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University Committees

The University of Montana

University Council

Meeting Minutes - May 6, 2014

Scott Whittenburg, UM vice president for research and creative scholarship, presented "A Discussion About Research at UM" from 2 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 6, in the University Center Theater.

Peggy Kuhr welcomes attendees:

-    This is the last University Council meeting of the semester

-    UM Minute: ASUM VP Mariah Williams introduced new Executive Members

-    President Engstrom: wonderful ceremony held May 5 to receive Native American dress from Braig family now on display in The Payne Center; Successful passport ceremony for GLI students was held on May 5. 

Scott Whittenburg presentation:

  • explanation of Research and Creative Scholarship structure at UM
  • Research Council structure and charge, Strategic Planning subcommittee, Transactional Planning subcommittee
  • Budget Projections: FY -$124,636, FY15 $515,961
  • Research proposals declining from 862 in 2008 to 598 in 2013. Research expenditures are rising.
  • Department of Labor TACT grant coming to Missoula College.  Health care field focused to help retrain people who are out of work.
  • New Facilities and Administration Rate: new rate from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2017 will be 45% organized research. Up from 42.5%. Will generate an additional $500,000 for UM.
  • UM Innovation: MonTEC is 32,000 sq. feet. Model has changed to anchor tenant model. Allowed to keep one tenant as long as we want. That is Rivertop Renewables. Only one rental space remains vacant as of right now. One tenant came from Seattle. Also set up affiliate program.
  • Blackstone LaunchPad. Partnered with MSU, University of Miami, Headwaters RC&D. We are the first LaunchPad in a rural setting. Model is to turn out graduates who are ready to start businesses. In first nine weeks 79 participants registered. Over 90 now.
  • Federal Initiatives: matching UM projects with federal funding. Wildlife Biology $2M in USGS funding, Wildland Science $3.5M in Forest Service, Defense Critical Language $2.93M, Native American and Rural Health $3M/3 year in CDC or HHS funds; National Native Children’s Trauma Center $850,000 for suicide prevention, Montana Safe Schools Center $625,000.
  • Outreach: Facebook page, blog research.blog.umt.edu. Twitter twitter.com/umtresearch, Research View, Vision.
  • II2014: Innovation and Imagination held April 11-15. Regional Partner Session new this year, it was GlaxoSmithKline. Pat Barkey doing a study on “Economic Impact of UM Research and Creative Service.” Randy Blakely from Vanderbilt gave keynote.
  • Scott Opens to Questions: Matt Riley: Is Research Council charged with soliciting campus for infrastructure needs? Scott: that will be happening.
  • Was theme of collaboration with GSK at II2014 research space: Not so much research space but rather about how GSK gets fair amount of NIH funding, discussed how they could use to fund student research.
  • Federal initiatives: how can we be better positioned for federal dollars? Scott: Very agency dependent. Best thing is to have a contact with a program manager who you can have conversations with about what they want to see. They are looking for ways to address national priorities. Start a conversation with them. Cold call. They are willing to have those conversations.  Has to be something faculty wants to work on, Goal is to match up with federal priority.
  • Undergraduate research: Are these startups interested in student research? Scott: Not so much undergraduate research, but they are dying to use interns. Missoula Economic Partnership is starting to become a broker of internships. The trick is for students to find the companies they really want to work with and companies to find the right student to work with them. A match.com for internships, of sorts. Hoping to set up in the future.
  • Matt Riley: What would be the catalyst to take us to the next tier? Scott: Montana needs to be authorized as a state where you can do clinical trials. There is a ton of money available for clinical trials. Enormous dollars, good for residents to be able to participate. Right now researchers who reach the clinical trials stage take the money they receive and use it for trials out of state. UM hopes to change that.
  • Rich Bridges: Project Lead the Way: A nonprofit out of NY that started out of need to develop STEM curriculum. Expanding scope of work to include computer science, etc. Aimed at high schoolers. High school that wants to use curriculum approaches Project Lead the Way, then sends teachers to get that training. Moving to make UM a training center. Launching STEM education at middle schools and K-5. Beginning in August this year. Will be able to make direct contact with K-12 students and teachers.
  • Dusten Hollist. Associate professor of sociology. Selected to be UM Faculty Athletics Representative to replace James Lopach who retired after 40 years. Works on recruitment of student athletes, compliance. 

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