Goal 4 Committee ReportGoal 4: Enhance and Expand Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity within the University
This committee was charged to address research, scholarship, and creative activity conducted at the University. The process involved (1) collection and presentation of historical data and (2) forecasts for the future based upon University goals. It evaluated the ways in which research, scholarship, and creative activity support graduate programs and undergraduate instruction, and the relationship between faculty development and research, scholarship, and creative activity.
The committee has evaluated how well the University is meeting the projected targets outlined in the Universitys Strategic Plan. Specifically, it has also addressed the five North Central Association (NCA) criteria. See Attachment 1 for a more detailed explanation of this committees charge and responsibilities.
The mission of the University is defined by the Constitution of the State of Michigan. It is a focused technological mission, detailed in enabling legislation as follows:
"The institution shall provide the inhabitants of this state with the means of acquiring a thorough knowledge of the mineral industry in its various phases, and of the application of science to industry. . . ., and shall seek to promote the welfare of the industries of the state. . ."
The research mission of the University was recognized officially in 1983 by the State of Michigan in the final report of the Governors Commission on the Future of Higher Education (1) in which MTU was classified as one of four research universities in Michigan (the others being The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University). It is concluded that institutional research goals are appropriate to the mission of the University.
The most recent cogent interpretation of this legislative mission is found in 1998 and Beyond, the latest MTU strategic planning document (March 16, 1995) [2.1D2]:
"Michigan Technological University will benefit the State of Michigan and society as a whole through a balance of quality education, theoretical and applied research, and public service. . . . The University will seek to enrich and benefit society through its research activities and will assist the community, the state, and the nation in economic and cultural development."
The research, scholarship, and creative activity purposes of the University are also clearly articulated in the Vision Statement of the same document which contains the
Three of the ten expectations specify that Michigan Technological University should:
The vision states that Michigan Technological University will be a "nationally and internationally recognized leader in meeting the challenges of the future through excellence in undergraduate and graduate education and research in science and engineering. . . At the graduate level and in research we will focus especially on growth in interdisciplinary approaches in areas of established strength and future need."
The institutional goals related to research, scholarship, and creative activity are articulated in the Board of Control Manual 19.3 "Research work by academic faculty is expected. . ." [1.1]; in Departmental Charters (see respective mission statements in unit reports) [3.4]; in the MTU Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty Handbook, October, 1996 edition [1.2A], "Research is an important contributor to the content and vitality of university education and to the prosperity of the industries and the population of the State. It is, therefore, an indispensable function of Michigan Technological University to encourage, foster, and conduct research"; and in the Promotion and Tenure Guidelines of the various departments, colleges, and schools. For example, from the common criteria of the College of Sciences and Arts:
"An Associate Professor shows evidence of accomplishments, beyond the promise of developing into a good teacher/scholar. . . Research accomplishments are evidenced by publications, grants, (invited) presentations, citations. In the absence of all four it is very difficult to claim research accomplishments. . ."
Departmental promotion and tenure guidelines provide more specific and detailed measures. The form required for every promotion or tenure application has a specific section on research, creative, and scholarly activities. Research expectations are clearly articulated even during the interview process, both by the department and the dean. Examples of recent letters of tender are included in Attachment 3.
Special reference should be made to the Fine Arts Promotion and Tenure Guidelines. The Fine Arts Department was split off from the Humanities Department in 1992. A precursor of this evolution was an in-depth discussion of the role of Fine Arts at MTU and the development of promotion and tenure guidelines different from those in Humanities. These guidelines [3.4B] clearly articulate measures of evidence of artistic and creative accomplishments specific to music, theater, and arts.
MTUs salary adjustment system is based on merit. Departmental merit adjustments are based on the faculty members' contribution to teaching, research, and service. Most departments have algorithms that take number of publications, presentations, grants, and other measures of research and creative activities explicitly into account.
