Science & Technology Planning Commission
April 6, 1999
Attendees: Anita Jones (chair), John Bean, Ian Harrison, John Herr,
Stephanie Johnson, Bob Jones, Dick Merrill, Sally Parsons, Dennis Proffitt, Tom Skalak,
Gene Block (ex officio), Erik Hewlett (ex officio), Dick Sundberg (ex officio), Haydn
Wadley (ex officio). Staff: Amy Cronin (asst. to the president), Peggy Reed (asst. to Ms.
Jones), Sagé Blaska (Virginia 2020 project assistant), Jeffrey Plank (director of
corporate and foundation relations), Fariss Samarrai (science writer, University
The commission completed its review of the Vital Statistics package that provides
background information on the status of science and technology activities at the
University. Ms. Jones noted that the goal is to look at data wherever possible in the
course of the commissions work. The group had previously examined data on research
funding. In review, Ms. Jones noted that such funding is essentially equal among the three
schools SEAS, Arts and Sciences, and Medicine (excluding clinical departments). She
also pointed out that the research award per FTE faculty member is low in many areas,
noting that in computer science the national standard is $500,000, whereas the average at
U.Va. is $250,000.
This meetings review focused on enrollments and staff in the various science and
technology departments (undergraduate and graduate). There was a marked increase in
undergraduate enrollment between 1993-94 and 1995-96, most of which occurred in the
biology department. Much of this change is student-driven, perhaps due to a rise in
interest in the pre-medical program.
In the discussion of staffing, Mr. Sundberg asked how many of the research staff are
dedicated to a particular project, as opposed to those that are generally assigned to a
department. This will give a better sense of project funding versus departmental
infrastructure. Dr. Herr further suggested that the commission explore issues of
productivity (e.g., papers published, patents).
The commission also considered what information is missing in the Vital Statistics
package: financial support for graduate students; benchmarking of interdepartmental
research collaborations; admission information (especially on graduate level)
quality of applicants, accepts, those who enroll.
Ms. Jones then reviewed the assignment of commission members to subgroups: 1. Models
and Opportunities; 2. Education; 3. Information Technology; and 4. Strategies. The
subgroups met briefly to review their charges and determine how they will proceed. Each
group is to report to the full commission at the next meeting.
- Vital Statistics
- Subgroup Assignments
- Acquire additional data for Vital Statistics package (A. Cronin, P. Reed)
- Subgroups to meet before 4/20/99 commission meeting (subgroup chairs)
Tuesday, April 20, 7:30-9:00 a.m., Newcomb Hall Room 389