2017 Election Results

Nominees were asked to confirm their nomination by providing a brief statement on why they want to serve if elected. These statements, with links (if available) to the PI’s home page, are posted below. See the full College/Unit CPI seat allocations for 2017-18 .

2017-18 CPI election results are noted below.

Vice Chair

  • Threadgill, David (Veterinary Pathobiology) – “I am a Professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and the Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine in the College of Medicine. I joined the A&M faculty in 2013 after serving on faculty at Vanderbilt University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University, where I was a department head for five years. I have been funded by grants from NSF, NIH, DOD and EPA and have served on dozens of federal review panels in addition to being an external reviewer for many departments and programs at leading research institutions, which I believe gives me unique insights into how highly competitive institutions function to support and enhance research excellence. I returned to Texas A&M (BS Zoology ’83 and PhD Genetics ’89) after 25 years because of my belief that Texas A&M has tremendous potential to become a top tier research institution, and my interest in contributing my experiences at aspirational peer institutional to achieve this potential. In the past year, I have served on the CPI Executive Committee and observed a new optimism that our time is now. I would be honored to contribute toward achieving this goal as Vice Chair of the CPI. We still have a long way to go, but the potential and opportunity is ours for the taking if we can take decisive and bold steps that I think the CPI is uniquely positioned to lead. The challenges we currently face in achieving this goal are largely structural, and the CPI should be a strong voice for the types of changes that will be necessary to become a top tier research university, such as embracing the importance of interdisciplinary in 21st century research endeavors and reducing barriers to faculty success in parallel with raising expectations.”

AgriLife Extension Service  

  • Carpenter, Craig (Agricultural Economics) – “Within six months of arriving at AgriLife Extension, Dr. Craig Carpenter is already a PI on a four-year nationally competitive grant. Successfully navigating the application process while new to Texas A&M University and AgriLife Extension gave Dr. Carpenter a fresh perspective on areas in which there can be improvement of the research environment for students, faculty, and staff. Dr. Carpenter will listen to the PIs that he represents and work with administration to highlight areas in which we can create a more effective and efficient research organization. The goal of Dr. Carpenter’s work on the Council of Principal Investigators would be to advocate for other PIs and, as such, to promote the continued recognition of Texas A&M and AgriLife as nationally competitive in research and teaching.”
  • Morgan, Gaylon (Soil and Crop Sciences) – “Gaylon Morgan is a Professor and State Extension Cotton Agronomist with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service within the Department of Soil & Crop Sciences in College Station. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 2001 and began his professional career with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in 2003 after spending two years in a research/teaching position at the University of Tennessee. His primary responsibilities include the development of educational outreach programs, applied research, and state-wide coordination with colleagues, commodity groups, and allied industry on cotton related agronomic issues. He has received local, state, and national awards for his demonstration of leadership at Texas A&M University, for serving as a liaison to the industry, and for his collaborative programming. His outreach and applied research programs are primarily funded through external grants, and he actively integrates student training into these efforts.” 

