NCURA Region IV V O L U M E by galenbarbour


									                           NCURA Region IV
                                                                         M I D - A M E R I C A
                        V O L U M E       1 8 ,   I S S U E   1                                             S U M M E R      2 0 0 6

                        The Abilene Paradox and
                        Other Quandaries of Change
  INSIDE THIS           I’m sorry for those of you who        short, humorous movie that hit a      both change and stability. You
                        were not able to attend the           little close to home. In the          can see the chart Gale used at
     ISSUE              Region IV meeting or were there       movie, a variety of situations It is a
                        but were not able to make the         occurred because nobody would         constant dance in that continuity
                        keynote. Our speaker was Gale         say that they thought it was a bad    can become stagnation and
                        S. Wood, the facilitator of           idea, including two people who        change can become chaos. The
Pamela Vargas           NCURA’s Leadership                    didn’t want to get married but        goal, therefore, is to carefully
Receives Region IV      Development Institute (LDI).          were afraid of telling the other      manage an organization so that it
Distinguished           Gale’s premise was that we all        or anybody else because they          is energized when change
                                                              didn’t want to disappoint             happens but has enough
Service Award      2    know that rules, regulations, and
                        resources for research                everyone.                             continuity to have a solid
                        administrators seem to be             The point was that we each need       platform.
                        changing at breakneck speed.          to be willing to speak our minds,     Gale then equated the poles of
Riding the Rapids   3   Our workplaces seem to be in          even when we think that               the chart with PIs and Research
                        constant flux as our institutions     everyone else in the room is          Administrators, where science
                        are affected by change. We also       solidly behind the project. It        and compliance can seem at odds
                        know that change is here to stay:     takes courage, especially to          but are flip sides of the
Chair’s Corner      4   it’s the byword of our world          disagree with senior                  management cycle.
                        these days. In her keynote, Gale      management. In the end, that          Gale said it much better than I
                        addressed change at the               courage may end up saving a           just did! It is well summed up by
                        individual and group levels.          project from disaster.                a quote Gale provided from
2006-2007 NCURA         Through a lively and multimedia       Sometimes, we have to drive a         Pauline R. Kezer: “Continuity
                        format, Gale challenged us to         change, and that is often a hard
Region IV                                                                                           gives us roots; change gives us
                        think of change in different ways,    thing to do.                          branches, letting us stretch and
Communications          presenting it as an opportunity       Gale then tied this change to         grow and reach new heights.”
Committee       5       over which we may actually have       something called Polarity             Diane Barrett
                        some control.                         Management, a way of managing         University of Wisconsin–Madison
                        The Abilene Paradox is a
                        peculiar, though common,
Region IV Elects New    phenomenon that occurs when a
Board Members       5   group of people chooses a
                        certain course of action together
                        when individually none of them   think it is a good idea. The
                        situation then continues, even if
                        clearly the wrong course of
                        action, because nobody is willing
                        to raise an objection. To
                        illustrate this, Gale showed a
                                                                       Gale Wood, Keynote Speaker
                                  Pamela Vargas Receives Region IV
                                  Distinguished Service Award
 “This truly is an honor,
                                    Pamela Vargas, Director of
 especially knowing the
                                    Sponsored Programs, Office of
 dedication that the
                                    Research and Sponsored
 members of Region IV
                                    Programs at the Air Force
 have to the profession
                                    Institute of Technology, was
 and NCURA. It is very
                                    named the recipient of the
 humbling to be singled
                                    NCURA Region IV
 out when there are so
                                    Distinguished Service Award at
 many deserving
                                    this year’s regional meeting in
 candidates right here in
                                    Grand Rapids, Michigan. This
 this room, including
                                    award recognizes NCURA
 others who have been
                                    members who have performed
 nominated and many of
                                    exceptional service in the field
 whom have helped me
                                    and is bestowed only during
 and therefore                                                             Tamara Hill, Awards Committee Chair, presents the Distinguished
                                    those years when a nominee
 contributed to this                                                       Service Award to Pamela Vargas.
                                    has met a considerable set of
                                    requirements, including having
 Pamela Vargas speaking at          at least five years’ experience in   Robert Andresen (University         In addition to her current role
 the Region IV Awards               the field of research                of Wisconsin-Madison),              at the Air Force Institute of
 Luncheon                           administration, serving as a         Cynthia Muhammad                    Technology, Pamela served for
                                    regional or national officer or      (Northwestern University),          many years at The Graduate
                                    as chair of a committee at the       Beth Seaton (Western Illinois       School, Office of Research, at
                                    national level, and making           University), and Jaynee Tolle       the University of Notre Dame.
                                    presentations and publishing         (University of Cincinnati)          Her research administration
                                    articles in the field.               served with Tamara on the           experience spans over fifteen
                                                                         Awards Committee that made          years. Region IV is truly
                                    Tamara Hill, University of
                                                                         the selection.                      fortunate to be able to claim
                                    Cincinnati, Chair of the Awards
                                                                                                             Pamela as one of its own.
                                    Committee, presented the             Pamela’s considerable service
                                    award to Pamela at the annual        to the profession and NCURA         Bill Sharp
                                    awards luncheon on May 1,            includes a stint as chair of        University of Kansas
                                    2006. Tamara noted that              Region IV. She has also served
                                    Pamela “enthusiastically             as the regional Nominations
                                    supports the region as a             Committee chair, as a
                                    resource for the many                member of the Awards and
                                    individuals that cannot attend       the Publications Committees,
                                    the national meetings or             and as a member of the
                                    seminars. Her participation in       national Professional
                                    the countless regional meetings,     Development Committee. She
                                    committees, and presentations        is a frequent presenter at
                                    is known to the regional             regional and national NCURA
                                    officers. It is time to recognize    meetings and is well published
                                    her to the regional membership       in the field of research
                                    at large.”                           administration.

