Sept. 14, 2001
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IN THIS ISSUE

NEWS COLUMN
A time of mourning

Honor System's credibility may be put on trial this fall
Carrying the Honor Code into cyberspace
Honoring the code: How to promote academic honesty

Hot Links -- U.Va. Top News Daily

U.Va. awards first FEST grants to fund excellence in science and technology
Office strengthens research support
Orientation on research set for Sept. 20
Notable -- awards and achievements of faculty and staff
Clarification -- article on diabetes
In Memoriam
Conference gets jiggy with creativity
Cabinetmaker builds career crafting raw wood into pieces with Jeffersonian elegance
Mike Glasgow
Rebecca Arrington
Mike Glasgow

Office strengthens research support

Staff Report

This past year the University attracted $224.7 million in funds for myriad research projects. The Office of Sponsored Programs serves as a clearinghouse and a resource for administering and managing these funds, and works with all the schools to fulfill the duties of responsible stewardship of research.

Mike Glasgow, the newly appointed Assistant Vice President for Research Administration, is heading up an expanded effort in this area, which comes under the auspices of Vice President for Finance Yoke San Reynolds. Glasgow was previously Director of OSP, when the office used to report to the comptroller, but in a recent reorganization, Research Administration has been taken out from under the wing of Financial Administration to establish a discrete role for itself. This newly established area of activity includes efforts around electronic research administration, regional and national policy initiatives, and research compliance.

“After a lengthy search that began even before I got here, we decided that Mike was the best candidate to lead us in this [new] direction,” said Reynolds, who started her job in June.

“U.Va.’s foresight and leadership in this area [an integrated research administration] was one of the factors in my decision to relocate here,” added Reynolds.

Glasgow’s expanded role includes working with the Integrated Systems Project staff to meet the goal of a totally electronic process of submitting grant proposals and routing forms, which should take a year or two, he said. Everyone is still learning about Oracle, the University’s new software system, Glasgow pointed out.

This is all part of a larger goal of improving communications about research administration, including a redesigned OSP Web site and the building of stronger relationships with U.Va. schools. “Each school has its own unique ways of operating, including how research administration is set up,” Glasgow said. Whether it’s sending in a proposal or making a change in an existing project,” he said, “we try to accommodate the different approaches while facilitating excellent service that meets the needs of the faculty and our sponsors.” Another important function involves assisting the Office of the Vice President for Research and Public Service in meeting its various goals, such as developing funding sources and encouraging collaborative research, especially in pursuing the Virginia 2020 planning initiatives. Sponsored Programs is also helping the Vice President for Research in familiarizing new faculty members with the administrative and compliance aspects of research through an orientation workshop Sept. 20.

An additional aspect of the new role is to attempt to expand the University’s national presence in a number of ways. For example, Glasgow would like to convene a group of peers from other institutions, like Stanford, who also use Oracle, to see how best to take advantage of what it can do. Glasgow is also hoping to develop some collaboration with the National Institutes of Health and the Federal Executive Leadership Institute, with U.Va. perhaps hosting an NIH regional seminar that shows researchers the ropes and offers pointers as to what makes a proposal successful.

In a larger sense, Glasgow, Reynolds and other University officials want to move from a position of reacting to governmental policy changes to actually influencing policies. “We’re in a climate of ever-increasing regulatory obligations,” Glasgow said. While federal compliance requirements have increased, the government’s funding for administering the regulations has not. “There’s a federal cap on administrative costs, so you can’t fully recover these costs through the F&A Rate.

At the same time, there’s a restriction on charging federal grants for administrative and clerical expenditures. I’d like to see federal policy that allows for the full recovery of mandated compliance activities as part of the F&A rate. I’d also like to see an easing of the reporting requirements that we [have to] document, often redundantly, of time worked on a sponsored project,” he said.

Before that happens, the University is preparing for a visit this fall from its cognizant audit agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, for a review of U.Va.’s cost accounting practices, what is commonly called the CAS review. This on-site audit of all cost practices, especially those involving federal awards, can take anywhere from six weeks to six months.


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