AgriLife Research  

  • Brewer, Michael (Entomology – Corpus Christi Center) – “I appreciate and support the mission of the Council of Principal Investigators (CPI): to facilitate communications between PIs and TAMU administrative offices with the goal to help increase the effectiveness and efficiency in conducting research across TAMU member universities and agencies. As a nominee of the Texas A&M AgriLife Research agency, I see regular opportunities for communications as especially important. Many of our PIs conduct research at off-campus locations, which provides great opportunities to secure public and provide sector funding and also provides challenges in managing the research while adhering to internal administrative procedures and external funder guidance. I have supported a research program with a combination of federal and state public sector support as well as industry support for my eight years at Texas A&M AgriLife Research and an additional 15 years at other University systems. I greatly appreciate the administrative intent to protect and support PIs, but also see feedback mechanisms such as CPI as essential to help administration streamline the various guidelines and procedures presented to PIs. Should I be elected to CPI, I commit to generating fair and productive dialog and representing the important AgriLife Research perspective well.”
  • Chandra, Ambika (Soil and Crop Sciences – Dallas Center) – “I am an associate professor at Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center in Dallas and a faculty in the department of Soil and Crop Sciences, College Station. My expertise is in the areas of plant breeding and genetics and my current research focus is to develop resource efficient and environmentally sustainable cultivars of turfgrass species. During my first term as your CPI representative, I have gained a good understanding of needs of a faculty, especially off-campus faculty, as well as their constraints in developing nationally competitive research programs such as graduate student recruitment, distance communication, involvement in decision making processes, budgetary constraints etc. It would be an honor to be re-elected to serve on the CPI and represent the needs and concerns of off-campus Principal Investigators to promote the overall mission of AgriLife Research.”
  • Tarpley, Lee (Soil and Crop Sciences – Beaumont Center) – “The CPI improves the research environment of the Texas A&M research community (Research Community) by working with administration to address specific items. Within this community, Texas A&M AgriLife Research (AgriLife Research) likely provides the most intense multi-disciplinary interactions, widest range of basic to applied research and diverse funding sources, including commodity groups, industry, regional entities, and federal agencies. Lee Tarpley values the multiple interests in AgriLife Research and the Research Community. He is respected and experienced serving as a representative in other contexts; Lee Tarpley currently is Chair of a Multistate Research Coordinating Committee and Information Exchange Group, and serves on the Board of an internationally recognized national scientific society. He is trusted to serve in various other capacities. For example, Lee Tarpley is Safety Officer at the Beaumont Center since 2010, and participates on Federal agency review panels, including reverse site visits. As a Professor of Plant Physiology located at a Center, his research is supported through a variety of sources, and graduate students under his research direction have been from both the US and other countries. The CPI provides a unique voice and commitment to promote the Texas A&M Research Community. Lee Tarpley is honored to be nominated by his colleagues to serve as representative for Texas A&M AgriLife Research PIs on the CPI; he will work hard as part of CPI to promote the greater good of, and efficiency of, the research endeavor, and ensure knowledge of, and access to, the broader research support infrastructure.”

Bush School

  • Portney, Kent (Public Services “I am a Professor in the Department of Public Service and Administration, and Director of the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy, in the Bush School of Government and Public Service. I am currently a principal investigator on a grant funded by the National Science Foundation and have experience with externally-funded research at Texas A&M and elsewhere. I would like to serve on the CPI in order to help members of the University community, particularly from the social and policy sciences, which are often less represented in externally funded research efforts. I am also committed to working with the University administration to make the entire grant process more efficient and effective in order to stimulate more research grant activity.”

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

  • Cross, Russell (Animal Science– “With more than 20 years’ experience in research as an active and productive principal investigator, I have returned to PI mode as a faculty member. I respect the value of the CPI in solving research-related issues important to all of us. During the past 12 years, I was involved primarily in university administration (Executive Vice President of TAMU, Deputy Vice Chancellor of AgriLife and Head of Department of Animal Science). I also have experience in government (head of food safety under Bush & Clinton) and the private sector. In order to improve the research enterprise for investigators, I founded a national association of department heads dedicated to increasing federal investment in agricultural research in 2012. I believe I can use my combined experience as a PI, and in administration and the government/private sector to serve the PIs in our college and enhance research capacity. The ability of our CPI leadership to deal effectively with university & System leadership has benefited us all. I would like to be able to contribute to those efforts.”
  • Pierson, Elizabeth (Horticulture Sciences “I am honored by the nomination to represent the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences as a CPI member.  I joined the Texas A&M faculty in 2009 after serving on the faculty of the University of Arizona for 19 years. My research has been multi-disciplinary, spanning from the field to the laboratory, with opportunities to help develop technology centers here and at UA. I have been funded by grants from NSF, USDA, and DOE as well as from local, State, and industry sources and served as a grant panel chair or member to USDA, NSF and NIH programs. I am familiar with the external grant process and appreciative of the importance of the diversity of different funding sources that support quality research in our College and System.  I am fortunate that my education and career path has enabled me to work at different land grant institutions, and I believe commitment to the land grant mission is an important component of Excellence at Texas A&M. As a recent graduate of the AgriLife Advanced Leaders Program, I now have a better appreciation for the diversity of goals, leadership structures, and talent that exists within the System. I feel that we should strive to nurture the creativity and diversity that exists within our broad organization and continue to grow our own world class Texas A&M talent. I believe that solutions to complex issues benefit from increased opportunities for cross-disciplinary discussions and partnerships, and more needs to be done to enhance these opportunities and reduce administrative barriers.  I believe research quality and capacity must be supported by reducing creativity-stifling bureaucracy and maintaining an environment in which faculty, staff, and students are appreciated and innovation is encouraged and valued.  Research excellence also must be supported by having sufficient, affordable, equitably-available facilities and services. We cannot effectively compete with peer institutions for resources without the same capacities to perform the work.  My career path has been somewhat non-traditional:  I started in a research faculty position and successfully navigated the tenure and promotion process twice in the last half decade. This trajectory was facilitated by the availability of opportunities to successfully compete for grant funding. Competition for federal grants currently is more intense by several orders of magnitude, and projections are that it may become sufficiently limited to influence how we do science in Universities. Increasingly, this will affect how we evaluate investigator success, and likely will have the greatest impact on our untenured and junior faculty who are our investment in sustained research distinction. I would like to contribute to the discussion of continued improvement to the research environment with the goal of nurturing Texas A&M talent and research excellence.  If elected as a COALS representative, I will strive to communicate your concerns and ideas for the benefit of the entire research organization.”

