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National Science Foundation
Office of the Director (OD)
design element

CEOSE Meeting Minutes
June 5-6, 2007

Meeting Site
National Science Foundation (NSF), Stafford II, Room 555 - Arlington, Virginia 22230

Meeting Participants

Members Present:

Ms. Sandra Begay-Campbell, Sandia National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM (via Telcon)
Dr. Joseph S. Francisco, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
Dr. Wesley L. Harris, CEOSE Vice Chair, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Dr. Beverly Karplus Hartline, CEOSE Chair, Delaware State University, Dover, DE
Dr. Marshall G. Jones, GE Global Research, Niskayuna, NY
Dr. Richard E. Ladner, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Dr. Robert L. Lichter, Merrimack Consultants, LLC, Great Barrington, MA
Dr. Marigold Linton, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Dr. Theresa A. Maldonado, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX 
Dr. William C. McCarthy, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM
Dr. Samuel L. Myers, Jr., HHH Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota,     Minneapolis, MN
Dr. Germán R. Núñez, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock, TX
Dr. Muriel Poston, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY

Member Absent:

Dr. Mae C. Jemison, The Jemison Group, Houston, TX

Executive Liaison/CEOSE Executive Secretary:

Dr. Margaret E. M. Tolbert, Senior Advisor, Office of Integrative Activities, NSF

OIA/NSF Primary Support Staff Member:

Mr. Lawrence E. Upson, Program and Technology Specialist, Office of Integrative Activities/NSF

Non-Members Who Presented Oral or Written Statements, Participated in the Discussions and/or Were Meeting Attendees without Specific Roles:

Mr. Silverio Alvarez, NSF Intern, DUE/NSF
Dr. Denise Barnes, EPSCoR/OIA/NSF
Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr., OD/NSF
Dr. Katie Blanding, NASA
Dr. Henry N. Blount, EPSCoR/OIA/NSF
Mr. Ronald D. Branch, EOP/OD/NSF
Ms. Charisse Carney-Nunes, BFA/NSF
Ms. Tayana Casseus, HRD/EHR/NSF
Dr. Tony F. Chan, OAD/MPS
Ms. Lura (Jody) Chase, HRD/EHR/NSF
Dr. Walter V. Collier, C&A Technologies, Inc.
Mr. Owen Cornelius, NSF Intern
Dr. Kellina Craig-Henderson, BES/SBE/NSF
Ms. Carmen Cromartie, The Reporter, Inc.
Dr. Jessie DeAro, HRD/EHR/NSF
Dr. Connie Kubo Della-Piana, OIA/OD/NSF
Dr. Anthony DePass, Long Island University - Brooklyn
Mr. Terence Easterling, NSF Intern
Dr. Karl Erb, OPP/OD/NSF
Dr. Adam P. Fagen, The National Academies/NRC
Ms. Amy Franklin, Legal Intern, OGC/NSF
Dr. Michael Fredenberg, HRD/EHR/NSF
Dr. Joan Frye, OIA/OD/NSF
Mr. Brandon Garcia, NSF Intern
Ms. Sandra Gartrell,  The Reporter, Inc.
Ms. Chelsea Garza, NSF Intern, BCS/NSF
Mr. Eric Gold, OGC/NSF
Ms. Katherine Gomer, NSF Intern
Ms. Tracy Gorman, OD/NSF
Mr. Brian Grosner, DNFSB
Mr. Jordan Ham, NSF Intern
Ms. Mileva M. Hartman, BD/BFA/NSF
Ms. Danielle Hill, NSF Intern
Dr. Susan T. Hill, SRS/SBE/NSF
Dr. Robert J. Jaeger, ENG/NSF
Ms. Francis Jordan, NSF Intern
Dr. Mary C. Juhas, ENG/NSF
Mr. Marguerite Keller, The Reporter, Inc.
Dr. Anita Klein, DBI/BIO/NSF
Dr. Fae Korsmo, OPP/OD/NSF

