October 20, 2000
MEMORANDUM TO NATIONAL SCIENCE BOARD MEMBERS
SUBJECT: Preliminary Report of October 18-19, 2000 Meeting
The major actions of the Board at its 360thth meeting on October 18-19, 2000, are summarized
for the information of those members and consultants absent and as a reminder to those present.
1. Board Actions
a. Drs. Nina Fedoroff, Jane Lubchenco, Warren Washington and John White were sworn in as members
of the NSB class of 2006 by Dr. Eamon Kelly.
b. The Chairman established a Task Force on S&E Infrastructure as a Subcommittee of
the Committee on Programs and Plan (CPP). Dr. John White is Chair, with
members Dr. Lubchenco, Jones, Rubin, Richardson, Washington & Wrighton
of the NSB and Drs. Mary Clutter and Robert Eisenstein of NSF, and Executive
Secretary Mr. Paul Herer.
c. The Chairman established a Task Force on National Workforce Policies for S&E as a
Subcommittee of the Committee on Education and Human Resources (EHR).
Dr. Joseph Miller is Chair, with members Dr. Fedoroff, Langford, Natalicio,
Savitz, Simberloff and Tien, and Executive Secretary Dr. Daryl Chubin.
d. The Chairman announced that Dr. Michael Rossmann has joined the CPP Subcommittee
on Polar Issues; and Dr. Warren Washington, the Committee on Strategic
S&E Policy Issues.
e. The Board approved a set of Major Research Equipment Projects as candidates to include
in the NSF Budget in FY 2002 and beyond.
f. The Board concurred with the recommendation from the Audit and Oversight Committee to have
the Executive Committee approve the Management Response by the Board
to the OIG Semiannual Report.
g. The Board concurred with the recommendation from the Task Force on International Issues
in S&E to have the Executive Committee approve the final report to the new Administration.
h. The Board approved the Commemorative Brochure for the NSB 50th Anniversary subject to final
edits approved by the task force chair and the Board chair. Members
were asked to submit final comments by Friday, October 27.
The Board approved the following award: Amount not to exceed
MATHEMATICAL AND PHYSICAL SCIENCES
|Division of Material Research
Magnetic Field Laboratory
||$117,500,000 for 60 months, the
final three years of which are contingent upon satisfactory
progress in the R&D program, management, and leadership of the
3. NSB Committees
(Committee summaries are provided by executive secretaries.)
a. Executive Committee (EC)
The committee heard a status report on the NSF budget.
b. Audit & Oversight (A&O)
The committee heard reports on the work of the NSF Management Controls Committee,
the issuance of NSF Important Notice 126, "NSF's Paperless Proposal
and Award System -- Next Steps, " and NSF's role and responsibilities
under PL 106-107 (the "Federal Financial Assistance Management improvement
Act"). They also heard updates on GPRA, federal research misconduct
policy, the preparation of NSF's annual financial statements and audits
of the financial statements and of information systems.
The committee received
an update on the status of the OIG's budget for the current fiscal year
and on the process for reviewing and issuing the OIG's Semiannual Report
for the period ending September 30, 2000. Because the Semiannual Report
for the current period will be issued between the NSB's October and
December meetings, the A&O Committee will ask the Executive Committee
to approve the Management Response by the Board to the OIG Semiannual
Report. The committee also heard presentations on the OIG's audit planning
efforts for this fiscal year aand NSF management reported to the committee
on its response to a recent OIG audit report.
and Plans (CPP)
the proposed award for the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at
Florida State University and recommended its approval to the full Board.
The committee found it a strong program overall, but recommended that
the final three years of support under this award be contingent upon
satisfactory progress in the R&D program, management, and leadership
of the NMR program. The committee also reviewed potential Major Research
Equipment projects as part of planning for the FY 2002 budget request.
The committee received
information on the plans and timeline for the management review of AURA,
which currently manages the National Optical Astronomical Observatories
(NOAO). There was also a presentation and broad discussion on the strategic
context for leading edge cyber infrastructure.
CPP received reports
from the Polar Issues Subcommittee and the new Task Force on Science
and Engineering Infrastructure. CPP
recommended the new Polar Issues Subcommittee charge to the full Board
for approval, and heard a summary of updates on Arctic and Antarctic
research. The Task Force on Science and Engineering Infrastructure held
its first meeting, and is developing a work plan.
The committee also
received two brief written information items, on the status of Materials
Research Science & Engineering Centers, and on plans for Physics Frontier
d. CPP Subcommittee
on Polar Issues (PI)
heard a review of a proposed MRE project. The subcommittee also heard
reports from OPP staff on the polar instrumentation development program;
approval by the Arctic Council of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment
Project; the Western Arctic Shelf-Basin Interaction Project; the Gakkel
Ridge Program in the Arctic; an Antarctic weather forecasting workshop
and an Antarctic transportation workshop, and the Degree Angular Scale
e. CPP Task
Force on S&E Infrastructure (INF)
Dr. White, task
force chair, opened the first meeting by reviewing the charge, and reminded
the Task Force that it has been requested to present the "terms of reference"
for the study, a workplan, and a timetable to the CPP and the full Board
for approval at the December 2000 meeting. He noted that the charge
is very broad and that the Task Force must focus its efforts on things
that will make a real difference to science and engineering. Considerable
discussion ensued on what should be the "terms of reference" for the
study. Some of the issues raised were whether assessment should focus
on the current state of infrastructure of future development; and how
infrastructure should be defined for the purposes of the study. It was
agreed that Dr. White will develop the first draft of the workplan and
terms of reference and the documents will then be refined iteratively
by the task force, using conference calls and email.
