Annual Report 2002

Annual Report


Table of Contents

I. Overview pgs 1-2

II. Membership

- 2001-2002..... pg 3-4

III. Focus Issues – Academic Year 2001-2002 pg 5

IV. Attachments – Summary of detailed activity for 2001-2002.. pgs 6-11



The Council of Principal Investigators (CPI), consisting of elected PIs representing each Texas A&M college and various A&M System affiliations such as the Health Sciences Center (HSC), Texas Transportation Institute (TTI), Texas Agricultural Experiment Station (TAES), Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), serves as a liaison between university administrators and faculty. The mission of CPI is to recognize and evaluate potential means for improving teaching and research at Texas A&M University in efforts to bring to realization the university’s goal of being nationally recognized and competitive in these areas.



During FY 2002 the CPI addressed numerous issues brought forth by faculty and university administration. The most noteworthy of these issues, which will continue to be monitored throughout the upcoming Fiscal Year, are outlined below:

Fostering Relations with University Administrators

The CPI welcomed numerous opportunities to interact with university administrators. The Executive Committee’s interactions included: 1) An appearance before the Board of Regents on December 6, 2001 during which the Board was further enlightened about the purpose of the CPI, as well as current faculty and student issues being addressed by the CPI; 2) Meetings with President Ray Bowen and Earl Nye, Chair of the Board of Regents, both of which were held to discuss graduate tuition; and 3) Monthly meetings with Provost Ronald G. Douglas, Dr. Richard E. Ewing, Vice President for Research, and Dr. J. Richard (Rick) Giardino, Dean of Graduate Studies.

The entire CPI had the opportunity to interact with: 1) Dr. Ewing and Dr. Giardino on a routine basis; 2) Dr. Dimitri Lagoudas, Associate Vice President for Research, on October 17, 2001, 3) Mr. Mario Rojo del Busto, Director of International Services Department, on November 14, 2001 Mr. Charles Sippial at the March 20, 2002 meeting; 3) Provost Ronald G. Douglas on June 12, 2002, and 4) Mr. William B. Krumm, Vice President for Finance and Controller, on August 14, 2002, and an anticipated appearance by Dr. Robert M. Gates, the university’s new President, during the fall of 2002.

Undergraduate Research

As encouraged by the CPI, Mr. Mark H. Weichold, Associate Provost for Undergraduate Programs and Dr. Ewing, with assistance from Dr. Edward A. Funkhouser, Executive Director of the Honors Program, and Michael W. Buckley, Director of Support Services within the Office of the Vice President for Research, are collaborating to develop a new position entitled, Director of Undergraduate Research, who’s responsibility will be to strengthen undergraduate research programs on campus, increasing visibility of such programs and opportunities for student participation. The ultimate outcome will be to achieve compliance with Vision 2020, that students during their undergraduate experience will have the opportunity to be involved in research.

Research and Graduate Studies

Dr. Wilford D. Gardner continues to lead the CPI’s efforts in support of direct graduate admissions. The graduate student direct admissions feasibility study, initiated during the 2001-2002 academic year was furthered. Participating departments include: Biochemistry/ Biophysics, Chemistry, Oceanography, and Statistics. Gardner maintains frequent interaction with representatives from the graduate admissions office to research and encourage the most efficient procedure for processing graduate student applications.

The entire CPI was very involved in debates concerning the “excellence fee” increase and participated in opportunities to interact with university administrators, at various gatherings, to voice the faculty’s view. Although the CPI continues to endorse tuition remission at the graduate level, members support the final decision of the Board of Regents.

The entire CPI encouraged health insurance for Fellowship holders. As a result of the diligent efforts of Dr. Giardino, this elite group of students will now receive health insurance at the University’s expense.