Dr. Laura Kramer, HRD/EHR/NSF
Ms. Luinil Torres Lara, NSF Intern
Mr. Gabriel Larruz, NSF Intern
Dr. Mark H. Leddy, HRD/EHR/NSF
Dr. Alan Leshner, NSB Office
Ms. Lisa Lugo-Clark, NSF Intern
Ms. Elsa Martinez, NSF Intern
Dr. Allan Miller, OISE/NSF
Mr. Luis Morales, NSF Intern, REC/NSF
Dr. Jose Munoz, OCI
Ms. Stephanie Nieves, NSF Intern
Dr. Sally O’Connor, DBI/BIO/NSF
Mr. Manuel Olguin, NSF Intern
Dr. Kathie L. Olsen, OD/NSF
Dr. Julie Palais, OPP/OD/NSF
Dr. Carl S. Person, NASA
Dr. Clifton Poodry, NIGMS/NIH
Mr. Alvaro Quiñonez, NSF Intern
Dr. Robert Ridky, USGS
Ms. Alysse Rivera, NSF Intern
Ms. Amanda Roberts, OIA/NSF
Ms.  Bianca Rodriquez, NSF Intern, OISE/NSF
Dr. Celeste Rohlfing, MPS/NSF
Dr. Joanna Rom, BFA/NSF
Dr. Jacqueline Rousseau, NOAA
Dr. Victor Santiago, HRD/EHR/NSF
Ms. Victoria Sederquest, NSF Intern, ATM/NSF
Ms. Sharnelle Simpson, NSF Intern
Ms. Sylvia Spengler, IIS/CISE/NSF
Dr. Judith Sunley, OAD/MPS
Mr. David Temple, DUE/EHR/NSF
Dr. Joanne Tornow, OD/NSF
Ms. Henretta Tsoni, NSF Intern
Mr. Daniel Turshon, OIA/OD/NSF
Ms. Norma Valerio, NSF Intern
Ms. Erika C. Vula, NSF Intern, DUE/NSF
Dr. Greg Weltz, U.S. Department of Labor
Ms. Kamille Williams, OIA/OD/NSF
Ms. Lisa Williams, HRM/OIRM/NSF
Mr. Jordan Zendejas, NSF Intern, OIG/NSF


Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Meeting Notes

The meeting was called to order by Dr. Hartline and introductions of everyone in the room were given.  CEOSE members concurred with the approval of the minutes for the February 1-2, 2007 meeting, and they offered no requests for changes. ACTION ITEM:  The minutes will be uploaded to the CEOSE website (https://www.nsf.gov/od/oia/activities/ceose/index.jsp).

Guest Speakers:

Dr. Clifton Poodry, Director Minority Opportunities in Research Division at NIGMS/NIH, gave a presentation on the topic, "Understanding Interventions That Encourage Minorities to Pursue Research Careers".  He spoke favorably about the CEOSE recommendation that called for more sponsored social science research in reference to underrepresented minorities in STEM.  When discussing programs of his agency, he focused on those that are exemplary in terms of encouraging minorities to pursue research careers.  He focused on the MARC Program and presented the following details:  Of the underrepresented minorities who earn BS Degrees from the 54 MARC institutions, approximately 40% enroll in PhD programs; approximately 65% of those who enter graduate programs actually receive their Ph.D. Degrees.  He cautioned, however, that the exceptional record of MARC students might translate into gains in outcomes of their baccalaureate institutions.  Additionally, he presented information on the Efficacy of Interventions Program, which supports high level research (R01) “…that tests assumptions regarding the effectiveness of interventions intended to increase interest, motivation, and preparedness for careers in biomedical research, with a particular interest in interventions specifically designed to increase the number of underrepresented minority students entering careers in these fields.”  Dr. Poodry shared information on his background, including how he was able to take advantage of opportunities to complete his formal education.  This personal information helped emphasize the need for studies resulting in data that shed light on the topic of understanding interventions needed to encourage more minorities to pursue research careers.  In concluding his presentation, Dr. Poodry provided information on a recent letter that was sent by four senators (Senators Clinton, Kennedy, Milkulski, and Murray) to the National Academy of Science.  The letter calls for the identification of factors that shape the decisions of minority students to commit to education and careers in STEM fields.  NIH and NSF will have to respond to this letter.  In response to questions from CEOSE members, additional NIH program details were provided, and a question arose about the possibility of holding a CEOSE meeting on the NIH campus.  ACTION ITEM:  The possibility of holding a CEOSE meeting on the NIH campus will be explored further.