College of Architecture

  • Akleman, Ergun (Visualization Psychology) – “This is to confirm my nomination and interest to serve a second term, if elected as a College of Architecture representative. One of the existing facts of College of Architecture is that the faculty consists of people who comes from diverse backgrounds. We have designers, artists, engineers, psychologists, historians, planners, social scientists and even lawyers. My background, like College of Architecture, is very diverse. I am a professional cartoonist, computer scientist, engineer, designer and even mathematician. I wrote papers and proposals with people from other departments such as Anthropology, English, Philosophy, Psychology, Computer Science, Electrical, Mechanical, Industrial  and Aerospace Engineering, Material Science, Physics, Mathematics. I, therefore, think that I can understand research and creative activities of wide variety of disciplines already exists in our College.  I have also extensive experience serving as a faculty representative in university-level research committees. For four years, from 2011 to 2015, I served as the chair of Faculty Senate Research committee.During that time, Research Committee was very active and we made significant impact in the simplification of administration of research activities. I also represented Faculty Senate Research Committee. In the committee in the Research Compliance Committee. In that committee, I made several suggestions to improve research compliance processes. I also served Principal Investigator/Faculty Advisory Committee (PIFAC), which played an active role restructuring SRS. I have been attending to CPI meetings since 2011 as a representative of the faculty senate. I am elected  in 2014 as CPI representative of College of Architecture. I am also planning to serve in CPI executive committee if I am elected again.”

