice that takes place across the diverse colleges, campuses, departments, and programs at the university. What mechanisms would create the best environment for the full range of research activities at Penn State, many of which have little or nothing to do with external funding? Leads: Sinha, Schulz.
          8. There was no new business.
          9. The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 a.m.

      NOTE:  The next committee meeting will take place on October 18, 2016.Location: 214 Business Building.

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      April 19, 2016 (Research Minutes)

          1. Call to order – The Committee was called to order by Chair Chris Forest at 8:35 a.m.
          2. Approval of the minutes of March 15, 2016 Senate Committee on Research meeting
            The minutes were unanimously approved.
          3. Status Report on Priority A1.
            • A1.Jointly with the Committee on Faculty Affairs, deliberate on the value of commercialization of Intellectual Properties as they relate to Promotion and Tenure.This report is on the agenda for the Senate April 17, 2016 meeting. A question was raised outside of the Committee if proper due diligence was done in seeking information about the report. Chris observed that he felt that the process was open and fair.
          4. Remarks from the ChairChris reported that he was not able to make the Chairs meeting.Andy remarked that there was an open invitation extended for members of the Committee to attend the May 4, 2016 Graduate Council meeting, though the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School would like to know who is attending for planning purposes. Neil indicated that he could attend in the first 30-45 minutes of the meeting.Andy indicated that one of the topics at the Chairs committee to explore issues that the committee examines in 2016-2017. The Eberly College of Science has raised concerns about the cost of renovations under the Office of the Physical Plant (OPP). There is uncertainty in the Senate regarding graduate student issues, and uncertainty about the the relationship of the University Faculty Senate with the Graduate School more generally
          5. Remarks from Vice President for Research – Neil SharkeyNeil indicated that the central human resources promotion and tenure (P&T) policy (HR-23) is written quite broadly, and he observed that this Committee’s recent report reflected that reality. He expressed his concern that the true deficit may lie with Department and College P&T committees. He indicated that there may not be a lot that could be done with the issue centrally. Andy observed that the administrative guidelines do specifically refer to intellectual property and technology transfer.Neil stated that research income is holding steady, and he estimated that it was about 1% below last year.Neil reported that he recently visited the Philadelphia Navy Yard, which is the site of Hank Foley’s large effort with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)/Energy HUB. DOE was not happy about the way the effort was being managed; now there is a new principal investigator, though the funding was somewhat reduced. That award comes to an end this month. The Office of the Vice President for Research (VP/R) is currently seeking new awards to support the Energy HUB, and this is requiring a fair bit of attention from VP/R. One of the problems with the Energy HUB was that DOE had research expectations, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and other federal agencies had the economic growth expectations. Neil indicated that the University owns two buildings at the Navy Yard, one we built and one we recommissioned. There currently is no long range plan on how the buildings would be managed after the award ended, though OPP would then manage the facility. Penn State has some central admissions located there, and Neil observed that that the Navy Yard is somewhat of a mini-campus. The facility includes classroom space; Great Valley has already made use of it. It has been a struggle, however, to try to position these buildings so that Penn State can be competitive in the Philadelphia area. The political landscape federally is a mess, including the internal politics of DOE itself. Penn State has a lot of large DOE/National Science Foundation (NSF) proposals pending related to the Energy HUB. A task force might be an answer to the the future of the Navy Yard, depending on how some of these awards go.Neil remarked that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania now has a state budget. There is some optimism from University leadership that the participants in the budget might be more willing to work together this year because this is an election year. The President and the Executive Vice President and Provost want units to continue with the plan to trim 5% from their budgets, but there is optimism that this coming year will not be like the last.In regards to the Director search for the Water Institute, Neil confirmed that there were candidate names on his desk, including one he would categorize as a “prime candidate.” Solicitations have been sent out for individuals to serve on the search committee for the Director of the Institute for Cyberscience. The search for the Director of the Sustainability institute is underway; Neil charged the committee 1-2 weeks ago.Neil indicated that there are some good candidates for the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) position. The Executive Vice President and Provost is working on the Chief Information Officer (CIO) position search. Once these searches conclude, the University may see some restructuring of information technology so that everyone is marching to the beat of the same drum. He indicated that data security is also a huge institutional concern, and that the new CISO is going to have a huge task ahead of him.Academic leadership has received a report from the student governments about making all campuses smoke free (as opposed to merely being tobacco free).
            Neil is looking at re-organization of VP/R. Since the details are still pending, he indicated that he would more fully brief the Committee on the changes at a later date. He observed that Jeff Fortin, Associate Vice President for Research and Director of the Office of Industrial Partnerships, is presently doing excellent work with industry. Neil indicated that we may attract an arm of a couple multinational firms to locate here in State College and to partner with the University on an ongoing basis. One area for improvement in VP/R is in the development of partnerships with private firms, which is one of the reasons that Jeff was recruited.
          6. Status updates of current reports:
            • A5. Jointly with the Committee on University Planning, follow up on the report “Overview of the Facilities and Administrative Rate Distribution by Colleges, Administrative Units and Commonwealth Campuses,” prepare a Forensic Report, if needed.Chris indicated that he asked the Committee on University Planning (UPC) what their interest in this topic was. Last year a report was written on how units distributed F&A to their subunits. UPC wanted more information about how this works in each of the units. In particular, they seek to find out:
              • What happens to F&A dollars after it goes to the Department?
              • How much of F&A then goes to faculty?