CPI Members – FY02





Area Code (979)

Term Ends


Evan Anderson


Business Analysis







Vet Pathobiology




Dave Burnett





Craig Coates





Michael Delp


Health & Kinesiology



John Fackler Chair


Chemistry / 3255



Wilford Gardner





Steve Gregory


Food Protein

Research Center



Timothy Hall





Bruce Herbert


Geology / 3115



William Hyman


Industrial Engineering



Ann Jochens


Oceanography / 3146



Art Johnson


Medical Biochemistry & Genetics



Howard Kaplan

Liberal Arts

Sociology / 4351



Mladen Kezunovic


Electrical Engineering



Ozden Ochoa


Mechanical Engineering



Tarla Rai Peterson

Liberal Arts

Speech Comm




Jorge Piedrahita

Vet Medicine

Vet Anatomy 4458



George Rogers


Landscape Arch




Jim Sacchettini


Biochemistry and Biophysics



Marty Scholtz


Medical Biochemistry & Genetics



Eva Sevick-Muraca





Dorothy Shippen


Biochemistry and Biophysics



David Stelly


Soil & Crop Sci




Max Summers

Past Chair





Katherine Turnbull


TTI Administration



Robert Webb

Vice Chair





Claire Williams


Forest Science





Robert C. Webb, Chair

Timothy Hall, Vice Chair

John P. Fackler, Immediate Past Chair

(Items listed are not according to importance)

  • Graduate recruiting, fellowships, etc.
  • Undergraduate Research
  • Post-doctoral status issues
  • INS Concerns
  • Interdisciplinary programs
  • Infrastructure
  • Legal Issues for PI’s
  • Web status
  • Mission statement and QEP
  • Indirect Costs
  • Research Park and Technology Transfer

Summary of detailed activity for the Academic Year 2001-2002

Focal Issues for 2002

Members reviewed a list of focus issues for the 2001-2002 academic year. Focus issues, the individual(s)overseeing the issue, and discussions concerning each are outlined below:

  • Graduate recruiting – Wilf Gardner
      • Biochemistry, chemistry, oceanography and statistics are the departments whose direct graduate admissions process will be monitored to study the quality and efficiency of direct admissions compared to the traditional system of graduate applications being processed through the admissions office.
      • Members were informed that the ISS and INS offices do not collaborate and thus, one must deal with each department separately.
      • Discussion ensued about the effectiveness of the ELPE
  • Undergraduate research – Max Summers and Hall
  • Post-doctoral status issues – John Fackler
  • Fackler commented on the efforts of Bob Webb in getting post-doctoral students added to the ORP eligibility list.

      • INS problems – Bob Webb and Eva Sevick-Muraca
      • Members agreed that faculty related INS issues should be managed by the Dean of Faculty.
      • The resolution recently developed by Fackler and Sharon Braunagel, per the recommendation of the members of CPI, is being forwarded to Ray Bowen, Ron Douglas, and Dick Ewing.
  • Interdisciplinary programs – Fackler
      • Fackler commented on the progress of the IDP subcommittee for which he serves as chair. He emphasized Ewing’s support for furthering and enhancing interdisciplinary programs at Texas A&M.
  • Infrastructure – Summers
      • Dr. Summers is chairing a University Research Infrastructure committee
    • Legal issues for PIs – Webb
    • Web status – George Rogers and Jim Sacchettini. Cynthia Lawson will continue to meet with the CPI every 3 months to address web site issues.
    • Mission statement and QEP – Summers and Fackler
    • Indirect costs – Executive Committee
    • CAFRT – HallMembers discussed proposed revisions to the Academic Freedom Statement – Rights and Responsibilities – submitted by the university’s legal counsel. Members were informed that legal counsel deemed existing verbiage as not in step with current legislation. The Faculty Senate plans to review recommendations before final action is taken.
    • Research Park and Technology Transfer – Sevick-Muraca

    Life Sciences Task Force Building

    Dr. Summers discussed the potential drafting of a resolution by the Life Sciences Task Force (LSTF) concerning construction of a life sciences complex.


    TAMU Web site activity - Ms. Cindy Lawson has been invited to the meeting to discuss previous activity and future plans for highlighting research at Texas A&M on the university’s web site.