Dr. Anthony L. DePass, Associate Dean of Research Long Island University – Brooklyn, reported on the NIH/NIGMS/MORE-Sponsored Workshop on "Understanding Interventions That Encourage Minorities to Pursue Research Careers: Major Questions and Appropriate Methods."  Dr. DePass spoke of the need and recognition for centralized access to research on the topic.  He posed a number of questions, such as “Where is the community of scholars to study this topic?” The needs are many and varied.  He informed the audience that a study is needed for the identification of factors and practices that determine the effectiveness of interventions aimed at increasing the participation of underrepresented minorities in the biomedical and behavioral sciences.  He spoke of the National Academies workshop that focused on interventions, research questions, technical assistance, and an interdisciplinary community of scholars on the topic of the pursuit of research careers by minorities.  Dr. DePass included among his comments information on meetings that have taken place already to set the context about career choices in general, social cognitive career theory and its basic elements, factors affecting career choices and training, stereotype threats, economic approaches to understanding career decisions, practices used to encourage minorities to choose science careers, and the state of knowledge and avenues of investigation.  He emphasized the need for clear expectations in research designs, team science, appropriate comparison or control groups, sound and explicit theoretical basis for the hypothesis to be tested, and sound statistical methods and analyses.

The above two presentations stimulated a great deal of discussion by CEOSE members, Federal representatives, and the general audience.                                                         

Transformation of CEOSE:

Dr. Myers highlighted the Transformation of CEOSE to assure institutional memory.  He referred to the transformation of CEOSE as a plan in action as he presented brief details on its mandate and background information on key aspects of the transformation.  CEOSE was established within the National Science Foundation in 1980 by Congress.  The primary responsibility of the committee is to provide advice to NSF “… concerning (1) the implementation of the provisions of [the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act] and (2) other policies and activities of the Foundation to encourage full participation of women, [underrepresented] minorities, and other groups [persons with disabilities] currently underrepresented in scientific, engineering, and professional fields” (42 U.S.C. §1885c SEC. 36 (a)).  Dr. Myers advised that the component of the mandate, which refers to persons with disabilities, was added later and that the reference to “minorities” in the mandate is pertinent to minorities who are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  Dr. Myers called to the attention of the committee that the current membership of CEOSE contains two persons with disabilities and another member whose research focuses on persons with disabilities.  This is the first time that the committee has had more than one member who is handicapped.  He credited Dr. Willie Pearson (Chairmanship:  2002-2003) with being the first CEOSE Chairperson to initiate the transformation of CEOSE.  Other Chairpersons (e.g., Dr. Indira Nair, October 2003 – January 31, 2005; Dr. Robert L. Lichter, February1, 2005 – January 31, 2006; Dr. Samuel L. Myers, Jr., February 1, 2006 – January 31, 2007; and Dr. Beverly K. Hartline, February 1, 2007 - Present) have continued the transformation.  During Dr. Pearson’s chairmanship, interactions with other Federal agencies were formalized through the cooperation of NSF and the Office of Science and Technology Policy.  During the Chairmanships of Dr. Nair and Dr. Lichter, the scope of CEOSE was broadened, and during their tenures as chair and vice chair of CEOSE respectively, the 20-year report—ten of which were required by Congress—was completed. 

Dr. Myers advised that there is consensus among CEOSE members that there is a need for better accountability and evaluation of NSF investments in diversity, that an enhancement of the visibility of CEOSE is needed, and that there needs to be greater involvement of CEOSE in the work of NSF.  CEOSE now has liaisons to each NSF advisory committee.  These persons are advocates for broadening participation in STEM.  Periodic orientations are held by CEOSE to enhance and strengthen the knowledge and understanding of broadening participation of underrepresented minorities, women, and persons with disabilities in STEM. Participants in these meetings include CEOSE members and NSF senior staff members from the Director to division directors.

CEOSE has held two mini-symposia to focus on topics (e.g., Community Colleges and Institutional Transformation) of concern, and additional ones are planned (e.g., Institutions That Serve the Disabled).  Also, CEOSE has visited tribal colleges on American Indian reservations (i.e., Montana: Crow and Cheyenne) to gather first-hand information on non-traditional pathways to STEM careers.  To further broaden its participation in STEM related activities and programs, CEOSE members continue to participate in meetings both at NSF and at the national level (e.g., AAAS Annual Meeting) to present its case for broadening participation.  As efforts continue, CEOSE members are linking to Federal agencies in a diversity of ways and, with assistance from the Deputy Director of NSF, have identified contact persons with whom to hold conversations about broadening participation.  Dr. Harris is leading the latter effort.

Dr. Myers expressed a need for CEOSE to link with industry and with scientific and engineering organizations for a number of reasons, one of which is to have mutually beneficial dialogue about broadening participation. 

