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Principal Investigator and Department Administrator Perc eptions of Services Provided by Offices of Research Administ ration at Research Universities by Kimberley W. Cole A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for t he degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of Adult, Career and Higher Education College of Education University of South Florida Co Major P rofessor: Donald A. Dellow, Ed. D. Co Major P rofessor: William H. Young, Ed. D. John M. Ferron Ph. D. W. Rober t Sullins, Ed.D. Date of Approval: February 1 7 2010 Keywords: grants, higher education administration balanced scorecard service departments, best practices, sponsored research Copyright 2010 Kimberley W. Cole
Dedication I am uncertain as t o the number of times I thought the day would never come when I would be writing this page. I am certain, however, that without the four men in my life, this would never have been a reality and dedicate this dissertation to my husband, Gene, and my three sons, Tiernan, Austin, and Farrell. The encouragement and advice I received from my husband after his numerous readings and re readings that began long ago were invaluable. Gene, i t seems like it was not that long ago that you finish my degree. I truly appreciate the support you showed always, from cooking dinners, and all of the foregone dinners and events to driving to Tampa to deliver forms and documents. We have come a long way together since our high school d ays and I could not be here today without you, Gene. To my sons, you are the lights of my life. Your help in the research stage with uncovering and clarifying the multitudes of email addresses was instrumental in maintaining the integrity of my data. I hope my quest for knowledge will serve to be an integral part of your lives always. Tiernan, thank you for our Miami dinners when you listened to my ramblings about my research and acted as if this was the most important topic in the worl d. Austin, your presence at my proposal and final defense gave me the support and confidence to succeed. Farrell, I hope this dissertation will inspire you to continue your own educational journey because you can do anything nal gratitude for starting my educational journey years ago when, after working all night as a nurse, we would play school so that this then young child could learn and reach her potential. Although you are no longer here physically, your commitment to ed ucation remains with me always.
Acknowledgments While a d issertation may be touted as the achievement of its sole author, it really takes a team effort to accomplish. My eternal gratitude goes to my team of advisors, all the members of my committee, past and present. Dr. Bob Sullins, as Dean of the Undergraduate School, I know you have more than a full plate yet you graciously Dr. John Ferron goes much gratitude fo up the accurately My co captains (aka co chairs), were the definite heart and soul of the team. To Dr. Don Dellow, I thank you for your time and he lping me with a subject not truly aligned with your own research interests. Dr. Bill Young, without your encouragement, I know I would have quit my own team! I would like to thank Dr. Jeff Kromrey whom was instrumental in helping me past the dissertation propo sal defense that allowed me to enter the home stretch. Lastly, I would like to thank Dr. Michael Mills who was there when I entered the player ranks as a doctoral student. Finally, I would like to acknowledge my cheering sections, as without the fans, th e game could take forever or be cancelled for lack of interest My family, my colleagues and friends at both Florida International University and the University of Phoenix, were always there encouraging me to finish the game! Thanks, folks!
i Table of C ontents List of Tables ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... i v Abstract ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... v ii i Chapter 1 Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ 1 Problem Statement ................................ ................................ ........................ 4 Rationale for Proposal ................................ ................................ .................. 8 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ...................... 9 Conceptual Framework ................................ ................................ ................ 9 Limitations and Key Assumptions ................................ ............................. 11 Definition of Terms ................................ ................................ .................... 1 3 Chapter 2 Literature Review ................................ ................................ ....................... 1 6 The Balanced Scorecard ................................ ................................ ............. 1 6 Academic Applications of the Balanced Scorecard .......................... 1 7 International Academic Applications ................................ ............... 1 9 Research Administration ................................ ................................ ............ 20 The Role of Research Administrat ors ................................ ............... 2 2 Perceptions of Research Administrators ................................ ........... 2 3 Faculty Behavior Tow ard Research ................................ .................. 2 4 Customer Sat isfaction in Higher Education ................................ ............... 2 5 Chapter 3 Research Method ................................ ................................ ........................ 2 7 Research Design ................................ ................................ ......................... 2 8 Survey Approach ................................ ................................ .............. 2 8 Survey Instrument Design ................................ ................................ 2 9 Pilot Study ................................ ................................ ............................... 31 Data Collection Department Administrators ................................ 31 Data Analysis Departm ent Administrators ................................ .... 3 2 Correlation Analysi s Department Administrators ......................... 3 6 Data Collection Principal Investigators ................................ ......... 40 Data Analysis Principal Investigators ................................ ............ 41 Correlation Analysi s Principal Investigators ................................ 4 4 Research Study Plan ................................ ................................ ................... 4 8 Participan t Selection ................................ ................................ ......... 50 Pilot Study Survey Distribution and Data Collection ....................... 52 Planned Analysis of the Data ................................ ............................ 5 5
ii The Final Survey Instrument ................................ ............................ 5 7 Survey Distribution ................................ ................................ .......... 60 Summary ................................ ................................ ............................... 60 Chapter 4 Research Study Results ................................ ................................ .............. 62 Survey Responses Total Pool ................................ ................................ .. 62 Sur vey Responses Principal Investigator Survey .......................... 63 Survey Responses Department Administrator Survey ................... 6 9 Analysis of the Research Questions ................................ ........................... 7 6 Attributes Perceived as Important Factors ................................ ................. 7 6 Priority Items Principal Investigators ................................ ............ 7 9 Priority Items D epartment Administrators ................................ ..... 80 Correlation Analysis ................................ ................................ ................... 82 Chi S quare Analysis of Importance Ratings ................................ .............. 8 7 Analysis of Demographic Variable s ................................ ......................... 100 Type of Institution Principal Investigators ................................ .. 101 Type of Institutio n Department Administrators ........................... 102 Amount of Research Funding Principal Investigators ................ 104 Amount of Research Funding Department Administrators ......... 106 Job Position Principal Investigators ................................ ............. 10 7 Perceptions of Services at Current Institutions ................................ ........ 10 8 Re sponses to Open end Question ................................ ............................. 1 14 Staffing Re late d Comments ................................ ............................ 1 15 Co mmunication Related Comments ................................ ............... 11 7 Online Related Comments ................................ .............................. 11 9 Survey Related Comments ................................ .............................. 11 9 Summary ................................ ................................ ............................. 1 22 Research Question 1 ................................ ................................ ....... 1 22 Research Question 2 ................................ ................................ ....... 1 22 Research Question 3 ................................ ................................ ....... 1 23 Research Question 4 ................................ ................................ ....... 1 23 Open end ed Ques tion ................................ ................................ ...... 1 24 Chapter 5 Summary of Study, Conclusions, Implications for Theory, Practice, and Research ................................ ................................ 1 25 Purpose ................................ ................................ ............................. 1 25 Method Summary ................................ ................................ ..................... 1 26 Summary of Findings ................................ ................................ ............... 1 27 Research Question 1 ................................ ................................ ....... 1 27 Research Question 2 ................................ ................................ ....... 1 32 Research Que stion 3 ................................ ................................ ....... 1 35 Researc h Quest ion 4 ................................ ................................ ....... 1 36 Additional Related Findings ................................ ........................... 1 40 Limitations ................................ ................................ ............................. 1 41
iii Implications for Theory ................................ ................................ ............ 1 42 Implications for Practice ................................ ................................ ........... 1 44 Implications for Research ................................ ................................ ......... 1 46 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ............................. 14 8 References ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 1 50 Appendices ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 1 57 Appendix A Pilot Study Surveys ................................ ........................... 1 5 8 Appendix B Final Surveys ................................ ................................ ..... 1 67 Appendix C Solicitation Lists of Colleges and Universities ................. 1 75 Appendix D Final Survey Documents ................................ ................... 1 77 About The Author ................................ ................................ ................................ End Page
iv List of Tables Table 1. for Performance Metrics (Pilot Study) ................................ ............................ 3 5 Table 2. Correlation Matrix Department Administrator (Pilot Study) .............. 3 8 Table 3. Descriptive Analys Preference for Performance Metrics (Pilot Study) ................................ ............................ 4 3 Table 4. Correlation Matrix Principal Investigator (Pilot Study) ...................... 4 7 Table 5. PI/DA Survey Items to M easure the Dependent Variable ........................ 5 8 Table 6. Breakdown of Respondents to Principal Investigator Survey ................... 6 4 Table 7. PI Survey Annual Research Dollars of Current Institution .................... 6 5 Tab le 8. Annual Research Dollars per Principal Investigator ................................ 6 6 Table 9. Location of Principal Investigator s ................................ ........................... 6 7 Table 10. Department/College Affiliation of Principal Investigator s ....................... 6 8 Table 11. Rank/Job Classification of Principal Investigator s ................................ ... 6 9 Table 12. Breakdown of Respondents to Department Administrator Survey ........... 70 Table 13. DA Survey Annual Research Dollars of Current Institution .................. 71 Table 14. Annual Research Dollars per Department Administrator ......................... 72 Table 15. L ocation of Department Administrator s ................................ ................... 73 Table 16. Department/College Affiliation of Department Administrator s ............... 7 5 Table 17. Rank/Job Classification of Department Administrator s ............................ 7 6 Table 18. Summary of Frequencies and Percentages of Importance Ratings for the 22 Service Items ................................ ............................... 7 8
v Tabl e 19. A > 90% of Principal Investigators and Department Administrators ................................ ................................ ....... 80 Table 20. > 90% of Department Administrators Compared to Princi pal Investigators ................................ ......................... 81 Table 21. Pearson Correlation Coefficients Inter Correlations Department Administrators ................................ ................................ ....... 8 5 Table 22. Pearson Correlation Coefficients Inter Correlations Principal Investigators ................................ ................................ ............... 8 6 Table 23. Distribution of Degrees of Import ance for Training New Employees ................................ ................................ .......... 8 8 Table 24. Distribution of Degrees of Importance for Training Updates ................................ ................................ ....................... 8 9 Table 25. Distribution of Degrees of Importance for Easy Access to Policies ................................ ................................ ............. 90 Table 26. Distribution of Degrees of Importance for Eas y Access to Forms ................................ ................................ ............... 91 Table 27. Distribution of Degrees of Importance for Phone Messages Returned Within 24 48 Hours ................................ ....... 92 Table 28. Distribution of Degrees of Importance for Friendly Phone Tone ................................ ................................ ................. 93 Table 29. Distribution of Degrees of Importance for Team Effort ................................ ................................ ............................... 94 Table 30. Distribution of Degrees of Importance for Equal Treatment ................................ ................................ ........................ 95 Table 31. Distribution of Degrees of Importance for Confidential Hotline ................................ ................................ .................. 96 Table 32. Distribution of Degrees of Importance for One Pre Award / One Post Awa rd ................................ ............................ 9 7 Table 33. Distribution of Degrees of Importance for Same Pre Award / Post Award ................................ ................................ ........... 9 7
vi Table 34. Distribution of Degrees of Importance for Flexible Operating Hours ................................ ................................ .......... 9 8 Table 35. Mantel Haenszel Analysis of Variables W ith Statistically Significa nt Diffe rences in Degree of Importance B etween the Department Administrator Group and the Principal Investigator Group ................................ ................................ ... 100 Table 36. Cross Tabulation of Type of Institution and Importance of Ratings for Principal Investigators Training Updates .......................... 102 Table 37. Cross Tabulation of Type of Institution and Importance of Ratings for Department Administrators Flexibility in Negotiations ................................ ................................ ....... 103 Table 38. Cross Tabulation of Type of Institution and Importance of Ratings for Department Administra tors Technical Assistance ................................ ................................ ............... 103 Table 39. Cross Tabulation of Amount of Research Funding and Importance of Ratings for Principal Investigators Flexibility in Negotiations ................................ ................................ ...... 104 Table 40. Cross Tabulation of Amount of Research Funding and Imp ortance of Ratings for Principal Investigators Same Person Pre Award / Post Award ................................ ...................... 105 Table 41. Cross Tabulation of Amount of Research Funding and Importance of Ratings for Department Administrators Same Person Pre Award / Post Award ................................ ...................... 10 7 Table 4 2. Cross Tabulation of Job Ranking and Importance of Ratings for Principal Investigators Same Person Pre Award / Post Award ................................ ...................... 10 8 Table 43. Frequencies and Percentages of Performance Levels f or the 22 Service Items Available at Current Institutions Department Administrators ................................ ................................ ..... 1 13 Table 45. Frequencies and Percentages of Performance Levels for the 22 Service Items Available at Current Institutions Principal Investigators ................................ ................................ ............. 1 14 Table 45. Performance Metrics of Importan ce Principal Investi gators ................ 12 9 Table 46. Performance Metrics of Importance Department Administrator s ........ 1 31
vii Table 47. Summary Important Co rrelations W ithin the Groups .......................... 1 33 Table 48. Level of Service Performance at Current Institutions Principal Investigators ................................ ................................ ............. 1 37 Table 49. Level of Service Performance at Current Institutions Department Administrators ................................ ................................ ..... 1 3 9 Table 50. Performance Metrics of Importance by Perspective ............................... 1 43
viii Principal Investigator and Department Administrator Perceptions of Services Provided by Offic es of Research Administration at Research Universities Kimberley W. Cole ABSTRACT The purpose of this research study was to determine what service attributes were perceived as important factors for a successful Office of Research Administration (ORA) to provide to principal investigators and department administrators. Initially established more than 50 years ago, The Office of Research Administration (ORA) has evolved into an integral component for the fiscal sustainability of many institutions of hi gher education. Existing p erformance metrics based on financial measures do not sufficiently capture the quality of the level of service demands placed on the ORA by the two in ternal user groups The conceptual basis of the Balanced Scorecard modified fo r the non profit sector served as the theoretical framework. The study involved 668 respondents (433 principal investigators and 235 department administrators) from 72 research universities. Principal investigators and department administrators agreed o n 18 service items as important performance metrics for successful Offices of Research Administration. However, the two groups did vary somewhat in the degree of importance of the se 18 service items. Four services, responding to email and phone messages within 24 48 hours, easy access to forms, and timely setup of the internal award account were identified as priority factors by > 90% of
ix the principal investigators. In addition to these four items, another six items trainings for new employees and trainin g updates for existing employee s, equal treatment by the ORA, easy access to policies, and promoting a team effort approach to research were identified as prior factors by > 90% of the department administrators. Demographics did not display a significant r elationship in the perceptions of either group. Principal investigators did display a higher satisfaction for level of performance for the items of importance, especially related to the priority factors at their current institutions.