            It was noted that this information is not reported consistently throughout the University. Chris observed that this has been a 3-year discussion between the two committees. UPC wants to know if we can write a report together about the details. One potential landmine is the implicit topic of how efficient each administrative unit is. The Committee voted that UPC should take the lead, and that the Senate Committee on Research would provide input on their effort as appropriate.

          7. Remarks from Graduate Council Representative ­­– Siela Maximova
            • A2. Prepare an Informational or Forensic Report, which explores plans for more extensive participation and collaboration between Commonwealth Campuses and University Park Colleges in graduate education and research.Siela reaffirmed that the Graduate School has invited everyone to participate in the May 4, 2016 discussion with the Graduate Council. In particular, Siela indicated that we need to be able to articulate what the Committee really had in mind. The idea and merits of a survey was again discussed.Brad indicated that the Graduate Council is looking at course-only versions of the Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Science (M.S.) degrees. The M.A. and the M.S. are currently considered to be research master’s degrees. Potentially, there could be transcript notations to indicate if the degree was a thesis or non-thesis master’s degree. He confirmed that this topic will be on the Graduate Council’s agenda in 2016-2017.
          8. Old BusinessNone
          9. Status updates of current reports (Cont’d)
            • A6. JoinFtly with the Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment, explore the opportunity for recruitment of diverse graduate students including graduate research and teaching assistant.There was follow-up on the discussion at the March 15, 2016 meeting. The Committee added two questions to the Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment’s question list, questions number 11 and 12. It was indicated that the questions are meant to be a fact-finding exercise, and that the Committee is being asked to approve these questions.One question raised was if all the units at Penn State baseline their statistics in the same way. Does the College of Agricultural Sciences, for example, mostly recruit from Pennsylvania? Do other programs primarily recruit nationally or internationally? It was observed that this was such a broad issue, and that the Committee should have some sort of goal in mind. It was also observed that answering these questions would require the deployment of resources. It was further observed that there are different kinds of statistics available, and some pieces of data are easier to acquire than others. The consensus of the Committee was that this was a hard question, but an important one.Andy volunteered to draft a response and to circulate it among the Committee’s members.
            • A8. In consultation with the Office of Vice President for Research, prepare an Informational Report on “Applied Research Laboratories Drug Testing Policy.” The status of this issue is presently uncertain. The Committee will continue to monitor this issue.
            • A3. Evaluate effective mechanisms and processes to provide access by private industry partners to our laboratories and instrumentation. Explore issues pertaining to the associated intellectual properties and research data. Prepare an Informational Report that will address these topics.The recent Conflict of Interest Report had information about this topic in it. Neil will bring that report to the Committee for its review.
            • A4. Prepare an Informational Report, which explores the potential risks such as financial and legal that the faculty face when they are engaged in research with focus on international collaboration.Chris indicated that because the University is self-insured it has a very low tolerance for risk. The question was asked if there are other universities that are not self-insured. This topic relates to export control laws, and who has the final responsibility that such laws are not violated. Neil remarked that they are risks beyond insurance and remuneration that have to do with legal compliance. In particular, when does the University stand up for someone, and when is the faculty member on their own?John Hanold, Associate Vice President for Research and Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs, indicated that foreign-sponsored research is growing, and that VP/R is anticipating more foreign contracts.It was noted that this was a priority in the University’s Strategic Plan, and it was recommended that the Committee continue to study this issue in 2016-2017.
          10. Adjournment – The Committee adjourned at 10:27 a.m

