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Science and Technology Commission

Discussion Notes

July 13, 1999



Ms. Jones opened the meeting by noting that the work of UVa researchers was mentioned in two articles in the latest volume of Science. After some discussion of recent UVa S&T press coverage, Ms. Jones announced that the Education, Models and Strategies subgroups would each present a mid-summer progress report to the Commission.

Education Subgroup Report

Ian Harrison, who presented the Education subgroup’s progress report, began by restating the subgroup’s initial charge of examining ways that undergraduate and graduate education at the University might be improved. He identified the following areas as ones which possess great opportunity for improvement or growth: training people for the workplace, improve in NRC polls/other rankings, increasing the diversity of graduate students, training/education/scholarly culture, upper level courses for graduate students, retain top undergraduate students, developing better relationships with industry: creating focused workshops and increasing cross-campus awareness. Some short term initiatives were also discussed. These included using the web more effectively, graduate student healthcare and the possibility of bringing in high profile visiting scholars for sabbaticals on the lawn.

Models Subgroup Report

John O’Connell: outlined the goals of the September workshop to be held in the Omni Hotel. These are:

    1. To interact with other institutions
    2. Learn which models are most successful
    3. Initiate a process to adopt or adapt models to UVa

O’Connell: Gave a summary of the planned workshop schedule and asked for suggestions relating to either the schedule or to individuals whom we should invite to participate.

Strategies Subgroup Report

Ariel Gomez: Emphasized that the main task is to develop a process that we can use as a tool to choose or define the priorities of science and technology at the University. Our focus should be on progress. Any strategy should meet the following requirements:

    1. It should be acceptable to UVa faculty, and alumni.
    2. It should be sensitive to the cultures of the schools.
    3. It should capitalize on the various aspects of the schools.
    4. It should be efficient enough to produce 3 to 5 concrete initiatives within the next 5 to 10 years.

Gomez: Asserted that measuring outcomes is another crucial issue. Tom McEvoy has suggested that we put our focus on outcomes and align everything else on a graph with this. The following are measurable outcomes which we have identified thus far: national rankings on various levels, numbers associated with the level of quality products, public participation, increases in funding (the number of grants), increases in the number of patents, attracting top students, retaining and attracting star faculty, improving the health of the community (such as an improved infant mortality rate), funding from the community, the health of the state, increased funding, an increase in the number of interdisciplinary centers.


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