Recommendations for ERIs to Expand and Strengthen Research Resources

  • Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) and State of Tennessee must offer competitive compensation at all levels to attract and retain researchers, faculty, and staff.

  • Implement interdisciplinary proposal development groups centered around various research themes to stimulate collaboration and assist junior faculty.

  • Develop a strategy to increase the number of new faculty and researchers annually and provide competitive start-up funding in targeted areas.

  • Include the Division of Research on the committee for faculty recruitment; ensure there is a research orientation in the faculty hiring process.

  • Nurture new research faculty and provide some support during summer for at least two summers; provide mentoring opportunities with senior faculty that are research-active.

  • State of Tennessee should invest in research infrastructure (buildings, labs, equipment, etc.) at institutions that have demonstrated expertise and research proficiency.

  • Incorporate research metrics, i.e., funding and publications, into tenure award and promotion process.

  • Develop and revise guidelines (University and TBR) for faculty teaching load requirement; i.e., build some release time into full load requirement for research program development.

  • Enhance TBR strategies to promote collaboration, expertise, and capacity building (human, technological, facilities, etc.), and adequacy of resources for research at TBR institutions. This includes recruitment, retention, and sustainability of current research infrastructure.

  • Actively promote multi-state and international research collaboration and exposure of TBR research capability.

Presented by Marcus Shute, vice president for research, Tennessee State University.

that ERIs should develop a road map, including metrics to gauge progress for evolving to some desired state of research productivity, and target resources to enable the accomplishment of that goal (see Appendix E).

The presentations by Benjamin Flores (UTEP—University of Texas, El Paso) and Mario Diaz (UTB—University of Texas, Brownsville) articulated another strategy common among those institutions that had achieved steep growth rates in their research portfolios, including UTEP, UTB, and Alabama A&M. This was, that growth was possible but required targeted investments in a few faculty within a subset of departments. UTEP was an exemplar in this respect, having grown from a research funding base

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