      Respectfully Submitted,

      Brad Sottile
      Instructor of Computer Science and Engineering, and Aerospace Engineering

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      March 15, 2016 (Research Minutes)

      1. Call to order – The Committee was called to order by Vice Chair Andy Schulz at 8:35 a.m.
      2. Approval of the minutes of January 25, 2016 Senate Committee on Research meeting
      The minutes were unanimously approved.
      3. Remarks from the Chair
      Andy remarked that due to a scheduling conflict, Chris would not be able to join the meeting today.
      At the chairs meeting, it became clear that it will be a long meeting this afternoon in the Senate. The Senate Committee on Research has an informational report on research computing being presented; no discussion will be conducted on the floor of the Senate.
      4. Remarks from the Vice President for Research – Neil Sharkey
      President’s Council met, and there is positive news – there may be some movement on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s budget. Secretary of Planning and Policy John Hanger has stepped down from Gov. Wolf’s cabinet. The Governor’s Budget Secretary (Randy Albright) is taking a little bit of a softer tone, as is the Governor. The Republicans in the Legislature will be putting forth another budget proposal. The University has more cause for optimism than we have had for a few months. The longer the impasse goes on, the more insecure faculty/staff feel, and it could lead to faculty head hunting. It remains to be seen how the President and Provost would balance the budget without an appropriation from the Commonwealth; 5% cuts to each unit would only yield 20% of the deficit caused by the loss appropriation. The potential loss of agricultural extension is causing a huge outcry across the Commonwealth.

      The water institute was a major strategic institute, covering all things water (policy, Civil Engineering, etc.). Penn State has a lot of talent in this area, but it is pretty scattered; one of the goals of the Office of the Vice President for Research is to strive for cohesiveness. The plan is to stand up a water institute, under existing Institutes of Energy and the Environment. A search has begun for a director, and there are funds allocated to hire a “heavy hitter.” This new institute figures prominently in the strategic plan.

      Research income is holding steady with last year’s income; the University is almost exactly on the nose with last year’s numbers. On the expenditure side, those numbers look good compared to the last couple of years. Neil indicated that he believed that we had bottomed out, and that we are probably on the up curve again.
      A search committee has been put together to search for the new Director of the Institute for Cyberscience, and that committee is currently seeking a chair.

      The University is currently searching for permanent director of the Sustainability Institute, which will go under the Institutes for Energy and the Environment. Invitations have been extended for individuals to serve on that search committee.

      5. Remarks from Siela Maximova – Graduate Council Representative
      The only pending issue is the letter to Graduate Council, which was discussed in more detail later in the meeting.

      6. Old Business None.

      7. Status updates of current reports

          • Update A2. Prepare an Informational or Forensic Report, which explores plans for more extensive participation and collaboration between Commonwealth Campuses and University Park Colleges in graduate education and research.
          • Review progress/approval with Statement to Graduate Council

      The proposed letter was approved by the Senate Committee on Research via an email vote. The Senate Committee on Research wrote a letter to the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School, Regina Vasilatos-Younken, recommend the creation of a joint University Faculty Senate/Graduate Council Joint Committee to author a study report on Priority A2. Jean requested that Chris and Andy participate in a Graduate Council council meeting in April or May. Chris and Andy will coordinate a mechanism to determine who will be able to go, and what the conversation should be about.

      Neil observed that “there are a lot of committees” at Penn State, and that Senate committees typical impose a lot of work on other University offices. The University’s Office of Planning and Assessment has a lot of data that the committee may find helpful.

      Neil, Jean and Vice President for Commonwealth Campuses Madlyn Hanes had a meeting about this issue. One idea they had was to have a database of research-active faculty at the Commonwealth Campuses. It it not clear how the database would be developed, but Neil is going to look into how that could work. It was asked if a small survey would be helpful. Neil remarked that the idea requires further exploration, and that Neil would commit resources to see the idea through.

      Neil observed that doctoral committees require external members, and that that requirement might be one way to get things going in this area.

          • Update A1. Jointly with the Committee on Faculty Affairs, deliberate on the value of commercialization of Intellectual Properties as they relate to Promotion and Tenure.
          • Draft document to be discussed.

      The Committee on Faculty Affairs has generated an initial document.
      The Senate Committee on Research reviewed the initial document.

