Theme 2

Becoming a Nationally Recognized Research Institution

Act of Determination 6 -- Creating and Enhancing Research Centers in Arts & Sciences STEM

Centers represent essential resources for improved research and teaching as aspirational goals in Pro Futuris. Centers house specialized equipment that serves investigators from multiple research and teaching laboratories. Such equipment is usually too expensive for each user to support redundant instrumentation in multiple laboratories. The tasks of operation and maintenance of such sophisticated equipment are time intensive and generally require considerable technical skill. Thus, staffing of a center includes one or more highly skilled technicians.

Study of current and anticipated research indicates that establishing new centers will be more effective than supporting several independent laboratories with redundant equipment. Operation of centers should be supported, in part, by extramural grants (via recharge income). Donor support through fundraising initiatives is essential for helping replace aging equipment in existing centers and for establishing new centers. The recently conducted inventory and assessment of centers housed in Arts & Sciences and robust annual reporting requirements will assist the Dean and chairs in justifying continued University funding of these research centers.

Action Steps:
  • By Fall 2014 the Dean will determine current levels of activity, productivity, and financial support by requesting that each center director develop and submit an annual report.
  • By Spring 2015 the Dean, in consultation with the department chairs, will identify centers that are inactive and determine how best to reallocate those resources, identify new capabilities that existing centers will need to better serve faculty and student research and instruction, assess a possible user-fee structure, and identify new centers needed to facilitate faculty and student research.