NCURA       REGION           IV                                                                                                     PAGE       2
 Riding the Rapids: The Ever-Changing
 World of Research Administration
This year, Region IV was welcomed to          Dinner Groups, the Newcomer
Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the Amway         Reception, and Murder at the BOB.
Grand Hotel for the Spring Meeting.           What fun! The Awards Luncheon gave
“So, what are the highlights?” you ask.       us the opportunity to acknowledge the
The Program Committee did an                  hard work and extra efforts of some of
excellent job of bringing presenters          our peers. The most animated
together who could cover a wide               discussion at the Business Meeting
variety of Sponsored Research topics.         concerned where to have future
There was something there for                 meetings. All in all, there was a good
everyone, and of course,           blend of fun and learning. So, whether
was covered many times. We all learned        you were there or not, I hope to see
a great deal from each other! There           you next year!
were so many opportunities to meet            Diane M. Meyer
our colleagues, including the Hospitality     Iowa State University
Suite, a mixer at one of the lunches,
                                                                                         The cast for the Murder Mystery

                                                                                       Region IV Members Jim Casey and Dave Lynch get involved in
                                                                                       the murder.

 New members are welcomed with a reception in their honor.

NCURA        REGION          IV                                                                                                      PAGE           3
    Chair’s Corner

Hello, Region IV,
As I was preparing to write my first      of combined hours. Many people           information.
Chair’s Corner newsletter, for            beyond the Program Committee             Awards Committee
some reason I was reminded of a           were vitally important, and I’d bet      This committee is great for
novel I read at least 20 years ago        that most who attended did a little      newcomers because it requires that
and have not thought about since          something to help somewhere,             at least one member be a research
then. The main character is missing       even if just to give directions to the   administrator with less than three
his arm at the elbow, and of course,      food! My heartfelt thanks,               years of experience, plus other
people are always asking him what         everyone.                                members. Tamara Hill can tell you all
happened. He begins responding            So what happens now? Believe it or       about it. Contact Tamara at
with “See what comes of biting            not, your Chair-elect, Sarah Streich,
your nails?” It’s the best line in the    is already up to her eyeballs in
book.                                                                              Communications Committee
                                          planning the 2007 meeting where          Karen Spear ( is
Though this character is missing an       we will join Region III in Nashville.    the chair of the Communications
arm, he has several different             The Region IV Board of Directors         Committee this year, and Beth
“attachments” that do all kinds of        is planning their summer meeting,        Seaton ( is the
cool things. In a poor analogy, I         and we are preparing for the             editor of the regional newsletter.
have discovered that Region IV is         Regional Leadership Meeting being        This committee publicizes Region IV
something like that. None of the          hosted by the national board to          activities through the newsletter,
many volunteers for the regional          bring board representatives from all     provides articles for the national
meetings or committees could do           of the regions to Washington to          newsletter, and promotes activity to
the whole thing by themselves, but        learn from each other. We will also      enhance professional development of
they use cool tools—other                 begin working on the agenda for          Region IV members. Any and all
members—to make sure the work             the regional business meeting that       takers are welcome, as the more
                                          is held at the national meeting in       help there is, the easier the burden
is done. In this instance, none of us
                                          November.                                on everyone.
is complete without others. That’s
what makes for a strong region, and       This all means that committees are       Sarah will be looking for help with
Region IV has that kind of strength.      being formed. Starting out on a          the Program Committee activities as
