A plan to improve research administration and mitigate compliance risk at UGA will be presented in the winter.
The action plan will present a timetable for implementing 37 recommendations developed throughout the past year by a campus-wide committee of faculty and departmental research staff members. Senior UGA administrators accepted the recommendations without changes this fall.
“The goal of the committee was to maintain a balance between research administrative efficiency and compliance with institutional, sponsor, state and federal policies,” said Scott Angle, committee chair and dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “The committee did an excellent job in formulating recommendations that will better enable the university to meet the needs of a growing research enterprise.”
The Research Administration and Infrastructure Ad Hoc Committee based its recommendations on input from faculty and research administrators gathered through one-on-one interviews and at open forums. Huron Consulting Group, which works with universities nationwide, facilitated the work of the committee.
The 70-page final report makes recommendations regarding organizational structure, roles and responsibilities, policies and procedures, technology systems, compliance, training and research facilitation. It highlights 16 recommendations that the committee believed to be especially important. These include:
• Strengthening formal policies and procedures for key research administration functions;
• Implementing an electronic research proposal development and compliance management system;
• Strengthening training for compliance;
• Implementing a roles and responsibilities matrix for all staff involved in research administration;
• Increasing the level of communication and coordination between the Office for Sponsored Programs and the contracts and grants department; and
• Re-evaluating the process for returning facility and administrative costs to ensure transparency, equity and tighter alignment with research priorities.
The action plan will be developed by a subgroup of the committee and presented to the full committee for comment.
The full report including all recommendations, an abridged report and an executive summary are online at www.busfin.uga.edu/adhoc/UnabridgedComprehensive.pdf.