      The Committee on Faculty Affairs’ recommendations regarding policy and conflict of interest are being addressed by the University. Neil suggested that this Committee provide its input on the document, but that it is a great start. The report from the conflict of interest committee is going to be issuing its recommendations soon. Lots of good benchmarking, and a very impressive task force. The Conflict of Interest task force is going to be issuing its report and recommendations soon. Neil indicated that report will feature a lot of excellent benchmarking, and that that task force was really rather impressive.

      A question was raised if this report resolves any pending questions about these issues, and that perhaps it would be possible to elaborate further on this. The observation was made that this issue comes down to local culture in departments and colleges. Perhaps there may be a recommendation to colleges that the local P&T committees examine their own local policies. It was discussed that perhaps adding a preamble explaining the motivation for why this was an issue of concern would be beneficial.

      The point of ethics raised in the document is quite important. The other type of example of commercialization and entrepreneurship that financially benefits the faculty member should be guarded against. If someone questions a faculty member’s behavior in this space, that faculty member may cite the President’s initiative. However, it is recognized that the faculty member must act scrupulously.

      It was observed that there was an academic report that the old Norwegian system was twice as effective as the current American system. The thought behind this report was that the American system stifled creativity.

          • Update on A8. In consultation with the Office of Vice President for Research, prepare an Informational Report on “Applied Research Laboratory Drug Testing Policy.”

      Kathleen has not heard anything, so she suspects that the proposed policy is still under review. It has not been released from ARL yet, so the policy is likely still pending with upper management. One of the concerns was that people with higher-leveled clearances were being targeted more than people with lesser clearances. Is is important that the boundaries are clear that this would not extend to faculty beyond ARL, but a question was raised that non-ARL faculty could be covered under this if they received ARL research money. It was decided that this Committee should wait for ARL to release the draft policy before proceeding any further with this priority.

          • The Committee agreed to proceed to its New Business while waiting for Robert Loeb to appear before the Committee.

      8. New Business

          • A3. Evaluate effective mechanisms and processes to provide access by private industry partners to our laboratories and instrumentation. Explore issues pertaining to the associated intellectual properties and research data. Prepare an Informational Report that will address these topics.

      Kathleen contacted the members of the task force, and had spoken with the Senate Engineering Caucus. Kathleen remarked that questions raised related to ITAR (international traffic in arms regulations), foreign citizens, etc. were coming from an academic unit teaming with private industry. The task force (not the Senate Committee on Research) was viewing this issue from the perspective of an individual faculty member collaborating, as opposed to academic units. It appeared that the task force is examining the bulk of the task force’s charge.

      In light of this, the Senate Committee on Research resolved to delay further action on this priority pending the release of the task force’s report.

          • A4. Prepare an Informational Report, which explores the potential risks such as financial and legal that the faculty face when they are engaged in research with focus on international collaboration.

      No update on this priority was available. Chris was taking the lead, and had asked Candy Yekel, Associate Vice President for Research and Director of the Office of Research Protections, for her input. Concerns such as export control, IRB (the institutional review board), travel remains open for the future.

          • A5. Jointly with the Committee on University Planning, follow up on the report “Overview of the Facilities and Administrative Rate Distribution by Colleges, Administrative Units and Commonwealth Campuses,” prepare a Forensic Report, if needed.

      A subgroup last year looked at how units were distributing the funds. Having a conversation with University Planning with future direction of this issue. It appears that some people are unhappy with their colleges. Concern is that this is becoming a finishing expedition. Every college has its reasons for doing things the way they do it.

      9. Status Updates of Current Reports (Cont’d)

      A6. Jointly with the Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment (EECE), explore the opportunity for recruitment of diverse graduate students including graduate research and teaching assistant.

      Discussion with Robert Loeb, EECE (at 10:00 or earlier)

      While the Committee waited for Rob, the Committee began to review the draft questions developed by EECE.

      It was observed that perhaps the Graduate Council Committee on Graduate Student and Faculty Issues should be consulted on creation of this document.

      Several members openly wondered if this issue was one that was properly within the jurisdiction of this committee, as opposed to the jurisdiction of the Graduate Council.

      John Hanold, Associate Vice President for Research and Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs, suggested that faculty should perhaps be rewarded in promotion and tenure (P&T) for recruiting underrepresented minority graduate students.

