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15 November 2012 Meeting Summary
Center Green Auditorium
Wakimoto Moving to NSF: Tom Bogdan expressed his appreciation for Roger Wakimoto’s significant contributions to NCAR and UCAR. He also outlined some of the conflict of interest issues inherent in Roger’s appointment as the NSF Assistant Director of the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO).
NCAR Day at NSF: On behalf of Maura Hagan, Roger Wakimoto reported that science posters were well received and helped to educate NSF on the broad span of activities in which NCAR engages.
Indirect Rate Methodology: Justin Young described NSF’s directive to its funded organizations of the required methodology for applying indirect rates to our grants. This methodology is new to UCAR and presents a significant change and challenge. As NSF’s FFRDC, this methodology must apply to all sponsors, regardless of funding source. Beginning in FY14, UCAR’s “actual” indirect costs will be calculated at the end of a fiscal year. If there is a variance to the “provisional” rate established at the beginning of the FY, UCAR must correct the under- or over-recovery—there will be no carry over. A variance requires reimbursement to our sponsors if the rate is lower than projected (over-recovery), or their payment to UCAR of the rate difference in the case of a higher final indirect rate (under-recovery). Extraordinary diligence will be necessary to manage our cost pools for consistency of the provisional versus final indirect rate for a fiscal year. Some indirect pools are easier to estimate and mange than others, e.g. the benefits pool can be more unpredictable.
UCAR Finance and Administration is working closely with NCAR’s Budget and Planning and UCP’s administration to anticipate and respond to changes needed. Budget and Finance, Contracts, and IT are dedicating significant person hours to modify systems and processes in order to accommodate these new requirements. The Rate Methodology Change Project Team will be visiting with many groups, particularly administrators and PIs, to discuss the new rate methodology, assess programmatic impacts, and understand the needs of these groups.
UMC Recommendations to the President Council (PC): The UMC discussed the process for evaluating and forwarding Working Group and other recommendations to the PC. For the foreseeable future individuals will indicate through a show of hands “yes”, “no” or “no opinion.” If the majority vote is “yes”, the UMC recommendation will be forward to the PC. Tom Bogdan committed that the PC will act on each recommendation forwarded to them and report to the UMC with their response. Other recommendations can go to the PC as informational items or may be reviewed by the PC at their discretion.
Working Group Reports: Tom Bogdan commended the Working Groups (WGs) for their extraordinary efforts in researching their topics and developing recommendations to address their findings. The groups are in different stages. The UCAR Branding and University Relations groups are working with a vendor to develop a comprehensive survey to understand stakeholder perceptions and needs. Staff have provided over 7,000 names for participation in the survey. A second professional survey will be conducted by the Workforce group to assess the climate of UCAR staff. The three WGs will study their survey results to develop recommendations to the UMC. The Administrative Efficiency group will report on findings and progress at the January 2014 UMC meeting.
Two groups completed their work and provided 13 recommendations:
A 7th recommendation relative to larger “us vs. them” themes will be retooled by the WG and presented at the January 2014 UMC meeting:
-- UCAR should improve its organizational capacity to identify, discuss, and, when necessary, change prevalent mental models.
The UMC briefly discussed its current structure and purpose, believing it is working well. It was agreed that further discussion is merited.