Motion to the Faculty Senate to Restructure the Research Enterprise

The following motion was presented at the April 12 Faculty Senate meeting concerning the proposed restructuring of UW-Madison’s research enterprise. It is reproduced here to encourage comments and discussion by the UW-Madison community prior to a vote at the next meeting of the Faculty Senate.

Motion to Senate to Restructure UW-Madison’s Research Enterprise

Recommendation I: Retain a close relationship between research and graduate education within the Graduate School.

A. Maintain close association between the UW-Madison research enterprise and graduate education, with responsibility for both in a single administrative structure, which is the Graduate School.

B. Existing Graduate School centers, including the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery will remain in the Graduate School. These centers will be under the authority of the new vice chancellor for research and dean of the Graduate School (see Recommendation II.A.). The creation of new centers, as well as the restructuring of existing centers, will follow existing policies and procedures.

C. The Graduate Faculty Executive Committee of the Graduate School (GFEC) will be restructured, with expanded responsibility for both research and graduate education. Members of the new GFEC will be elected from each faculty division and will continue to serve four-year terms. The function of the new GFEC and its relationship to the Research Policy Advisory Committee requires further discussion. The structure of the Graduate School Academic Planning Council (APC), its relationship to a restructured GFEC, and representation thereon by academic staff, requires further discussion. All changes to the structure and function of GFEC and the Graduate School APC will require amendment of FP&P after due consideration by the Faculty Senate.

D. The four divisional executive committees of the faculty shall annually each appoint one individual from their divisional ranks to be available as direct and independent advisors to the WARF Board of Trustees and to the chancellor in regard to the WARF resource allocations.

Recommendation II: Create a new position of vice chancellor for research and dean of the Graduate School.

A. Create a new position of vice chancellor for research and dean of the Graduate School to replace the current position of dean of the Graduate School with the working title of vice chancellor for research. The responsibilities for research and graduate education, and their close association, shall reside with the individual occupying this formally integrated position. Responsibility for either function, research or and graduate education, shall not be fully delegated to other individuals.

B. WARF funds will be under the authority of the vice chancellor for research and dean of the Graduate School, who, in consultation with the faculty, shall administer the allocation of those funds.

C. Working closely with the four divisional associate deans (see Recommendation III.) the new vice chancellor for research and dean of the Graduate School will have responsibility to develop mechanisms within the Graduate School to: 1) document and integrate the existing efforts of faculty and staff on national advisory boards and other research agenda-setting activities; 2) seek out and stimulate engagement of members of our community in representing the visions of UW-Madison faculty and staff in emerging areas of research investment; 3) broker spokesperson and advisory roles for the campus with national and international bodies; and 4) serve as a clearinghouse for information gathering and sharing.

Recommendation III: Expand and support the roles of the four divisional associate deans of the Graduate School.

A. The current duties of the four divisional associate deans that represent the four faculty divisions will be expanded to serve the new vice chancellor for research and dean of the Graduate School not only in research but also in graduate education. The appointment percentages of the divisional associate deans will be increased to enable them to carry out their expanded roles. In light of this expansion of the academic associate deans’ roles and the principle of keeping graduate education and the research enterprise united, the new vice chancellor for research and dean of the Graduate School should consider whether a position at the level of associate dean for graduate education is necessary.

Recommendation IV: Move the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (RSP), and responsibility for compliance and safety to the vice chancellor for administration.

A. RSP and administrative responsibility and oversight for compliance functions, including chemical safety, biological safety, and radiation safety will be assigned to the vice chancellor for administration. The vice chancellor for administration will create a new unit and administrative officer position to oversee research compliance and provide quality assurance. Adequate funding and continual evaluation of the performance of this unit must be assured. These functions, although essential to the research enterprise and to the university community as a whole, are largely administrative in nature and need not reside in the Graduate School. It is essential that clear lines of responsibility and accountability be delineated, including direct reporting from the administrator of research compliance and quality assurance to the chancellor, whenever federally mandated.

B. Create an Office of Research Policy under the new vice chancellor for research and dean of the Graduate School to establish research policy for select functions for which federal law requires Institutional Official/Responsible Official oversight, federal mandates are in flux, terms or conditions are highly variable, or specialized research expertise is essential, and to administer these functions. The new Office of Research Policy will also oversee pre-award industry contracts, conflict of interest, and the use of human subjects, vertebrate animals, and select agents. This office will coordinate research policy implementation with relevant faculty governance groups and with the vice chancellor for administration. It is essential that clear lines of responsibility and accountability be delineated, including direct reporting to the chancellor, whenever federally mandated.

C. The vice chancellor for administration will work with the new vice chancellor for research and dean of the Graduate School to develop policies and mechanisms to facilitate and promote relationships with industry. Responsibility for pre-award contract negotiation will reside in the Office of Research Policy and post-award contract management with RSP. Collaboration between the new vice chancellor for research and dean of the Graduate School and the vice chancellor for administration is critical because of the need for a seamless handoff for industry contracts between the Office of Research Policy and RSP.

D. The Faculty Senate will establish a governance committee that shall provide advice and consultation to the new Office of Research Policy, RSP, and the safety and compliance units. This new committee will ensure effective and rapid resolution of problems involving research. The committee will be comprised of five faculty members, including a chair appointed by the University Committee and one faculty member appointed by each faculty divisional committee, and two members of the academic staff appointed by the Academic Staff Executive Committee. Establishment of this committee will require amendment of FP&P after due consideration by the Faculty Senate.

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