March 16, 2001
MEMORANDUM TO NATIONAL SCIENCE BOARD MEMBERS
SUBJECT: Preliminary Report of the March 15, 2001 Meeting
The major actions of the Board at its 362nd meeting on March 15, 2001
are summarized for the information of those members absent and as
a reminder to those present.
1. Board Actions
- The Board approved the Open and Closed Session minutes of the
December 2000 meeting.
- The Board approved selections for the Vannevar Bush Award and
the Alan T. Waterman Award for 2001, as recommended by the selection
committees. Names will be announced when the NSF Director and
NSB Chair have contacted the individuals.
- The Board approved a draft report, The Scientific Allocation
of Scientific Resources, NSB-01-39, as a working draft, and
preparations for a stakeholder symposium May 21-22 to discuss
- The Board established a new standing Committee on Strategy
and Budget. Membership and other organizational issues will be
discussed at the May meeting.
- The Board concurred with the establishment of a new nomination
and election protocol, including the establishment of a Nominations
Committee for elected NSB positions.
- The Board approved the Director's Annual Merit Review Report,
- The Board and the Director recognized Colonel Richard Saburro
of the New York Air National Guard for presiding over the successful
transition of air support for the U.S. Antarctic Program from
the U.S. Navy to the Air Force.
The Board approved the following award:
Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Division of Astronomical Sciences
Operation of the International Gemini Observatory
Association of Universities
Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA, Inc.)
Amount not to exceed
for 60 months
3. Committee Reports
| (Committee summaries are provided by executive secretaries.)
a. Executive Committee (EC)
| The Executive Committee heard a report from the
Director on the status of budget and congressional activities. It
also received reports on the recommendations of the Vannevar Bush
and Alan T. Waterman Award committees.
b. Audit & Oversight (A&O)
| The committee heard reports on GPRA, Customer Service
Surveys, the FY2000 report on the Merit Review System and a study
undertaken by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA)
on NSF's merit review criteria. A status report on the NSF financial
statements and audit was provided: for FY2000, NSF received its third
consecutive "clean" audit opinion. The committee also heard
a report on the work of the NSF Management Controls Committee and
steps being taken to address the FY 2000 Management Challenges.
| The committee discussed and concurred with the Office
of Inspector General's (OIG) budget request for FY 2002. A schedule
was established for reviewing and approving the next semiannual report
by the Inspector General. Mr. Tom Cooley, Chief, Office of Budget,
Finance and Award Management, made a presentation on corrective actions
planned for problems identified in a recent audit and OIG staff briefed
the committee on several active investigation and audit projects.
c. Education and Human Resources (EHR)
A good portion of the meeting was devoted to discussion of the report
on NSF's Niche in K-16 SMET Education. Dr. Suzuki presented a detailed
outline, and several suggestions were made regarding additional topics
and the organization of the report. The committee hopes that the first
draft of the report will be ready for its review at the May meeting.
Dr. Suzuki and several members of the NSF staff had attended a conference
entitled "Applying the Science of Learning to the University and
Beyond" in early March. They shared their impressions and reactions
with the rest of the committee and led a discussion on the developments
and applications of the science of learning.
The committee then reviewed a draft statement on Education and Human
Resource Development in the 21st Century that identifies
issues and needs in this area and offers some policy recommendations.
No major revisions were suggested. The EHR Committee also heard reports
from the Indicators Subcommittee (SEI) and the Task Force on National
Workforce Policies for Science and Engineering (NWP).
d. Science and Engineering Indicators (SEI)
Mr. Rolf Lehming, Science Resources Studies Division, discussed a draft
review schedule for Indicators-2002 including suggested assignments
of Board members as reviewers for each chapter. This list was distributed
to all Board members. Dr. Tapia stressed the need for, and importance
of, Board members' input into the Indicators review process. Dr.
Tapia asked the Board members to let him know if they want to change chapter
Mr. Bill Noxon, Senior Public Affairs Specialist from the Office of Legislative
and Public Affairs, presented several options to achieve wider dissemination
of Indicators-2002. The subcommittee indicated that they did not
feel comfortable making decisions on the rollout for Indicators
and suggested that the Board, in consultation with OLPA, consider retaining
a Public Relations firm to assist in this process. The subcommittee members
also agreed that as they read the draft chapters of Indicators-2002,
they would forward "nuggets" to OLPA for possible highlighting
in the rollout process. Finally, in response to a question on whether
the timing of the release of Indicators should be rethought, Dr.
Lynda Carlson stated that SRS would develop timing options for release
of future Indicators and discuss them with the subcommittee after
the release of Indicators-2002. Mr. Lehming distributed a draft
workplan for the production of an Environment chapter for S&E Indicators-2004.
Mr. Lehming proposed a procedure for the treatment of issues discussed
in SEI on which the NSB has taken a position. The Board description of
the issues would be presented in text boxes that would also provide the
reader with the URL for obtaining further information. SRS would not attempt
to summarize NSB conclusions or recommendations. The subcommittee agreed
with this approach.