1 Chapter One I ntro duction A combination of factors in higher education is converging to bring a unique and unprecedented pattern to the fabric of funding from sources beyond the traditional revenue stream. This situation presents crises not previously analyzed or modeled b y existing research. Diminishing support from state funding sources, the rising cost ing gap between tuition fees versus the actual educational expenses per student, and the growing emphasis on research support for faculty t enure requirements (Serow, 2000) are just a few reasons why universities of all types are striving to capture more federal funds in the form of research grant and contract awards. In 1940, the United States Federal Government provided $15 million for research and development to a selec t elite group of colleges and universities. Le ss than two decades later, this figure had grown to $440 million and the base number of colleges and universities had expand ed dramatically (We aver, 1960). The trend continued to grow to over $15.1 billion of the $84.9 billion federal spending awarded exclusively for scientific research purposes to U.S. insti tutions of higher education in 1998 (Burck, 2001 ; Hansen & Moreland, 2004 ). The trend towards increased federal research funds continues despite tough econ omic times (Nelson, 2010). In fact, American u niversities have aligned themselves to become indispensable in advancing and disseminating specialized researc h knowledge (Geiger, 2004, p. 335 ). The administration and fiscal oversight of these ty pes of fund s normally are executed through a centralized office location that handles non academic, research
2 related activities only. Thus, t he Office of Research Administration (ORA) also known as Office of Sponsored Research Administration, Division of Sponsored Research Programs Pre Award and Post Award Offices an d other numerous variations, has become a key component of the central core of the higher education administrative infrastructure. The Office of Research Administration or conduit bet ween the agency awarding the research funds and the recipient university. Typically has the final responsibility and administrative accountability for review of all research related documents from the proposal stage to the completion of the research award. Negotiations of contract terms and indirect cost return are part of the charge of the ORA Assurance of compliance with both the regulations of the sponsor agency and with the university policies at times divergent from each other, also fal ls within the purview of the Office of Research Administration (Atkinson, 2002) Consequentl y, this is an area of unique responsibilities and without a traditional model of activities and constructive disciplines. Research efforts funded by federal dollars bega n to emerge at American u niversities during World War II as a result of governmental wartime needs that could be best met by universities since military installations where concentrating primaril y on weapon systems. Contracts were given to universities by the federal government to com pensate the institutions for the related costs incurred plus a nominal amount to cover overhead exp ens es. This principle, referred to as no loss and no gain (Geig er, 1993, p. 6) signifies the United States ion for universities to neither profit monetarily nor incur financial losses from research activities. Neither did the federal
3 government wish to burden unduly higher education institutions wi th additional expenses required to properly monitor and administer these federal funds. The National Defense Research Committee (NDRC) compris ing a mixture of prestigious university personnel and U.S. company leaders was credited as a driving force in the initial funding of university research (p. 5). A continuing trend at the onset 7). The NDRC begat the establishment of the Committee on Medical Research (CMR) and the Office of Strategic Research and Development (OSRD) which established the first indirect cost rate (Atkinson, 2002). After World War II, research done at universitie s did not automatically revert to military and governmental laboratories, but rather continued t o grow at the academic settings in the ensuing decades The complexity and intricacies of the research contracts coupled with the emergence of different major granting agencies such as the Natio nal Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) during the 1960s 1970s, brought about the centralization of the research administration function at the institution of higher education One centralized body, empowered by the President of the academic institution, would review, negotiate, and sign contracts officially binding the university rather than allowing different faculty the ability to enter into complex contracts that could, and often times did produce large financial and legal liabilities on the part of the university (Atkinson, 2002). The University of Michigan experienced dramatic growth in research expenditures from $386 million in 1994 to $778 million in 2005 (Si vrais & Disney,
4 2006). The Office of Research Administration has definitely become an integral component of central administration at institutions of higher education. Problem Statement Federal research dol lars received by universities co me with many re strictions and programmatic requirements. Accor ding to Geiger (1993), when federal research funds began to be awarded to academic institutions, the highest funded research universities included many of the current elite institutio ns such as Harvard, MIT, CalTech John s Hopkins, and Princeton. By the 1960s, this list included public institutions such as the University of Michigan, University of California at Los Angeles ( UCLA ) and Ohio State University (Graham & Diamond, 1997, p. 38). These universities s soundi ng for other non elite universities as they established research administration at their respective campuses (Atkinson, 2002). This trend continues today, with professional development organizations such as the National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA) and the Society of Research Administrators (SRA) that allow the i nformal exchange of administrative policies and procedures among colleges and universities Serving as a centralized support unit, the difficulty arises when accountability becomes the issue. Typ ically perfor mance metrics such as student retention or graduation rate have no meaning and thus are non applicabl e to evaluating the overall performance of an Office of Research Administration. The Mar ch/April 2000 issue of Change asked the question Improvement researchers Massey and Wilger of Stanford University that found when faculty was ask how their disc retionary time would be spent, once departmental
5 requirements were removed; 83% responded research, even at liberal arts colleges. The sample population included 378 interviews from eight research universities, three doctoral granting universities, four c omprehensive universities, and four liberal arts colleges. The role of faculty has been changing in recent years especially within research universities. A hierarchical model akin to the pyramid exists where research and scholarship are at the pinnacle fo llowed by teaching and then service (Brand, 2000). Since Tang and Chamberlain (1987) first studied the attitudes of fa culty and administration toward research, s everal studies have identified the changing faculty perception regarding the growing importanc e of research especially in the tenure process ( LeBlanc Jackson, & Wright, 2003 ; Serow, 2000). The longstanding tension between teaching and researching activities for faculty at many universities is being diminished by those studies that indicate resea rch activities can impact teaching effectiveness ( Marsh & Hattie 2002) and facilitate rank promotions for those faculty involved in research (Serow, 2000). Moreover faculty throughout higher education hold the belief that involvement in research is ne cessary to maintain professional esteem from their peer group (Serow, 2000). The growing emphasis and importance of research to the faculty community creates more pressure for research administration support among the academic ranks. The goal of researc h administration is in general, to facilitate the research endeavors of the university not to serve as an impediment to these endeavors Hansen and Moreland (2004) cite t he Roman god Janus, the two faced i con as an apt symbol depicting research administ ration, covering from the entrance of a grant on the university grounds to the exit or completion of the research. Research administrators face t he dual
6 challenges of maintaining fiscal and compliance guid elines that oftentimes create friction with the act ual faculty researchers, whose prime objective is to conduct a s uccessful research project (Ross, 1990) The research administrators of the ORA s must balance the professional academic interests of the faculty, university and outside sponsor concurrently d espite the fact that these interest groups may have conflicting goals. There is limited authority as research administrators often find themselves in the middle of two opposing forces one internally and one externally (St r eharsky, 1998). Added pressure ap peared in the mid to late 1980s with public policy trend moving towards cooperative research programs. These programs entail the university ORA working with multiple sponsors and/or with other institutions of higher education for a sole project (Davidso n, 198 9 ). While the Principal Investigators ( PIs ) and the Department A dministrators (DAs) h ave little choice but to use the prescribed services of the resident Office of Research Administration at their perspective u niversities, it is important that the se curing and p rocessing of research awards be handled in an efficient and cost effective manner. To secure research funds, proposals submitted by faculty researchers are transmitted by the Office of Research Administration to the respective governmental age ncy prior to the submission deadline. ORAs also carry the responsibility of assessment of risk management for their faculty and university. Mit i gation of thes e risks also falls to the ORA In certain cases, f aculty may desire to pursue research projects w ithout consideration of available university resources. The Office of Research Administration serves as a clearinghouse for new awards processing the necessary internal documentation to allow the researcher to begin activities on the grant. During the
7 ti meframe of the research project, the ORA serves as a resource to both the PIs and the Department Administrators in areas such as budget allocations, allowable expenses, and filing of extensions of project deadlines The Office of Research Administration i s also instrumental in processing the closeout documentation at the end of the grant period and billing the grantor In a typical research award, for every dollar of direct cost spent on the grant, the awarding agency provides a certain percentage (referr ed to as the F&A rate ranging from approximately 10% to 60%) to the university to cover generalized overhead expenses, such as facilities and administrative costs. During this closeout phase, the ORA staff will be working with the Department Administrator s on fiscal issues along with the faculty to assure that the research has been completed and the deliverables have been met T he university has expended cash flows to the researchers during the project timeframe in anticipation of timely reimbursement fro m th e awarding governmental agency. The ORA is responsible to process the necessary paperwork required to allow the university timely recovery of the applicable grant expenditures and associated return of facilities and administrative (F&A) costs critical in the light of decreased state funding on the academic side. D ays Outstanding of Receivables and Accounts Receivable Turnover Ratio, common evaluation measurements in the business world may well serve to inform the central administration of how quickly research funds are being collected and in turn, be designated as a viable and useful performance metric. Unfortunately, financial metric s of this type even when directly related such as the number of proposals awarded per ORA staff member, are of little to no concern to the majority of the constituencies served by the O ffice of R esearch Administration Faculty and department administrators are rarely
8 impacted by the timing of collection of actual cash from the sponsor therefore, this particular metric i s not applicable as a performance measurement to distinguish value added among the two user groups The ORA is a hybrid anomaly in institutions of higher education, acting as a business service within an academic setting. There is no readily available fi nancial statement or other quantitative accountability factors that can be utilized to effectively measure performance evaluation from the perspective of either faculty or department administrators R ationale for Proposal The purpose of this study is to better understand the needs and preferences of two major stakeholders, faculty and department administrators, in relation to developing performance metrics for a centralized Office of Research Administration in the environment of higher education. Severa l quantifiable metrics are available to use as benchmarks, but none include a ny qualitati ve aspects of the perceptions held by faculty and other university professionals serviced by offices of research administration. Offices of Research Administration ha ve experienced significant growth in the workload volume that has rarely translated into a proportional increase in operating resources thereby stretching their operating resources to capacity and beyond This study will identify the services that are imp ortant to two major on campus constituencies. Knowledge of services important in the perceptions of their two internal user groups (principal investigators and department administrators) will serve to better inform the Office of Research Administration wh en makin g strategic decisions regarding allocation of their limited resources and, may justify increased share of university resources in the future An additional benefit of this study will be to lessen the fundamental tension between
9 faculty and adminis tration ( Kaplan, 1959 ; Rawls, 1998) in the future by responding to the when and how value is added to an administrative support office. R esearch Questions The research questions sought to be answered are the following: What perfor mance measures are perceived by the principal investigators and department administrators as important factors of a successful Off ice of Research Administration? Are the perceptions of importance of each group related or unrelated? Are the perceptions of importance influenced by demographics? What are the perceptions of how frequently these services are provided by the current institutions of the two user groups? C onceptual Framework The use of surveys will be the primary research method employed to inve stigate the research questions of this study. With the conceptual framework nestled in the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), it is the intent of this researcher that this study will result in the development of meaningful components to customize the BSC for globa l application to Offices of Research Administration, and quite possibly to other administrative offices that comprise the infrastructure of university administration as whole. The Balanced Score card was developed by Kaplan, a Harvard Busines s School Profe ssor and Norton (1992) and was published in an article in the Harvard Business Review. The premise behind the Balanced Scorecard is to utilize a consistent, reliable, and comprehensive system of measurements not based solely on financial metrics. Numero us books, articles, and organizations dedicated to the Balanced Scorecard continue to flourish on a global scale. The Balanced Scorecard, originally intended for use by the corporate sector has been adapted to the government and most recently in the
10 non profit dominion as well ( Dorweiler & Yakhou, 2005 ; Niven, 2003 ; Scholey & Armitage, 2006). There are four sections that comprise the original Balanced Scorecard: the Customer Perspective; the Internal Business Perspective; the Innovation and Learning Pe rspective; and the Financial Perspective (Kaplan & Norton, 1992). This dissertation will concentrate on the first section, the Customer Perspective as th is is seen as the driving force, especially in th e non profit sector (Niven, 2003 ), for the developmen t of the remaining three sections of the scorecard. The Customer Perspective for an Office of Research Administration is the most complex aspect of operations since there are primarily three distinct groups of customers. Two groups are internal, comprise d of the faculty or principal investigators, and the department administrators. The other group contains the governmental agencies and private foundations that are the grantors of the research awards. The performance of an Office of Research Administrati on has little impact on the awarding of research funds and therefore is not addressed in this study. The Internal Business Perspectives will evolve from the results of the Customer Perspectives as will the Employee Learning and Growth Perspectives giving greater importance on determining the Customer Perspectives. When adapting to the non profit arena, the Financial Perspective is geared t owards completing the other perspectives with the most efficient use of funds rather than profitability oriented (Nive n, 2003 ) Focusing on the Customer Perspective component of the Balanced Scorecard, the primary objective of this research is to determine the preferred performance measurements of two distinct customer groups that are the users of the services of the Office of Research Administration. Principal Investigators, also referred to as faculty
11 within this research study, are typically the individuals who have secured the research funding and are responsible for the actual research conducted by both their res earch team and the mselves. For this study, only principal investigators and co principal i nvestigators will be targeted as other members of the research team tend to be graduate students or novice research associations whom have little to no interaction w ith personnel from the Office of Research Administration. The sec ond targeted user group is the department a dministrators. These individuals are typically administrative and staff employees as opposed to faculty and have their primar y responsibilities c onnected with all of the a dministrativ e aspects of the research award from proposal stage through completion of the actual research that is performed by the faculty member. These department administrators are not involved in the actual research activities associated with the contract or grant but deal with the Offices of Research Administration on an equal basis with the principal investigators. The goal of this dissertation is to determine the most appropriate performance measurements to be adopted by Of fices of Research Administration to better service the two aforementioned stratified internal communities. L imitations and Key Assumptions Institutions of higher education come in many shapes a nd sizes. This study is limited by the fact that that not a ll of the research universities will participate in this survey. Additionally, the prin cipal investigator population was compiled from only two awarding agencies, the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation. While both agencies a ward funding for diverse topics in researc h, there is a tendency for such awards to be skewed towards the medical and science disciplines. This factor may cause disciplines such as the socio economic and humanities to be underrepresented.