    Increase in fees for graduate students – If the increase is approved, this is likely to have a significant impact on the marketability of Texas A&M’s graduate programs. Therefore, the CPI will collectively develop a plan of action to address the increase with university administrators.

    Health Insurance for fellowship holders – An issue to be discussed with the CPI and eventually be addressed with Bill Krumm.

    Standardized test scores – According to House Bill 1641, standardized test scores may not be the sole determining factor of an applicant’s eligibility. Although you can recommend, you may not set a minimum score.

    Increase in capitalization threshold - Fackler informed members that per Greg Foxworth, this increase is federally mandated. Members expressed interest in knowing the total amount of federal research money that goes to the university.

    Lunch w/ Douglas - Fackler highlighted lunch discussions with Provost Douglas, which included the following issues:

    • Graduate issues
    • $30 fee increase
    • Health insurance pool issue for fellows
    • Letter to Regent Nye
    • INS issues
    • Intellectual property and technology transfer

    Dimitris Lagoudas – given charge to formalize and further Interdisciplinary Programs – working to develop

    Materials Science program. Matt Wilkens added to the CPIs Interdisc. Committee

    Health Insurance for Fellowship Holders – Giardino to Chair Ad Hoc Committee as recommended by CPI.

    Graduate Student Research Web Site Competition – Giardino to share proposal w/ members of Student Research Week Committee

    Direct Admissions – Wilf Gardner – Provost and Ewing supportive of efforts

    BOR - Contacts with Regent Nye and Office of the Board of Regents referenced


    Pamphlet “Promoting Academic Integrity” - Fackler mentioned the fact that it does not address issues pertinent to graduate students of Texas A&M. Fackler will follow-up with Giardino’s office about

    Meetings involving members of the CPI Exec:

    • 11/28/01 - Breakfast w/ VP Malan Southerland and Mark Weichold on Undergraduate research
    • 11/28/01 – Lunch with VP C. Sippial and Bobby Bisor
    • 12/07/01- Breakfast with BOR – invitation from Chair Nye

    International Services Dept. – Mr. Mario Rojo del Busto provided overview of steps he and staff are taking to increase efficiency, productivity, etc. to enhance service the ISD provides to faculty and staff. Rojo del Busto to establish committee – CPI rep to serve on committee

    Excellence Fee – CPI’s letter regarding concerns regarding excellence fee increase for graduate students was received by President Bowen.

    Undergrad Research – Summers recommended the CPI Exec Committee meet with Weichold, Buckly, Funkhouser to discuss status of position development

    Mission Statement – as revised by the CPI during FY01, approved by Faculty Senate, resides in Bowen’s office


    Grad. Student Recruiting -Members discussed the fact that it is difficult to compete for domestic and foreign graduate students due to the present financial and benefit package we offer. Offers from other universities are much more attractive. Texas A&M is lacking a competitive stance. Also addressed was the important role international students play in graduate education. The quality of service we provide to assist these students in their relocation is vital. (i.e. obtaining visas)

    Meetings with Vice Presidents Sippial and Southerland - allowed the executive committee to further enlighten the vice presidents about faculty concerns regarding matters such us faculty mobility, human resources and international services, current literature on student integrity, undergraduate research, and graduate student recruitment. Sippial was invited to 03/02 CPI meeting

    URIOC - Summers announced that the University Research Infrastructure Oversight Committee (URIOC), under the direction of Richard Ewing, has been meeting monthly and working diligently collecting data on research resources on campus. A document entitled, “Policy, Review Criteria and Procedures,” developed by the URIOC, to be endorsed by Ewing once finalized, was presented to the Executive Committee for informational purposes and comment. Discussion ensued about the possibility of the URIOC becoming an arm of the CPI.

    Direct Admissions Feasibility Study – To be implemented in Spring 02 – received endorsement from key TAMU administrators

    Fackler met with Rojo del Busto, discussing committee to focus on INS issues upon which CPI will have representation

    University Master Planning – Sacchettini, CPI rep on UMP committee, gave overview of the committee’s first two meetings. Committee charged to develop a master plan for the University. Committee intends to make site visits to observe master plans of other universities.