College of Engineering  

  • Alvarado, Jorge (Engineering Technology & Industrial Distribution) – “I would like to continue serving on the CPI to make sure the concerns and hopes of the faculty are properly addressed by the administration at all levels.  I have been personally involved in shared governance across the university for the last 8 years. I also served a complete term in the faculty senate, including one year as a member of the executive committee.  During my current term on the CPI, I have been a vocal advocate on behalf of the faculty.  I am a strong believer that Texas A&M should continue to be a great place for superb ground breaking research and service, while providing immeasurable value to the State and the Nation.  I will continue to be a strong advocate of all faculty members, specifically in matters of scholarly research.”
  • Braga-Neto, Ulisses (Electrical & Computer Engineering) – “I am currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, where I started my faculty career in 2007. I have been a PI on externally-funded projects and have served as grant review panelist for both NSF and NIH. I have served on the CPI since 2014, during which time I have attempted to represent the concerns of the College of Engineering PIs to the best of my ability, while keeping the CoE PIs abreast of information gathered during meetings with the administration, using personal communication and the CoE PI listserv. As part of my CPI duties, I currently represent the university PI community at the VPR Research Information System Task Force, which is evaluating proposals for replacement of Maestro. If re-elected to the CPI for a new 3-year term, I will continue to bring to the council my views on academic freedom, self-governance, and rigorous scholarship, and will faithfully represent the PIs in the College of Engineering and bring their concerns to the attention of the administration.”
  • Grunlan, Melissa (Biomedical Engineering) – “I am honored to have been nominated for the CPI at Texas A&M University. Should I be elected, I will gladly serve to support the CPI’s critical mission. I believe continuous improvement in proposal preparation and post-award administration is vital to maximize the success of all types of proposals – from those submitted by a single PI to those submitted as large-scale, multi-PI centers. An emphasis on securing training grants is also critical to the mission and impact of the university. Finally, additional efforts should be directed on providing meaningful support to young investigators who are in the early stages of building their research programs at the university. I was hired as an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering in 2005 and was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in 2011. I also have a courtesy appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.My research focuses on the development of polymeric biomaterials for medical devices and regenerative engineering. Since my hire, my research has been supported by sponsored research projects for a total amount of ~$7.5M with ~$3.8M pro‐rated to me.  My research has been funded by NIH, NSF, a national lab, a government lab and corporate sponsors.  I collaborate with a diverse group of researchers at the university as well as at other US and international institutions. My experiences as a PI have prepared me to make a meaningful contribution to the CPI.”
  • Sheng-Jen, Hsieh ‘Tony’ (Engineering Technology & Industrial Distribution) – “I would like to serve on the CPI because I would like to help members of the University and the A&M System community to better understand the importance of research and what it takes to obtain external research funding. Having served as PI for over 25 externally funded research projects and as a proposal reviewer, I understand the challenges involved in securing sponsorship of research and in conducting research successfully. Several of my projects have involved collaborating with researchers from other departments in the College of Engineering and the University. If elected to CPI, I will seek input from other PIs. I will try to understand and represent their concerns to administrators, and to make suggestions that will benefit PIs and the university as a whole.”
  • Talreja, Ramesh (Aerospace Engineering) –  “I have been a CPI member before and have served on the CPI Executive Committee for one term. I have also served on the Faculty Senate as an Executive Committee member. My service on both entities was during a critical period when we were faced with the TPPF interference in TAMU affairs. I believe strongly in shared governance and in “Leadership by Example”. After a pause of a few years, when I needed to attend to other matters, I am again ready to serve, if given the privilege. Obviously, the reason for serving on the CPI is to make sure the TAMU research enterprise remains vibrant and energized. This means engaging with the administration and voicing legitimate concerns firmly and professionally. Additionally, I wish to influence the research community in staying close to our stated mission of integrating research with education and asking the fundamental question: Are we serving the society at large?”