12 Similarly, an e xpe rienced principal investigator may not deal with either of these two agencies and consequently, was omitted from this study. Individuals who have actual experience with multiple offices of research administration were pooled with less experienced indi viduals, or with experienced individuals who may have experience associated with a single office of research administration. The amount of interaction between the survey participants and sponsored research administrations was not designed to be measured n or tracked within this study The t ime factor of dealings with the traditional centralized ORA was not being solicited by the survey instruments and therefore, the impact of frequency of communications of each user group with their respective centralized office is not considered in this research study The survey instrument was scheduled to be distributed electronically to published email addresses. As a result, a key assumption holds that participants will be able to receive the initial solicitation and be able to respond without interference from firewalls and other technical challenges that may be present within secured college and university networks. Reliance on the validity of published email addresses coupled with accuracy of the public electronic faculty/staff directory of colleges and universities may very well result in undeliverable survey solicitations. A key assumption prevailing throughout the survey distribution is that the Principal Investigator was still located within the same instituti on as when the grant was awarded originally. The criterion of the virtue of honesty on the part of the respondents in answering the questionnaires is an assumption of this researcher thereby limiting the study. Since p articipant incentives were not offe red, the tendency to be less than honest with this
13 survey instrument is not viewed as being significant. This aspect serves to improve the overall reliability of content as an added benefit of the data received. Initially, there w as no inducement offered to promote participation in the questionnaire. Persuasion in the forms of an introductory letter and second email requests were selected to serve as motivators. Enthusiasm and positive reactions to the pilot study strongly suggest ed that low participatio n would not be a significant factor. The adequate respons e rates confirmed this premise. Definition of Terms Balanced Scorecard: O riginated by Drs. Kaplan and Norton as a performance measurement framework that includes non financial performance metrics rather than relying solely on traditional financial indicators. ( http://www.balancedscorecard.org/ BSCResources/AbouttheBalancedScorecard/tabid/5 5/Default.aspx ) Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education: Classification system developed in 1970 by the Carnegie Commission of Higher Education and periodically updated providing information on numerous criteria derived from empirical data. ( http://classifications.carnegiefoundation.org/ ) Co Principal Investigator: A Co PI may be designated when that individual devotes a significant percentage of effort and is instrumental for the completion of the research. ( http://www.mtu.edu/research/administration/integrity compliance/policies/pi definition.html )
14 Department Administ rator: Administrative staff at the departmental and dean's office levels that provide administrative support for one or more sponsored projects. ( www.research.umn.edu/spp/roles/pi.html ) Facilitie s & Administrative (F&A): Costs associated with Facilities include depreciation and use allowances, interest on debt associated with certain buildings, equipment and capital improvements, operation and maintenance expenses, and library expenses; Administr ative includes general administration and general expenses, departmental administration, sponsored projects administration, student administration and services, and all other types of expenditures not listed specifically under one of the subcategories of F acilities ( Circular A 21, 2004). Financial Research Administrators (FRA): Sub group of members of the National Council of University Research Administrators primarily dedicated to financial administration of research. ( http://www.ncura.edu/content/educational_programs/conferences/fra.php ) Federal Grants: An award of financial assistance from a federal agency to a recipient to carry out a public purpose of support or stimul ation authorized by a law of the United States ( http://www.grants.gov/aboutgrants/grants.jsp ) National Council of University Research Administrators (NCURA ): Professional membership organization for individuals in the field of research administration. ( http://www.ncura.edu/content/about%5Fus/ ) Performance Metrics: Measures used to evaluate and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of busi ness processes. http://www.davechaffey.com/ E marketing Glossary/Performance metrics.htm
15 Primarily Research (see pilot survey): Higher education institutions that gra nt in excess of 20 doctoral degrees annually and conduct high to very high levels of research activity. http://www.carnegiefoundation.org/classifications/index.asp?key=791 P rimarily Teaching (see pilot survey): Higher education institution that grants 20 or fewer doctoral degrees and may conduct low to medium research a ctivity. http://www.carne giefoundation.org/classifications/index.asp?key=791 Principal Investigator (PI): Primary individual in charge of a research grant, cooperative agreement, training or public service project, contract, or other sponsored project. Primarily, but not exclusi vely classified as faculty. ( www.research.umn.edu/spp/roles/pi.html ) SRA International (SRA) : Professional society promoting education and awareness of sponsored research internationally. ( http://www.srainternational.org/sra03/template/tntbAB.cfm?id=557 )
16 Chapter Two L iterature R eview The literatu re review is composed of two section s: (a ) review of the literature on the Balanced Scorecard; and (b ) review of the literature on resear ch and research administration. There have been an abundance of articles and books written since Kaplan and Norton unveiled the concept of the Balanced Scorecard in the Harvard Business Review in 1992. Several iterations from Generation I to Generation II and numerous Modified Balanced Scorecards have been developed, implemented, and results published. The Balanced Scorecard The Balanced Scorecard first appeared in the Harvard Busin ess Review (Kaplan & Norton, 1992 Drive Performance The notion that firms should not rely solely on financial measurements ignited the business world to rethink strategies across t he world. Widespread adoption within the business com munity has been well documented over the years ( Beard, 2009 ; Hoffecker, 1994 ; Karanthos & Karanthos, 2005 ). In fact, a search of any database will yield thousands of articles and books on this topic bu t rather limited material when dealing with academic settings. Various applications of the Balanced Scorecard ap pear throughout the literature adapted by a myriad of users; the health care industry (Gurd & Gao, 2008), natural disaster management (Moe, Ge hbauer, Senitz, & Mueller 2007); the construction industry (Pineno, 2004) to name a few. The Balanced Scorecard has even been adapted
17 to meet the needs of consumers when making buying d ecisions (Burden, 1994). Further adaptation occurred in 2003, when N by step for government and nonprofit agencies factor to this research study. Despite the fact that Niven did not specifically address non profit academia, the prem ise of this work can be associated to colleges and universities. The fact that the government entities and non profit organizations depicted by Niven have the same innate premise of mission rather than profits, makes these applicable to a certain extent to institutions of higher education. Academic Applications of the Balanced Scorecard While there may exist a plethora of information pertaining to the Balanced Scorecard in the business arena, very little has been penned dealing with the Balanced Scorecard a s it pertains to higher education. The sparse writings primarily are focused on the Balanced Scorecard in a purely aca demic or programmatic setting such as Dorwei ler and Yakhou (2005). Dorweiler and Yakhou (2005) did classify faculty under the Customer Perspective, yet, this research was slanted toward the administration in relation to purely academic matters involving students along with programs of study and failed to address research administration as a separate or identifiable component. The Balanced Scorecard is seen through the eyes of the authors for the purpose of long term strategic planning tool that can be utilized in accessing the overall academic performance of the institution based exclusively on educational not research factors. Nevertheless, this article does provide valuable insight into the feasibility of implementing the Balanced Scorecard approach to an aca demic, non profit environment. No empirical evidence was
18 provided within the published article that was based on theoretical application to a generic academic setting. Another application of the Balance Scorecard again in a purely academic setting as the focus of a study conducted in 19 96 where d eans of th irty eight business schools were surveyed on their opinion to determine any beneficial nature of a Balanced Scorecard approach and implementation at their respective campuses All but three respondents indicated scores greater than five to 10 point scale. The overall respon se was 7.7 indicating that the d eans were in favor of the Balanced Scorecard approach (Bailey Chow, & Haddad, 1999). Additionally, d eans were solicited for their su ggestions on measurements for performance evaluation under the Custome r Perspective. Of the in inter inter from presentations and atten dance at regional and na tional conferences (p. 169 170). This study serves as a model in determining comparable measurements for faculty in a research versus academic setting. The similarities of the Balanced Scorecard components were linked to the Ba arathanos & Applications of the Balanced Scorecard in Higher Education (Beard, 2009). The se ar tic le s identif y the overlap of a majority of the criteria used in accessing excellence in performance by the Baldrige National Quality Program with facto r s also used in application of the Balanced Scorecard. Three models were depicted of those academic setti ngs that were recipients of the Baldrige Education Awards along with their respective
19 Balanced Scorecard. Although two of the three examples were school districts and not related to higher education, the third example presented was the University of Wisco nsin Stout. The Balanced Scorecard was developed for the overall institution and was not specifically designed for one specific service unit such as the Office of Research Administration. There was a lack of supporting documentation to discern the method ology for the inclusion or weighting of the listed components of the Balanced Scorecard. The s e article s are encouraging in that the Balanced Scorecard approach has other benefits that are not directly related to this research project. Res earch conducted by Lipe and Salterio (2000) determining the judgmental effects of performance measures of the balanced scorecard in a business environment highlights the impact of common mea sures versus unique measures. Graduate students in an MBA program were use to im plement Balanced Scorecard approaches dealing with common measures, those that can be applied to various units of the firm, and unique measures, those specific to a particular area. One of the benefits of the Balanced Scorecard methodology includes the ab ility to establish unique measures for each setting (p 284). However, this study found that common measures tend to be over used and more heavily impacted on a judgmental basis (p. 297). Thus, the potential underutilization of the very factors that make the business successful will adversely affect the strategic success of an entity whose Balanced Scorecard is not tailored sufficiently towards its unique corpus International Academic Applications of the Balanced Scorecard Scorecard approaches been atte mpted in conjunction with other aspects of the operations of institutions of higher educatio n with success. However these applications
20 were primarily, if not solely related to student issues and thus, not directly related to provide predictors for the sub ject topic of this study. For example, a Balanced Scorecard approach has been utilized in resource allocation within South African universities (Negash, 2008) as well as to track the academic success within diverse student populations (Sorenson, 2006). Th ese applications illustrate the perpetuating theme throughout institutions of higher education of applying the Balanced Scorecard as a performance related to student issues rat her than to faculty, staff, or current research issues. The customer indentifie d in the settings of these studies is the student, not anyone from the internal user groups of the principal investigators and department administrators. Research Administration The majority of the published literature related to research administration a ppears primarily in two publications. Research Management Review and The Journal of Research Administration are products of NCURA and SRA respectively, the two professional organizations for research administrators. The scopes of many of the articles sur round the administrative aspect rather than address the communities serviced by ORAs. Articles are peer reviewed for the journals adding integrity to the body of these works. Admini quantifiers to address the reporting organization, operations, and cost effectiveness from the administration viewpoint not from a qualitative or customer service perspective. dissertation by Roberts (2005), studied the perceived value of professional certification of
21 research administrators. Here again, these dissertations did not address the f aculty attitudes and working r elationships toward sponsored research administration. Currently, the Society of Research Administrators International (SRA), the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO), and the Higher Educ ation Practice of KPMG Consulting, Inc., have joined forces to develop a national benchmarking program for academic research administration (Kirby & Waugaman, 2002). Bearing Point, Inc. currently provides a website pertaining to this project that was deve loped for use by executive leadership levels of the institution. Three roun ds of data collection have been compiled for FY 1998, FY 2000, and FY 2002. According to the website, ( www.higheredbenchmarking.co m ) data and questions are still being considered for the FY 2006 survey. Twenty (20) pre defined benchmarks identified from previous surveys range in data collection of total research expenditures, to percentage of faculty research staff acting as Princip al Investigators, to dollar amount of accounts receivable that are 120 days overdue. All of the benchmarking factors are essentially quantitative in nature and do not investigate faculty perceptions for performance measurements of research administration. In the case of the percentage of faculty research staff acting as Principal Investigators, no further follow up research is done to determine the reasons behind those faculty members that are not functioning as Principal Investigators. Indeed, the surve y is designed to be completed by one individual at each institution, typically the Director or Vice President of Research for the institution. Individuals such as faculty and mid level administrators are not surveyed. The results of this fee based survey are provided to participating institutions and include a comparison report against institutions similar in size.
22 The Role of Research Administrators Although limited to the southeastern region of the United States including Puerto Rico, background informa tion regarding the demographic characteristics of research administration professionals has been obtai ned from an article by Roberts and House bert s and House readily admit that their survey should be expanded to include other regions of the country. authored by Kaplan (1959). Though somewhat dated, this study offers core insights into the establishment, development, and evolution or the different facets involved in the job function of a research administrator nearly three decades ago. The findings of this study highlighted the significant differences in the orientation between research administration and that of the sci entific community (p. 39). Kaplan found that the scientist identifies with science and the specific area of specialization extending beyond the university boundaries. Whereas the research administrator identifies with the internal environment of administ ration and management, thus, further hindering the achievement of mutual objectives and goals. Two additional and Worst Practices in Research Administration authored by Hess elton Mangan (2003) and Miner Miner, and Griffith appreciation of th e administrative challenges presented daily to the research administrators. Both publications were centered exclusively on the central research administrati on and did not include input from either faculty or department administrators in the context of the articles.
23 Perceptions of Research Administrators More recently, We lker and Cox (2006) conducted a limited survey of research administrators at Carnegie Doct oral/Research Universities Intensive and Extensive. Senior research administrators were asked their perceptions on numerous broadly defined topics pertaining to the research activities at their respective universities. The sample respondents numbered 95 and represented 35 different states. This study will be helpful to determine if any commonalties occur between central research administrators and the two population groups (faculty and department administrators) upon completion of this dissertation. The concept of preference in a model research administration to preserve integrity from the perspective of the Office of Research Administration was the subject of research by three individuals at two campuses of the University of Arkansas (Atkinson, Gille land, & Pearson, 2007). This study deals exclusively with research administrators rather than the populations served by the Office of Research Administration that will be explored by this dissertation research. The results of the Research Environment Nor m Inventory (RENI) will be analyzed for appropriateness and applicability upon completion of this research. administrator/research relationsh Ross (1990) analyzes the basic in terpersonal factors between research administrators and research scientists. Ross Ross recommends a positive relationship between
24 the rese arch administrators and research scientists based on a service orientated role of research administrators. Faculty Behavior Toward Research One study that has addressed som e of the issues pertaining to the research question was conducted by the Nevada Can cer Institute ( Cole, 2006) that deals with research behavior of faculty that leads to success in grant funding. The study provides an overall understanding at certain motivators and identified a Comprehensive Federal Funding Model based on dollar value an d/or number of awards. The University Support component of the study was addressed in a generalized, en masse basis that included facilities, computer resources, even machine shops. The a ttitudes of the faculty toward an office of research administration were not isolated in the study. Another study that provides useful insights about faculty behaviors towards research and administratio n in general was conducted by Sterner, Associate Director, Office of Sponsored Programs at the University of Cincinnati The findings were s indicated that faculty at Bradley University: P erceive a paradox between what the [Bradley University] administration says about teaching/research balance and what the system dictates, particularly in regard to tenure and promotion (p. 5) Over 55% of the faculty at BU believed that the university did not have sufficient resources to support their research. Some of the recommendations of the study such as
25 dissemination of better quality funding information and grant writing skills workshops directly relate to the Office of Research Administration (p. 19) The importance of research in the global academic sphere is illustrated in the 2007 research study conducted at Kuwait University and published by Al Enezi in the December issue of International Jour nal of Management. To elevate the scholarly reputation of the university, the administration allocated 2.2 million Kuwaiti d inars during the fiscal year 2005/2006 for internal research projects (p. 713). Since the amount was not fully utilized, Kuwait Un iversity decided to conduct additional research to identify the issues that were at the root of the reluctance on the part of faculty members to apply for these awards. This study will be beneficial to analyze any similarities among the faculty at America n institutions versus their international counterparts. Customer Satisfaction in Higher Education Despite the fact that this research study does not directly investigate the quality of the services provided by the Offices of Research Administration, custo mer satisfaction does play an underlying role. When dealing with higher education, the student often is designated as the customer and thus, the majority of the existing literature is written with the central focus on the students of the institution rathe r than on principal investigators and department administrator. Emanuel and Adams (2006, p. 537), agree that service is difficult to measure and should be assessed as a measurement. The Quality of Instructor Service to Students (QISS) was developed by th e former to identify quality service in the eyes of the students who were designated as the customers with the faculty being the service providers. The QISS deals exclusively with academic issues and is not applicable
26 to a business oriented unit such as t he Office of Research Administration that has virtual no direct impact on the students. Another study using the SERVQUAL model, first published by Parasuraman, Zeithaml & Berry in 1985, as a premise to measure customer satisfaction was conducted by two researchers at the University of North Texas in 2007 (Stodnick & Rogers, 2008) to evaluate the classroom environment. The adapted SERVQUAL instrument proved reliable in this study to measure the required criteria of student related outcomes. However, stu dents were asked of their impression of services already received or Rodgers, 2008, p. 133) not how important it is to have a clean, quiet classroom, which would be mo re appl icable to this research study. Therefore this study is not applicable to the research questions proposed herein. Another study incorporating teaching by the faculty and the learning experience of the student was conducted in the United Kingdom. Evans (2007) concluded that satisfaction is contingent upon customer expectati ons. In this case, the student, again was viewed as the customer. This study further reiterates the increased concern, even globally with the customer satisfaction component wit hin higher education. However, this study also enforces the lack of customer service research in higher education that does not have the student as the customer.