It is clearly understood that research and scholarly activities are conducted for the common good and depend upon the free search for truth and its free exposition. The Board of Control fully supports academic freedom. The policy, as adopted by the Board (Policy 16.2.2), is reprinted in the Faculty Handbook [1.2A, Chapter 1.7]:
"The Board of Control of Michigan of Michigan Technological University is committed to maintain Michigan Technological University as an institution where both students and faculty are free to pursue scholarship in an open and creative environment. The rights of faculty members to undertake scholarly approaches to their disciplines in accordance with professional standards in the classroom, in the laboratory, and in publications are guaranteed. . ."
In addition to academic units, there are three recognized research institutes at MTU. These are the Institute of Materials Processing, the Institute of Wood Research (which also has an academic function), and the Keweenaw Research Center. These entities have clearly expressed mission statements which have been reviewed and accepted by the MTU administration. The reviews ensured clear statement of purpose and strong alignment with the purpose and mission of the University.
In summary, it is concluded that the internal constituencies clearly understand the institutional goals related to research, scholarship, and creative activities. The importance of research to the vitality of a technological university and for the instructional currency of faculty has been articulated.
Since the previous NCA accreditation, Michigan Technological University has increased its opportunities and processes for faculty to present the results of their scholarly activities to their peers. As documented later, the scholarly public is kept informed through publications and conference contributions by our faculty. Other external constituencies have become more involved and informed: The National Advisory Board, College Advisory Boards, and Departmental Advisory Boards provide the opportunity of obtaining direct feedback from our external customers about the currency and appropriateness of our research, scholarship, and creative activities.
In order to monitor the quality of our research purposes, their consistency with our mission, and their appropriateness, periodic program reviews need to take place. The following programs have been reviewed:
To make the program review process more effective and a better means to maintain and improve program quality, the program review process could be coordinated by the office of the Provost or Vice Provost for Research. The lack of a regular program review process is identified as a possible weakness.
We believe that the goals with respect to research, scholarship, and creative activity have been clearly and publicly stated. These goals are clearly consistent with the mission of a doctoral institution. Improvements have been made to articulate these institutional goals to internal and external constituencies during the period since the last NCA accreditation. Through advisory boards the public is kept informed and involved.
The most important resource necessary to expand research, scholarship and creative activity is quality faculty. To this end, the most important organization is one that fosters recruitment and nurturing of faculty most productive in these areas. We will concentrate here on the "nurturing" and support functions present at MTU that allow faculty to be productive.
Several examples of excellent incentives for faculty and units involved in scholarly activities are found in Table 1. One of the most important is the plethora of graduate fellowships offered through the Graduate School. Portions of the fellowship dollars have been tied to research grants, which provides added incentive for inclusion of graduate research assistantships in grant budgets. The overall effect is to further strengthen the obvious link between quality academic research and teaching/training of students. Research and teaching are truly inseparable and incentives should enhance both areas.
Another example of an incentive for faculty to actively undertake scholarly activity is the program for providing funding support as a percentage of overhead dollars to the Principal Investigator (PI), the PIs department and college. These dollars, shown in Table 1, are independent from normal operating budgets and allow rewards and support for scholarly activities at the departmental and college level.
Faculty and researchers are assisted in the development of new projects and ideas through the Michigan Research Excellence Fund (REF). A state program, this allocation is used by the University to competitively fund one-year exploratory projects and to provide three-year start-up funds for new, longer-term programs. The University also contributes support for these projects through cost-sharing, the allocation of graduate fellowships, and other supplemental funding. Priority is given to projects and programs which:
There is some variation in the amount of funds awarded every year. In 1993-94, 63% of the awarded funds went to projects involving investigators from more than one department or institute; in 1992-93, 57% of the awarded funds were to projects involving more than one academic unit or research institute.