That strength, in turn, lends itself to   committee is a great way to begin        she coordinates with Region III for
the entire organization.                  or extend involvement in NCURA.          the Nashville meeting. If you have an
                                          Most of them don’t take a lot of         interest in a particular area or just
I am so glad to be serving as the
                                          time, and it gives you a chance to       want to be involved somehow, Sarah
Chair of Region IV this year. The
                                          begin networking with your peers.        ( wants
region has done a lot for me, and
                                          Is there a committee or a task that      to talk with you!
I’m happy to have an opportunity to
                                          appeals to you?
give back. I gave my first                                                         If you have any suggestions or need
presentation at a regional meeting        Membership Committee                     help with something related to your
back around 1987. I was presenting        Join Diane Meyer in making our           membership in NCURA, please let
with someone who actually knew            new members feel welcome by              me know. My e-mail address is
what he was talking about, so it was      assisting in calls and e-mails before
a good way to try it out and start        the national meeting and possibly
feeling more at ease in front of a        help with some new member
group of people. I have done many         activities at the meetings. At least     Diane Barrett
presentations since then, but I had       two of the members of the                University of Wisconsin–Madison
never had the opportunity to see          committee must be new members
first-hand how a regional meeting is      themselves. Contact Diane at
put together until this year. It is an for more
impressive feat, involving hundreds

NCURA         REGION           IV                                                                                          PAGE   4
                                                                                         2006-2007 NCURA Region IV
                                                 Pam Vargas presents                     Communications Committee
                                                 outgoing Chair,
                                                 Heather Offhaus, with
                                                 a gift from Region IV.
                                                                          Karen Spear, Chair – Methodist Research Institute at Clarian
                                                                          Health Partners, Indianapolis, IN

                                                                          Position Vacant, Co-Chair

                                                                          Bill Sharp, Past Chair–University of Kansas

                                                                          Beth Seaton, Newsletter Editor – Western Illinois University

                                                                          Stephanie Gray, Webmaster – University of Wisconsin–Madison

                                                                          Working Group
                                                                          Diane Barrett – University of Wisconsin–Madison

           Outgoing Chair, Heather Offhaus, refuses to pass on her        Jeffrey Ritchie – Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee, WI
           crown to Diane Barrett.

 Region IV Elects New
 Board Members
 The results of this spring’s election results   Returning board members include the
 for new members of the Region IV Board          following:
 of Directors were announced at the Spring
 Meeting. The results are as follows:            Chair
                                                 Diane Barrett, University of
 Chair Elect                                     Wisconsin–Madison
 Sara Streich, Northwestern University
                                                 Past Chair
 Secretary                                       Heather Offhaus, University of
 Michelle Meeks, Indiana University Medical      Michigan–Ann Arbor
 At Large Members                                Robert Aull, Indiana University Medical
 Jaynee Tolle, University of Cincinnati          Center

 Robert Andreson, University of                  At Large Members                               Diane Barrett, Chair, Region IV
                                                 Crystal Taylor-Nevils, University of Chicago
 Other Board Member                              Tamara Hill, University of Cincinnati
 Christa Johnson, Southern Illinois
 University–Edwardsville                         NCURA Board of Directors, Region IV
                                                 James Casey, Cardinal Stritch University

NCURA        REGION          IV                                                                                                   PAGE   5

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