Finally, members of the subcommittee expressed their deep appreciation
to the staff of SRS for the excellent and important reports that they
have provided to the Board and NSF over the years.
e. EHR Task Force on National Policies for the S&E Workforce
The task force focused its discussion on mathematics and science teachers.
Two NSF staff, Dr. Jane Kahle (EHR) and Dr. Tom Smith (SRS) presented
overviews, respectively, on issues and datasets that encompass teachers.
The main messages were (1) the need for an overhaul of teacher preparation
and professional development to bring some uniformity to a fragmented
system of teacher production, induction, certification, and career rewards;
and (2) the type and range of national data on teachers, which tends to
be self-reported and cross-sectional.
The Chairman thanked the outgoing Executive Secretary and introduced
his successor, Dr. Karolyn Eisenstein. The task force then reviewed the
state of contracts to support its work. One on foreign talent flows is
about to be awarded, which calls for a report by May 1; the other on non-degree
education, including but not limited to certificate programs, needs to
be scoped since no single, reliable data source has been identified.
The task force agreed that the workforce project being conducted by
the California Council on Science and Technology will provide important
input on issues and analyses that relate directly to the NWP workplan.
In executive session, the task force discussed policy challenges to
address in the report, the timetable for activities for the rest of
calendar year 2000, and agreed to meet via teleconference to plan
for the May meeting after an outline is circulated.
f. Programs and Plans (CPP)
CPP considered the proposed award for Operation of the International
Gemini Observatory (Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy,
Inc.) and recommended its approval to the full Board. Staff were requested
to provide follow-up information at future meetings.
The committee continued its discussion of planning for cyber infrastructure
and research. A strategic plan is being developed to include a broad vision
for all users, as well as more specific rationales for subsets of users,
including needs of high-end users.
The committee heard reports from the Polar Issues Subcommittee and the
Task Force on S&E Infrastructure.
The committee also received an update on Major Research Equipment
(MRE) and on facilities management from the Deputy Director. A report
was provided on the status of the FY 2001 appropriation and the FY
2002 budget request for MRE. Management of large projects was discussed,
including unique features of NSF facilities management compared to
other agencies (NSF, by statute, does not operate facilities.) CPP
was briefed on plans for new management procedures.
g. CPP Task Force on S&E Infrastructure (INF)
The task force discussed the scope of their report. Suggestions included
stressing the infrastructure needs of the NSF academic research community;
broader academic infrastructure needs; discussion of coordination with
other agencies; how infrastructure needs have changed - for example with
IT enabled research and the development of virtual research communities;
and how to inform Congress and the Executive branch about new infrastructure
needs. The task force also discussed forming subgroups to do its work.
The task force heard a presentation from Leslie Christovich of SRS
on the biennial survey of Scientific and Engineering Research Facilities.
She also discussed a survey of Academic Research Instruments and Instrumentation
Needs that was discontinued after 1992. The task force also heard
presentations from two Assistant Directors, Mary Clutter and Robert
Eisenstein, who discussed infrastructure needs in the Biological Sciences
and Math and Physical Sciences communities, respectively.
h. Polar Issues (PI)
| The subcommittee heard a presentation by Dr. John
Carlstrom from the University of Chicago and Director of the Center
for Astrophysics Research in Antarctica (CARA). OPP staff briefed
the subcommittee on several items including: the South Pole Modernization
program status and schedule; recent medical program enhancements by
the Antarctic support contractor; activities of the Interagency Arctic
Research Policy Committee to study environmental change in the Arctic
region; development of a proposal workshop for potential investigators
to Antarctic research, and planning for development of an Alaskan
regional research vessel.
i. International Issues in S&E (ISE)
| Dr. Diana Natalicio reminded participants that the
task force started out with the objective of producing a comprehensive
report on international S&E issues, similar to the Board's Environmental
S&E Report. The task force discussed whether to proceed with developing
a more comprehensive integrated report; who the audience for such
a report should be; and the structure and content of such a report.
After a lively discussion, task force members agreed that the task
force should prepare a report for a more general audience that would
be primarily educational in nature. A draft outline for the report
will be prepared and a conference call scheduled in the next several
j. Ad Hoc Committee on Strategic S&E Policy Issues (SPI)
The committee discussed two documents: A draft NSB Statement on the National
importance of funding for S&E and the draft paper The Scientific
Allocation of Scientific Resources (NSB-01-39). It also discussed
a draft agenda and possible guest list for a symposium in connection with
the May Board meeting to discuss with stakeholders the recommendations
in the draft paper. |
k. NSB 50th Anniversary Task Force
The task force discussed the distribution list for the NSB 50th anniversary
commemorative, The National Science Board: A History in Highlights,
1950-2000 (NSB-00-215). In addition to each Board member receiving
24 copies for personal distribution, the commemorative will be sent to
Congress, White House senior staff, heads of universities receiving NSF
funding; leadership of professional organizations and associations and
print media. The Board Office will also coordinate inclusion of the report
with the NSF Nifty 50 and America's Investment in the Future: NSF Celebrating
50 Years (NSF-00-50) that are currently in distribution. |
The task force discussed the publication of a scholarly historical monograph,
the second of two planned historical documents about the Board, and decided
to refer the decision to the full Board.
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