2008-09 Research Policy Oversight Committee
- Hortensia Amaro,
Institute on Urban Health Research
- Barry Bluestone,
Center for Urban & Regional Policy
Slava S. Epstein,
Arts & Sciences-Biology
- Joanne L. Miller, email@example.com
Arts & Sciences-Psychology
Carey M. Rappaport, Chair
Craig F. Ferris,
Nikkos Passas, firstname.lastname@example.org
College of Criminal Justice
Mary Jo Ondrechen,
CAS-Chemistry & Chemical Biology
Kenneth J. Blank,
Vice Provost for Research, ex-officio
Background to Charge
This committee was established to review and assess the direction and implementation of the University's research mission, advocate for its needs, review periodically and make recommendations on its research resources, infrastructures, and policies, serve as a research "ombuds-body" to address structural impediments and faculty complaints, and work with the Provost, the Senior Vice President for Administration & Finance, the Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement, and the President to insure the best possible environment for research and scholarship.
The Senate Agenda Committee requests the 2008-09 RPOC to undertake the following issues, not necessarily in the following order:
- Consider space for research extending beyond departmental or college allocation models.
- With the increasing emphasis on security-based research at Northeastern University, there is need for a well-established policy on how to deal with sensitive information in our academic environment. While classified work is generally prohibited, "sensitive information" may potentially be transferred, generated, and disseminated to the campus. This often demands publication restrictions and exclusive U.S. citizen participation, both of which are generally antithetical to our academic mission. However, in some cases sensitive work might be acceptable, given appropriate licensing and boundaries. Another possibly restrictive situation is industrial sponsorship of University research that demands proprietary considerations associated with its support. Violating restrictions in either case can lead to severe consequences for both the individual investigator and the institution in general.
While there are many cases for which these restrictions might be reasonable, it is important that researchers and administrators have a clear policy on what is acceptable, and what procedures must be followed in special situations. The Committee should develop a policy or policies which anticipate the ramifications of particular contractual language and provide guidance to investigators on what course is acceptable and how best to proceed when restrictions are demanded.
- Analyze the Huron Consulting Group's report, delivered to the Provost's Office during the summer 2008. This report considered many of the issues that the RPOC has been discussing. Based on findings in this report, consider additional research policy issues for RPOC discussion.
- Determine progress on the formation of an Office of Grant and Contract Administration, which was passed by the Faculty Senate on 23 April 2008 (#0708-40) and approved by the President on 15 June 2008.
The Senate Agenda Committee respectfully requests submission of a final report no later than 1 March 2009.top