27 Chapter Three Research Methods Since there is a scarcity of literature and research rega r ding this nascent appendage of higher education known as research administration this study will provide a basis for effective communication among central administration, faculty (principal investigators) and decentralized non faculty personnel (departmen t administrators) to enable potential conflicting goals to be identified and mitigated to preserve the integrity of both the research and the reputation of the university. This study also probes the discer ning perceptions of benefits as identified from th e two user groups. The research questions seek to identify any significant difference in the importance of the rating scales between the principal investigators and the department administrators for maximization of resource allocation by Offices of Resear ch Administration. The main research question centers on the identification of those important factors critical to the perception of a successful Office of Research Administration in the eyes of the two major internal communities served by the ORA. This research will explore whether these factors are the same for both the P rincipal I nvestigator group and the Departmental Administrator group and seek to determine if those concepts are isolated or shared by two user group s. Ad ditionally, the influence of demographics in the perception of the importance of certain attributes is explored within this study Lastly, the research sought to determine whether duplicative factors hold different significance of importance for each core user group. Based on the in strument design, correlations
28 may be determined between what each user group deems as important and whether or not that particular item is present at their current institution. Research Design The conceptual framework for this research is based on the Cus tomer Perspective from the Balanced Scorecar d, modified by Niven (2003) for government and nonprofit actors. The internal population groups for the Customer Perspective was stratified into two distinct sections: ( a ) Principal Investigators (PIs) normally classified by their institutions as faculty; and ( b ) Department Administrators, who more frequently fall into the category of non faculty classifications referred to as administrative or staff. Two questionnaires were administered specifically for the as sessment of the preferences of the specific population group. The surveys, similar in content provided for the increased study of interrelationships of particular characteristics. The preferences indicated by each group were assessed for the purposes of the development of a BSC applicable to Offices of Research Administration. The results o f this study can be analyzed to craft strategic policies for resource utilization and determine best practices for offices of research administration. Survey Approa ch Survey questions serve as the b asis of the research methods for both the pilot study and the final research study. The use of survey research provides access to the large population that is dispersed throughout the United States. Surveys have the char acteristics of being able to cover broad data bases with minimum associated costs. Using a formalized and structured survey research method implies substantial relevance to the questions com prising the survey instruments.
29 Survey Instrument Design Due to the scarcity of research in this field, a proven survey instrument was not readily available that would collect appropriate data required to answer the research questions stated herein. Initially, questionnaires were solicited from institutions of higher education that had previously canvassed their internal communities regarding various customer satisfaction factors. These questionnaires were analyzed to determine the present factors being informally tested by various institutions of higher education th at are involved in research activities. Three samples of surveys were received from other institutions, none of which dealt exclusively with Offices of Research Administration nor were any targeted specifically towards the diverse target populations of fa culty and department administrators. Two surveys were determined to be necessary for demographic or objective results. For exam ple, f aculty positions tend to range from Assistant Professor, Associate Professor Professor, and Dean, whereas department a dm inistration positions reflect job position titles along the continuum of Administrative Assistant, Coordinator, and Director. While s eparate survey instruments were created for each of the two user groups subj ective questions are, for the most part, iden tical in substance. Where the survey asked the importance of Offices of Research Administration offering training, the response pertained to new principal i nvestigators on the Principal Investigator Survey and towards new department a dministrators o n the Department Administrator Surv e y Survey development entailed the use of a variety of models used in faculty perception studies and service related research (Meyer, 2009 ; Regino, 2009 ; Sullivan & Estes, 2007 ; Ulrich, Brockbank, Yeung, & Lake, 1995 ) supplemented by a search of
30 websites of various institutions to determine present practices and procedures. Both surveys are based on objective and subjective questions and follow the five standards promoted by Fowler (1995): 1. Questions need to be consiste ntly understood. 2. Questions need to be consistently administered or communicated to respondents. 3. What constitutes an adequate answer should be consistently communicated. 4. Unless measuring knowledge is the goal of the question, all respondents should have acc ess to the information needed to answer the questions accurately. 5. Respondents must be willing to provide the answers called for in the question. (Source: Improving Survey Questions: Design and Evaluation p. 4) The survey instrument is composed of three parts for each of the user groups. One part identifies certain attributes and their importance for the successful operation of an Office of Research Administration, as viewed by either the principal i nvestigator or the department a dministrator. The secon d part of the survey instrument lists the existing attributes present at the current instituti on of the participant. The third part of the survey contains demographic data (type of institution, amount of research funding, pos itio n, and years of experience ) to describe the relationship between demographics and perceived values. For the pilot study the demographic data was the first part, followed by the importance of certain attributes, and the current existing attributes was the final section. However, for the data collection process of this dissertation, the sequence was rearranged in the following order: importance of certain attributes, the current existing attributes,
31 and fi nally, the demographic section. The most critical section is the importance of certain attributes in answering the prim ary research questions. Therefore this section appears first, in the event that a respondent tires, or chose not to complete the entire questionnaire. P ilot S tudy T he pilot study had two goals: (a ) the ident ification of important attributes for perceived value by the two user groups; and (b ) to determination if any correlations existed both within and across the groups. Twenty items were listed to determine the attribute importance to both faculty and depart ment administrators with a 5 point Likert type rating of: Very Important Important Som ewhat Important Not Important and Not Sure Following the 20 items, was an open ended question asking the participant to list other important aspects asso ciated with Offices of Research Administration. The same 20 items were repeated in the section dealing with what is current institution. Again, a 5 point Likert type rating was provided as follows: Consistent ly Usually Occasionally Rarely and Not Sure Data Collection Department Administrators The pilot test for department a dministrator group was conducted at a national professional meeting hel d in early February 2009. The Financial Research Administrators (FRA), a sub group of the National Council of University Research Administrators, held their annual conference in San Diego, California from February 9 th through February 11 th The survey for the department a dministrators was distributed a s a convenience survey at a national meeting of this sub group of NCURA members. Using
32 this event provided the opportunity to address a national audience. A convenience survey provides the advantage of personalized contact. An additional advantage is th e fact that a person is available onsite should any questions arise pertaining to the survey. However, a convenience survey can be costly in both time and travel expenses. T he continued use of convenience surveys could be considere d detrimental to reliab ility because of location specific distribution. The use of electronic version distribution promotes a more widespread and diver se inclusion of participants as one is not reliant upon the availability of discretionary travel funds and attendance at confere nces. In the case of the pilot sample, hard copies of the Department Administrators S urvey were administered during a three day conference meeting in San Diego, California The meeting attendees were members of NCURA FRA (Financial Research Administrator s), a sub group with heavy participation from department a dministrators whose main function is dedicate to the financial aspect of research administration. Hard copy surveys were located at a table adjacent to the registration area throughout the conferen ce. An envelope for completed surveys was prominently displayed on a bulletin board next to the table. This researcher also attended the conference and augmented the distribution of the surveys through announcements during the various conference sessions Individuals completing this survey did not have any significant problems with the instrument that required in person clarification; leading to the conclusion that an online survey would be applicable for future data collection. Data Analysis Department Administrators In total, 24 survey s were collected from department administrators over the three day period of the FRA Conference Of the 24 collected, one survey respondent neglected
33 to complete fully the survey, leaving the section dealing with the exis ting attributes of their current institution unanswered. The sample represents a suitable balance of the different types of institutions with 37.5% from Medical Universities, 29.2% from institutions categorized as Primarily Research (no medical college af filiations), and 25.0% from institutions categorized as Primarily Teaching. The percentage received from the Primarily Teaching Sector can be significant to determine if any correlations exists with the Primarily Research Institutions. More respondents we re from public institutions (62.5%) than fro m private institutions (33.3%) and 54.2% of all respondents listed their current job positions within the Medical/Health Science Colleges of their institutions. A potential factor for bias of the survey results noted in the pilot study was the fact that 75% of the participants listed the total annual research dollars of their current institution at the $100+ million level. The distribution location contributes significantly to the concentrate d presence o f unive rsities within the highest range of annual research dollars Larger research universities and medical colleges have the tendency to send their staff members to national meetings whereas budget constraints on small institutions, especially in the current ec onomic climate have curtailed the ability for administrative travel. This anomaly would be mitigated in the actual research study by the distribution of the survey through email and internet means. The sample group will not be stratified by the amount of travel funds available. The pilot study was viewed as balanced, due to the fact that, when asked the amount of annual research dollars handled by the individual responden t, 95% cover thr ee ranges from $2 million dollars to $25 + million, with 50 % falling in the ranges from five million dollars up to $ 25 million.
34 The frequency distributions indicate a variety of responses covering the spectrum from Not Important to Very Important for the most part. One item Amount of time from award notification un til all internal paperwork is completed solicited responses of Very Important and Important only from the department administrative surveys. Initially, the researcher was concerned and contemplated removal of this item from future questionnaires. H owever, upon comparison to the faculty response for the same item different results emerged Faculty responses for this ite m did fall below the Important level. Therefore, this item was retained for the final questionnaire. Table 1 illustrates the d escriptive statistics for the responses t o the Department Administrator S urveys. Percentages of Very Important Important Somewhat Important Not Important and Not Sure of each individual attribute indicating preference towards performance met rics are presented in the table.
35 T able 1 Performance Metrics (Pilot Study ) Variable Significance of Importance % Very Important % Important % Somewhat Important % Not Important % Not Sure Notification of all available funding opportunities sent directly to department 8.7 39.1 26.1 21.7 4.3 Notification of funding opportunities only applicable to your department area of expertise 17.4 43.5 21.7 17.4 0.0 Listing of funding opportuniti es in a central location such as a website that I can view on my time schedule. 17.4 26.1 39.1 17.4 0.0 Dealing with same individual for both pre award and post award issues. 25.0 4.2 33.3 37.5 0.0 Dealing with one pre award specialist and one post award specialist. 39.1 17.4 21.7 17.4 4.3 My contact person at SRA has the designation of CRA (Certified Research Administrator) 8.3 8.3 29.2 25.0 29.2 Training offered by SRA for new department administrators / principal investigators. 37.5 37.5 16.7 4.2 4.2 Training offered by SRA to cover updates and changes in policies and procedures. 43.5 47.8 4.3 0.0 4.3 Billing and collections handled by Centralized Sponsored Research Administration personnel. 33.3 58.3 4.2 0.0 4.2 Amount of time from award notificat ion until all Internal Paperwork is completed. 58.3 41.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 Notification by Sponsored Research Administration of impending end dates of project. 26.1 39.1 34.8 0.0 0.0 Phone calls are answered with a friendly tone. 41.7 41.7 16.7 0.0 0.0 Phone messages are returned within 24 48 hours. 45.8 45.8 8.3 0.0 0.0 Emails are responded to within 24 48 hours. 54.2 37.5 8.3 0.0 0.0 Policies and Procedures are published and convenient to access. 50.0 45.8 4.2 0.0 0.0 Forms are available through Inte rnet access and are easy to locate. 62.5 33.3 0.0 4.2 0.0 The SRA Office offers flexible hours available before 8 am and after 5 pm or on weekends 12.5 16.7 45.8 25.0 0.0 Technical assistance provided by SRA with Internet sites including Grants.gov. 37.5 45.8 8.3 4.2 4.2 All departments/colleges are treated equally by the SRA office. 43.5 34.8 13.0 4.3 4.3 Hotline or some confidential of reporting irregularities is available. 29.2 33.3 29.2 8.3 0.0
36 Correlation Analysis Department Administrators Several significant correlations emerged from the data collected during the pilot s tudy for the Department Administrator Survey further validating the research instrument. The Pearson Correlation Coefficient was analyzed in SPSS 17 .0 to determine relation ships, if any between the attributes. The strong est correlation ( r = .804 ) occurs between the phone messages and emails be ing returned within 24 48 hours, not an unexpected c orrelation. Similarly, the training attributes and those items related to n otifi cation of funding opportunities demonstrate strong associations. More interesting correlations surfaced between attributes not definitively related at first glance. Notification of funding opportunities pertaining to the dep significant correlation s with both flexible office hours ( r = .385) and dealing with separate pre award and post award individuals ( r = .562). Not all c orrelations were positive, supporting the diversity and strength of the sur vey questions. The importanc e of dealing with the same individual in pre award and post award indicates a negative rela tionship when paired with the importance of billing and collections being handled by the Office of Research Administration ( r = .361) An inverse relationship also exists between the preference of dealing with separate pre award and post award individuals and the importance of technical assistance offered by the Office of Research Administration ( r = .367) The lack of correlation appears within the data results as well. In fact, analysis between the importance of a hotline or some confidential reporting mechanism and the importance of the availability and accessibility forms from the Internet nearly achieved a perfect zero correlation coefficient ( r =.01) indic ating no relationship between the two
37 attributes. Likewise, training for updates and changes in policies and procedures paired with the importance of equal treatment for all colleges approached zero from the negative direction ( r = .016). Table 2 show s correlation coefficients between all of the attributes.
39 From the Pilot Study, few comments were received on the open ended question regarding other important aspects associated with an Office of Research Administration. Three comments centered on t he theme of keeping current with availability of awards and current policy changes. These comments served to reaffirm related attributes listed on the questionnaire. One comment listed the need for ORAs to have a better understanding of the A final written comment suggested that the Office of Research Administration should be more flexible in dealing with cost sharing policies. Surprisingly, more comments were received verbally from the respondents who complained that the survey was too lo ng (two and a half pages). This comment could have been an environmental related factor. The majority of the respondents completed the survey while standing up and leaning over a high top table, rather than comfortably seated, perhaps in front of a compu ter. Several comments dealt with the choice of descriptors in the current existing attributes section. The terms occasionally and rarely were seen as being synonymous was mentioned on the survey and in subsequent conversations. The final survey instrument , and insert ed the term, In the Pilot Study, the body of the both surveys used to depict the term Sponsored Research Administration Office another term used at certain institutions to refer to the Office of Research Administration. This acronym can be confusing due to the existence of the Society of Research A dministrators ( SRA ) International, a professional organization f or research administrators. Thi s acronym was
40 replaced with ORA in the research study to avoid any potential conflicts. A sample Department Administrator Survey from the pilot s tudy is includ ed in Appendix A. Data Collection Principal Investigators The second stage of the pilot study concentrated on The Principal Investigator Survey. These questionnaires were distributed to principal investigators via personalized emailing. Emailing of que stionnaires appeared appropriate to this sample group since the researcher did not have either the knowledge or the access to an audience of faculty from different institutions of higher education and from the various disciplines. Furthermore, the existen ce of a lack of administrative support available for a regular mailing coupled with the reduced cost factors make the email option very attractive as a means of data collection (Michaelidou & Dibb, 2006). The pilot test for the p r incipal i nvestigators was deployed via a tiered email method. A cross section of universities was designated to assure participation from various type s of institutions. Initially, principal i nvestigators known to the researcher were solicited to complete the survey instrument. Pr incipal i nvestigators were encouraged to forward the survey instrument to other colleagues for their completion and input. The second tier respondents were not previously known by the researcher. The c ompleted surveys returned encompassed private as well as public colleges and universities; however, the majority of respondents were from public institutions (83%). Primarily research universities comprised the largest portion of the sample surveyed with 62.5%.
41 Data Analysis Principal Investigators Unlike the responses received from the department administrators, a significant portion (25%) of the principal i nvestigator s (PI) group stated that they were uncertain about the total annual research dollars associated with their current institutions. The majority of the respondents (62.5%) listed annual research funding between $50 million and greater. In fact, 41.7% reported total annual research dollars in excess of $100 million. Survey results substantiated the initial assumption that a lower volume of research dollars is handled by faculty than by the department administrators, who in many cases serve multiple principal investigators. Only 12.6% of the respondents were responsible for annual research dollars in excess of $5.0 million. A rather hig her percentage of respondents did indicate their affiliation with the College of Arts & Science (41.7%) over other research oriented disciplines as Medical/Health Science (29.2%) and Engineering/Technology (12.5%). The frequency distributions were disperse d among the different categories of importance with t he exception of two of the items: 1) Phone messages are returned within 24 48 hours; and 2) Emails are responded to within 24 48 hours. Both items list a category. The significant faculty preference for t his item is in contrast to the d epa rtment a dministrators, who while viewing these two attributes for the most part as Important only scored 45.8% and 54.2% respectively Department Administrator Surveys did contain some responses that fell into the Principal Investigator Surveys
42 that did not have any responses in this category. The revised survey, included in Appendix B, reflects the random listing of these two items to determine if the strong preference would be retained when considered independently by future respondents. Table 3 illustrates the descriptive statistics for the princ ipal investigator responses , , towards that service item are presented in the table.