      Rob then joined the Committee. He reported that this was a common charge for the two committees. University Faculty Senate Chair Mohamed Ansari was concerned about the diversity of the population of graduate students. Graduate students in large part are funded through research at Penn State. EECE feels that the questions should be asked to the Vice President for Research, and to the Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School.

      Questions were asked on the following topics:

          • If some of this data was able to be provided. Rob observed that that remains an open question.
          • To whom this request should be sent, and if it should be sent to the Vice President for Research. It was observed that perhaps the Vice Provost for Educational Equity should be a part of this conversation.
          • If there should be further questions posed in the document itself.
          • Due to an influx of visiting scientists that come to the University unfunded, what the benefit was of having individuals funded on diversity grants was.
          • On the question of whether faculty should be rewarded in P&T for recruiting underrepresented minorities, Rob indicated that EECE would likely be supportive of that.
          • On how much emphasis on diversity is placed in strategic planning, and if there has been sufficient thought as to how we can make the University more attractive to diverse populations.
          • The consequence of answering these questions, and if these questions were going to lead to something or some action.

      Members of the Senate Committee on Research were asked to send potential questions or revisions to Andy, and Andy will compile them on behalf of the Committee.

      10. Adjournment – The Committee adjourned at 10:26 a.m.

      Respectfully submitted, Brad Sottile, Instructor of Computer Science and Engineering, and Aerospace Engineering

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      January 26, 2016 (Research Minutes)

          1. The meeting was called to order at 8:30.
            • Members present: Rose Baker, Robert Bonilla, Linda Collins, Chris Forest, John Hanold, Kathy Hodgdon, Andrey Kasilnikov, Joshua Lambert, Siela Maximova, Rogerio Neves, David Passmore, Andy Schulz (Vice Chair) , Neil Sharkey, Steinn Sigurdsson, Amit Sharma, Brad Sottile, Grant Worley, Candace Yekel.
            • Members absent: John Asbury, Greg Raab.
          2. The minutes from the SCoR Meeting on 08 DEC 2015 were approved.
          3. Remarks from the Chair
            • Summarized Meeting of the Chairs on Jan 25, 2016.
            • Announced changes to SCoR members: Karen Stylianides (replaces Frantisek Marko who is on sabbatical)
            • Identified plans for working with EECE (Loeb) and Faculty Affairs (Berube) on respective tasks.
          4. Remarks from Vice President for Research – Dr. Neil Sharkey
            • Dr. Sharkey provided update on issues related to diversity that are continuing to be a high profile discussion at the university.  He discussed the following items that relate to enhancing research connections to the commonwealth campuses:  overall interest in increasing the research portfolio, as part of the graduate faculty on commonwealth campuses, providing incentives for increasing diversity,  role of internships for students,  summer fellowships (as part of university institutes and within the strategic plan). Siela commented on improving collaborations using projects that enhance the Food-Energy-Water (FEWS) connections. Rogerio suggested increasing high profile presentations on research topics for engaging commonewealth campus activities.
            • Dr. Sharkey highlighted the recent NSF project awarded $20M as part of the Materials Research Platform to develop 2D crystals for electronics.
            • Dr. Sharkey briefly discussed the CIC meeting in Chicago discussing Health Care Equity issues across the CIC universities.
            • Dr. Sharkey indicated the change in the FAA rules on use of drones and raised the issue for compliance and documentation for the research community at Penn State.  This pertains to pre-flight and post-flight documentation.  Kathleen Hodgdon raised a question regarding the use of AI controlled drones and how this would be handled.
            • Dr. Sharkey indicated that Jenni Evans would be the interim director of the Institute for CyberSciences (ICS) and that Lorraine Mulfinger would be the interim head of SIRO.
            • There was a brief discussion of the ongoing lack of budget from the state appropriations.
          5. Remarks from Siela Maximova – Graduate Council Representative
            • No comments.
          6. Old Business
          7. Status updates of current reports
            • A2. Prepare an Informational or Forensic Report, which explores plans for more extensive participation and collaboration between Commonwealth Campuses and University Park Colleges in graduate education and research.
            • Review Statement to Graduate Council
          • The draft statement was reviewed and discussed. A broad discussion centered on next steps in working to improve collaborations. Questions raised included:  What is the vision for the university on this issue?  Would a task force be an appropriate option to address this?   How does this impact teaching loads and teaching buyouts?   Would funding be possible from OVPR?  Could changes fundamentally change the structure of the university?
          • The following action items were identified:
          1. Siela Maximova would revise the current document and this would be distributed by email for a yes/no/abstain vote.
          1. A sub-group should meet with Madeline Haines and the Academic Leadership Council. (suggested group: Sottile, Collins, Maximova, Forest, Sigurdsson)
          1. The current budget of $75 million for subcontracting from Penn State research budgets could be reviewed and identify potential links to commonwealth campuses.
          1. Survey existing collaborations including a review of the previous survey of research at commonwealth
            • Review discussion of Forensic Report for A2:
          • The committee voted to consider this for an Informational Report as an alternative to a Forensic Report.
            • A7. Jointly with the Committee on Libraries, Information Sciences, and Technology, prepare an Informational Report pertaining to “Evaluate the current and potential issues relating to cyber-infrastructure and research.”
          • Report was approved.
          1. Updates on reports for spring
            • A1. Jointly with the Committee on Faculty Affairs, deliberate on the value of commercialization of Intellectual Properties as they relate to Promotion and Tenure.- Draft report will be presented at next meeting as led by Michael Berube and Rosemarie Jolly (Faculty Affairs)
            • A6. Jointly with the Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment, explore the opportunity for recruitment of diverse graduate students including graduate research and teaching assistant. If needed, prepare an Informational Report.