During the discussion period, discussants from CEOSE membership and representatives of Federal agencies called attention to the need to know more about how other organizations and agencies address diversity and education, accreditation at educational institutions, interagency working groups that address broadening participation issues, the need for a strategic method for addressing diversity, greater involvement of Federal agency representatives as presenters at CEOSE meetings, and the possibility of having a “super” CEOSE to normalize issues across all Federal agencies.

RECOMMENDATION:  Members of CEOSE agreed that the NSF Office of General Counsel should be contacted for advisement and identification of options for engaging CEOSE to work in a more formal way with key upper managers at Federal agencies in addition to NSF.  The committee would like to have suggestions of mechanisms for doing this and to be informed about formal limitations or prohibitions for the strategy that is proposed.

Farewell to Lawrence Upson:

Mr. Lawrence Upson, who has served CEOSE as the OIA/NSF primary support staff member, was recognized for his excellent work with the committee. CEOSE members wished him well in his new position at NSF.

Future Meeting Dates and Agenda for October 2007:

CEOSE members discussed possible agenda items for the October meeting and dates for future meetings.  ACTION ITEM:  Potential meeting dates will be circulated via e-mail for input by CEOSE members.  ACTION ITEM:  The draft agenda for the October 2007 meeting will be circulated by the end of August via e-mail for input by CEOSE members.

NSF Broader Impacts Criterion:

Dr. Germán Núñez presented information on the NSF Broader Impacts Criterion and laid the foundation for discussion of its pros and cons.  The NSF Broader Impacts Criterion encourages investigators to think beyond the frontiers of their disciplines and consider the social, and hence, educational values of their proposed activities.  It was noted that this criterion can be addressed by a proposer if he/she responds to any one of several questions.  Of concern is the fact that a proposal that contains no provisions, no plans, and no activities to broaden the participation of underrepresented minorities, women, and persons with disabilities would still meet one of the two NSF requirements for funding and in fact be eligible for funding, or be funded.  Further, the NSF review criteria—whether taken together or as single criterion—seem inadequate to address issues of equal opportunities in science and engineering, the mission and core values of NSF, and the NSF investment priority pertinent to a diverse and globally engaged STEM workforce.  CEOSE members discussed issues pertinent to the possibility of changing the Broader Impacts Criterion, including but not limited to, the amount of time required for the change in the process, what the desired accomplishment is, whether the funded institution or the individual proposer is responsible for the criterion, and what the impact will be on the economics and security and environments involved.  Dr.  Núñez made the following recommendations, which were discussed extensively but not formally adopted by CEOSE:  1.) Make the full participation of underrepresented minorities, women, and persons with disabilities a sin qua non element of any proposal funded by NSF.  2.) Return, without review, proposals that fail to address how NSF funds for the proposed plan will be used to ensure the full participation of underrepresented minorities, women, and persons with disabilities.  3.) Require that all review panels and site visit teams contain at least one expert whose responsibility is exclusively to evaluate the merits of broadening participation and impacts on education.  This person should not, necessarily, be required to render opinions of Intellectual Merit relative to the proposed plan.

Status Report: Development of an NSF Broadening Participation Plan:

Drs. Victor Santiago and Celeste Rohlfing, co-chairs of the NSF Broadening Participation Working Group, gave a review of the steps for the development of an NSF plan to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups and diverse institutions in all NSF activities.  This working group was established by the NSF Deputy Director; it includes representatives from each directorate appointed by Assistant Directors.  As needed, experts are invited to provide input on key topics pertinent to deliberations of the Working Group. The group draws on internal (i.e., Forum—Lectures and Discussion Sessions, Inventory of Broadening Participation Programs and Activities) and external (i.e., EHR Advisory Committee, Previous Studies, CEOSE Recommendations, and Conversations) inputs to the plan.  This Working Group is charged with the development of a plan to: 1) Increase the participation of underrepresented groups in NSF programs and activities, which includes defining existing baseline data; 2) Increase the participation of underrepresented groups in the pool of reviewers for NSF proposals; and 3) Recruit, hire, and empower highly qualified professional scientific staff members, who reflect the diversity of our community.  The Working Group’s plan is to submit the Broadening Participation Plan to NSF on September 1, 2007.

As the discussion unfolded in reference to the above presentation, points emerged relative to making the message of broadening participation clearer.  These points include, for example, patterns relative to broadening participation in NSF Committees of Visitors and review panels, and the comparison of intellectual merit with broader impacts—specifically broadening participation—in terms of importance.

