A growing commitment to research and scholarship
s I prepare to leave UWM, it is natural that I reflect over my five-plus years as UWMs Graduate Dean and first Senior Research Officer. The experience has been exciting and rewarding. Much of the credit for advancing graduate education, research, and technology transfer goes to the talented and hard-working Graduate School staff. Their untiring dedication to serving faculty and graduate students is coupled with abundant optimism, enthusiasm, and professional manner. I could not have asked for better colleagues.
Bill Rayburn, Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Provost for Research
The Office of Research Services and Administration has been restructured and expanded for better service and efficiency. A new position of Director has been created and filled with a professional research administrator. Human subjects review has returned to RS&A and now has a fulltime Human Subjects Protection Administrator. The competitive grant program for junior faculty has been expanded. New programs have been created for equipment matching on federal projects, arts and humanities faculty travel for scholarly activity, graduate student travel to professional meetings, and graduate student summer research assistantships. New awards have been created to recognize research excellence and graduate student mentoring.
UWM has achieved extraordinary success in sponsored grants and contracts over the past five years. Federally sponsored project expenditures have grown a remarkable 72%, while overall growth is up 57%. Much of this growth can be attributed to faculty and staff working together in teams or clusters. Prominent among these UWM collaborations are the Great Lakes WATER Institute, the Center for Addiction and Behavioral Health Research, the Marine and Freshwater Biomedical Sciences Center, and the team of physicists participating in the NSF-funded LIGO (Laser Inferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) project. These scientific collaborations that combine the talents and creativity of multiple investigators naturally promote intellectual vitality and lead to innovation and discovery.
The Office of Graduate Academic Programs and Student Services has been restructured and augmented for better service and greater efficiency. Recent surveys of staff and students reveal a very high level of satisfaction. Among departmental graduate representatives, the Office is rated good to excellent in all aspects of service delivery. Among graduate students, 84% are satisfied or very satisfied with their UWM graduate experience and would recommend UWM graduate programs to their friends.
Collegiality between the Graduate School staff and graduate faculty governance committees has never been higher. The Doctoral Array Report prepared for the University of Wisconsin System Administration has opened the way for new UWM doctoral degree programs. Cooperative graduate student exchange programs with the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University are in place and operating. Online applications have surpassed 50% in just two years. Graduate enrollment is on the increase and the online prospective student evaluation system is working very well.
An Office of Technology Transfer has been created. Faculty inventions no longer are given away or abandoned. UWM now claims ownership when appropriate and assigns inventions to the WiSys Technology Foun- dation, UWMs exclusive patent and licensing agent. In just 30 months, faculty inventors have made 48 invention disclosures. Twenty-five technologies have been accepted for protection and 27 patent applications have been filed on behalf of UWM. In time, both faculty inventors and UWM research programs stand to benefit from licensing revenue.
A very successful federal relations strategy has been established by means of the first organized contacts with Wisconsins congressional delegation. A process has been implemented to annually identify, define, and endorse campus priorities. In just three years, advocacy for UWM research priorities in urban education, nursing education, and water security has resulted in substantial new funding, including creation of the Center for Water Security.
UWM continues its dedication to strong programs in undergraduate education and to its long-standing engagement with the Milwaukee metropolitan community. Through its growing commitment to research and scholarly activity, UWM is taking its place among the leading urban research universities. I am very proud to have spent the final years of my career at UWM and to have been a part of its transformation. I leave having made many new friends at UWM and in the Milwaukee community.
William R. Rayburn
Dean of the Graduate School
and Associate Provost for Research
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