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Conducting Research Amid Fiscal Constraints. Kelvin K. Droegemeier Vice President for Research University of Oklahoma APLU Council on Research Programs and Graduate Education 12 November 2012. Today’s Complex Environment. Regulations. Costs. STEM Performance. State Funding.

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conducting research amid fiscal constraints

Conducting Research Amid Fiscal Constraints

Kelvin K. Droegemeier

Vice President for Research

University of Oklahoma

APLU Council on Research Programs and Graduate Education

12 November 2012

today s complex environment
Today’s Complex Environment

Regulations

Costs

STEM Performance

State Funding

Job Availability

MOOCS

High Enrollments

Public Attitude and Expectations

slide8

The Funding Burden on Universities

What’s Driving the Increase?

Unfunded Compliance Mandates

Unrecovered Indirect Costs ($4.7B in FY 2010)

Mandated Cost Sharing (even if IDC is reduced or not paid at all)

Institutional Investments (buildings, equipment, facilities)

Source: AAAS

average revenues for major public universities ay08 09
Average Revenues for Major Public Universities AY08-09

Source: NSB Companion to 2012 S&E Indicators

state appropriations as a function of total operating revenue
State Appropriations as a Function of Total Operating Revenue

Source: NSB Companion to 2012 S&E Indicators

state appropriations per enrolled student at public universities
State Appropriations Per Enrolled Student at Public Universities

Source: NSB Companion to 2012 S&E Indicators

enrollment at major public universities
Enrollment at Major Public Universities

Source: NSB Companion to 2012 S&E Indicators

average expenditures for major public universities ay08 09
Average Expenditures for Major Public Universities AY08-09

Source: NSB Companion to 2012 S&E Indicators

key challenges
Key Challenges
  • The cost “story” is complex and not easily explained or understood
  • Key question is the value proposition of research in higher education – and possible impacts of research on UG tuition
  • Late-career researchers delaying retirement
  • Strong competition(for research faculty and graduate students) from international players
  • Continued strong emphasis on universities as engines of economic development – rising to the challenge
the dc conversation
The DC Conversation
  • Debt and deficit control
  • STEM education reform
  • Regulatory environment
  • Cost containment in higher education
  • International collaboration
  • Global competitiveness with US superiority
  • Short-term view/practical outcomes
  • Performing only research that “really matters”
how do we remain at the cutting edge in research
How Do We Remain at the Cutting Edge in Research?
  • By planningfor and not being caught unaware when the highly-likely change occurs!
how do we remain at the cutting edge in research1
How Do We Remain at the Cutting Edge in Research?
  • Via collaboration and leveraging
    • Should be but often isn’t in the academic culture
    • NSF is a wonderful example (e.g., Global Research Council, I-CORPS, OneNSF, INSPIRE, CREATIV), including considerable new emphasis on internationalactivities
    • Regional initiatives, university consortia
    • Intra-state collaboration (OneOklahoma concept) – reduce redundancy and contain costs
    • Engagement of the social/behavioral/economic sciences
  • Faculty must see themselves as more than individualentrepreneurs
how do we remain at the cutting edge in research2
How Do We Remain at the Cutting Edge in Research?
  • By adding to the undergraduate experience anopportunity for authentic, original scholarship
    • Modern STEM pedagogy (engaged learning)
    • Undergraduate scholarship in many forms – all disciplines
    • Will take significant changes by faculty + rewards/incentives
    • Will see significant Federal funding for STEM and work related to it (i.e., authentic research)
  • ByDe-investing in or shutting down facilities and partnering with other institutions to reduce duplication
    • This isn’t something we do well at the national level
how do we remain at the cutting edge in research3
How Do We Remain at the Cutting Edge in Research?
  • By building more (and more effective) linkages with private industry and applied R&D agencies
    • Key to innovation and wealth creation
    • Key to economic diversification in states
    • Important for workforce development
    • Pesky IP issues and historical views of universities as difficult to work with must be addressed
  • Universities weren’t structured to do this (philosophically or administratively) but are improving!
how do we remain at the cutting edge in research4
How Do We Remain at the Cutting Edge in Research?
  • By providing resources to help faculty think long term about and develop their research programs and competitive grant proposals – so called “Research Program Development”
    • Not an inherent skill among all faculty
    • Universities have lots of resources for students – need to not forget faculty!
    • Alignments with national initiatives and priorities (more applied R&D, industry partnerships vis-à-vis I-CORPS and other programs)
  • Becoming involved in fixing key national policies (e.g., F&A recovery, cost sharing)
  • Showing that we understand and are willing to help with big-picture issues (debt and deficit), as APLU and AAU are doing
a possible messaging strategy
A Possible Messaging Strategy
  • Remember “The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste?
  • Wonderful TV spots now being produced by NCAA, athletic conferences – but seen by a limited audience
  • We take our message to the Hill but not to those who employour public servants – the public
  • The concerns are notcoming fromthe Hill but to it
  • Could AAU, APLU, AAAS, ACS, etc. partner with DoEd, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Ad Council, and others on a TV messaging campaign that tells the real story?
    • Consistent messaging of value, importance of reform (e.g., cost containment), impacts on daily lives, key to nation’s future
    • Feature well respected people (e.g., Bob Gates)
    • Supplement with individual institution inserts + personal activities (talks by faculty, open houses, etc)
in summary
In Summary
  • History upholds the basis of our argument for the value of research in higher education
  • But the world of today is not the world of yesterday – our approachand argumentsmust be made differently in order to restore public trust in higher education as a public good