The REF funds are designed to support specific research projects or programs. These funds are not used for other scholarly or creative activities. In 1995, the Faculty Development Fund (now called Scholarship Improvement Grants) was started to support other scholarly activities. Beginning at a small scale ($70,000 for the first year), this program has supported efforts by faculty to author books, to support teaching of fine arts workshops and short courses, and for many other uses. These grants were to individuals, rather than groups of individuals as is often the case with REF funds. There is no track record over time since this is a new program, but it does fill a niche supporting new scholarly activities that are not supported by other University programs.
A final source of University funds to assist faculty and researchers to develop research capability is the Century II Campaign Endowed Equipment (C2E2) Fund. This modest endowment was created in a past capital campaign and is designed to provide matching funds for use in equipment acquisition. The amount of funding has varied from $13,000 to $33,000 per year over the last eight years, so this is not a source of a great amount of money. It does, however, provide another means of contributing to development of the Universitys research capability.
There have been significant increases in the physical facilities since the last accreditation. These accomplishments and others currently being planned for will greatly increase our ability to conduct effective research. We have constructed and occupied a 220,000 sq. ft. "Minerals Building"; the Dow Building, a 164,000 sq. ft. facility currently under construction, will house the programs of the Department of Biological Sciences, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Geology and Geological Engineering. Funds have been appropriated for a 40,000 sq. ft. addition to the Forestry Building and there is still a need to raise $2.3 million of the $10 million needed for this project. It is expected that the Performing Arts Center will soon become a reality thus greatly increasing our capacity for creative activities.
A current chart for the organization of research administration and the graduate school is shown in Figure 1 (Attachment 2). A reorganization proposal currently being considered is discussed under criterion 4 of this report. As shown in Figure 1, there are research institutes and centers in addition to the academic units. Two of the institutes (Institute of Materials Processing and Keweenaw Research Center) are not included within an academic unit and report directly to the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School. Other units are primarily Interdisciplinary in nature involving faculty members and research staff from various units. Coordination of the activities of all institutes and centers is a major responsibility of the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School.
Research, scholarship and creative activity within the University has increased significantly as shown by research expenditures over the last ten years (Table 2). The numbers of faculty receiving external funding has increased as well as the number of graduate students at the PhD level. It could be concluded that the University has effectively organized the human, financial, and physical resources necessary to enhance and expand research, scholarship, and creative activity within the University.
Active research requires effective support functions. It was decided in 1988 that the efficiency would increase if research services and the graduate school administration were more closely knit. This was implemented by eliminating research services as a separate department and moving it into part of the research and graduate school office. Intellectual property administration and international programs office were folded into the same office in 1992 and 1994, respectively. Even though the proposal activities by our faculty have increased significantly, and many of the proposals are processed close to the submission deadlines, every proposal brought to research services has been submitted on time since 1988. This is a record that the University can be proud of. However, the need for support for research accounting has dramatically expanded in the last ten years. Although efficiency in research services has improved significantly, the same cannot be said of research accounting. The reasons are yet to be determined and the problems resolved. Changes in accounting practices, software, and personnel may all be contributing factors to our poor performance. Currently, researchers, departments, and other units often maintain their own accounting system in order to track research expenditures.
A proposed reorganization of the administration of research in the University, as discussed under Criterion 4, could impact research at MTU.
Additionally, a successful research program depends heavily upon adequate library resources. The adequacy of library resources; including strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats; is included in the Goal Committee 6 Report [6.2B8].
As described in the Criterion 1 response that draws from Board of Control policy, the Faculty Handbook, and several department charters, the faculty are expected to be actively engaged in research, scholarship, and creative activity.
Evaluation of faculty in this regard, and subsequent feedback with respect to these activities, takes place in the following manner. Faculty annually update their vita, including a description of scholarly activities and accomplishments. This information is evaluated by department chairs and the deans of the respective academic units, and is used as a factor in determining merit raises and in assessing the suitability of individual faculty for promotion. The mode of feedback varies among academic units. Some employ more formal means for feedback (e.g., written summaries from department chairs and/or department promotion/tenure committees) than do others that, for example, might orally discuss faculty achievements during annual performance reviews. However, all units provide feedback to individual faculty.