43 Tabl e 3 Descriptive Analysis of Principal Investigator Performance Metrics (Pilot Study) Variable % Very Important % Important % Somewhat Important % Not Important % Not Sure Notification of all available funding opportunities sent di rectly to department 25.0 25.0 37.5 12.5 0.0 Notification of funding opportunities only applicable to your department area of expertise 54.2 25.0 16.7 4.2 0.0 Listing of funding opportunities in a central location such as a website that I can view on my time schedule. 37.5 37.5 12.5 12.5 0.0 Dealing with same individual for both pre award and post award issues. 29.2 41.7 12.5 12.5 4.2 Dealing with one pre award specialist and one post award specialist. 21.7 17.4 21.7 30.4 8.7 My contact person at SRA h as the designation of CRA (Certified Research Administrator) 20.8 20.8 12.5 16.7 29.2 Training offered by SRA for new department administrators/principal investigators. 33.3 29.2 25.0 8.3 4.2 Training offered by SRA to cover updates and changes in polici es and procedures. 37.5 29.2 25.0 8.3 0.0 Billing and collections handled by Centralized Sponsored Research Administration personnel. 37.5 37.5 12.5 4.2 8.3 Amount of time from award notification until all Internal Paperwork is completed. 58.3 29.2 8.3 0 .0 4.2 Notification by Sponsored Research Administration of impending end dates of project. 37.5 41.7 8.3 12.5 0.0 Phone calls are answered with a friendly tone. 62.5 16.7 20.8 0.0 0.0 Phone messages are returned within 24 48 hours. 91.7 8.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 Emails are responded to within 24 48 hours. 91.7 8.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 Policies and Procedures are published and convenient to access. 62.5 29.2 0.0 8.3 0.0 (table continues)
44 Table 3 (continued) Variable % Very Important % Important % Somewhat Important % N ot Important % Not Sure Forms are available through Internet access and are easy to locate. 69.6 26.1 0.0 4.3 0.0 The SRA Office offers flexible hours available before 8 am and after 5 pm or on weekends 33.3 25.0 20.8 16.7 4.2 Technical assistance provided by SRA with Internet sites including Grants.gov. 41.7 29.2 16.7 8.3 4.2 All departments/colleges are treated equally by the SRA office. 62.5 29.2 4.2 4.2 0.0 Hotline or some confidential of reporting irregularities is available. 25.0 45.8 20.8 4 .2 4.2 Correlation Analysis Principal Investigators The Principal Investigator Survey data from the pilot study reported similar but not mirror images of the Department Administrator Study, when the Pearson Correlation Coefficient analysis was process ed in SPSS. The P rincipal Investigator Survey results from the pilot study cont ain ed a multiple of significant correlations. The typical correlation between phone messages and emails being returned within 24 48 hours, while present has the r value of .45 5, a lower value than the .805 displayed in the Department Administrator Survey results. Notification of funding items did exhibit a strong own area of expertise and located in a centralized website for viewing at the discretion of the faculty or principal investigator. As with the Department Administrator Study, training attributes demonstrate d similar significant relationships. The strongest relationship e merging f rom the Principal Investigator Survey occurred between the importance of equalitarian treatment of the academic units by the Office of Research
45 Administration with the imp ortance of the availability of a vehicle to report irregularities confidentially. Mo reover, the importance of a hotline or other confidential mechanism scored multiple significant correlation coefficients with a number of the other attributes. The importance of policies and procedures being accessible indicated a strong, positive linear relationship with the importance of a hotline ( r = .773). Inverse relationships are interspersed through the data analysis. The most significant inverse relationship occurred between the two attributes of notifi cation of all available funding opportuni ties sent directly to the department and to the importance of email response to within 24 48 hours by the Offic e of Research Administration where r = .418. Several negative correlation coefficients were present within the study but none r each es the level of significance. The multiple positive correlations may be a by product of the initial grouping of like items on the pilot survey. As previously stated, the listing of items was re ordered and portray ed a random offering of the attributes. Consistent with the results of the Department Admin istrator Survey from the pilot study fi ndings, t he Principal Investigator Surveys from the pilot study exhibited little to no correlation relationship between certain attributes. A zero Correlation Coefficient actu ally presented in the case between the notification of all available funding opportunities sent directly to the department and the Office of Research Administration offering flexible hours of operations to include weekends. Another near zero correlation o ccurs between the importa nce of training offered to new principal i nvestigators and the importance of phone calls being answered in a friendly manner. While a strong relationship exists between emails and phone calls, there is very little to no relationsh ip
46 between the importance of email response and technical assistance offered by the Office of Research Administration ( r = .011)
48 Three comments to the open ended question centered on the Office of Research Administration acting as a team player or partner in the pre award and post award functions. Team player as an attribute is included in the revised survey for the actual research study. Another written comment stressed the importance of flexibility on the part of the Office of Research Administr ation when working with researchers. The Department Administrator Survey contained a related comment regarding flexibility and therefore, an additional attribute was added to the final surveys. A final comment stated that 24 48 hours of a response time w as too long and a quicker response time of a couple of hours should be the norm. However, this service item was not changed in the final surveys. The lack of personal interaction between the faculty respondents and the researcher provided no opportunity for verbal comments as in the case with the Department Administrators Surveys from the pilot stud y. Evaluation of the reliability of the sur vey instrument test proved the survey to be reliable liability indicated a required to determine the instrument to be reliable. Research Study Plan As previously stated, for the purpose of this dissertation, online sur veys supplemented with personalized email solicitations were determined as the research vehicles best suited to gather the data required to answer the research questions. The respective surveys were distributed to the two user groups via the use of an onl ine survey provider known as Survey Monkey. Personalized emails were sent to individuals containing a link to access the survey. Two follow up reminders were sent to those
49 individuals whom had not responded. Samples of initial email and follow up email are attached in A ppendix D. The surveys to the principal i nvestigators were sent first to capture those faculty members who use the summer weeks to concentrate on resea rch rather than teaching. The department a dministrators were contacted approximately t hree weeks after the s urveys were distributed to the p rincipal i nvestigators. These surveys were distributed in the same manner using the Survey Monkey approach of personalized emails. To recap, the research questions are: What performance measures are perceived by the principal investigators and department administrators as important factors of a successful Of fice of Research Administration? Are the perc eptions of importance of each group related or unrelated? Are the perceptions of importance infl uenced by demographics? What are the perceptions of how frequently these services are provided by the current institutions of the two user groups? Benefits to an online survey include two essential components in answering the above research questions. Th e ability to reach a widely dispersed and diverse group of people coupled with the tendency towards honesty due to their anonymity (Comley, 2002). Individuals in academic settings are often reluctant to respond honestly when the threat of future repercus sions such as delay of proposal reviewing and filing is a potential risk. Principal investigators and department administrators are a captive audience and have no recourse for proposal submission and award processing but through their respective Office of Research Administration.
50 The research study is cross sectional in design as opposed to longitudinal. The paucity of previous research data in this field makes a longitudinal research study impossible. It is the hope and intension of this researcher to b e able to further the research in this evolving field and perhaps, undertake a longitudinal study following the completion of this dissertation. Cross sectional data is also useful in determining relationship aspects among the different preference s of the different groups Participant Selection The research study concentrate d on research universities that fall into two categories: very high (VH) research universities and high (H) research universities as determined by the Carnegie Classification of Inst itutions of Higher Education. This population totaled 199 institutions. The listing was furthered stratified into public and private funded universities. Twenty institutions from each of the four categories (VH public, VH private, H public, and H privat e) for a total of 80 colleges and universities to be included in the final study. A supplemental criteria to be met entailed the appearance of principal investigators on one or both of the award listing s of the National Institute of Health and the Nationa l Science Foundation. A listing of the colleges and universities selected for participation in this study is located in Appendix C The additional criteria generated a target population for the principal investigator section of 1,659 individuals. Howeve r, once the list was further stratified, total principal investigator population decreased to 1,450. The reduction in number stemmed from the removal of those individuals that no longer worked at the specific university and the inability to attain accurat e email addresses for other individuals. Usin g a confidence interval of 95%, with a t value of 1.96 and error tolerance of .05, the required amount of survey responses is
51 303.7 or 304 Using a confidence interval of 90%, the required amount of survey res ponses is 90.07 or 91. The targeted population of department administrators was retrieved th rough published Internet sources. Department administrators were limited to those participant college s and universities identified within the principal investi gator section of the study. The departments identified from the list of the principal i nvestigators became the criteria for the selection of department a dministrators. Identification of these individuals was tedious and challenging. Since there is no na tional database available, the website of each university required thorough searching in order to ide ntify appropriate individuals serving in an administrative capacity pertaining to the specific department. Certain universities did not have administrativ e functions at the department level, only at the persons represented multiple departments, these individuals were included in the study due to their significant involvement with the Offices of Resear ch Administration. The final stratified list contained 1,040 individuals an increase from the previously projected target population. The previously project target population had been limited to only those ind ividuals who were members of a professional o rganization such as NCURA were included. The sample population was expanded to include department administrators regardless of affiliation, or lack thereof, with any professional organization, from the same institutions and academic areas as that of the principal investigators To achieve a direct pairing of principal investigator with department admini strator is virtually impossible. H owever, the principal investigator sample population served as a basis for the department administrators sample popula tion thereby indirectly identifying appropriate personnel
52 Using the identical criteria of the Principal Investigator Survey of t = 1.96 and error tolerance of .05, the required amount of survey responses from department administrators is 280.5 or 281 to achieve a confidence interval of 95% Using a confidence interval of 90%, the required amount of survey responses is 87.9 or 88 individual surveys Pilot Study Survey Distribution and D ata Collection The Principal Investigator (PI ) Survey was scheduled for distribution by electronic mail solicitations. The targeted sample population identified from public records that indicate d the name of the principal i nvestigato r recipients of fede ral funding, receive d a personalized invitation to participate in this study Initially, the solicitation was to include an introd uctory letter from a recognizable and respected name within the academic ranks While the support of a highly reputable acad emic faculty member was secured, there were two obstacles that made this venue difficult to include in the distribution. First, there is not a mechanism per se to include such a letter using the Survey Monkey method in the distribution of the survey. Sec ondly, the well respected academic figure would not be able to provide the support letter until after the targeted distribution date of the surveys The use of such a letter was then determined to be viewed as an alternative approach should response rates be lowered than expected from the ranks of the principal investigators. In the case of the PI Survey, the letter was not required. Since, the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation were the designated grant awarding governmen t agencies used to identify the Principal Investigators, a supplemental method to gain correct contact information was necessary.
53 This entailed searching the websites of colleges and universities to locate the principal investigators Universities freque ntly report the amount of funding, agency, and recipient on their individual websites. Following the location of the specific department or college affiliation of the Principal Investigators, college and university dir ectories was the supplemental sources for any missing electronic mail addresses Distribution of p ersonalized emails, with the embedd ed link to the questionnaire is a co st effective method to achieve rapid deployment, and allows for quick turnaround time (Michaelidou & Dibb, 2006). Non resp onses can be tracked and a follow up reminder can be scheduled. The email format provides an explanation of this study and the value of the input of the recipient for the success of this project. The Principal Investigator Survey was uploaded to the Sur vey Monkey website and separate collectors were established to segregate the responses by institution. The Survey Monkey site is very user friendly and participants have 24/7 access to the survey. A sample of the survey as presented within the Survey Mon key website is included in Appendix E. Coupled with facilitation of data entry, another beneficial factor of using an Internet survey service such as Survey Monkey is the ease of exporting data from these sites to a sof tware program such as Excel that, in turn can be readily loaded into SPSS for extensive data analysis. This eliminates the human error factor of transposing or recording incorrect responses. Thus, ensur ing the purity of the raw data since les s human involvement is required through this spe cific methodology. The data collection period was scheduled to occur during the summer sessions of the colleges and universities. The summer sessions typically find the faculty or, p rincipal i nvestigator s solely devoted to research activitie s, or at the worse scenario, may be
54 teaching along with their research agenda, but carrying a lighter teaching load (fewer courses) than during the regular aca demic terms of fall and spring. Research being in the minds of the faculty during the summer may fin d these individuals more apt to respond to the survey solicitation than during the regular academic year where increased teaching loads and other academic commitments may take precedence. The second questionnaire investigate s the perceptions of department a dmini strators towards Offices of Research Administration. This survey was also an online survey using SurveyMonkey.com Department a dministrators typically spend the majority of their workday at the computer so an online survey would be quite suitable to this user group. The Department Administrator Survey followed the same method of distribution as that of the Principal Investigator Survey. The data collection period for the Department Administrator Survey did not pose as critical a timeframe as is the case with The Principal Investigator S urvey. The typical department a dministrator is a twelve month employee with a workload balanced throughout the calend ar year. While the nine month f aculty may be concentrati ng on research activities, the department a dmini strator does not experience the same research intensity during the summer months. If anything, with the f aculty concentrating on the actual resea rch activities, the department a dministrator may see a slightly lesser workload during the summer months due t o less proposals being filed since the typical end date for federal grants is September 30 th most of the research funding has been awarded in prior months. Since the two groups are distinct, overlapping of the distribution schedules was not seen as a pro blem.
55 The revised versions of both survey instruments are located in Appendix B. The revised questionnaires contain a few, minor and inconsequential changes. A change in the ordering of the preference items sought to eliminate the visual arrangement of similar items present in the pilot study. The pilot study clustered same type items together which may have led to the respondent viewing the multiple items as a single unit (Dillman et.al, 2009 ). By mixing the order of appearance of related items such as the preference to have the Office of Research Administration provide a listing of all grant opportunities directly to the research areas and the preference to have the Office of Research Administration provide a listing of area specific grant opportuni ties directly to the research areas, the correlation outcomes may differ from that of the pilot study. Since related items will no longer be adjacent to each other, respondents will be encouraged to view each preference item independently from another. Pl anned Analysis of the Data Univariate and bivariate analyzes were required based on the research questions. The preferences of ea ch of the two user groups, the d epartment administrators and the principal i nvestigators were analyzed, evaluating the frequ ency responses of the itemized services The results of each group were compared to identify similarities and trends in the perception of preferred performance from the Office of Research Administration. Corr elation analysis of the individual variables w ithin the two distinct groups also was conducted. The demographic va riables were subjected to univariate analysis as well. Pearson correlation coefficient were applied to determine if the factors scored as important to the user groups are presently being provided at their current institution and to what degree.