College of Liberal Arts

  • Braman, Sandra (Communications) – “I was attracted to joining the faculty of Texas A&M University because of its impressive research profile, ever-growing and -broadening. The Council of Principal Investigators is an important means by which faculty can participate in research management and contribute to the achievement of overall institutional goals in this area. As Abbott Professor of Liberal Arts and Professor of Communication, I would bring to the Council experience in approaches to research management across a number of other top-tier research institutions in the US where I have served on the faculty as well as at universities in Europe, Latin America, and Africa where I have served in visiting professorships. For several years I was a consultant to US universities in the area of research computing via a non-profit think tank that specialized in this area (ECAR), and worked for 5 years with the Provost at my previous institution on strategic planning in the area of research. At Texas A&M University, my 2016 analysis of the approaches to IRB evaluation of research to be conducted outside of the US by the 15 institutions the IRB at A&M  selected as models identified the best practices that served as the basis for the new approach to international IRB evaluations that has been put in place. My own research has been funded by the US National Science Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Soros Foundation, and the First Amendment Fund.  My research focus is in the area of information policy, an umbrella term covering all formal and informal laws and regulations dealing with any aspect of information creation, processing, flows, and use — a research area that includes both science policy and the informational and communicative underpinnings so crucial to analyses of the social impact of research conducted by the physical and life sciences and in engineering as well as in the social sciences and humanities. I am particularly committed to interdisciplinary research and finding ways of building collaborations between the social sciences and humanities and those in the physical and life sciences and engineering in ways that further raise the level and impact of research across the institution.”
  • Maren, Steve (Psychology) – “It would be my honor to serve as your representative to the Council of Principal Investigators, where I would be invested in improving the campus climate for research. My top priority would be to streamline regulatory processes for both human and animal research (including work with biohazards) in order to reduce the current obstacles to research that these processes impose on responsible investigators. I am strongly invested in increasing the flow of extramural grant funds to TAMU investigators, including increasing the number of graduate and postdoctoral training grants (and trainees). In addition to having been continuously funded by the NIH since 1995, I have served as a PI for a major institutional neuroscience training grant and have experience as a director of the neuroscience graduate program at my former institution. I have also served as regular member on a standing NIH study section from 2004-07, a committee that I am slated to return to this Fall. In these roles I have been (and continue to be) committed to increasing the diversity of the research enterprise. TAMU boasts the highest research spending in the state and is among the top research universities in the nation; I am absolutely committed to supporting our research mission to insure our continued success!.”
  • Prechel, Harland (Sociology) – “I am honored by the nomination and look forward to representing the College of Liberal Arts on the Council of Principal Investigators (CPI), if elected.  The CPI has the vital role to work with the university administration to foster research and facilitate appropriate organizational mechanism to achieve the university research agenda. Enhancing the university research agenda entails permitting the faculty to commit as much time as possible to conducting research, which requires streamlining the proposal submission process and the adjudication of grants. If elected to serve on the CPI, I will work toward improving the organizational and administrative mechanisms that support the needs and interests of the research community at TAMU and TAMUS System while complying with the directives and requirements of external funding agencies. I received NSF funding for my research on organizational political economy, which currently focuses on the effects of organizational and political-legal arrangements on corporate financial malfeasance and environmental pollution.”

College of Science

  • Hall, Michael, David (Chemistry) – “If elected I would be honored to serve as one of College of Science’s CPI representatives.  Currently, I am Davidson Professor of Science in Chemistry, Interim Director of the Academy for Advanced Telecommunications and Learning Technologies, and Director of the Laboratory for Molecular Simulation. I currently have 5 externally funded research projects, 4 postdoctoral researchers, and 4 graduate students. I also have considerable administrative experience in the research enterprise at TAMU, having served for 20 years as the Research Dean for the College of Science. I would like to continue to use my experience to improve the research enterprise for all faculty, research staff, and students. I am especially interested in improving the support structure for core facilities and related research infrastructure.
  • Hilty, Christian (Chemistry) – “I am honored to be nominated for the CPI election. I have been an active faculty member in the Chemistry Department since 2006, first as assistant, then as associate and now as full professor. As a PI, I have continuously led projects sponsored by federal and non-federal agencies and entities. I understand the critical need for supporting a diversified research environment enabling each PI, an TAMU as a whole, to maintain and increase excellence. My goal is to represent my colleagues by advocating for enhancements to the research infrastructure, support for collaboration and open communication.”

School of Public Health

  • Bolin, Jane (Health Policy & Management)  – “I currently serve as Director and PI of the successfully funded HRSA- RHRC Center grant for the Southwest Rural Health Research Center totalling $2.8 million over four years benefitting the School of Public Health and our faculty and graduate students..  I also serve as PI or Co-PI on other grants totaling an additional $2 million including three currently funded CPRIT (Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas, (PP110176, PP150025, PP130090), and one dissemination grant (M160048), from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas on colorectal, breast and cervical cancer screening for uninsured, low-income residents of central Texas. I am also currently funded by the Episcopal Health Foundation and Healthy South Texas. In the immediate past I served as Co-PI on a CDC Prevention Research Center project and Co-PI on a NIH P-20 diabetes self-management study from the NIH National Center for Minority Health Disparities.

    I received my BSN/RN degree from the Oregon Health Sciences University (1978) worked in acute care, and then attended law school receiving my JD from the University of Oregon in 1982.  In 1998 – 2002 I attended Penn State University and received a PhD in health services research in 2002.”

Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station

  • Schneider, Dean (Gulf Coast Regional Manufacturing Center/Energy Institute)  – “I have been a PI in TEES since I joined the agency in 2002. I have worked with other PIs across the Texas A&M System’s universities and agencies in projects in energy, environmental sustainability, test and evaluation, and manufacturing. I have both a broad-based understanding of the missions and goals of the various colleges and agencies and specific experience in building multi-disciplinary collaborations across those colleges and agencies that support those missions and goals. As a land grant institution, our imperative is to be outward facing and engaged with the consumers of our products: our student graduates, our technologies, and our expertise. Our customers see us as one; we must strive to respond as one. I believe that this perspective will be useful to the CPI as we continue to advance into the 21st Century.”  

Texas A&M Galveston

  • Wells, R.J. David (Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences) – no statement

Texas A&M Health Science Center – College of Medicine & College of Nursing 

  • Bayless, Kayla (Molecular and Cellular Medicine, College of Medicine) – “I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular & Cellular Medicine in the College of Medicine and am a member of the Cardiovascular Research Institute and Interdisciplinary Faculty of Reproductive Biology. I joined the A&M faculty in 2006 as an Assistant Professor.  My research program focuses on understanding molecular events that control new blood vessel growth in three dimensional environments. I have been funded by AHA, NIH, USDA, and NSF, and I have served as a standing member on AHA and NIH review panels.  I am a strong proponent of interdisciplinary research and have built a number of successful collaborations with investigators at the College of Veterinary Medicine and  Bioengineering, as well as the College of Medicine. As a member of the CPI, I will continue to advocate for interdisciplinary research while working with the administration to continually improve the research environment at Texas A&M.”

Texas A&M Mays School of Business

  • Ray, Korok (Accounting) – no statement.  

Texas A&M Transportation Institute 

  • Bierling, David (Multimodal Freight) – “TTI PIs strive to provide objective, valid, and quality research for our clients and customers.  As part of the Texas A&M community, we understand the importance and benefits of a positive research environment, and the frustrations of research barriers. TTI also has operating characteristics that are unique from traditional academic programs. As a CPI representative, I will be a voice for TTI in promoting policies and programs that benefit and strengthen the research, service, and education we are engaged in, as well as research in general at Texas A&M, within and across disciplines and organizations. During 17 years at TTI, I have worked or proposed on projects with PIs from nearly all TTI research divisions, and also partnered on projects with TEES, TEEX, and Texas A&M academic programs. My education is in engineering (bachelors and masters) and social sciences (doctorate). I have led quantitative and qualitative research projects for a wide range of our traditional and non-traditional sponsors including local, state, and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and Transportation Research Board.  I believe this background and experience provides a breadth of perspectives about who works at TTI, what we do and why it is important, and why the TAMU research environment is important for us.”
  • Perkinson, Dennis (Transportation Modeling Program) – “I have been with TTI for nearly 24 years, 13 of those years as a program manager (time flies when you’re having fun). In the near future, I’ll be stepping down from my program manager role to pursue research opportunities that go beyond any single program. Being involved with the CPI will support my new expanded role, but more importantly, it will allow me to give something back to the TTI research community by representing them on the CPI. I ask for your support.”

Texas A&M University Libraries  

  • Herbert, Bruce (Office of Scholarly Communications) – “I am honored to be nominated to represent the University Libraries on the Council of Principal Investigators. The Council of Principal Investigators is one of the most important organizations on campus, working to move research forward on campus amid a changing higher education landscape. I see my role as CPI member to be two-fold.  First, I need to represent those library faculty who have research projects as the CPI tries to address the concerns and interests of all researchers on campus. Second, I also need to communicate the needs of TAMU researchers back to the library so we can use this information to guide the design of library programs and services that support research on campus. I have been a CPI member in the past, once as a representative for the College of Geoscience and most recently as a substitute member for the library.  In both cases, I found this one of the most interesting University services experiences I have had.”

*The CPI defines a “PI” as a PI or Co-PI on at least one externally reviewed and funded project or grant within the previous three years. –see bylaws, Section 2. Representation, A. Definition of PI

**see bylaws Section 2. Representation, F. Allocation of Seats