Scholarship, creative activity, and individual/academic reputations may be assessed in several ways. Dissemination of research and scholarly activities through publication is encouraged by the University, and the number of such publications is a measure of the vigor characterizing scholarly endeavors. In the course of our deliberations, an assessment of the quantity of publications was made. The most recently available faculty publication list (1994) [7.2A] was used as the source document, and data from it were compared with the average of publication lists from two base-line years (academic years 198889 and 198990). In conducting the survey, only papers in archival journals and in national/international proceedings were "counted." (Publications in regional meetings, workshops and the like, while valuable in many cases, were not counted since they are not subject to the scrutiny that the other publication venues are.)
The results of the survey are shown in Table 4, which further subdivides the publications by academic and research units. Absolute numbers must be viewed with caution, since the number of faculty in the various units varies substantially. It is gratifying that the output of research/scholarly activities has increased dramatically over the period surveyed. While the extent of the increase varies from unit to unit, the overall university results show a pronounced increase in archival publications (21% from 233 to 282) and total publications (37% from 385 to 528). We further note that many staff from the research institutes do not publish regularly. The reason for this is that, as currently conceived, the institutes have a different mission than do our academic departments. In particular, the institutes are often engaged in applied research and development projects sponsored by industrial concerns. In this respect, they supply needed technological expertise for industries and serve, in a different way than do the academic units, the Universitys mission as a disseminator of knowledge.
All of the academic units except Fine Arts fulfill their scholarly/creative role through traditional modes of publication. Fine Arts faculty, however, while also publishing regularly, often primarily develop professionally and display their creativity through endeavors such as artistic exhibits, musical activities (as performer, conductor or composer), or dramatic performances (as director or playwright, for example). We are pleased that Fine Arts faculty are so involved, and their accomplishments are impressive, especially when the technological focus of this University is taken into consideration. During the academic year 199495, for example, our eight Fine Arts faculty members were involved in some 21 presentations of the above nature.
To further assess faculty accomplishments, we also attempted to determine the frequency with which faculty are cited. The data in this regard are somewhat more problematic than are the publication data. Two independent sources were used to obtain information concerning faculty citations. Citation numbers (for 1994) were requested in the 199596 Faculty Vita updates. However, faculty response to this request was only about 50%. Nonetheless, vitae were scrutinized to determine citation counts (self-citations were excluded to the extent possible) for those so reporting, and the results are displayed in Table 5.
Comparative data for, say, the year 1989, are not available. Moreover, it must be noted citation numbers vary nationally among the scientific and technical disciplines. Nonetheless, the information in Table 5 indicates that a number of our faculty are well known in their professions.
Additional information relative to citations, and not displayed in Table 5, show that we have at least eight faculty who were cited more than 50 times in 1994. It would appear that these faculty are of international stature. In addition, there are at least 29 of our faculty who were cited between 20 and 49 times in this same year. These faculty, too, are apparently widely known. It is also noteworthy that three faculty members have been nominated as National Science Foundation Young Presidential Investigators.
As noted, a deficiency with respect to citation counts arises from the uneven faculty response to the pertinent question in the Faculty Vita update. Complementary numbers are available, although they are not in the same format as are those of Table 5. In response to a Board of Control request, the Deans of the College of Sciences and Arts and the School of Forestry and Wood Products compiled information related to the scholarly/creative activities of their faculty, including citation data.
Over a three-year period, 95 (80% of the Graduate Faculty) faculty from the Sciences and Arts were cited in the Citation Indices related to their profession and 21 (100%) of the faculty of the School of Forestry and Wood Products were likewise cited.
Our growth in research can be attributed, at least in part, to interdisciplinary projects involving faculty members from different academic units and research institutes. Both of these research opportunities have led to development of centers, as indicated in the organizational chart. Examples of recent interdisciplinary projects are:
Patterns of EvidenceCriterion 4: Continuous Improvement
This section discusses the long-range plans regarding research activity and explains some of the steps being taken to position the University to accomplish these plans.