Formation of a New Subcommittee:

A CEOSE ad hoc Subcommittee on Broadening Participation Plan was established.  Its membership consists of Drs. McCarthy (Chair), Lichter, Poston, and Núñez.  This committee is charged with being the CEOSE liaison to the NSF Broadening Participation Working Group.

Subcommittee Reports:

CEOSE Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Persons with Disabilities: Dr. Ladner reported on behalf of the CEOSE Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Persons with Disabilities.  This subcommittee (Subcommittee Membership:  Drs. Ladner (Chair), McCarthy, Myers, and Leddy (who is not a CEOSE member)) is organizing a CEOSE mini-symposium for implementation on October 15, 2007.  The plan is to have presentations and panel discussions on a number of topics pertinent to STEM persons with disabilities: institutions that serve large populations of students, practices for increasing the quality and quantity of STEM students, support for post-secondary STEM students, graduate students’ perspectives, and hiring and placement practices.  Following the report, CEOSE members made a number of suggestions.  Among these were to invite the news media to the mini-symposium and to hold a press conference prior to the event to publicize the mini-symposium.  An activity that received a great deal of attention is a suggestion that was developed into the following approved recommendation.  RECOMMENDATION:  CEOSE members should go on a site visit to an educational institution that has a large enrollment of persons with disabilities.  This will be a fact-finding mission.

CEOSE Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Accountability, Evaluation, and Communications: Dr. Harris reported on behalf of the CEOSE Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Accountability, Evaluation, and Communications. His report focused on the draft document titled “Joining Forces to Broaden Participation in Science and Engineering — Strategies for Inter-Agency Collaborations,” which contains the results of the study of broadening participation programs, practices, and activities of eleven Federal agencies (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, US Department of Energy, US Geological Survey, US Department of Defense, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Institute of Standards and Technology, US Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Labor, National Science Foundation, and Office of White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities/US Department of Education).  Dr. Harris noted that broadening participation/diversity in STEM is a priority of ten of the eleven Federal agencies included in this study.  Another fact that resulted from the study is that the agencies have expressed interest in collaborating with other STEM-related Federal agencies to further advance inclusiveness. Along with details on broadening participation/diversity efforts of each of the eleven agencies, recommendations advanced by each will be included in the final version of the report.  Dr. Harris thanked the Federal agency representatives and CEOSE members for the roles they played in the preparation of the draft report and invited them to provide comments on their agencies’ programs.  

Three Federal agency representatives (e.g., Dr. Jacqueline Rousseau of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Dr. Robert Ridky of the US Geological Survey (USGS), and Mr. Brian Grosner of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB)) gave brief reports on programs and initiative of their agencies.  Dr. Rousseau briefed the committee on broadening participation at NOAA, noting that diversity at the GS-13 and above levels is increasing.  NOAA has established science centers at several educational institutions including Howard University (Atmospheric Science) and Jackson State University (Meteorology).  The Graduate Fellowship Program, Internship Program, and Educational Scholarship Programs also focus on broadening participation.  Program evaluation is an integral part of the overall system.  NOAA makes its awards through cooperative agreements, and is attempting to broaden the participation of underrepresented minorities in its programs and activities.  Dr. Ridky advised that USGS—a federal agency that is responsible for collecting, monitoring, analyzing, and providing scientific understanding about natural resource conditions, issues, and problems—has approximately 10,000 scientists, technicians, and support staff members.  This agency does not have a separate education program office with a budget.  Internships and other education related projects are funded out of the research budget.  He stated that USGS has been making advances in broadening participation, especially in reference to American Indians.  For example, it has had success in implementing projects on tribal lands.  Mr. Grosner described the role of his office, DNFSB (Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board).  He advised that this $25 million independent federal agency has 20 employees who are responsible for the safety oversight of the nuclear weapons complex operated by the US Department of Energy.  The Board ensures that all activities (e.g., dismantling of surplus weapons, disposal of radioactive materials, nuclear surplus facility clean ups, and new nuclear facility construction) are conducted in a manner that is protective of the public, workers, and the environment.  The Outreach Program for this Board is part of its hiring program.  While the technical staff consists of a predominance of white males, the support staff has a large representation of underrepresented minorities.  Usually, two students per year are accepted into the program, and it is of interest to better diversify this student pool, as well as the technical staff while maintaining diversity in the support staff.   

The reports by the Federal agency representatives were followed by a discussion in which CEOSE members delineated what is desired in terms of the data that is collected in the future and how the data are to be utilized in attempts to quantify broadening participation.  ACTION ITEM:  A copy of the draft report is to be sent to each CEOSE member and Federal agency representative for review and comments. These comments are to be forwarded by the CEOSE Executive Liaison to the consultant, Dr. Collier—president of C&A Technologies, Inc., who is assisting the committee in the development of the report.  Dr. Collier will address the comments and will assist with the refinement of the draft report and the publication of the final version.

