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Article 30: Overhead Policy and Transparency

1 December 13 and 14, 2012
6 Section 1. The Faculty Research Committee, made up of at least seven (7) faculty
7 members appointed by the University Senate, shall develop policies and
8 recommendations concerning the following:
10 1. The negotiation and establishment of university Facilities and Administration
11 (F&A) rates;
12 2. The collection and distribution of F&A funds;
13 3. The publishing of data describing the collection and distribution of F&A
14 funds;
15 4. The rates, collection, and distribution of non-F&A funds which may be
16 charged to grants;
17 5. The rates, collection, and distribution of the general overhead expense;
18 6. Bridge funding for faculty who are temporarily between grants.
20 Section 2.  The Faculty Research Committee will work closely with the Vice President
21 for Research and Innovation in developing these policies.
23 Section 3. The Faculty Research Committee will have recommendations ready by May 1,
24 2013. Recommendations will be forwarded to the Vice President for Research and
25 Innovation and the President for implementation. Copies will also be sent to the Union
26 and the President of the University Senate.


  1. Anonymous 12/17/2012

    This looks like over-reach, highly unlikely that the administration will agree. Other thoughts?

    • Old Man 12/17/2012

      I can’t imagine how the Administration could officially object to this. Some JHers might not like it, but it is certainly sensible

  2. Oryx 12/17/2012

    This is weird. Who is pushing for this, and why? Oversimplifying: Many (most?) research-active science faculty, where the $ are, are barred from being in the union, so I doubt it’s them. The union people probably don’t spend lots of time thinking about overhead. The administration, no. Then ?

    And, why would anyone want to be on this committee, when (A) figuring out the intricacies of overhead returns is extremely tedious and complicated, and we’ve already got department and institute chairs getting gray hair doing it, and (B) there’s no mechanism for its “policies and recommendations” to be followed? I’m already bored of the topic just writing this email, so I don’t intend to volunteer. Back to Sunday Night Paper Reviewing. At least the motivations and impact are clearer!

    • Anonymous 12/17/2012

      Apparently we are not reviewing the same paper!

      Some of this seems like basic transparency stuff. Other parts seem motivated by questions about how Espy is spending ICC and determining what % depts and institutes get to keep, and where startup funds should come from.

      I agree this does not sound like a fun committee but if the VP does their job shouldn’t take much work. And if not, then it probably will have impact – like the committee set up to monitor Espy.

    • Anonymous 12/19/2012

      Point of clarification: why are most research-active science faculty barred from the union? What do you mean by research-active science faculty?

  3. Anonymous 12/17/2012

    The administration is only obligated to consider proposals that deal with pay, benefits, and working conditions. Policy on distribution of indirect costs brought in on grants does not fall into any of these categories. It will be interesting to see how admin responds to this proposal.

  4. Anonymous 12/19/2012

    Dog says

    This won’t fly it all. Point 1 can’t really even be done by a “Faculty Committee”. Point 2 would be a horrible process – all research faculty probably want more ICC return as cost share on their project so there is a large self interest here. I just don’t see this is viable.

  5. Cat 12/19/2012

    Such a Faculty Research Committee does not yet exist, right? There’s none listed among the committees on the Senate website. Will the CBA then dictate to the Senate what committees it should have, how they should be constituted, and what their purview should be? I thought that was the prerogative of the Committee on Committees, advising the decision-making of the full Senate itself. If this is something the Senate supports, such a motion should be made and passed before the union puts it in the CBA.

    Since I am not a scientists, I can’t say if the idea is workable. But merely in principle, I see this as huge overreach on the part of the union–all the moreso since most of the faculty affected by it are those excluded as PIs from union membership. Is this something they want? Will it be good or bad for them to be bound by it?

    We assume that anything that asserts “faculty oversight” over administrative fiat is a good thing. But not all faculty committees are well-regarded by faculty or necessarily high-functioning (think: UOCC). Much depends on the membership of the committee. And not all administrators are as bad as Espy. So before we vest powers in a committee that has never existed to exercise oversight it has never had, and lock it into the bargaining agreement under union oversight, some folks need to think through future scenarios. And not leave it to the admin to head it off, if it seems like a bad idea.

    • Anonymous 12/20/2012

      Dog says

      and to a large extent the Science Council is the advisory
      body to Espy – not saying that’s working but merely that it

    • Anonymous 12/30/2012

      There actually is (theoretically) already something called the Faculty Research Committee (or at least there was), although its sole purpose seems to be deciding who receives Summer Research Awards. I don’t think it’s a Senate Committee, but is instead a VP-Research committee. This proposed CBA article seems to be attempting to expand the role of that committee to include more faculty input/oversight of how the VP-Research office operates. Is this a good idea? Given how that office has operated in the past, more meaningful faculty input is probably not a bad thing. Is this the correct committee or body for this type of work? I’m not science faculty so I don’t know.

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