The University Record, November 19, 1996

Neal adds undergraduate component to criteria for PIF competition

Interim President Homer A. Neal says that inclusion of opportunities for undergraduate participation and education will be added to the list of criteria used in assessing project proposals for possible funding in the 1997 Presidential Initiatives Fund (PIF) competition.

"I would like to highlight the relationship between undergraduate education and the active scholarly communities which make us an exciting and dynamic research University," Neal said in a letter attached to the recently released 1997 guidelines and application materials for the competition. He noted that while the University has made "great strides" in incorporating undergraduates into its scholarly communities, his hope is that "in the near future all students who wish to participate actively in the process of scholarly inquiry will have the opportunity."

Neal said that undergraduate inclusion would not be the sole criterion on which projects will be evaluated, but "the extent to which undergraduates may be included in a proposal will favorably influence its evaluation."

Traditional criteria for assessing proposals include the promotion of scholarly activities that:

· emerge from the faculty through a competitive process; · are unlikely to be funded from other sources; · are unusual and innovative; · involve both intellectual risk-taking and potentially high gain; and · are likely to have lasting impact on the University.

All instructional faculty, primary research scientists, archivists, curators, primary librarians, lecturers III and clinical faculty with at least a 50 percent appointment are eligible to apply. Although visiting and adjunct faculty may not serve as project directors, they may participate on project teams.

Deadline for submission of PIF proposals is Jan. 17 and awards will be announced April 11. Three or four projects are selected for funding each year.

The fund was established by a gift of $500,000 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 1986 to provide a means for the President of the University to provide academic leadership. Each University president has brought his own unique approach to the use of these resources, though the traditional criteria have remained constant throughout the life of the program. The fund is now supplied entirely by the University at $1 million annually.

For more information or to request application materials and a copy of the guidelines, call Marvin Parnes at 936-3933, or send e-mail to