Plans and Projections
The 1984 long-range plan, 2005, Two Decades into Michigan Technological Universitys Second Century: A Long-range Plan [2.1B], established ten- and twenty-year goals for the number of undergraduate students, the number of graduate students, the percentage of the student body that were graduate students, and the amount of externally funded research. The plan recognized the mutually beneficial roles of undergraduate education, graduate education, and research and the benefits that increasing research and graduate education would have on the undergraduate education. Accordingly, the plan established a general goal of increasing the proportion of graduate students within the overall student body and, simultaneously, increasing the amount of external research funds to support this effort. Individual departments have developed their own goals for research activity and strategies to accomplish these goals; these are defined in the unit plans utilized in the annual university budgeting process.
Long-term trends in decreasing undergraduate enrollment were foreseen ten years ago. The reality has been more erratic than the projections, but there is general agreement between the projected undergraduate enrollment values from 1985 through 1995 and the actual enrollment figures (Attachment 2, Figure 2). Also shown in Figures 2 to 5 are the more recent projections included in 1998 and Beyond [2.1D2].
The 1984 plan established the goal of approximately doubling the graduate student enrollment by 2005. Increased priority was given to graduate student support in the allocation of internal research funding and external funding sources were to be aggressively pursued. The result was increasing graduate student enrollment much quicker than the goal established in the long-range plan (Attachment 2, Figure 3); also see Goal Committee 3 Report [6.2B5]. Even with the short-term fluctuations in undergraduate student numbers, the proportion of graduate students has steadily increased to a little over ten percent of the total student body (Attachment 2, Figure 4).
Increasing graduate enrollment at the University is largely dependent on the success of faculty and researchers in obtaining external research support. This support has more than doubled, in actual dollars, over the last decade (Table 2). The long-range plan is to double this support again in the coming decade (Attachment 2, Figure 5).
Figures 25 suggest that the University has been able to effectively implement policies and procedures to achieve the general goal of enhancing research, scholarship, and creative activity over the last decade (Attachment 2). Academic departments and research institutes establish their own goals and projections as part of the annual budget process. The unit plans describe planned incremental increases as well as new initiatives. There was an increasing perception, however, that growth of these activities was slowing in spite of the best efforts of faculty and staff to continue improvement.
In 1995, the President appointed a task force to examine research at the University; the goal of the task force was to examine the Universitys research structure and develop recommendations to allow further improvements in research activity. In March, 1996, the Task Force produced a report (Research at Michigan Technological University: New Culture, New Practices, New Organization) [5.1B] suggesting measures that would re-position the University to improve our research capability. Some of the specific action items recommended in this report are:
The merits of these proposals were being debated by the campus community during the 199697 academic year. In a series of campus meetings (Faculty Senate, Academic Forum, public meetings) public awareness and support of this report has been generated. A special retreat with the Board of Control in October of 1997 will be devoted to research issues. The overall University goals concerning the level of research activity and numbers of graduate students have not changed; the current discussion is focusing on organization and procedures to allow the University to continue making progress over the next decade.
Recognition of Changing Funding Sources and Research Emphases
The University undertakes several activities to help faculty and researchers anticipate agency funding deadlines and to help faculty and researchers develop ideas to the point where proposals may be developed for submission to sponsoring agencies. The Office of Research Services publishes a monthly newsletter concerning upcoming proposal submission deadlines for numerous agencies (e.g., National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, etc.) and non-profit foundations. The Office also maintains a small resource library and is available to assist faculty and researchers in obtaining information concerning existing or new programs and initiatives.