    Holzenburg – Andreas Holzenburg presented PP presentation of his center, Microscopy and Imaging Center. The presentation outlined the center’s vision, mission and goals.


    Faculty Raises - CPI will also monitor faculty raises. Members discussed the possibility of inviting Bill Krumm to a future CPI meeting.

    University Master Planning – Mary Miller, Chair, UMP Committee provided overview of the committee’s establishment, membership, present and future efforts. Summers encouraged UMPC to collaborate with Life Sciences Building Committee.

    Homeland Security – Ewing to provide update at March meeting

    Excellence Fee – members reviewed motion drafted by CPI Exec to Provost – motion stated CPIs original recommendation of tuition remission. Motion approved unanimously with the condition that verbiage be more definitive. Bowen to receive copy.

    Letter from Nye – Fackler shared letter from Nye – follow-up to breakfast w/ Board

    Interdisciplinary Programs – Fackler announced Ewing providing oversight to interdisc programs

    Titles of Non-Univ. Employees – Inconsistency of position titles b/t University and system agencies. Issue will be addressed with Dean Karan Watson. Fackler, Webb, and Summers to arrange meeting with Watson. Kaplan to forward concern to Faculty Senate.

    Undergraduate Research (new position) – Discussion concerning proper reporting structure for position. Exec Committee continue evaluating possible arrangements and placement of this position.


    Fee Increase - The Board of Regents is scheduled to meet this month to vote on the fee increase. If approved, the CPI should work to ensure graduate programs reap some of the benefits of the increase. CPI members will be encouraged to communicate with legislatures, educating them on research programs and the lack of domestic student within these programs. Final memo to Douglas (pc Bowen) sent.

    Invention Agreement of TAES - Members reviewed and discussed this agreement, expressing concern about its content. Ewing will share this agreement with President Bowen.

    Vice President Sippial – provided brief PP presentation outlining “his” departments.He is working to minimize concerns involving parking, international services, the railroad, etc. Master Planning, very important, life sciences building is top priority within the capital campaign.

    Homeland Security – Ewing provided detailed info concerning TAMUs involvement in Homeland Security. Ewing was appointed by Chancellor Graves to lead TAMUs efforts. Ewing working with Pres. Bown, Ellyne Perrone, and Regent Armstrong, as well as Phil Graham and Kay Bailey Hutchison to secure national center designation that will bring forth federal funding. CPI input is welcomed and highly encouraged.

    Graduate Admissions Feasibility Study – Gardner informed CPI that participating departments are experiencing delays in getting paper work.

    Undegraduate Research Director Position – CPI provided with revised statement, drafted by Exec. Committee, that will go to Ewing concerning position. CPI motioned approval for statement. Motion carried.

    Health Insurance for Fellowship Holders – Giardino announced he continues to work on this.

    AAAS Surveys – members briefed on content of survey. Williams to take lead.


    Wendy Woods – Selected by Ewing to serve as AVPR. As such, her focus is reorganizing internal funding and determining means of optimizing leveraging of external funds in the areas of social sciences and humanities. She also provides administrative oversight for the Children, Youth, and Family Task Force.

    QEP 2002 – TAMU selected to participate in SACCS Quality Enhancement Program. Program is geared toward self-evaluation. Dean Conoley and Professor August are leading the efforts to complete the Quality Enhancement Plan.

    AAAS – Williams meeting with Shirley Malcom in Washington to discuss surveys


    Tuition and fee increase - The executive committee will continue to closely monitor the short and long-term effects that the recent tuition and fee increase will have on graduate education and research at Texas A&M. The committee will continue routine communication with the Provost ensuring that the “benefits” of the increase, as formally agreed to, are realized. Provost’s plan and budget for upcoming year is unclear. Impact of increase is a concern.

