Week of September 9-13, 2013

This week the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) released its latest publication entitled Graduate Enrollment and Degrees 2002 to 2012.  This report is published annually as a joint project between CGS and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Board.  There are lots of data tables here that attempt to describe the contemporary landscape of graduate education in the United States.  The impact of distance education is not addressed well in this publication, but one can get a general picture of overall demographics of graduate programs in the US.  The Chronicle of Higher Education has published an article this morning attributing the small rise in graduate enrollments to foreign students, but the article notes…”The smaller gain in domestic students is worrisome, officials say, given the increasing need for skilled workers.”  So true, so true, says this graduate dean.

This week’s blog post is about the FY13 Office of Scholarship and Sponsored Projects (OSSP) annual report.

Fiscal year 2013 was an excellent year for sponsored projects at FHSU.  Our awards more than doubled compared to FY12 awards as they rebounded nicely from the threat of sequestration and Federal budget crises to return to levels we attained 2 and 4 years ago.  Our mean for the last six fiscal years has been $4.18 million with a standard deviation of $955,000 (click on image to enlarge).

grants awarded 2008-2013

The number of FY13 grant submissions increased 177% over FY12 levels to about 10% above our previous high levels of FY2010 (click on the image to enlarge).

grants submitted 2008-2013

Take a look at all the names of faculty and staff members listed in Appendix A and congratulate them on the time and effort they spent as grant writers on behalf of FHSU.  Our institution is a much better place for our students because of them.  Here is an overview of the number of faculty members who submitted their first grant between 2008-2013.  With grants becoming so competitive, most grant writers do not receive their first award until the third attempt.

new faculty grant writers 2008-2013

Recently, our new designated peers were announced by KBOR.  There are five peers and five aspirational peers.  Our office is going to begin work on a data project to compare FY13 new grants and contract awards to see how we compare to our peers and aspirational peers.  This will take some time because we will have to contact each institution for this data as no central clearinghouse exists with data that is comparable.  I hope to report this to you in the coming weeks.

Northwest Missouri State Univ Peer
Northeastern (OK) State Univ Peer
Southeast Missouri State Univ Peer
Colorado Mesa Univ Peer
Tarleton State Univ Peer
Eastern Washington Univ Aspirational Peer
Univ of Central Missouri Aspirational Peer
Univ of Nebraska at Kearney Aspirational Peer
Troy Univ Aspirational Peer
Morehead State Univ Aspirational Peer

In the coming week, I will meet with the Council of Chief Research Officers (COCRO) for the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) and may have more information about funded research in Kansas to report, as well.  As the OSSP report mentions, Dr. Paul Adams is a co-PI in a large NSF EPSCOR proposal that is pending which represents many Kansas institutions.  One thing you may note about our peers and aspirational peers is that there are no other Kansas institutions on this list.

A final note about the progress of our Undergraduate Research Experience (URE) initiative which closed off its FY14 internal grants competition last Friday.  As you can see, data from our FY13 URE work has done much to propel undergraduate research in general across academic departments at FHSU.  In FY13, departments reported a total of 854 students successfully completed an undergraduate research project.  This is a 499% increase over what departments reported in FY11 (171 students).

This should be a point of pride for our institution broadcast much more widely than it is.  At the moment, all the other Regents institutions look to FHSU as the leader in the state in undergraduate research, but our favorable position won’t last long as other institutions allocate resources and announce ambitious funding plans for the future.  Thanks to all faculty mentors who work with undergraduate students, the URE steering committee members, and Leslie Paige for her leadership.  Thanks to our Provost for being out in front again of his COCAO colleagues on a proven high impact practice for student success, but shame on us as an institution for not capitalizing on an institutional strength.  Provost Gould must feel like General Lee leading the Army of Northern Virginia – an army with the highest level of professionalism and morale that smashed its adversaries early, but was doomed to lose in the end to competitors with much greater resources after they mobilized. Higher education success races are not won by sprinters, but by long distance runners dedicated to our students’ improvement, retention, and competitiveness in a world that is more and more challenging every year.  That is why we need an army of faculty grant writers and URE mentors who are supported adequately.

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4 Comments

Filed under News

4 responses to “Week of September 9-13, 2013

  1. Elmer J. Finck

    Where is Appendix A?

  2. Christine Hober

    In Graduate Committee (GC), Nursing was reviewing the posts and had 3 questions/coments:
    1) In reviewing the unemployment stats, our Department was curious as to where Nursing is listed. We feel this is an important area for further resesearch opportunities in our department.
    2) We would like to applaud the improvement in faculty:student research projects on campus!
    3) We would like to Thank the OSSP for the continued e-mail notices for potential grants to apply for. Nursing is searching for our next ‘hit’.
    Nurisng GC.

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