Internal programs (REF, C2E2, and Scholarship Improvement) that assist in the development of new projects were discussed under Criterion 2. It is expected that these opportunities will be continued into the future. A limited amount of start-up funds have been made available at times through the Vice Provost for Research and Graduate School. This will need more attention and funding in the future if we are to continue to strengthen our research and scholarly activities. A major opportunity will be afforded to us in the near future in a capital campaign. Plans will soon be underway for the goals of that campaign. Start-up funds, equipment, and other research support may be included as goals of the campaign.
Cooperation with Other Institutions
Faculty and researchers at the University are very active in cooperative research projects with colleagues at other institutions. These interactions range from formal cooperation as part of a grant (through the issuance of sub-contracts for cooperating investigators), service as adjunct faculty at other institutions, and through interchange of faculty on sabbatical leave. A recent Task Force (Provosts Faculty Development - Sabbatical Leave Task Force) [5.2B] found that 67 MTU faculty took sabbatical leaves from 1990 through 1995, an average of 11.2 per year or a little less than 4% of the faculty. Of these, 33% were for one academic quarter, 19% were for two quarters, and 48% were for the full academic year. This sabbatical rate was lower than peer institutions. The rate also varied by unit: 27% of the College of Sciences and Arts faculty took sabbaticals, 11.7% of the College of Engineering faculty took sabbaticals, and 23.3% of the faculty from the Schools of Business and Economics and Forestry and Wood Products took sabbaticals. The Task Force surveyed faculty and identified the following impediments to faculty taking sabbatical leave, ranked in order of significance:
As a result of these findings, the University Senate has worked to develop a set of procedures to encourage more faculty to take sabbatical leaves. An initiative to provide a source of funds to meet travel and relocation costs of faculty taking sabbaticals is under consideration as is a policy concerning the employment status of spouses of faculty taking sabbatical leave. Other measures to encourage a greater number of faculty to take sabbatical leaves are also being considered, but are not fully developed at this time.
Another form of cooperation with other institutions is through membership in consortia. Probably the most significant recent development related to research activity was Michigan Techs 1994 election as a Sponsoring Institution of Oak Ridge Associated Universities. This relationship is obviously still developing, but faculty, researchers, and graduate students should all eventually benefit from our ORAU membership. ORAU directly manages Department of Energy programs of interest to MTU and fosters collaborative research and partnerships among member universities.
The University, therefore, is developing policies and procedures to encourage cooperation with other institutions and is pursuing the development of longer term relationships that will foster collaborative research and partnerships.
In the last ten years, MTU has undergone a great deal of change with respect to its policies for fairly and accurately representing itself as a research institution and for dealing with people fairly and equitably. A crisis developed in the 1980s with regard to the University having adequate policy for the disclosure of activities and income related to technology transfer and spin-off enterprises. A spin-off corporation, Ventures, had been formed in the early 1980s presumably to market University-developed technology and make available faculty research expertise for regional economic development. Although Ventures initial goals appeared laudable, many faculty members and others were dubious about activities that began to occur, such as the transfer of assets from MTU to Ventures and its managing unit, Educational Support Institute (ESI), (see for details "An Academic Perspective on the Lewiston Report, May, 9, 1991" [5.6A]).
"The committee feels that the conduct of Ventures officers, as described in the Lewiston report (p. 3650) represent substantial failures, and that the officers conduct has contributed significantly to the disrepute of the organization and to Michigan Tech. Had MTU personnel engaged in similar activities, they would have been subject to severe reprimand or dismissal. In summary, most distressing to the committee is the conspicuous insensitivity of the officers of ESI and Ventures to the conflict between personal privilege and gain, and the institutional needs and reputation. It is clear from the Lewiston report that Ventures officers enjoyed substantial personal privilegesincluding the personal use of automobiles and airplanes, the hiring of family members, the privilege of charging work done on their homes to Ventures accounts, and the privilege of incurring sizeable travel and entertainment costsat Ventures expense with no immediate pressure to reimburse the company. The fact that Ventures officers accepted bonus payments amounting to several hundreds of thousands of dollars during this period (MTU Press Release, 21, March 1991) seems highly inappropriate to this Committee."
