Minutes of the September 13, 2006 Meeting of the

Research/Creative Activity Grants (RCAG) Committee


Attending: Seodial Deena, Chair, English; Paul Gares, Vice Chair, Geography; Daniel Wong, Allied Health Services; Karen Hall; Elias Katsoulis, Mathematics; David Rosenthal, Representative of the Chancellor, Business; John Bishop, Economics; Tarek Abdel-Salam, Technology and Computer Science; Jeff Bair, School of Music; John A. Tucker, Secretary, History.


Attending ex officio members included Alan Schreier, Representative of Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies; Glen Gilbert, Representative of Provost, Health and Human Performance; Salman Abdulali, Representative of the Chair of the Faculty, Mathematics.


The meeting, held in Bate 1006, was called to order at 4:10.


After new and returning committee members introduced themselves, the RCAG Committee turned to a review of the minutes of the February 17, 2006 RCAG Executive Committee meeting. At that meeting it was decided to restructure the grant competition schedule to permit awards to be available to faculty for a full fiscal year. This measure was approved. It was noted during the September 13 meeting that the RCAG meeting described in the minutes as February 17, 2006, apparently took place on April 17, 2006. The minutes appear to have been mistakenly dated. Questions arose regarding whether or not there was a quorum at this meeting, and whether the decisions made were binding.


The April 17 meeting also voted to clarify the mission of the RCAG Program. This measure was reportedly approved. The same meeting also moved to eliminate the perceived conflict of interest problem when members of the RCAG Committee submit proposals by recommending that committee members be ineligible to submit applications to the RCAG Committee.


The April 17 meeting also moved to extend the time between awards from 2 to 3 years. This measure was approved. Discussion of the appropriateness of this ensued. With a quorum of the committee present, the RCAG Committee then considered a motion to reconsider measures 3, 4, and 5 as they are described in the minutes of the February 17 (April 17) meeting. The motion was not approved.


The committee then reviewed measures 6 and 7 from the February 17 (April 17) meeting. Measure six indicates that committee members be selected from those who have experience in submitting/reviewing grant applications. Measure 7 states that the committee should handle appeals internally and that the internal decision be final. The February 17 (April 17) meeting also noted that both measures had been approved.


After a brief review of the eighth measure  (regarding instituting a formal process to capture substantive and constructive comments from reviewers and transmit them to the applicants) there was no further discussion of it. The Committee decided to return to measure 9, regarding limitation of the salary awards, at a subsequent meeting.


The committee turned to consideration of materials related to the 2006-07 calendar and evaluation of proposals that had been circulated by Paul Gares. Following shifts in subcommittee assignments, the committee discussed the overall calendar for the submission, review, and award process. The proposed schedule, with the deadline for applications January 16, 2007, would give successful applicants more time to utilize effectively their awards. The vice chair then discussed the work of the three subcommittees --- Humanities, Natural Science, and Social Science --- and their chairs in the review process.


The vice chair next explained the application guidelines and the application form itself. Clarification was also requested regarding why faculty in the School of Medicine were not eligible, though clinical faculty are. The response was that this ruling has been in place for years and will continue. Issues related to eligibility were discussed with agreement that faculty who have received funding from comparable University resources be ineligible for RCAG for one year.


The Committee decided to table other issues until the next meeting, to be called in the near future.


The Committee adjourned at 5:55  pm.


Submitted by John A. Tucker, Secretary