56 Bivariate analysis between the two user groups, signified the similarities, if any between the preferences of the principal investigators and the department a dministrat ors. Chi square analysis d etermined the presence of direct relationships between two variables. The data c ollection allowed for cross tabulation of preference attributes among the two user groups in conjunction with analysis of the current practices at the various types of univers ities. The s e types of analyse s are extremely valuable when the Offices of Research Administrations find themselves faced with determining strategy in deali ng with goal conflicts and further budgetary constraints. A preference of an important factor that is shared by both principal investigators and department a dministrators should take priority over a performance metric that is listed as valuable to only one of the two user groups. Uncertain economic times and continual diminished support to higher educat ion (Ellis, April 15, 2009, Levinson, 2009) resonate the scarcity of resources and the critical need for gaining every last ounce of productivity from every outlet. Having an identifier on each survey enabled comparisons in several different aspects. I f feasible, d epartment administrator responses could be paired with the principal investigator responses from the same institution. However, the pairing cannot be considered to be a perfect pairing as the department administrator response may be from a di fferent department of the institution than that of the principal investigator. The impact of being associated with a public ly funded versus a private ly funded college or university was an alyzed for both sample groups Other demographic variables such as a mount of research funding associated with the participant was investigated for possible relationships.
57 The Final Survey Instrument The survey instrument was finalized based on the pilot study results and feedback. Table 5 describes the 22 items liste d in the final survey instrument. These items appeared on the second page of the survey following the IRB approved verbiage for the informed consent of the participants. A copy of the informed consent is included in Appendix D. Once the participant agre ed to the terms stated in the informed consent, the second page of the survey appeared listing the 22 service items and the instructions as shown in Table 5. The survey collected information in this section based on the perception of importance to the res pondent, regardless if the service was presently available at their institution or was used The items listed in Table 5 are presented in the exact order as these appeared on the surveys.
58 Table 5 PI/DA Survey Items to Measure the Dependent Variable Instruction: As a Principal Investigator/Department Administrator, please indicate your opinion on the overall importance of the following items when dealing with a centralized Office of Research Administration. Please note that these items may not be present at your current institution. 1) Notification of all available funding opportunities sent directly to Faculty. 2) Tra ining offered by the Office of Research Administration (ORA) for new PIs/DAs. 3) Billing and collection handled by the Office of Research Administration personnel. 4) Notification of funding opportunities only applicable to your research area of expertis e. 5) The Office of Research Administration is flexible when it comes to negotiating about charges and policies. 6) Listing of funding opportunities in a central location such as a website that I can view on my time schedule 7) Dealing with the same ind ividual for both pre award and post award issues. 8) Hotline or some confidential way of reporting irregularities is available. 9) Dealing with one pre award specialist and one post award specialist. 10) My contact person at the Office of Research Admi nistration has the designation of CRA (Certified Research Administrator). 11) Phone messages are returned within 24 48 hours. 12) Training offered by ORAs to cover updates and changes in policies and procedures. 13) Forms are available through Internet access and are easy to locate. 14) Amount of time from award notification until all internal paperwork is completed. 15) Notification by Office of Research Administration of impending end dates of projects. 16) Phone calls are answered with a friendly t one. 17) The ORA offers flexible hours Available before 8 am and after 5 pm or on weekends. 18) The Office of Research Administration acts/views research as a team effort. 19) Emails are responded to within 24 48 hours. 20) Policies and procedures ar e published and convenient to access. 21) Technical assistance provided for Internet sites such as Grants.gov. 22) All departments are treated equally by the Office or Research Administration.
59 There was no alteration of the order of appearance between t he Principal Investigator Survey and the Department Administrator Survey. The minor difference between the two surveys occurred solely in the wording of the second item where the Principal Investigator Survey were asked only about training for new princip al investigators and the Department Administrator Survey were asked only about training for new department administrators. Neither group was asked to rate the importance for the training for the other group. The third page of the survey listed only one o pen ended question that invited the respondents to list other important aspects that in their opinion would add value to an Office of Research Administration Respondents could type their responses in an open box area or could elect to skip this question. The fourth page of the survey listed the same 22 service items in the same positions but in this case, respondents were instructed to apply these service items to the frequency of occurrences at their current institution. This data established the ext ent that the principal investigators and department administrators. No indication of the quality of the service item was asked, only if the service was offered and th e frequency. The final page of the survey contained the demographic variables collected to address the second research question. The amount of annual research dollars of the institution, the amount of research dollars the principal investigator had secu red, or in the case of the department administrators, the amount of research dollars they handled administratively, the location of their current job, their department or college, and their job ranking or job position constituted the demographic components in this section. An
60 additional independent variable dealing with the type of institution, public or private, was not solicited from the respondents since the email addresses indicating the institution of the respondents were tracked. Survey Distributio n Two survey s were developed and distribution began on July 5, 2010 through an Internet survey subscription service known as SurveyMonkey.com. The surveys, the Principal Investigator Survey and the Department Administrator Survey were set up as two distin ct surveys. Each survey was automatically returned to a unique collector that had been established for that specific institution. Responses from principal investigators were segregated from the department administrators who resp onded. A personalized i nvitation was email ed to the members of each of the scrubbed lists with an embedded link to access the survey. Both department administrators and principal investigators received two follow up reminders sent directly to those individuals whom had not resp onded. On September 26, 2009, all collectors for both surveys were closed, thus ending the data collection period. Summary The success of the pilot study reinforced the critical need and importance for a research study of this type. The timing of the s tudy is equally critical, as the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 provides $16 billion for research and development expenditures with $9.9 billion earmarked for basic research (Olivia, 2009). Enhanced funding opportu nities generate increased research activities that must flow through the Offices of Research Administration in the future. Coupled with the greater workload and the prevalence of projected operational budgetary
61 constraints, this research study provides es sential information to assist Offices of Research Administration to better serve their constituencies for the greater good of the institution as a whole. The Office of Research Administration is a non revenue generating, area that provides support to facu lty in the generation of research dollars for the institution.
62 Chapter Four Research Study Results The purpose of this research study was to identify which of the 22 service items surveyed that the principal investigators and department administrators perceive d as important factors for measurement of the performance for a successful Office of Sponsored Research Administration Following the determination of the important service items, analy ses were computed to determine the relationships of factors w ithin each group and between the two groups. Additionally, this study investigated the impact of certain independent variables to determine whether the perceptions of each group exhibit ed a significant relationship to specific demographic aspects. The la st component of this research examined the relationship between the service items currently offered by Offices of Research Administration with respect to the service items that the groups had perceived as important factors. This chapter will present the st atistical results of the analyse s of the two surv eys, the Principal Investigator Survey a nd the Department Administrator Survey that were used to collect the required data. Survey Responses Total Pool The research plan listed 80 institutions for solicita tion by this study. O f the 80 different institutions of higher education solicited, responses were received from 72 unique institutions Sixty four different institutions were represented by respondents that completed the Department Administrator Survey and 64 different institutions represented by respondents that completed the Principal Investigator Survey. Institutions with
63 responses from both the principal investigator group and the department administrator group totaled 56 institutions. The majorit y of the 56 universities with dual representat ion contain ed unequal number s of responses from each of the groups and tend ed not to have a match between the principal investigator and corresponding department administrator from the same institutions. Single responses, from either a principal investigator or a department administrator, represented 21 universities and colleges. Single survey responses were received from only seven of the institutions within the department administrator group, whereas 2 0 institutions contained a single response in the principal investiga tor group. Survey Responses Principal Investigator Survey The response rate to the Principal Investigator Survey was 29.9%. This response rate equated to 433 respondents, exceeding the 95% confiden ce interval requirement of 304 responses Within the principal investigator group, responses from 66 institutions of higher education were received Table 6 illustrates the number and type of institutions and the percentage makeup of the total respondents who completed the Principal Investigator Surveys. Although the number of institutions from the private and public sectors represented in the study appeared to be balanced (33 private 31 public ), the number of individual surveys receive d from the two sectors did not reflect that same balance. T he percentage of the total respondents received from private institutions (66.3%, N = 287) was approximately double that received from public institutions (33.7%, N = 146)
64 Table 6 Breakdown o f Respondents to Principal Investigator Survey (N = 433) Breakdown Public Private Public Private Total Very High Very High High High Number of I nst. 19 20 12 13 64 Resp. % of Total 24.5 59.5 9.2 6.8 100 .0 Table 7 depicts the annual research dollar volume of the current institution of the principal investigator. Based on the criteria of using only very high and high research institutions from the Carnegie Fou ndation Classification System, the respondents should have self reported the amounts within two of the five categories, $50 $99 million and $100+ million. It is not surprising that 63.2 % of the principal investigators listed their institutions in the top level of $100+ Million. Interestingly, in excess of one quarter of the principal investigator respondents (27.4% N = 115 ) were not aware of the total amount of research dollars at their respective institutions and 13 principal investigators (3.1%) respon ded incorrectly.
65 Table 7 PI Survey Annual Research Dollars of Current Institution (N = 419) Annual Research Dollars Number of Respondents Percentage of Total Under $10 Million 2 0.5 $10 $49 Million 11 2.6 $50 $99 Million 26 6.2 $100+ Million 265 63.2 Uncertain 115 27.4 The Principal Investigator Survey also asked the respondent to indicate the amount of annual research dollars that presently fell under their auspices. Since this figure is strictly self reported, there is no established method of verification for the amounts reported by the principal investigators. However, the majority of the self reported responses appea red in the category wi th the least amount of funding which led thi s research er to believe that the amounts were not overstated A notable trend in Table 8 was the small number of responses located in the category that was offered to allow the individual to choose not to divulge this information. Onl y six of the respondents (1.4%) selected th e option to exclude this information from the survey. From the 420 responses received, fewer than 20 principal investigators (4.5%) indicated personal research funding that exceeded the 5 million dollar level. The vast majority of the principal investigators (71.2%) reported personal research dollars of less
66 than 1 million dollars on an annual basis Table 8 shows the distribution for this independent variable. Table 8 Annual Research Dollars p er Principal Inve stigator (N = 420) Annual Research Dollars Number of Respondents Percentage of Total Under $1 Million 299 71.2 $1 $5 Million 96 22.9 $5 $25 Million 17 4.0 $25+ Million 2 0.5 Prefer Not To Say 6 1.4 The job location of the principal investigator s was collected in the demographic portion of the Principal Investigator Survey. Data reported in Table 9 show that 354 principal investigators ( 84.1 %) work in a department followed by the next largest gr oup of 53 principal investigators ( 12.6 %) who work at a research center. Only one of the 421 participants refused to divulg e where their job was located. With the majority of the principal investigators located at the department level, further analysis to determine influence on perceptions would not provide meaningful results.
67 Table 9 Location of Principal Investigator s (N = 421) Location Number of Percentage of W ithin Institution Respondents Total Department 354 84.1 fice 7 1.7 Rese arch Center 53 12.6 Other 6 1.4 Prefer Not To Say 1 0.2 The next independent variable pertained to the academic discipline affiliation of the principal investigators and the department administrators. Given the fact that the ta rget population for the principal investigators portion was comprised only of previous recipients of awards from two national scientific organizations, The National Science Foundation (NSF) and The National Institute of Health (NIH), it is not surprising t hat most of the respondents fell within the Medical/Health Sciences department at their respective institutions. Both NSF and NIH are heavily involved in health and medical oriented research. Results of the De partment o f College Affiliation component of the demographic section of this survey did not yield sufficient variances between the categories for meaningful analyses Since the vast majority of the PI Survey respondents (87.9% N = 370 ) were located in the Health Science or Medical area, further ana lysis of this independent variable would be relatively meaningless for determin ing whether college affiliation is related to the perceptions of the principal investigators. Table 10 illustrates the breakdown between the disciplines of the respondents.
68 Tab le 10 Department/College Affiliation of Principal Investigator s (N = 421) Department/College Number of Percentage of Affiliation Respondents Total Arts & Science 26 6.2 Engineering/Technology 18 4.3 Medical/Health Sciences 370 87.9 Busi ness 0 0.0 Other 7 1.7 The final independent variable collected pertained to the current job position of the principal investigator. The majority of respondents classified themselves as Assistant Professors. Assistant Professors generally do not have tenure and tend to be heavily involved in research as part of the path toward achieving tenure (Steinbach, 2005). Although Assistant Professors are normally less experience d than the other designated categories (Associate Professor, Professor Director, and Dean), these individuals are motivated to conduct research based on the increasingly important and critical role that research plays in tenure decisions (Serow, 2000). Table 11 depicts the composition of the job classifications of th e prin cipal investigators who responded to this survey item. While a majority of the principal investigator participants (59.6%, N = 251) did appear in the Assistant Professor classification, there were sufficient numbers of other r esponses, especially between the rankings of the professoriate to conduct meaningful analys e s to ward the determin ation whether rank plays a role in the perceptions of the importance of certain services provided by the Office of Research Administration.
69 Table 11 Rank/ Job Classificat ion of Principal Investigators (N = 421) Rank/Job Classification Number of Percentage of Total Respondents Total Assistant Professor 251 59.6 Associate Professor 77 18 .3 Professor 58 13.8 Director/Dean 11 2.6 Other 24 5.7 Surv ey Responses Department Administrator Survey A response rate of 22.4% was recorded for the Department Administrator Survey less than the 30% recorded by the Principal Investigator Survey The number of responses received from the Department Administ ra tor Survey was 235 out of 1,040. A lthough this quantity did not reach the 281 survey responses required by the 95% confidence interval achieved by the Principal Investigator Survey, the number of department administrator responses did fall within a 94% co nfidence interval ( t = 1.96, error tolerance of .06) The 235 surveys received from the Department Administrator Survey represent ed 64 different institutions In contrast to the majorit y of respondents hailing from private universities from the principal investigator group, the department administrator group revealed more equality in the numbers of the respondents between public (51.9% N = 36 ) and private universities (48.1 % N = 29 ). The High Research designated public and private institutions, as clas sified by the Carnegie Foundation Classification System, exhibited
70 more representation in the department administrator group than in the principal investigator group. High Research public institutions comprised 16.6% of the respondents in the department a dministrator group versus only 9.2% of the principal investigator group. Moreover the percentage of High Research private institutions represented in the department administrator group (12.4%) was nearly double the percentage contained with in the princip al investigator group (6.8%). The breakdown of the number and type of institutions and the percentage makeup of the total respondents to the Department Administrator Survey are contained in Table 12. Table 12 Breakdown of Respondents to Department Adminis trator Survey (N = 235) Breakdown Public Private Public Private Total Very High Very High High High Number of Inst itutions 21 18 15 11 64 Resp ondent % of Total 35.3 35.7 16.6 1 2.4 100.0 When asked to indicate the total annual research dollars secured by their current institutions, similar frequencies appeared within the department administrator group as compared to the prin cipal investigator group. Table 13 demonstrates that the department administrators also underestimated the total annual research dollars a t a slightly higher rate of 4.6% ( N = 10) than the 3.1% ( N = 13) of the principal administrators. Conversely, fewer department administrators (23.7% N = 51) component than did the principal investigators (27.4% N = 115 ). Howev er, these
71 percentages suggest that nearly one in four department administrators are not aware of the level of research occurring within their own institut ion, or even outside of their own departments. Table 13 lists the total findings for the independent variable of research dollars attributed to the university. Table 13 DA Survey Annual Research Dollars of Current Institution (N = 215) Annua l Number of Percentage of Research Dollars Respondents Total Under $10 Million 2 0.9 $10 $49 Million 8 3.7 $50 $99 Million 19 8.8 $100+ Million 135 62.8 Uncertain 51 23.7 Following the same format as the principal investigators the department administrators next self reported the amount of research dollars that they were accountable for personally. Here again was an area that displayed a noticeable difference between the principal investigators and the department administrator s. The principal investigators mostly surfaced in research funding. Since department administrators are not the individuals who conduct the actual research but rather assist in administrative functions, multiple principal investigators typically are serviced by a single department administrator ; thus the dollar amounts tended to be higher for the individual department administrator versus those of the actual researcher.