The need for accountability that was brought to light in the wake of the Ventures incident has led to the development of university policies to insure that the abuse of power on the part of a few would be unlikely to occur. In the intervening years, a number of committees working in concert with the Vice Provost for Research/Dean of the Graduate School and the Provost have written policies and procedures in a number of key areas related to the conduct of research, including conflict of interest, scientific misconduct, proprietary research, patent procedures, and grievances. The next sections of this report describe developments in these areas. One potentially unfortunate result of the Ventures experience may be that, as a University, we may have become overly cautious regarding potential opportunities of the kinds for which Ventures was designed, but was unsuccessful in completing.
Conflict of Interest
There exists both a Conflict of Interest policy statement and set of procedures. The policy statement, which is in accord with NSF/NIH Guidelines, was approved by the Board of Control in September, 1995. A Conflict of Interest Coordinator has been appointed (Sept. 1995) to present a revised set of procedures to the Board. (Currently the Board has approved of an interim set of procedures in accordance with NSF/NIH guidelines). The coordinator expects that a two-year revision process is nearly at an end, contending that "Revisions have been made after consultation with the Boards attorney, and other changes are in the works, reflecting comments received from other legal sources as well. Because of efforts now underway through the Provosts office, I am confident that we are nearing the end of the revision process. By the end of the academic year, the process of changing MTUs conflict of interest policy should be completed." (Bruce Seely, personal communication, 10/30/96).
MTU has put a structure in place for "dealing with people in fair and equitable ways" in accordance with procedures that maximize the principles of faculty governance. A Grievance Policy Statement and specific Grievance Procedures are enumerated in the MTU Faculty Handbook [1.2A]. Under these procedures, grievances are to be first addressed at the departmental level. In each departments charter, there exist specific procedures for handling grievances through a departmental grievance committee. At the University level, for those cases that cannot be adjudicated at the department or school level, the University Senate is enjoined to establish a standing University-wide Faculty Review Committee. This committee is comprised of a Chair, the University Ombudsperson, and two members, "not from the same department, [who shall be elected] in the order of their plurality of the votes of the faculty at large. The election is to be run by the Senate." [1.2A]. The Grievance Procedure is carried out through a series of five steps designed to provide due process to each party involved in the case [1.2A, Chapter 8.1, Grievance Policy].
In the last few years, there were three cases which could not be resolved at the department level. In two out of three cases, a student brought a complaint against a faculty member and intervention beyond the department was required. In the third case, that of a MS degree student who had been dismissed because of making no progress toward the degree, the students grievance was not resolved through the channels described above. The student subsequently sued the faculty member named in the grievance, the department from which he had been dismissed, and the Vice Provost of Research and Dean of Graduate School. The judge of the District Court upheld the departmental decision and ruled against the plaintiff. It can thus be concluded that although procedures are in place for the fair and equitable treatment of faculty members of the MTU community who file a grievance, there remains the occasional situation involving others which is not covered by our procedures. However, evidence from the court case suggests that procedures are working for individuals going as far as the judiciary levels.
Scientific Misconduct Procedures
Because a major goal of the University is the furthering of research, the University is committed to use of the scientific method in the conduct of research. The Faculty Handbook contains a Scientific Misconduct Policy Statement and a set of Scientific Misconduct Procedures [1.2A, Chapter 3.3.5]. These procedures for the greater part correspond to those used at the National Institutes of Health with minor modifications by the University Senate. Both the Policy Statement and the discussion of procedures define scientific misconduct as that conduct by individuals which is inconsistent with the ethical conduct of research (according to the norms of the scientific method). The aim of the procedures set forth in the Faculty Handbook is to protect the rights and reputation of those involved, that is both the individual or individuals accused of misconduct and the individual who alleges misconduct has occurred.