f. Education and
Human Resources (EHR) The committee heard presentations by David Ellis,
chair of the Advisory Committee (AC) for the EHR Directorate, on issues
discussed by the AC and the need for continuing interaction with the
Board EHR Committee; by Bill Wulf, on the National Academy of Engineering's
Committee and Forum on Diversity in the Engineering Workforce and how
to make the "business case" for diversity and to leverage existing programs
and commitments; and by Linda Rosen, U.S. Department of Education, on
the findings and recommendations of the recent Glenn Commission report
on mathematics and science teaching.
spurred much discussion and consideration for follow-up activities.
In addition, the committee discussed the October 17 joint meeting with
the GPRA Subcommittee of the EHR Advisory Committee on the NSF Niche
in K-16 Education. David Ellis and consultant Clara Tolbert, members
of the GPRA Subcommittee, participated in this discussion. The committee
plans to hold a teleconference to share impressions and develop follow-up
questions. The topic will be discussed again at the EHR Directorate's
AC meeting in November.
The chairs of two
subcommittees of the EHR Committee delivered status reports - the S&E
Indicators Subcommittee and the new Task Force on National Workforce
Policies for S&E.
g. EHR Subcommittee
on Science and Engineering Indicators (SEI)
Rolf Lehming, Science
Resources Studies Division, proposed a 2000/2001 production schedule
for Science and Engineering Indicators-2002 that was approved
by the subcommittee:
members provided additional comments on the thematic outlines and external
reviews received on the K-12, Public Attitudes, and Academic R&D chapters.
The subcommittee approved the three revised chapter outlines and directed
SRS to proceed drafting the chapters. Dr. Tapia stressed, and Dr. Suzuki
concurred, that data on Hispanics and Asians should be disaggregated
as far as possible, along with data on native and foreign born faculty.
It was noted that the quality of the external reviews has been excellent,
thoughtful, and detailed. SRS chapter authors were asked to provide
brief written summaries of reviewers' comments on all chapter outlines
and how they will be addressed.
The draft thematic
outline for the Higher Education chapter was discussed along with reviewers'
comments, and the subcommittee approved the contents and thematic outline
for this chapter. Dr. Tapia recommended including a discussion of the
need and motivation for bringing foreign workers into the U.S. on H-1B
visas, either in this chapter or the S&E Workforce chapter.
h. EHR Subcommittee
on National Workforce Policies for S&E (NWP)
The task force
held its inaugural meeting, hearing first from NSB Chairman Kelly on
his expectations. The charge addresses a broad range of issues, including
the impact of increased H1-B visas on U.S. students, the teacher workforce,
the emphasis on retraining and certificates in addition to degrees as
preparation for hi-tech jobs, and the status of postdoctorates. The
task force was asked to focus on national policies, not NSF. Task force
Chairman Dr. Joseph Miller led a discussion of the steps to be taken
to produce a workplan for presentation to the EHR Committee at the December
i. Task Force
on International Issues in S&E (INT)
The task force
approved changes to the report for the new administration based on comments
from Board members. The task force will send the final revised transition
draft to the Board shortly and will ask the Executive Committee to handle
final approval of the document some time in November. The task force
discussed the text and recommendations of the report providing guidance
to NSF, and agreed that a revised version will be discussed in an upcoming
conference call. The task force expects to complete the NSF guidance
report this fall and share it with the full Board at the December meeting.
The task force decided to invite Norman Nuereiter, the new Science and
Technology Advisor to the Secretary of State, to its December meeting.
on Strategic S&E Policy Issues (SPI)
The Chairman reported
on his testimony on international benchmarking to the Basic Research
Subcommittee of the House Science Committee on October 4. The committee
then discussed a technical memorandum prepared by Science Resources
Studies staff as background for its October 20 meeting on applications
of economic methods to support Federal research allocation decisions.
It also discussed a draft of its agenda for a stakeholders' symposium
in early 2001 focused on the draft committee report.
k. Task Force
on NSB 50th Anniversary (NSB50)
The task force
heard a report from Terry Savage, Editorial Director, Low+Associates,
on the 50th anniversary commemorative brochure. She provided a sample
of the layout and design of the brochure and discussed the final production
schedule. The brochure will be released at the December Board meeting
and will be made available on the NSB Web page. The NSF Director suggested
that Curt Suplee, Director, Office of Legislative & Public Affairs,
review the text and provide comments to the Board Office by close of
business October 27. The task force approved the brochure and will recommend
The task force
discussed the guest list and program for the Board's December 12 celebratory
event and learned that the Board may have an opportunity to meet with
the President during the 12-14 December timeframe. The meeting would
commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Board meeting, which was
held in the White House during President Harry S. Truman's term of office.
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