72 Unlike the principal investigat ors who appeared eager to share the amount of personal research dollars (98.6% N = 414 ), less department administrators (92.6% N = 200 ) were willing to share the ir financial information More department administrators (7.4%, N =16) chose option than did the principal investigators (1.4%, N = 6) While the tendency for principal investigators to be proud of their ability to secure external funding, department administrators exhibited a tendency toward protection of the confidentia lity of the research funds that fall under their administrative purview. Nearly 83% ( N = 179) of the department administrators self reported responsibility for research dollars $1 million or greater, it would appear that department administrators typicall y deal with more than one principal investigator since the majority of principal investigators reporte d less than $1 million in resea rch dollars. Table 14 features a breakdown of the results for annual research dollars per department administrator Table 14 Annual Research Dollars p er Department Administrator (N = 216) Location Number of Percentage of W ithin Institution Respondents Total Under $1 Million 21 9.7 $1 $5 Million 55 25.5 $5 $25 Million 86 39.8 $25+ Million 38 17.6 Prefer Not To Say 16 7.4
73 According to Table 15 the campus location of department administrators within their current institutions exhibited slightly more divers ity than found within the principal investigator group. Not surprisi ngly, due to the administrative nature of their work, more department administrators were (11.5%) than compared to the principal investigator group (1.7%) Department administrators located ld be more likely to assist multiple principal investigators, especially those from departments that would not have adequate administrative support staff. Responses from department administrators located in a ( 15.1%) slightly exceeded th e percentages of that reported in the principal investigator group (12.6%). As a result of the increased percentages of total respondents to the Department Administrator Survey were located at the level (67.4%) than the percentage of respondents to the Principal 15 displays the overall breakdown of the different locations within the institutio n where the department administrators were situated.
74 Table 15 Location of Department Administrator s (N = 218) Location Number of Percentage of W ithin Institution Respondents Total Department 147 67.4 25 1 1.5 Research Center 33 15.1 Other 10 4.6 Prefer Not To Say 3 1.4 In keeping with the principal investigator group, the majority of the department administrator s (60.6% N = 132 ) self reported their affiliation with in their current university to fal l in arena However, other disciplines had higher representation than previously noted in the principal investigator group where the academic se ctor Table 16 reveals the data re garding the frequencies for academic affiliation of the department administrators
75 Table 16 Department/College Affiliation of Department Administrators (N = 218) Department/College Number of Percentage of Affliliation Respondents Total Arts & Science 27 12.4 Engineering/Technology 30 13.8 Medical/Health Sciences 132 60.6 Business 0 0.0 Other 29 13.3 Mirroring the Principal Investigator Survey, the final demographic collected in the Department Administrator Survey pertained to the job position. Five identifiable job classifications were listed for the department administrator s and an additional selection of was added to the Department Administrator Survey Close to half (47 .7%) of the respondents to this survey chose the category This high percentage of respondents falling into this category was unexpected on the part of the researcher Unfortunately, no space was provided to allow the participant to insert a desc riptio n for independent variable does not lend itself to further relevant analysis. Should this demographic play a role in perceptions of the department administrators, witho ut a clear definition of the job positions contained in the selection of information could be garnered Table 1 7 depicts the frequencies of the responses by the department administrators to their current job position.
76 Table 17 Rank/ Job Classification of Department Administrators (N = 218) Rank/Job Classification Number of Percentage of Total Respondents Total Administrative Assistant 18 8.3 Coordinator 37 17.0 Asst Director/Dean 19 8.7 Assoc Director /Dean 19 8.7 Director/Dean 21 9.6 Other 104 47.7 Analysis of the Research Questions Statistical analys e s were conducted using SPSS version 17 .0 fo r Windows. To inves tigate the research questions, this researcher used univariate analys e s of f requency, cumulative, and percentage distributions. Bivariate analys e s included the Pearson Correlation Coefficient and a linear by linear association test known as the Mantel Haenszel chi square. Attri butes Perceived as Important Factors T he first r esear ch question sought to determine tho se services per ceived by department administrators and principal investigators as important for a successful Office of Research Administration The 22 a ttributes were rated by both of the groups using a five point Likert type scale, with , , It was determined that the and
77 question was not ne cessary T hus, t Importan the combined category is ndents from both groups who cho coded as missing in the analys e the Offices of Research Administration in establishing a priority listing of items b ased on the importance ratings reported by each group. The revised scale ratings for the 22 items were tested for reliability. alpha for the Principal Investigator Survey was .817 and was .805 for the Department Administrator Survey both scores somewhat higher than achieved i n the Pilot Study. For this research study, items that had a combined percentage score in excess of 50% were identified as attributes that should be associated with the services provided by a successful Office of Research Administration. Items that receiv > 90% of the survey group were designated as priority service item s for the Office of Research Administration. Table 18 presents the responses of both the department administrators and the principal invest igators regarding the degree of importance for all of the 22 service items.
78 T able 18 Summary Frequencies and Percentages of Importance Ratings for the 22 Service Items Department Administrators Principal Investigators Very Less Than Very Less Than Service Important Important Importa nt Important Important Important Item N % N % N % N % N % N % 1) Fund Notice to Dept (3, 4) 64 28.2 66 29.1 97 42.7 111 26.0 126 29.5 190 44.5 2) Training New PI/DA (2, 3 ) 189 80.4 38 16.2 8 3.4 164 38.3 74 40.7 90 21.0 3) Billings & Collections (3, 4) 97 44.1 65 2 9.5 58 26.4 140 36.1 134 34.5 114 29.4 4) Personal Fund Notice (3, 4) 77 33.9 66 29.1 84 37.0 148 34.7 158 37.1 120 28.2 5) Flexible Negotiations (3, 4) 82 37.1 83 37.6 56 25.3 154 38.5 180 45.0 66 16.5 6) Web List of Funding (3, 4) 73 31.7 92 40.0 65 28.3 137 31.9 157 36.5 136 31.6 7) Same Person Pre/Post (3) 54 23.7 49 21.5 125 54.8 129 30.4 119 28.1 176 41.5 8) Confidential Hotline (3, 4) 69 30.1 81 35.4 79 34.5 72 17.6 144 35.1 194 47.3 9) One Pre/ One P ost (4) 59 26.6 71 32.0 92 41.4 67 16.9 91 22.9 239 60.2 10) Certified Res Admin. 20 9.9 51 25.2 131 64.9 36 11.3 81 25. 4 202 63.3 11) Phone Messages (1, 2) 184 78.6 44 18.8 6 2.6 274 63.9 122 28.4 33 7.7 12) Training Updates (2, 3) 164 69.8 61 26.0 10 4.3 103 24.6 191 45.7 124 29.7 13) EZ Forms Access (1, 2) 191 82.0 41 17.6 1 0.4 306 71.0 113 26.2 12 2.8 14) Internal Acct Set up (1, 2) 187 80.6 43 18.5 2 0.9 282 67.5 108 25.8 28 6.7 15) End Date Notices (3, 4) 103 44.0 82 35.0 49 20.9 191 44.7 165 38.6 71 16.6 16) Friendly Phone Tone (3, 4) 113 48.3 78 33.3 43 18.4 147 34.5 170 39.9 109 25.6 17) Flexible Hours 25 10.9 42 18.3 163 70.9 59 13.9 112 26.5 252 59.6 18) Team Effort (2, 3) 141 60.0 78 33.2 16 6.8 176 41.6 184 43.5 63 14.9 19 ) Email Messages (1, 2) 180 76.9 48 20.5 6 2.6 312 72.4 105 24.4 14 3.2 20) EZ Policy Access (2, 3) 182 78.1 44 18.9 7 3.0 198 46.0 163 37.9 69 16.0 21) Technical Assistance (3, 4) 126 54.1 68 29.2 39 16.7 214 49.8 152 35.3 64 14.9 22) Equal Trea tment (2, 3) 154 66.7 63 27.3 14 6.1 219 51.5 154 36.2 52 12.2 Note. (1) > 90% by PI group (2) > 90% by DA group (3) > 50% by PI group (4) > 50 % by DA grou p
79 The data in Table 18 showed that > 50% or more of the principal investigators and department administrat ors showed agreement in identifying 18 of the 22 service items as The attributes of the designation of the Certified Research Administrator (CRA) and the extended hours of operation failed to achieve a 50% majority by both the department administrator group and the principal investigator group. The department administrators and principal investigators disagreed on the preference of the organizational structure of the Office of Research Administration. Department administr ators showed a preference (58.6% N = 130 ) for dealing with a different pre award and post award individual. Conversely, principal investigators indicated a (58.5 % N = 248 ) preference for dealing with the same pre award and post award person. These item s are mutually exclusive so it is interesting that the two groups indicated opposite preferences. Priority Item s Principal Investigators To determine a priority type ranking order of the 22 items, the frequency threshold was increase to > 90% Table 19 illustrated the attributes that attained a score of for > 90% of the principal investigator group along with the comparable frequency distribution of the department administrators Using this threshold, only four of the 18 items were rated by > 90% of both the principal investigator s and department administrator s
80 Priority Items Department Administrators A pplying the same > 90% criteri on to the depart ment administrators yield ed nine items, five more than the number of items listed by the principal investigators as Table 20 lists the information of the attributes stated > 90% of the department administrators along with the comparable frequency distribution for the principal investigators for the same item s Department administrators shared four of the nine items with the principal investigators. The four service items that b oth groups ha d in common were : (a ) Phone messages are returned within 24 48 hours; (b ) Easy access to forms; (c ) Set up time for the internal account; and (d ) Email messages are returned within 24 48 hours. Additionally, at least 90% of the respondents i n the group of department administrators
81 perceived the following f ive attributes: (a ) Training of new personnel; (b ) Updated trainings for all personnel ; (c ) Team effort attitude; (d ) Equal treatment for all departments by the Office of Research Administr ation; and (e ) Easy access to policies, as principal investigators (97.0%) felt strongly about the ease of access to forms but not as strongly about the ability to access the policies or procedures of the institution where only category.
82 Only two of the 22 items failed to reach a majority in the importa nce ratings to both department administrators and pr incipal investigators. Only 71 out of 202 (35.1%) department administrators felt that the designation of Certified Research Administrator was an important factor for a successful Office of Research Admin istration. Principal investigators shared this viewpoint with only 117 out of 319 (36.7%) indicating this of the 22 attributes that failed to garner a majority in the comb ined categories of er the department administrator group or the principal investigator group was the availability of extended hours of operation offered by the Office of Research Administration. Department administrators were less li kely to indicate a preference of importance to thi s item since only 6 7 out of 230 (29.1%) selected either Principal investigators did demonstrate a stronger need for operating hours of the Office of Research Administration to extend past the normal working day with 171 of the 423 (40.4%) but still fell significantly below the 50% majority used in this research study to determine important factors for a successful Office of Research Administration for the institution. Correl ation Analysis The Pearson coefficient correlation was used to establish the presence of a direct relationship between two variables not a causality relationship. In other words, one attribute may have a direct relationship with another attribute but the Pearson correlation coefficient analysis should not be interpreted to mean that one variable is a result of or cause of the other variable. The closer to an absolute value of 1.0 the Pearson correlation coefficient is, the stronger the relationship betwe en the variables. Conversely, the closer
83 the Pearson correlation coefficient is to zero, the weaker the relationship is between the two attributes Not surprisingly, the highest Pearson correlation coefficient was found to be the correlation of respondi ng to email messages and phone messages within a 24 48 timeframe for both survey groups. The department administrators showed a stronger direct relationship with r = .797 over the principal investigators that exhibited r = .625 for these two variables S ignificant direct relationships for the department administrators also occurred between the new trainings for employees and the training updates for existing employees ( r =.484) between easy acc ess to policies and easy access to forms ( r = .444), and betw een easy access to forms and the training updates for existing employees ( r = .410). For the principal investigator group, t he next strongest direct relationships were recorded between easy access to forms and response to email messages within 24 48 hou rs ( r = .437, between easy access to forms and response to phone messages within 24 48 hours ( r = .414), and between easy access to forms and the timely setup of the internal account ( r = .404). Conversel y, no significant inverse direct relationships wer e shown to exist within the department administrator and the principal investigator groups. For the department administrator group, personal funding notice appeared to lack any direct relationship with updated trainings ( r= .005). Within the principal in vestigator group, setting up the internal account displayed an absence of relationship with both funding notice to departments ( r = .001) and with personalized funding notice ( r = .003). Statistical ly significant relationships were present within the department administrator and principal investigator gro ups at the .01 and .05 levels. Within the
84 department administrator group, the lowest Pearson correlation coefficient at the .05 level was .130, representing the relationship between providing end date notices and providing technical assistance. Within the principal investigator group, the lowest Pearson correlation coefficient at the comparable .05 level was the relation ship between training for new personnel and dealing with the same person for pre a ward and post award ( r = .100, p < .05) The lowest Pearson co rrelation coefficient at the .01 level for the department administrator group was the relation ship between providing end date notices and providing personalized funding notices ( r = .172, p < 01) The lowest Pearson correlation coefficient at the .01 level for the principal investigator group was return ing phone messages within 24 48 hours at .130 to the availability of a confidential hotline. Results of correlation analyses conducted with in both the department administrator and the principal investigator groups are presented in Table 21 and Table 22. Table 21 represents the findings for the department administrator group; the findings for the principal investigator group are listed within Table 22.
