June 18, 1998
KALAMAZOO -- Recognizing the Western Michigan University's huge strides in external support for research, the Faculty Senate June 11 approved a series of recommendations from its Research Policies Council to accelerate progress toward Research II status.
"We have made outstanding progress in our research efforts in recent years, under the leadership of President Haenicke," said Karim Essani, biological sciences, who is a member of the council. "But there is more we can do to strengthen the research program at WMU."
The senate has endorsed a goal that WMU move up one level in the national higher education classification system developed by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. WMU is currently the state's only public Doctoral I university.
Essani pointed out that grants and contracts totaled more than $25 million last year, the third consecutive year for which awards exceeded $20 million and a record-breaking total for the 12th consecutive year.
"This achievement is all the more notable when compared to the University's $3.9 million in external funds for research in 1984-85, upon which President Haenicke based his 1986 challenge to the University to become a more research-intensive institution," Essani said.
Since 1987-88, he continued, the number of proposals submitted for external support has more than doubled to 674 and the number of awards increased by more than half to 289. At the same time, the number of principal investigators moved from 94 a decade ago to 143 last year.
Here are the 10 Research Policy Council recommendations that the senate approved, which are to be forwarded to the administration for consideration. WMU should:
"Our recommendations are modest, given the scope of research and creative activity at the University and the latent capacity of the faculty to engage in additional research and creative endeavors," Essani said. "We believe the initiatives recommended are necessary, appropriate and central to the role of the faculty in helping to achieve and sustain a progressive research enterprise at WMU."
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