CEOSE Ad Hoc Subcommittee on CEOSE Reports: Dr. Núñez, Chair of the CEOSE Ad Hoc Subcommittee on CEOSE Reports, advised that the printing of the CEOSE 2005-2006 Biennial Report to Congress was completed on time, and the distribution of this thorough report is approximately 50% complete.  He thanked everybody for their input and noted that requests for copies of the report should be sent to the CEOSE Executive Liaison (mtolbert@nsf.gov).  Also noted is that the entire report is on the CEOSE website at https://www.nsf.gov/od/oia/activities/ceose/index.jsp.  In addition to the above, Dr. Núñez reported that the sharing of information contained in the report was conducted at the AAAS Annual Meeting and in other settings.  Dr. Hartline mentioned that no meeting with Congressional staffers will be held this time to discuss the report since the timing and schedules of CEOSE members and Congressional staffers prohibit it.  RECOMMENDATION:  It was recommended that the Chair of CEOSE send copies of the CEOSE report to each presidential candidate.  The exception is that Dr. Linton will send a copy to Mr. Obama’s science assistant, who is a member of SACNAS.

CEOSE Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Strategic Planning: Dr. Poston, Chair of the CEOSE Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Strategic Planning, made brief comments on plans for the development of the strategic plan for CEOSE.  Additional details will be provided at future meetings.


The meeting was adjourned at 5:20 p.m.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Meeting Notes

Dr. Hartline called the meeting to order at 8:35 a.m. and introduced Dr. Jessie DeAro, the new program officer for the NSF ADVANCE Program now that it has been transferred from SBE to EHR.  Dr. DeAro advised that the program staff is in place and the solicitation is being prepared for publication.

NSF Directorate for Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS) Presentation by Dr. Tony F. Chan:

Dr. Hartline introduced Dr. Chan, Assistant Director for MPS/NSF.  In making his opening statement, Dr. Chan stated that one of the first things that he did as he assumed his current position at NSF was to read the CEOSE report.  After introducing members of his staff who were attending the CEOSE meeting, Dr. Chan presented information on MPS and its broadening participation initiatives. He used data and descriptions to focus attention on the current status of the initiatives and how MPS plans to improve on them. The focus of his presentation was on awards, reviewer pools, leadership positions, committees of visitors, advisory committees, and staff.  He advised of actions by MPS to enhance diversity, and focused on the following: annual divisional diversity reports where data are collected and processes reported; regular discussions of staffing plans, including recruitment for diversity; required discussions of diversity issues on all MPS hires of scientific staff; and inclusion of women, underrepresented minorities and persons with disabilities on panels, committees of visitors, and other groups interacting with MPS.  He advised that the MPS Advisory Committee is also exploring broadening participation issues.  For example, it held a discussion on gender at its April 2005 meeting, and a discussion of underrepresented minorities at its November 2006 meeting.  The follow-up included field-specific activities for department chairs.  MPS department chairs participated in two forums (one in 2006 and one in 2007) on gender, and one on underrepresented minorities is planned for September 2007.  In its broadening participation endeavors, MPS has joined with the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health.  Relevant aspects of the forums are the collection of data and information, presentation, discussions for the creation of ideas for actions, commitment to actions, and follow up on actions taken.  Broadening participation was a key topic included in the MPS Senior Staff Retreat.  MPS is working on the development of a diversity plan.  It already requires diversity reports of its divisions.  Two MPS divisions (Chemistry and Materials Research) have active working groups on broadening participation.  Also, MPS is using program activities in creative manners to produce a positive impact on broadening participation.

Dr. Chan indicated that more work needs to be done by MPS relative to incorporating community colleges into its programmatic foci; however, MPS is doing a very good job of focusing on increasing its support of minority serving institutions.  Following Dr. Chan’s presentation, Dr. Judith Sunley joined him in providing additional insights as they responded to questions and comments from CEOSE members.