    Undergrad Research - Discussion ensued about the director position for undergraduate research which has not been finalized. Members recommended that VPR Ewing should provide administrative oversight for undergraduate research.

    Research Titles - Fackler and Dean Watson recently met at which time Watson agreed to establish a committee to focus on research titles. Fackler also mentioned that Watson is supportive of having the evaluation of deans and department heads more faculty driven. Watson is also well aware of issues concerning female researchers and will continue to stay on top of the issue.

    URIOC – Presentation by Summers

    Graduate Admissions – great concerns about graduate admissions process. Estrada establishing committee to address these concerns. Likely TAMU will move to system similar to UT’s. Careful consideration is being given to allowing departments process their own graduate admissions apps.

    Student Travel – Members concerned about a form that grad students, who are not state employees, are required to sign when traveling for business/research purposes.

    MIT Study – Claire Williams brought to forefront the MIT study concerning women in research. Sevick-Muraca will lead the CPI Exec. Committee concerning matters inolving women researchers on campus.


    Douglas and Krumm - Members discussed questions that could be posed to Provost Douglas, scheduled to attend the June12 CPI meeting, and Mr. Krumm, scheduled for July 10.

    Suggested questions for Douglas included:

    • How can the research arm at Texas A&M University be strengthened?
    • What is his vision for research at Texas A&M over the next five years?
    • What does the future hold for the Life Sciences Task Force (LSTF) and Telecommunication and Informatics Task Force (TITF)? Will additional funds be designated for these efforts?
    • How will the new administration handle diversity issues? Articulate policy/plans dealing with diversity.
    • What are his funding priorities? Excellence fee increase….how will that money be utilized?

    Suggested questions for Krumm:

    • Inquire about indirect cost.

    Graduate Admissions - Gardner is representing the CPI on Estrada’s committee focused on graduate admissions. Karen Butler serves as chair of this committee. Estrada is focusing on the procedural aspect of graduate admissions, whereas Giardino is focusing on policies. Members expressed concern because, presently, when an application is received with multiple areas of interest marked, it is only being sent to one of the selected departments. One day retreat to occur in June, to be chaired by Butler.

    Women Researchers - Women researchers and diversity are issues that should be pursued with the new president. Sevick will lead the CPI on these issues.

    Other - Fackler mentioned a white paper that he is working on with Kaplan and Junkens for the ECDP, on the Value of Research for Undergraduate Students. It was discussed that former students, having valuable research experiences at the undergrad level, who are now successful, prominent researchers, should appear before the Board of Regents at their first meeting following the induction of the new university president.

    Douglas – Announced resignation. Mentioned Pres. Bowen and Faulkner relations which will likely continue with Gates. Commented on undergraduate research, additional funds for eng and comp science from industry, Homeland Security.

    Master Planning Committee – Sacchettini informed CPI that committee received 24 responses to RFA. 6-7 will be called back. Top 2 will give presentation. Process to be presented to the BOR in July. Once approved, can progress promptly after board approval. War room will be established.

    Sevick-Muraca – Will be working for Ewing’s office part-time.

    Health Insurance for Fellowship Holders – Per Giardino, OGS to pay for insurance for fellowship holders it oversees.


    Dr. David B. Prior, Interim Executive VP & Provost addressed committee members. Research and education are main priorities as well as being committed to achieving Vision 2020. Made two recommendations to the President: Vice President for Research be made a full VP position and pursuing 100% indirect cost return.

    Mr. William B. Krumm, VP for Finance & Controller answered questions from CPI committee members. Krumm believes research has an impact on teaching and enriches students. He encouraged CPI to continue and grow. It was suggested the CPI Executive Committee meet with Krumm regularly.

    Undergraduate Research – The position for Associate Dean for Undergraduate Research has been drafted and will be brought before the CPI. The office will be located in Mark Weichold’s office and will report to the VPR.

    Out of cycle salary increases - A form has been developed to streamline the procedure of initiating payroll action for research positions. The form has been reviewed by members attending the CPI Coordination meeting and is now being forwarded to Dr. David Prior.