      Meeting with Robert Loeb from EECE will occur at next meeting.

          1. New Business
            • A3:  A task force on conflict of interest has been established and this relates directly to the ability of this committee to address mechanisms on how private industry partners would obtain or be provided access to laboratory facilities on campus.    The general statement was that the Task Force should complete its job before SCoR would be able to address this issue.   The Task Force would be promoting compliance and entrepreneurship and thereby reducing burdens on faculty to identigy COI issues.
            • Steinn Sigurdsson raised the issue that there is no standard policy on which IT personnel have blind access to root/admin privileges on computers. This may permit unspecified IT personnel to have unrestricted access and potentially be non-compliant with ITAR rules as well as have unauthorized access to restricted or classified, and/or Department of Defense related work.
          2. Additional reports for Spring
          3. Adjourn

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      December 8, 2015 (Research Minutes)

      Members present: Chris Forest (chair), John Hanold, Kathy Hodgson, Todd LaJeunesse, Frantisek Marko, Rogerio Neves, Steinn Sigurdsson, Amit Sharma, Brad Sottile (graduate council), Candace Yekel (Director, Office for Research Protections).

      Members absent: John Asbury, Rose Baker, Robert Bonilla, Linda Collins (Graduate Council), Igor Jovanovic, Andrey Kasilnikov, Siela Maximova (Graduate Council), Greg Raab, Andy Schulz (vice-chair), Neil Sharkey (Vice-President for Research), Grant Worley (student representative), Feng Yue (Graduate Council).

      The meeting was called to order by the committee chair at 8:30 a.m.

          1. Approved Minutes from October 27, 2015 meeting unanimously.
          2. Remarks from the Chair
            • Summarized Senate Committee Chairs meeting as related to common reports with other committees
            • Indicated general delays in reports in other senate committees
            • No news on drug testing policy
            • Announced Siela Maximova as Graduate Council representative from Research Committee.
            • Announced removals from committee: Feng Yue, Igor Jovanovic
          3. Remarks from Vice President for Research – Dr. Neil Sharkey: N/A (Not present)
          4. Remarks from Feng Yew (Not present) – representative from Graduate Council Committee on Graduate Research
            • Graduate Council representatives (No direct comments)
          5. Updates on current reports
            • A7. Jointly with the Committee on Libraries, Information Sciences, and Technology, prepare an Informational Report pertaining to “Evaluate the current and potential issues relating to cyber-Infrastructure and research.”Chris Forest updated the committee on the draft report uploaded in ANGEL folder, regarding the “Informational Report on changes to Research Computing at PSU”.  The report summarizes the activities on the faculty governance structure for research computing and cyber-infrastructure (RCCI) as a whole at PSU and for management of high performance computing resources such as data centers, software, and security.  There is broad participation by faculty in the RCCI working groups and the working groups are then represented on the RCCI advisory council. Two key issues are to consider needs for new high performance computing at the university to remain competitive with peer institutions and how the existing cyber-infrastructure is managed on campus.   Brad Sottile noted that the ICS-ACI must address how the facility will provide HPC resources to courses that require an HPC environment for teaching.  Also, it is not yet clear how the use and charges for the new high performance computers will be allocated.
            • A2. Prepare an Informational or Forensic Report, which explores plans for more extensive participation and collaboration between Commonwealth Campuses and University Park Colleges in graduate education and research.This was the primary discussion for the meeting.A draft report was shared at the meeting and also in the ANGEL committee folder. During the discussion, the issue was raised on how  the mission of Commonwealth Campuses related to research and graduate education.  A suggestion was to check the campuses’ strategic plans or Core Council letters.The major outcome of the discussion was to separate the priority statement into two items:
              1. Create a formal recommendation for Graduate Council to open channels of communication between UP and Commonwealth Campuses.
              2. Bring a forensic report to the Senate floor to discuss improving graduate education, faculty motivation, and faculty development.
          6. Updates on reports for spring
            • A1. Jointly with the Committee on Faculty Affairs, deliberate on the value of commercialization of Intellectual Properties as they relate to Promotion and Tenure.This item is being led by Faculty Affairs and will be discussed at the January meeting.
            • A6. Jointly with the Committee on Educational Equity and Campus Environment, explore the opportunity for recruitment of diverse graduate students including graduate research and teaching assistant. If needed, prepare an Informational Report. (still not resolved)Ongoing discussion with Rob Loeb from EECE indicated the need for linking with the Joint Diversity Awareness Task Force (diversity.psu.edu)
          • New Business
            • None