Office of Polar Programs (OPP) Presentation by Dr. Karl A. Erb:

Dr. Hartline introduced Dr. Erb, who has served as Director of OPP for nine years, and he introduced his staff members who were present at the CEOSE meeting.  He advised that OPP supports research conducted in all STEM disciplines in the Polar Regions.  It maintains a research program in Antarctica partly so that the United States can have a voice in the region.  In the Arctic, NSF—through OPP—is the primary supporter of research.  Environmental impact studies are conducted on areas of the poles prior to the initiation of research there.  During his presentation, he described the “DEW” line, which is an early warning system, and the principles respectful of Alaskan native cultures for conducting research in the Arctic. 

Also, OPP is involved in the development of an educated workforce, and efforts to broaden participation are primarily focused on people who are native to Polar Regions.  Dr. Erb distributed a list of awards in informal science education.  These are examples of the type of educational projects that OPP supports.  He advised that the Elders Councils, which consist of native people, are involved in the work at the poles.  In this culture, Western science brings technology, and the native people provide indigenous knowledge of the areas.  The University of Alaska, for example, facilitates the involvement of native people in the NSF/OPP-sponsored work by bringing in native people from remote areas and introducing them to NSF/OPP-sponsored activities.  Dartmouth University is involved too.  In the NSF local area, students at a school have been introduced to polar activities through Blogs.

Reports by CEOSE Liaisons to NSF Advisory Committees:

Some of the CEOSE Liaisons to NSF directorates and major offices gave reports on the broadening participation aspects of advisory committee meetings that they attended.  Although some Liaisons did not have reports to give (due to the dates their assigned advisory committee meetings were held), all names and assignments are provided below for information purposes.

Advisory Committee/CEOSE Liaison/Position

Advisory Committee/CEOSE Liaison/Position

B&O AC – TBD, CEOSE Member

ACGPA – Dr. Lichter, CEOSE Member

BIO AC – Dr. Poston, CEOSE Member

MPS AC – Dr. Maldonado, CEOSE Member

CISE AC – Dr. Ladner, CEOSE Member

OCI AC – Dr. Harris, CEOSE Vice Chair

EHR AC – Dr. McCarthy, CEOSE Member

OISE AC – Dr. Núñez, CEOSE Member

ENG AC – Dr. Jones, CEOSE Member

OPP AC – Dr. Linton, CEOSE Member

ERE AC – Ms. Begay-Campbell, CEOSE Member

SBE AC – Dr. Myers, CEOSE Member

GEO AC – Dr. Hartline, CEOSE Chair


Key Points from the June 1, 2007 Meeting of Dr. Hartline with Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr. and Dr. Kathie L. Olsen:

Dr. Hartline reported on the June 1st meeting that she had with Drs. Bement and Olsen at NSF.  Drs. Tolbert and Harris were unable to attend that meeting.  Dr. Hartline told the committee that Dr. Bement advised that NSF is taking its strategic plan and CEOSE recommendations seriously.  These are factored into a number of NSF on-going activities (i.e., human capital management plan development, succession planning, broadening participation plan, and training of NSF staff on such topics as merit review and unconscious bias, and discussions with other agencies on broadening participation).  It was noted that Dr. Olsen began the actions to enable the CEOSE multi-Federal agency study that is currently in progress.  On behalf of CEOSE, she contacted members of the OSTP Science Committee, asking its members to designate a representative of their agencies to serve as points-of-contact for CEOSE.  Several responded by the submission of names of the designated points-of-contact, and the study was initiated with Dr. Harris’ CEOSE Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Accountability, Evaluation, and Communications. During the meeting, Dr. Hartline discussed with Drs. Bement and Olsen the part of the CEOSE mandate that addresses the NSB:  “… the Chairman of the National Science Board may designate a member of the Board as a member of the Committee. …” (Reference:  42 USC 1885c, SEC 36 (b)).  ACTION ITEM:  Dr. Tolbert is to give Dr. Bement and Olsen a copy of the document containing the preceding information.

Meeting of CEOSE Members with Dr. Arden L. Bement, Jr., Director of the National Science Foundation, and Dr. Kathie L. Olsen, Deputy Director of the National Science Foundation:

After the introductions were completed, Dr. Bement gave a statement to set the tone for the discussion.  He updated the committee on the NSF budget and the continuing resolution under which NSF is operating.  He spoke of the importance of the management retreat that was held recently and the fact that broadening participation was one of the key topics discussed.  This was couched in the broadly inclusive core value of NSF.  He mentioned the work that is being done at NSF to formalize diversity structure and the updating of the NSF Human Management Capital Plan.  He advised that more attention will be placed in an integral manner on research and assessment efforts in broadening participation.  These activities will be linked with other relevant activities across NSF.  Succession planning will be linked to the overall workforce plan.  NSF officials want to build talent while providing greater opportunities as the agency moves into being a learning organization.  He spoke of the diversity work of the units across NSF, including that of the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs, the NSF Academy, EHR, MPS, and the Diversity Working Group.  Also, he spoke of efforts to identify best practices in broadening participation for propagation across NSF. 

