We have also agreed on a fairly aggressive schedule and hope to have a list of finalists and campus interviews prior to the Christmas holidays. This is a very important search for the University and we have a large and inclusive search committee formed to assist with the screenings and interviews.  

I wanted to take a few moments to mention the role of the principle investigator (PI) in grants and contracts that are awarded to UAH. I like to remind new faculty that once you are awarded a grant or contract, you take on responsibilities that go beyond just the research effort. While there are offices at UAH that assist in these responsibilities, the fundamental responsibility for accomplishment of all post-award responsibilities rests with the PI. The grant process is generally broken up into pre-award and post-award. For the most part, pre-award is handled by the Office of Sponsored Programs and post-award is handled by financial accounting. The PI responsibilities include progress reports to the sponsor, correct and timely invoicing, execution of the project budget according the plan presented in the funded proposal, compliance with all regulatory guidance associated with the project (e.g. export control, security, biological safety, etc.), and obtaining approval from the sponsoring agency for significant changes in scope. OSP works on behalf of the university as our contracting office to make sure your proposal is legally sufficient, meets the requirements of the solicitation, coordinates with the office of research security if necessary, and accepts the terms and conditions of the grant or contact on behalf of the university.  

Mr. Pinner and I are working together to sponsor a visit by the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) to review our pre- and post-award processing at UAH and make recommendations for improvement. Service to you is important to us and we are looking forward to receiving the report once the review is complete. This should happen during the Fall.

I was pleased with the Propulsion Research Center/MAE department’s accomplishment of having 7 papers presented at the AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference July 16-17. Six of the papers were presented by our graduate students. Our faculty continues to make other research contributions that we are very proud of.  A good example of this would include Dr. Richard Miller, Professor of Physics, whose recent work has contributed to the identification of bulk surface hydrogen (water) on the Moon. I am seeing and hearing of other similar accomplishments as I become more familiar with the activities of UAH and I want you all to know how proud we are of the research engagement of our faculty, staff, and students. You do an amazing job for our customers.

The Severe Weather Institute Research and Lightning Laboratory (SWIRLL) broke ground on July 15th.  This facility, when completed, will offer a world-class research laboratory for UAH faculty, staff, and students. This is one more example of our research and academic progress that we are all so very proud of. We greatly appreciate the support of the Governor and legislature in making this happen.

As always, I welcome your emails and always enjoying hearing about research accomplishments. Don’t hesitate to send them to me. In the future, you can expect to see more programs being announced to support faculty research endeavors. Look for these and please take advantage of them. Best wishes for the upcoming Fall semester.

Yours in Service,

Ray Vaughn