      The meeting was adjourned at 10:00.

      The next meeting will take place on January 26, 2015; location: 217 Grange Building.

      Minutes prepared by Amit Sharma, Rogerio Neves, and Chris Forest.
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      October 27, 2015 (Research Minutes)

      Members present: Rose Baker, Linda Collins (graduate council), Chris Forest (chair), John Hanold, Kathy Hodgson, Andrey Kasilnikov, Todd LaJeunesse, Frantisek Marko, Siela Maximova (graduate council), Rogerio Neves, Steinn Sigurdsson, Neil Sharkey (Vice-President for Research), Amit Sharma, Brad Sottile (graduate council), Candace Yekel (Director, Office for Research Protections).

      Members absent:  John Asbury, Robert Bonilla, Igor Jovanovic, Greg Raab, Andy Schulz (vice-chair), Grant Worley (student representative), Feng Yue (graduate council).

      The meeting was called to order by the committee chair at 8:30 a.m.

          1. Approved Minutes from April 28, 2015 meeting (as tabled from Sept 15 meeting.)
          2. Approved of Minutes from September 15, 2015 meeting.
          3. Remarks from the Chair
            • Summarized Senate Committee Chairs meeting as related to common reports with other committees
          4. Remarks from Interim Vice President for Research – Dr. Neil Sharkey
            • Discussed two new Task Forces
            • Sustainability Institute Review Task Force
              • started in August. Executive Committee to Review
            • Conflict Management Task Force
              • ~20 members on Task Force
              • Issues being considered:
                • consulting work
                • use of labs for extra work
                • improve/clarify rules to provide:
                  • guidelines
                  • work for contracts
                  • startups
                  • support of graduate students
                  • by outside companies
                • charge out rates for all users
          5. Remarks from Feng Yew (not present) – representative from Graduate Council Committee on Graduate Research
            • Graduate Council representatives (No direct comments)
            • Discussion of role of graduate council in the SCoR
          6. Updates on reports for Dec 8 Senate Meeting (due Oct 29 for Dec 8 meeting)
            • A2. Prepare an Informational or Forensic Report, which explores plans for more extensive participation and collaboration between Commonwealth Campuses and University Park Colleges in graduate education and research.

      Topics under discussion:

      – Ability for graduate faculty to serve on graduate student committees

      – Identify possible means for collaborations with Commonwealth campuses to improve research and experiential learning

      Discussion of research role on commonwealth campuses:

      – Career development:  (needed for tenure line, limited resources, collaborative environment)

      – Undergrad research papers

      Questions regarding policies:

      – incentives/reward structures

      – mechanisms for collaborations

      – links to engaged scholarship

      Voted to choose “Forensic Report”

      Frantisek (Frank) Marko and Brad Sottile will take lead on writing first draft.

