Blue Ribbon Committee on Research

Committee Members

Chair Claire Pomeroy, Vice Chancellor for Human Health Sciences and Dean of the School of Medicine

Lucas Arzola, Graduate Division Representative, Ph.D. candidate, Chemical Engineering

Bill Biasi, Staff Assembly Representative, Staff Research Associate, Plant Sciences

Gino Cortopassi, Academic Senate Representative, Professor, Molecular Biosciences: VM

Steve Currall, Dean, Graduate School of Management

Carolyn de la Pena, Director, Humanities Institute

Ralph deVere White, Associate Dean for Cancer Programs

Bruce Hammock, Professor, Entomology

Michael Johnson, Academic Federation Representative, Associate Director, Center for Watershed Sciences

Louise Kellogg, Professor, Geology

Martha Krebs, Office of Research Liaison, Executive Director, Energy and Environmental Research Development

Jonna Mazet, Director, Wildlife Health Center: VM

Kim McAllister, Associate Professor, UCDHS-Neurology

Alexandra Navrotsky, Interdisciplinary Professor, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Tom Nesbitt, Associate Vice Chancellor, Strategic Technology and Alliances-UCDHS

Phillip Shaver, Distinguished Professor, Psychology

Steven Velinsky, Academic Senate Representative, Professor, Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering

Tony Wexler, Director/Professor, Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering

Stan Nosek, Leader, Administrative Process Redesign Initiative

February 2010


Final report

The committee has recommended changes to the UC Davis research enterprise to support a new culture of creativity, inquisitiveness, entrepreneurship, collaboration and risk-taking.

The independent assessment

The Washington Advisory Group, a higher education consulting company, was enaged by Chancellor Katehi to review UC Davis's research programsand make recommendations to boost the research enterprise at UC Davis.  

The chancellor created a Blue Ribbon Committee on Research to plan how UC Davis can reach a higher level of prominence as a leading research university. Also included is the report from an independent group hired to assess UC Davis' research practices and effectiveness.

Committee Responsibilities

Charge:  The committee is tasked with providing the Chancellor with a report regarding opportunities for strengthening and expanding our research enterprise with strategies for reaching this goal.  The committee's process should include outreach to and consultation with the academic community.  An external consulting firm that specializes in the higher education research enterprise will work with the committee to:

  • Complete a comprehensive benchmarking study that compares UC Davis with peer institutions and identify potential areas for improvement.
  • With the committee's guidance, form an external advisory board of experts who will visit the campus to meet with the committee and other members of the UC Davis community and who will provide their feedback and recommendations.

Information from the consultant will provide an important foundation for the committee's analysis and recommendations.  The report should:

  1. Identify strategies to help UC Davis more fully leverage its research strengths and expand its research program in alignment with national and state needs and indexes.
  2. Identify key success factors that must be in place and barriers that must be removed in order to achieve our goal of substantially expanding research funding within five years.
  3. 3)    Evaluate UC Davis' approach to stimulating interdisciplinary research, including Centers and Organized Research Units (ORUs), with attention to strengths and weaknesses as compared to exemplary research universities.
  4. 4)    Recommend a financial model for optimizing research success, including funding for core research resources, infrastructure and support for Centers and ORUs from inception through maturity.  (Note: A specific review of the campus's use of indirect research dollars will be conducted separate from this committee's charge.)
  5. 5)    Identify opportunities for improvement in the efficiency and effectiveness of research administration including the IRB, IACUC and grant submission and management at UC Davis.  (Findings from this aspect of the committee's work will be used to inform a subsequent administrative review of the Office of Research that will be managed by the Administrative Process Redesign team.)
  6. 6)    Identify the effectiveness of current partnerships with funding agencies, foundations, industry and philanthropists.  Recommend approaches to expand on and optimize these relationships.

A preliminary report of the committee's findings and recommendations is due March 25, 2010, with a final report no later than April 23, 2010.