Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Plan to restructure grad school sparks concern

Although UW-Madison's Faculty Senate passed a plan to restructure the graduate school Monday, several research groups are concerned the proposal will create a gulf between research policy and management on campus.

Faculty Senate University Committee Chair Bill Tracy said the reorganization of the graduate school will not drastically change the current structure, but he admitted one of the major changes entails the movement of Research and Sponsored Programs, which manages research grants, to the Office of Administration.

""The incoming chair of the University Committee said the vice chancellor for administration has had responsibility for the administration process redesign over the past couple years,"" Chancellor Biddy Martin said Monday. ""He and his office have done a great job in making processes more efficient and effective, so I think [RSP] will benefit from being a part of that shop.""

The organization is currently housed in the graduate school and reports to the chief officer for research, Ron Kraemer. With the move, RSP Director Kim Moreland will no longer report to Kraemer, but will report instead to Vice Chancellor for Administration Darrell Bazzell.

""We would be a very different office from all of the others that report to him,"" Moreland said. ""Research and Sponsored Programs is about managing research policy so that they work on the behalf of our faculty and about managing the regulation from roughly around 3,000 sponsors that give us research.""

According to Judith Burstyn, incoming chair of the University Committee, RSP was under the vice chancellor for administration until 1992, when it moved into the graduate school.

""The ad hoc committee felt that many of [RSP's] functions are administrative in nature and are best situated under this,"" Burstyn said at the Faculty Senate meeting Monday. ""The vice chancellor for administration also controls the primary budget, so it will put RSP in a more direct connection to the money.""

According to Moreland, the proposal concerns research faculty on campus because it creates a gap between the voice of research and the organization that supports the management of research.

""You have research policy reporting to the vice chancellor for research, but you have the operational arm of research reporting through administration, and I think that that creates problems,"" she said.

Part of the initial proposal to restructure the graduate school was to solve a resource issue in RSP. Moreland said Martin and provost Paul DeLuca wanted to improve the amount of service RSP offers to research faculty.

""If part of this was to solve a resource issue in RSP, why not simply move the money [rather] than move the office? It is going to be more expensive to move the office,"" Moreland said. ""Our goal is for faculty members to be able to devote their efforts to the science, not to become little administrators.""

Although she did not contact Martin directly, Moreland said she wrote a letter to the provost, the vice chancellor for administration and the vice chancellor for research expressing her concerns.

Enjoy what you're reading? Get content from The Daily Cardinal delivered to your inbox

But Martin said she is adamant about implementing the restructuring as soon as possible. She said she is confident the restructuring will create a more efficient way of managing research oversight.

""I think the failure to keep pace with some of the developments in research means that there is some urgency in moving more quickly rather than slowly,"" Martin said. ""I think people feel positively about the motion that just got passed. It doesn't seem to have caused controversy.""

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Daily Cardinal has been covering the University and Madison community since 1892. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Daily Cardinal