            • A7. Jointly with the Committee on Libraries, Information Sciences, and Technology, prepare an Informational Report pertaining to “Evaluate the current and potential issues relating to cyber-infrastructure and research.”
          • (Discussed later…)
          1. Overview Presentation on ICS-ACI and PSU Research IT Governance (9:45-10:15)
            • Padma Raghavan (Associate Vice President for Research; Director, Institute for Cyber-Science; Director, Strategic Interdisciplinary Research Office) with Wayne Figuerella (Assistant Director, Institute for Cyber-Science), David Spielman (ICS Communications lead) and a representative from LIST will be attending.

      Summary of key points:

          • ITS Computing transformed to Institute for Cyberscience (July 2014)
          • Research Computing Center became the ICS Data Center
          • Governance created May 2015
          • Cybersecurity
            • Breach May 2015
            • Data security
          • Changed RCC to ICS-ACI
            • 1/5 capacity is open
          • ACI Funds for Research (subsidizes research computing: 1 month purchase, 2 months subsidized)
          • Key element is flexibility
          • Summarized in memo from Padma Raghavan (ICS Director)
          1. New Business
            • None

      The meeting was adjourned at 10:30.

      The next meeting will take place on December 8, 2015; location: 217 Grange Building

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        September 15, 2015 (Research Minutes)

      Members present: Robert Bonilla, Chris Forest (chair), Igor Jovanovic, Andrey Kasilnikov, Todd LaJeunesse, Frantisek Marko, Rogerio Neves, Andy Schulz (vice-chair), Steinn Sigurdsson, Neil Sharkey (Interim Vice-President for Research), Amit Sharma, Candace Yekel (Director, Office for Research Protections), Grant Worley (student representative).

      Members absent: John Asbury, Rose Baker, Greg Raab, Feng Yue

      The meeting was called to order by the committee chair at 8:40 a.m.

          1. Welcome from the committee chair and introductions.
          1. Approval of Minutes from the April 29, 2015 meeting. Tabled until the next meeting because the minutes were not posted in the committee file on ANGEL.
          1. Remarks from the Chair.

      All senate committee chairs are new reflecting an intentional decision by the senate chair. There are many points of connection to other committees on the research committee agenda; one a carryover from last year: F&A rates (A.5 on the Committee Priority Form).  A question arose on whether we want to do a forensic report on this item, given that an informational report was made last year.  Goal for the end of the meeting is to form subcommittees on each agenda item.  Chair: “This is the most proactive agenda I have seen.”

          1. Report from the Vice-President for Research.
            1. The VPR provided an overview of cybersecurity issues related to the research community and emphasized the importance for the university as a whole. He mentioned that the provost would discuss these issues at the next senate meeting. The challenge is to balance the need for security with the need for systems and processes that allow faculty to do cutting edge research. The VPRmentioned the announcement of the interim Chief Information Security Officer (Andrew Sears) and discussed the creation of the Office of Information Security in relation to the continued effort to address cybersecurity across the entire Penn State system.
            2. The PSU F&A rate for the current fiscal year has been set at 57.2%. The VPR explained that F&A reflects “the real costs of doing business,” and is set by the Office of Naval Research based on audits. PSU administrators have minimal influence in this process. In reality PSU is under-recovering at 57% due to the federal cap of 26% on what can be charged on administration, which does not account for increasing costs of mandated compliance and reporting. The VPR defended against the perception that the increased rate makes PSU proposals less competitive, by underscoring that the University continues investing in research infrastructure and that proposals are won or lost on the quality of the proposal.
            3. The VPR made various comments on items on the committee’s Priority Agenda for the year and offered help where needed (as discussed below).
          1. Remarks from Feng Yew, Graduate Council Committee on Graduate Education. Feng Yew was not present.
          1. Discussion of the Charge. Assignments of sub-committees to address agenda items (as defined in Senate Committee Priority Form 2015-2016) were made as follows:

      (Note: leads for the subcommittees are listed first)

      A.1.  Andy / Rogerio / Ron Huss / Candace Yekel (Jointly with Committee on Faculty Affairs)

      A.2.  Frank / Todd

      A.3. Igor / Kathy

      A.4  Chris /Candace / Igor

      A.5  Amit / Steinn / Chris

      A.6.  Robert (lead committee is Educational Equity and Campus Environment)

      A.7. Chris / Steinn / Rogerio / Robert (jointly with LIST)

      A.8 Kathy / Chris

          1. New business. None.

      The meeting was adjourned at 10:30.

      The next meeting will take place on October 27, 2015; location: 217 Grange Building

      Minutes submitted by Chris Forest, Committee Chair

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