Guidelines for Professional Ethics
The MTU Faculty Handbook contains a "Statement on Professional Ethics" [1.2A, Chapter 3.1.6]. This statement spells out the responsibilities of faculty members to students, to staff, to colleagues, and to the institution. Although the Statement on Professional Ethics appears in the Faculty Handbook, the Vice Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School noted that such statements need to be supplemented by a forum in which senior faculty members discuss and present issues concerning professional ethics for all graduating PhD students. Toward this end, he is planning an informal course for soon-to-be PhD students that will deal with the conduct of research and with professional ethics. He notes that the best way to prepare faculty is to provide such training as part of the graduate school experience (Sung Lee, personal communication, November, 1996.)
Policies and Procedures Regarding Proprietary Research, Patent Procedures
MTUs Intellectual Property Policy Statement is in line with similar statements from benchmark institutions such as New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Moreover, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has been very aggressive in educating and updating the faculty on issues related to intellectual properties, including copyright information in the software industry, material transfer agreements, new patent practices, Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR), and other recent developments. They publish a bi-yearly newsletter, Intellectual Property News. In addition the IPO sponsors workshops and seminars toward the end of faculty development. Three recent events were on the topics of "MTU Spin-Off Businesses," "University Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer in Academe," "New SBIR Programs." These workshops for faculty and research associates keep them abreast of current opportunities as well as providing a forum for on-going interaction between faculty and IPO staff.
Oversight Processes for Monitoring Contracts, Grants, and Relationships With Government, Industry, Foundations, and Other Organizations
Two staff members in the Research Accounting Office act as a check and balance for the Board of Control in its formal oversight role. They identify granting agencies and monitor the allocation of research funding and grants to the various departments and institutes at the University.
The turbulent end of the 1980s on MTUs campus with the crisis in confidence brought about by the problems of the Ventures Group and ESI marked a turning point in University structure from one which was primarily top-down and centralized to one which is moving toward instantiating the principles of shared governance. This structural, institutional change can be observed in the initiatives and processes which relate to the conduct of research at MTU. Specifically, the policies and procedures described above have been the product of collective efforts by faculty, research staff, and administration.
We summarize in this section the strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats associated with Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity within the University.
Summary of SWOT Analysis and Recommendations
The Committee reviewed existing University documents in detail. We concluded that the University has a clearly stated research mission, is recognized as one of four research universities in Michigan, and has achieved Carnegie Doctoral II status. Although the strengths are evident at the University level, we believe that standardized review of programs would be helpful in determining internal strengths and weaknesses.
Faculty are aware that promotion and tenure guidelines require accomplishments in research, service and creative activities. Furthermore, salary adjustments are based on merit, thus enabling rewards for contributions to teaching, research, and service. Also, MTU has an incentive program wherein the PIs receive funds based on the amount of overhead generated by them.
A significant amount of faculty research is supported by the REF, the Faculty Development Fund supports scholarly and creative activities, and the C2E2 fund provides a modest amount of funding for equipment acquisition. All of these factors have combined to result in significant research activity over the last ten years. However, new faculty may be in need of more start-up funds than currently available, and the Faculty Development Fund and C2E2 fund are not of large enough magnitudes to provide significant assistance and equipment.
The organization of research at the University has undergone considerable study. The Presidential Task Force has recommended revised structure for the University. However, this structure has been debated with no resolution reached as yet. The Vice Provost for Research is currently forming an Advisory Committee which, in the end, may replace the structure recommended by the Presidential Task Force.
The University has recovered from a period of turbulence caused by inappropriate spin-off ventures. We believe that we now have effective procedures for evaluating conflict of interest, grievances, and scientific misconduct. We have also undergone transition regarding intellectual property policies.
Advisory Boards provide valuable feedback regarding research, service, and other activities at MTU.
The number of graduate students has increased substantially, especially at the PhD level. There has been a significant increase in publications by faculty, and the number of citations is respectable. This increased activity, coupled with the increased research activities mentioned earlier, has required additional efforts in research services and research accounting. Research services has responded, but research accounting needs improvement to satisfy the requirements of units and principal investigators.
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