Research Foundation Update (05/20/2013)

Hello to all,

It has been a while since I have had an opportunity to update the research community on activities here at the Research Foundation.  It has been a busy and productive period over the past several months. 

One of our key accomplishments actually commenced last summer.  It was during this time the management team of the Research Foundation began reviewing, analyzing and assessing the existing mission statement of the Foundation.  This mission statement had been adopted by the Board of Trustees in May 1995.  The Research Foundation has evolved significantly in the seventeen years since the adoption of this mission statement.  The Research Foundation has most recently been through a period of both external and internal assessment of its role with the University.  The Research Foundation is emerging from this assessment period as a much stronger and focused organization.  In order to embrace and fully recognize the important role the Research Foundation has in the research mission of the University, our mission statement must also evolve.

Initially developing an organization’s mission statement is not an easy process.  The process takes an acute awareness of the role of an organization, the services it provides the customers it serves and the people that make it happen.  Many things were considered by the management team in developing the proposed mission statement. How we state our name, what we do, who we serve and the value we provide are all critical components considered in this process.  We utilized input provided by faculty and staff as well as input from members of our board of trustees and University administration.  I am very pleased to now announce at the March 12, 2013 meeting of the Research Foundation board of trustees the following mission statement was approved:

 

Old Dominion University Research Foundation collaborates with the university for the successful administration of sponsored programs by providing responsive and cost-effective support.

 
The approved mission statement is clear, concise and places our focus on the collaborative effort we share with our university customers in the success of sponsored program activities.  The management team and staff of the Foundation is fully committed to this mission.  I trust that you will be able to see this in the positive effects upon the services we provide.

There has also been other important activities and events over the past several months.  

  • STAFFING – :
    • New Director of Sponsored Programs –   Cindy Matney joined the Research Foundation in early April.  Ms. Matney has over 24 years of experience in government contracting in both private and not-for-profit entities.  Most recently she served as a vice-president for the engineering services division of a government contractor located in Norfolk.  She was previously employed with the Research Foundation for five years until 2002.  Starting as a Senior Grant and Contract Administrator and promoted to Manager of Sponsored Programs she was responsible for both pre and post award.   Ms. Matney has experience with a combination of non-profit organizations as well as public and private Government Contractors.  Ms. Matney holds an  undergraduate degree in Business Management and a Graduate degree focused on Contract Management.  Ms. Matney was unanimously approved by the Advisory Committee that assisted in the search for the position. 
    • Director of Finance – Mary Deneen who joined the Research Foundation in February is moving to the University starting May 25th    in the position of Assistant Vice-President Finance / Controller for Old Dominion University.  Ms. Deneen integrated very rapidly with our team here at the Research Foundation and I am happy she is staying with the University.  Ms. Deneen has been extremely valuable in our implementation efforts regarding our IT systems replacement.  I look forward to continuing working closely with her in her new role.  We have already begun recruiting for a replacement.
    • Grant Administration –New Post Award GCA’s – Samantha Riggins and Christie McCloud joined the Research Foundation on February 4th.  Samantha has over 5 years of contract management experience. Samantha has earned a Master in Business Administration from Averett University and a Bachelor’s Degree in English/Communications. Samantha’s initial workload is with Psychology, the Social Science Research Center and a portion of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.  Christie recently served as a Procurement Intern with Fairfax County Government and has experience as a Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant at Mary Baldwin College. Christie has earned a Master of Public Administration and Graduate Certificate in Public Procurement and Contract Management from Old Dominion University. She also has a Bachelor of Arts from Mary Baldwin College.  Christie’s initial workload is with the departments of Computer Science and Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

Currently there is one open position on the Grant Administration staff.        

  • IT Manager – We have actively begun recruiting for the position of IT Manager.  This is not a new position, but a re-assessment of the previous database administrator position that has been vacant for approximately 18 months.  We initially deferred the hiring decision for this position until a better appreciation of the requirements to maintain the new system.       

  

  • SYSTEM REPLACEMENT – We are making good and steady progress on this implementation.  We have essentially completed initial training on most of the system modules and that will continue through mid-June.  We are continuing to work with Marshall Advisory Group with the implementation planning, data mapping from our existing system and migration into the Sage product.  The current focus is on employee files with pay history and benefits information as well as importing vendor information with the expectation that data imports will be completed by June 30th.   We have imported a sample of employees, projects and vendors to allow for testing of processes on Research Foundation actual data.  This will enable us to further define and modify existing processes.  We are developing a detailed project implementation matrix with the intent to dual process all transactions in November and December and transition entirely as of January 1, 2014.
  • FACILITIES AND ADMINISTRATIVE RATE (F&A) – The fiscal year ending on June 30, 2013 is the base year for our next F&A rate proposal due to be submitted to the Office of Naval Research by December 31st.  The Research Foundation has engaged the higher education consulting firm of Attain, LLC to assist in the preparation, submission and negotiation of this proposal.  In the very near future, Attain will have personnel on campus to conduct space training meetings with department personnel and to coordinate space surveys with research-intensive departments and units.

 

  • OUTREACH EFFORTS – On March 20th the Research Foundation sponsored a counterintelligence presentation focusing upon the U. S. government’s efforts in the battle against foreign collection efforts and espionage that target U.S. technology, intellectual property, trade secrets, and proprietary information.  Mr. Bruce Rainey, U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Security Service Counterintelligence, provided an informative  presentation on the threats currently encountered by the US contractor and university community and ways to mitigate these threats.  The presentation was followed by a reception to provide an opportunity for interaction with the community we serve.  We intend to periodically sponsor such events with topics specific to research administration.

I hope everyone has a happy, healthy and productive summer break! 

With regards,

Julian

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