May 26, 2011

Listening sessions ask faculty, staff to assess central services that support research

by Anne Krapfl

Do you have suggestions for strengthening the support services behind Iowa State's research enterprise? Vice president for research and economic development Sharron Quisenberry is all ears.

Quisenberry and associate vice president for business and finance Pam Cain will convene a series of listening sessions at which faculty and staff are invited to share their perspectives on the strengths and weaknesses of the university's central services that support research. The first will be held June 7 (10 a.m.-noon, MU Gallery). Two others will be held in the same location on these dates:

  • Aug. 15, 9-11 a.m.
  • Sept. 14, 9-11 a.m.

Quisenberry noted that Iowa State's grant and contract portfolio has grown significantly in the last two years ($388 million in FY10, up 42 percent from $274 million in FY08). The goal, she said, is to reach $600 million in sponsored research within five years.

"It is important to understand what our stakeholders need, what shortfalls exist and how we build an infrastructure that can effectively manage a growing research enterprise," she said. "Input from faculty and staff will be most valuable to us in this process."

Quisenberry said that paralleling the listening series will be an evaluation of central service activities. Results of the two processes will yield a strategy for enhancing and streamlining the research infrastructure.