Dr. Bement acknowledged the efforts of CEOSE and stated that NSF is learning from the experience of the committee and is trying to take fresh approaches to broadening participation.  He mentioned the limitations of NSF due to its small workforce and efforts to get Congress to address this problem.  Drs. Bement and Olsen then responded to questions from committee members.  To the question of a replacement for Dr. Thomas Windham who has rotated out of the position of senior advisor for the S&E workforce, Dr. Bement responded that the responsibilities are being addressed across NSF by a working group.  Dr. Bement also said NSF is making use of the talents of other members of the permanent staff to address broadening participation.  This is further expanded by the call that was recently made to major offices and the directorates to identify persons to serve six month details in the Office of the Director, addressing broadening participation. CEOSE members called to the attention of Drs. Bement and Olsen the fact that having a single point-of-contact for this important work and consistent sets of data on diversity and additional details on the diversity plan to be developed are critical. Dr. Bement advised that he would act on any recommendations that CEOSE presents to NSF.  One thing that NSF wants to do per SMART is to assure that its reviewer base and advisory committees reflect the diversity across the nation.  It was noted that it is more advantageous to work through SMART, which consists of NSF upper managers, than to carry out functions on an individual basis.  Questions were raised about the weight of the two review criteria and the lack of consistency in the interpretation of the broader impacts criterion by principal investigators, reviewers, and program directors.  Dr. Bement stated that the two review criteria have the same weight and that NSF will have to deal with issues that might result in any misunderstandings about these criteria.  In terms of the broader impacts criterion, NSF is requiring metrics and more accountability than in the past.  The committee called to the attention of Drs. Bement and Olsen the need for proposers to address broadening participation, rather than just picking one of the other subtopics of the broader impacts criterion to address.  Since the review criteria are National Science Board policies, the board must be consulted about any desired changes in the criteria should CEOSE wish to make a recommendation for such a change.   CEOSE members discussed with Drs. Bement and Olsen the composition of the NSB and learned that there is more diversity there than was realized.  The committee asked what happens to a staff member who does not agree with the criteria.  To that the director responded that each manager has a performance appraisal in which he/she is to report on their efforts in broadening participation.  They are rated by their supervisors, and there are sanctions that are applied for failures.

Briefing on NASA by Two Federal Agency Representatives:

Drs. Katie Blanding and Carl S. Person, both of whom are Federal (NASA) representatives to CEOSE, provided NASA brochures and a briefing on NASA programs.  These materials focused primarily on education programs, such as Summer Internship Program for Students with Disabilities, Minority University Research and Education Program, Elementary and Secondary Education Program, Higher Education Program, Informal Education program, Undergraduate Earth System Science Education Program, NASA Administrative Fellows Program, Rocket-On Program, and Education Technology and Products Program.  Also, they presented information on the strategic coordination framework for education programs and provided general information on the NASA budget.  They announced that a lesson plan for students will be delivered from space by Ms. Barbara Morgan, an educator astronaut on the next Space Shuttle flight.  They stated that in general, NASA looks to the Education Office in terms of broadening participation.

Briefing by Dr. Celeste Rohlfing:

Dr. Rohlfing distributed to CEOSE members a copy of the solicitation for the Chemistry Research Instrumentation and Facilities: Departmental Multi-User Instrumentation Program (NSF 07-552) and provided brief comments on key components (page 8) of that solicitation.  What is contained in this solicitation are the broadening participation guides to which the NSF Chemistry Division holds itself and its applicants.  She also discussed what the expectations are of the Chemistry Division staff, reviewer pool, etc. in terms of diversity, and she described the briefing each review panel receives on broadening participation. 

Next CEOSE Meeting:

The next CEOSE meeting is scheduled for October 16-17, 2007, at the National Science Foundation.


At 1:30 p.m., the meeting was adjourned by Dr. Hartline.


Dr. Beverly Karplus Hartline, who is Chair of the Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering, approved the meeting minutes on August 28, 2007, by e-mail message to Dr. Margaret E.M. Tolbert, CEOSE Executive Secretary and NSF Executive Liaison to CEOSE.  Dr. Wesley Harris, Vice Chair of CEOSE, concurs with this approval.

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