Louisiana Tech University Senate – December Minutes

Monday, December 12 at 4:00-5:00 pm, Wyly Auditorium

  1. Call to Order – The December 12, 2022 meeting of the University Senate was called to order at 4:01 p.m. in Wyly Auditorium by President, Louis Reis.
  2. Welcome – President, Louis Reis, COES
  3. Roll Call – Alicia Kimbell recorded attendance; a quorum was met
  4. Approval of November 2022 Minutes – a motion to approve the minutes was made by Matthew Hartmann and seconded by Shelcie Menard-Harvey; all approved
  5. Updates
    1. State Tenure Taskforce
      1. Postponed until “further notice”
      2. Committee is supposed to terminate by 3/1/23
    2. Reimbursement Procedures
      1. Sam Wallace needs to visit with one more department
      2. Nearly complete and will soon implement
      3. Official announcement should be the next APC (January 23rd)
      4. Sam Wallace has agreed to speak with the senate at the January meeting; may also bring Melissa Hughes to speak as well
    3. Deficiency Exams
      1. Shelcie Menard-Harvey, committee chair
        1. The committee has started looking at other ULS schools and what they are doing in comparison
      2. Planned Speakers
        1. Schedule for upcoming meetings
          1. January – Sam Wallace
          2. February – Donna Thomas, Tom Hoover, Jerona Washington (Tech Online)
          3. March – Dr. Guice (University report)
          4. April –?
          5. May – senate officer elections
        2. January – start planning for awards; begin preparations to find senators that can verify nominee’s eligibility
  6. New Business – none
  7. Guest Speaker – Dr. Allison Maldonado, Director of the Office of Sponsored Projects
    1. Addressed questions/concerns from senate members
    2. Discussed the OSP organizational structure; listed employee names within OSP
    3. OSP Work Volume
      1. An average of 35 proposals are submitted each month
      2. An average of 20 contracts/sub-contracts are evaluated and executed each month
      3. An average of 150 grant accounts are being managed
    4. If data entry is completed for grants.gov, why is so much required on the proposal (routing form)?
      1. Louisiana Tech is making assurances that this application has been approved
      2. OSP is an authorized representative
    5. If the data entry is completed & the signatories are supposed to be reading and evaluating the proposals, then why does OSP have anything to do with submitting?
      1. OSP’s purpose:
        1. Certification for state, federal, and private agencies
        2. Executed by offices
        3. Documents have to be in place before proposals are submitted
        4. Binding contracts
        5. Proposal submission portals have a workflow
        6. Organizational structure/mission
        7. Time consuming, lots of documentation collected
        8. Institutional routing/review is in alignment with Louisiana Tech, state, and federal rules
    6. Can OSP clearly communicate expectations to the faculty/researcher regarding the process and content of proposal submissions?
      1. Will be holding workshops in early 2023 to address questions
      2. Greater (earlier) involvement of college research directors in the review of the proposal routing process
        1. Much closer contact
      3. Identification of biggest categories often not filled out
        1. Training
    7. Any changes/new decisions for proposal routing/new communication?
      1. Keeping current proposal routing system
      2. Waiting for migration of the university to Office 360
        1. Expedite the process
        2. Not there yet but have the framework
        3. Putting them now in OneDrive
        4. Timetable?
          1. No timetable, not sure how long it will take for porting over
    8. Will there be hiring and training of staff in OSP for all phases of a project (proposal to completion)?
      1. Received approval for one new hire in the area
      2. Others from different areas are helping using their expertise
      3. Cross-training within the department
      4. Continuity plans
    9. Are there ways to ensure consistency & continuity going forward? Help with more resources for OSP from the administration?
      1. Will achieve stability soon
      2. Understaffing is not unique to our unit
      3. Use of different systems that are not necessarily aligned
        1. Forthcoming
    10. Final financial reports – Barry Webb
      1. Send reminders
      2. Process of auditing financial documents
      3. Standard procedures developed
    11. Will there be a specific person assigned for tasks?
      1. Currently a triage model is assigned
        1. One person assigned is not the best model right now
        2. Work together to figure out a solution
      2. Trying to serve everyone
      3. Future model could change things but the office needs to stabilize first
    12. Clarification on how grants are prioritized?
      1. Submit all the pieces and OSP will do their best to move forward
    13. Contingencies if upper administration is unable to sign forms?
      1. OSP does not have the authority to submit without signatures
      2. Departmental issue
        1. Have a back-up signatory
    14. When a grant is awarded, what are the steps to actually start the project?
      1. If you get an award notification, forward it to OSP
        1. May take weeks for OSP to get notification otherwise
        2. Grant account cannot be established without formal consent of agency
        3. Cannot set up account until fully executed contracts are sent back to the university
        4. Can expedite by sending the notification to OSP as soon as it is received
    15. Where does the F & A go? Why doesn’t any come back to the department or faculty?
      1. Rules for this are out of the OSP’s authority
      2. The F & A agency determines the rules
    16. Resources offered to junior faculty?
      1. assistance from research directors (future)
      2. staffing levels and workload are a factor
    17. OSP Newsletter?
      1. Plans for this when workload has stabilized
      2. Will look at impact which is monthly R & D
    18. New emails & email processes for improved communication matters
      1. Research directors will share this information as needed:
        1. General inquiries OSP@LATech.edu
        2. Pre-award       PreAward@LATech.edu
        3. Sub-award       Subs@LATech.edu
        4. Post-award       PostAward@LATech.edu
  8. Adjournment
    1. Meeting was adjourned at 4:56 p.m.; all approved