85 Table 21 Pearson Correlation Coefficients Inter correlations Department Administrators Survey Item 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 1)Funding Notice to Dept 1 .176 .012 .377 .102 .337 .066 .178 .112 .156 .021 .098 .036 .102 .177 .220 .157 .085 .070 .077 .189 .133 2)New PI/DA T raining .176 1 .191 .153 .094 .180 .058 .268 .120 .234 .162 .484 .282 .145 .150 .206 .090 .190 .195 .198 .205 .271 3)Bill Collecting .012 .191 1 .015 .190 .017 .059 .235 .098 .046 .096 .176 .131 .136 .241 .083 .168 .080 .080 .181 .140 .096 4)Pers onal Funding Notice .377 .153 .015 1 .143 .198 .172 .104 .114 .109 .065 .005 .071 .061 .172 .105 .023 .070 .016 .050 .171 .148 5)Flex in Negotiating .102 .094 .190 .143 1 .180 .140 .065 .156 .128 .241 .091 .130 .254 .238 .237 .131 .180 .188 .177 .181 .21 4 6)Web List of Funding .337 .180 .017 .198 .180 1 .080 .275 .091 .167 .138 .178 .244 .128 .220 .307 .144 .244 .158 .133 .251 .131 7)Same Pers on Pre/Post .066 .058 .059 .172 .140 .080 1 .170 .017 .194 .026 .034 .051 .077 .141 .109 ..064 .077 .052 .012 .014 .034 8) Confidential Hotline .178 .268 .235 .104 .065 .275 .170 1 .199 .195 .146 .268 .209 .143 .214 .291 .145 .223 .223 .300 .303 .270 9)One Pre One Post .112 .120 .098 .114 .156 .091 .017 .199 1 .091 .109 .104 .057 .101 .052 .153 .013 .077 .0 53 .037 .152 .186 10)Cert Res Adm in .156 .234 .046 .109 .128 .167 .194 .195 .091 1 .172 .108 .074 .035 .214 .287 .274 .144 .148 .056 .166 .136 11)Phone M essa g e 24 48 hrs. .021 .162 .096 .065 .241 .138 .026 .146 .109 .172 1 .188 .304 .350 .135 .306 .192 .218 .797 .291 .082 .135 12)Update Trainings .098 .484 .176 .005 .091 .178 .034 .268 .104 .108 .188 1 .410 219 .183 .294 .084 .259 .221 .336 .213 .360 13)EZ Access Forms .036 .282 .131 .071 .130 .244 .051 .209 .057 .074 .304 .410 1 .372 .191 .306 .150 .264 .365 .444 .304 .263 14)Setup Inter Acct .102 .145 .136 .061 .254 .128 .077 .143 .101 .035 .350 .219 .372 1 .238 .313 .198 .228 .389 .262 .123 .273 15)End Date Notices .177 .150 .241 .172 .238 .220 .141 .214 .052 .214 .135 .183 .191 .238 1 .240 .21 9 .075 .086 .204 .130 .167 16)Friendly Phone Tone .220 .206 .083 .105 .237 .307 .109 .291 .153 .287 .306 .294 .306 .313 .240 1 .263 .313 .353 .208 .265 .309 17)Flexible Hours .157 .090 .068 .023 .131 .144 .064 .145 .013 .274 .192 .084 .150 .198 .219 .263 1 .192 .183 .078 .126 .132 18)Team Effort .085 .190 .080 .070 .180 .244 .077 .233 .077 .144 .218 .259 .264 .228 .075 .313 .192 1 .319 .349 .268 .315 19)Email M es s a g e 24 48 hrs. .070 .195 .080 .016 .188 .158 .052 .223 .053 .148 .797 .221 .365 .389 .0 86 .33 .183 .319 1 .374 .153 .209 20)EZ Policy Access .077 .198 .181 .050 .177 .133 .012 .300 .037 .056 .291 .336 .444 .262 .204 .208 .078 .349 .374 1 .234 .310 21)Technical Assist ance .189 .205 .140 .171 .181 .251 .014 .303 .152 .166 .082 .213 .304 .1 23 .130 .265 .126 .268 .153 .234 1 .358 22)Equal Treatment .133 .271 .096 .148 .214 .131 .034 .270 .186 .136 .135 .360 .263 .273 .167 .309 .132 .315 .209 .310 .358 1
86 T able 22 Pearson Correlation Coefficients Inter correlation s Principal Investigators Survey Item 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 1)Funding Notice to Dept 1 212 .053 .244 .191 .331 .157 .184 .040 .09 8 .070 .182 .054 .001 .185 .096 .177 .094 .045 .166 .025 .183 2)New PI/DA Training .212 1 .046 .102 .077 .228 .100 .315 .062 .104 .084 .400 .186 .027 .090 .081 .081 .197 .072 .285 .204 .211 3)Bill Collecting .053 .046 1 .024 156 .011 .058 .013 .006 .157 .083 .035 .030 .107 .079 .080 .131 .084 .113 .048 .006 .006 4)Personal Funding Notice .244 .102 .024 1 .137 .251 .026 .092 .037 .004 .064 .073 .012 .003 .043 .034 .005 .040 .038 .068 .102 .131 5)Flex in Negotiating .191 .077 .156 .13 7 1 .188 .166 .093 .080 .176 .159 .143 .155 .217 .217 .192 .233 .217 .187 .208 .094 .140 6)Web List of Funding .331 .228 .011 .251 .188 1 .170 .259 .128 .095 .093 .230 .183 .105 .186 .178 .105 .166 .152 .313 .153 .180 7)Same Pers Pre/Post .157 .100 .05 8 .026 .166 .170 1 .323 .154 .318 .142 .123 .093 .140 .205 .155 .222 .123 .105 .111 .014 .115 8)Confidential .Hotline .184 .315 .013 .092 .093 .259 .323 1 .129 .236 .130 .354 .181 .090 .191 .242 .181 .219 .062 .252 .172 .182 9)One Pre One Post .040 .062 .006 .037 .080 .128 .154 .129 1 .307 .157 .180 .050 .062 .070 .078 .098 .083 .047 .132 .123 .106 10)Cert Res Administrator .098 .104 .157 .004 .176 .095 .318 .236 .307 1 .178 .203 .091 .036 .160 .168 .198 .115 .054 .088 .005 .062 11)Phone Message 24 48 hrs. .070 .084 .083 .064 .159 .093 .142 .130 .157 .178 1 .275 .414 .351 .228 .324 .235 .264 .625 .344 .212 .228 12)Update Trainings .182 .400 .035 .073 .143 .230 .123 .354 .180 .203 .275 1 .305 .138 .261 .190 .169 .320 .239 .422 .267 .271 13)EZ Access Forms .054 .186 .030 .012 .155 .183 .093 .181 .050 .091 .414 .305 1 .404 .260 .395 .142 .312 .437 .403 .244 .258 14)Setup Inter Acct .001 .027 .107 .003 .217 .105 .140 .090 .062 .036 .351 .138 .404 1 .359 .268 .162 .263 .401 .299 .145 .239 15)End Date Notices .185 .090 .079 .043 .217 .186 .205 .191 .070 .160 .228 .261 .260 .359 1 .329 .259 .207 .254 .345 .217 .254 16)Friendly Phone Tone .096 .081 .080 .034 .192 .178 .155 .242 .078 .168 .324 .190 .395 .268 .329 1 .324 .334 .368 .365 .175 .281 17)Flexib le Hours .177 .081 .131 .005 .233 .105 .222 .181 .098 .198 .235 .169 .142 .162 .259 .324 1 .336 .250 .229 .136 .178 18)Team Effort .094 .197 .084 .040 .217 .166 .123 .219 .083 .115 .264 .320 .312 .263 .207 .334 .336 1 .321 .338 .241 .326 19)Email Message 24 48 hrs. .045 .072 .113 .038 .187 .152 .105 .062 .047 .054 .625 .239 .437 .401 .254 .368 .250 .321 1 .428 .261 .227 20)EZ Policy Access .166 .285 .048 .068 .208 .313 .111 .252 .132 .088 .344 .422 .403 .299 .345 .365 .229 .338 .428 1 .328 .415 21)Tech nical Assist .025 .204 .006 .102 .094 .153 .014 .172 .123 .005 .212 .267 .244 .145 .217 .175 .136 .241 .261 .328 1 .370 22)Equal Treatment .183 .211 .006 .131 .140 .180 .115 .182 .106 .062 .228 .271 .258 .239 .254 .281 .178 .326 .227 .415 .370 1
87 Chi S q uare Analysis of Importance Ratings After researching the direct relationships of the variables within the two groups, the chi square analyses were computed to compare the frequencies of different ratings of the degrees of importance of the 22 var iables be tween the two groups. From the frequency tables of the 22 items, it would appear that department administrators and principal investigators were generally in accordance with what constitutes important services provided by a successful Office of Research A dministration. To determine significant differences in the percentage of respondents who rated these items with different degrees of importance between the department administrators and the principal investigators, linear by linear association s or Mantel Haenszel c hi s quare tests were conducted. Th e s e analys e s revealed several items that were significantly different between the two groups. Of the 22 variables 12 variables were found to show statistically significant difference s in the importance ratings between the department administrators and the principal investigators. Determining th e significance in the percentage of respondents giving different impor tance ratings of each item establishes a ranking order of priority for Offices of Research Administ ration to consider when establishing strategic goals and service offerings Training s offered to new personnel by the Office of Research Administration was one service offering where significant differences between the groups were noted regarding the diffe rence in importance ratings A Mantel Haenszel chi square analysis indicated that department administrators perceive d this with more importance th an d id principal investigators, 2 (1, N = 66 3 ) = 101.528, p = .000. Table 23 illu strates the high percentage o f department administrators ( 80.4%, N = 189) that perceive d this service as
88 Principal investigators were almost equally split between the N = N = 164) designations for this same servi ce. While both department administrators and principal investigators indicated training for new personnel as an important service for a successful Office of Research Administration, the two groups demonstrate d a s tatistically significant difference in the importance rating. A notable trend in Table 23 is t he substantially larger percentage of the department administrators (80.4%, N = 189) whom rated this service offering the principal investigators (38.3%, N = 164). Table 23 Closely related to training of new employees, the variable pertaining to the offering of updated trainings by the Office of Research Administration demonstrated a stati stically significant difference i n the importance ratings between the two groups 2 (1, N = 6 5 3) = 129.098, p = .000. Clearly more department administrators perceive d this item as bein g of a higher importance than did the principal investigators. Seven out of 10 department administrators view ed
89 th e principal investigators, most of whom rated a ( 45.7%, N = 191) (24.6 %, N = 103 ) Moreover, nearly three out of 10 principal investig ators perceive d Table 24 lists the results. Table 24 Two other related variables, easy access to policies and easy access to forms demonstrated significant differences between department administrator s and principal investigators. The Mantel Ha enzsel chi square analysis showed a stati stically significant difference b etween the department administrators and the p rincipal investigators in the importance ratings when dealing with easy access to policies, 2 (1, N = 6 6 3 ) = 64 289 p = .000. ra rincipal investigators continued as shown in Tab le 25 Clearly de partment administrators indicated the importance of ease of access to policies as only seve n out of 233 respondents chose Im d id view this service as an important performance metric for a successful Offices o f Research Administration, easy access to
90 policies was not as high a priority for this group as it was for the department administ rators. Table 25 Easy access to forms also displayed a statistically significant difference when analyzing the percentage of respondents giving different importance ratings between the two groups 2 (1, N = 653 ) = 11.919 p = .001 A higher percentage of the department administrators (82.0%, N = 191) perceived yet another service of the Office of Research of Research Administration as opposed to the respondents in the principal investigato r group (71.0 %, N = 306 ). Table 26 lists the distribution between the department administrators and the principal investigators.
91 Table 26 A s tatistically significant difference was noted among the multiple service offerings associated with phone items. The returning of phone calls within 24 48 hours, 2 (1, N = 66 3 ) = 17.l698, p = .000, and answering the phone with a friendly tone, 2 (1, N = 66 0 ) = 11.125, p = .00 1, each displayed a significa nt difference in the percentage of respondents giving the different importance ratings between the two g roups The findings in Table 27 indicates a somewhat higher percentage of department administrators (78.6%, N = 184) over t he principal investigators ( 63.9 %, N = 274) perceive d the with a successful Office of Research Administration. Interestingly, only six of the 234 department administrator r espondents indicated that timely return of phone messages was
92 Table 27 Similar to the return of phone messages, answering the phone with a friendly tone showed a significant difference in the percentages of respondents giving different i mportance ratings between department administrators and the principal investigators. Table 2 8 presents the distribution of importance ratings between the department administrators and the pri ncipal investigators associated with answering the phone with a friendly phone tone. The trend continued for a higher percentage (48.3%, N = 113) of the department administrator group as opposed to the pri ncipal investigator group (34.5% N = 147) to rate a service in category Nearly a one out o f every two of the department administrators viewed this factor as being highly important for a successful Office of Research Administration. On the other hand, principal investigators did not attach quite the same level of importance to answering the pho ne with a friendly tone.
93 Table 28 Team Effort was another item that displayed a significant difference in the importance ratings between department administrators and principa l investigators 2 (1, N = 6 5 8 ) = 22.896, p = 000. The information, as shown in Table 29 indicated the continuing trend of the high concentration of the department administrators (60.0%, N = significant diff erence in the importance ratings for t he tra ining of new employees (Table 22 ), principal investigators 5 % N = 184) and %, N = 176 ). Clearly, the department administrator group placed more emphasis on a t eam effort approach than did the principal investigator group.
94 Table 29 Following team effort, the equal treatment of departments by the Office of Research Administration exhibited a significant difference from the Mantel Ha enszel chi square analysis, 2 (1, N = 6 56 ) = 15.076, p = .000. Table 23 provides the data for this attribute. Again, t he trend of a larger proportion of the department administrators ( 6 6 .7%, N = 154) perceiving this ser the proportion of principal investigators (51.5%, N = 219) that view ed category. Mo reover, this item also followed a similar trend of a larger proportion of principal investigators (12.2%, N = 52) than departmen t administrators (6.1%, N = 14) to rate of Research Administration.
95 Table 30 A significant difference in the percentage of respondents giving diffe rent importance ratings was found in the variable dealing with the availability of a confidential hotline, 2 (1, N = 6 39 ) = 15.625, p = .000. Continuing with the trend of the previous attributes, t he availability of a confidential hotline was rated in th by 30.1% ( N = 69) of the department administrators as opposed to 17.6% ( N = 72) of the principal investigators Table 31 shows that slightly less than half (47 .3 %, N = 194) of the principal investigators perceive d the availabil ity of a confidential hotline to be an attribute associate with a successful Office of Research Administration.
96 Table 3 1 Chi square analysis demonstrated a significant difference in the importance ratings for t he two attri butes pertaining to the organizational structure of the Office of Research Administration, that of dealing with the one person for pre award and a different person for post award and dealing, 2 (1, N = 6 19 ) = 18.317, p = .001 and that of dealing with the s ame person for pre award and post award, 2 (1, N = 6 52 ) = 8.64, p = .003. These two items are mutually exclusive and neither failed to gain a majority In addition to exhibiting a sign ificant difference in the importance ratings between the two groups, these two items broke with the trend where more department l trend in that a larger percentage of department administrators (32.0%, N = 71) rated the attribute of one person for pre award and one person for post .6%, N = 59). Moreover, the attribute of dealing with the same person for pre award and post award showed a significant difference with more principal investigators (30.4%, N =
97 s (23.7%, N = 54). Table 32 shows the distribution data for the one person for pre award and another person for post award. Table 33 shows the distribution data for the same person for both pre award and post award. Table 32 Table 33 T he final variable where a significant difference in the percentage of were seen occurred with the flexible hours of operations, 2 ( 1 N = 6 53 ) = 6.222, p = .013. However, this variable failed to ga rner a majority
98 the response s in either group The percentages of the different responses presented in Table 3 4 indicate a clear rating of the lack of impor tance by both groups, especially the departmen t administrator group where seven out of 10 (70.9%, N = Research Administration. Table 34 Distribution of Degrees of Importance for Flexible Operat ing Hours In summary, the f requency distributions of perceptions of importance indicated that 18 of the 22 attribute s performance metrics by > 50% of the de partment administrators and principal investigators for a successful Office of Research Administration. L inear by linear association chi s quare analys e s conducted on the 22 attributes resulted in a total of 1 2 attributes that demonstrated significant diff erence s in the importance ratings between the groups. Nin e of the 12 attributes that demonstrated significant difference s in the importance ratings were items that had received a majority from both groups as ds, of the original 18 attributes that shared a majority, half demonstrated significant difference s in the importance ratings
99 between department administrators and principal investigators. While department administrators and principal investigators may bot h deem a service to be important, the degree of that importan ce differ ed significantly for nine of those 18 items. Two of the 12 attributes demonstrating significant difference s in the importance ratings were mutually exclusive The final 1 2 attributes f ailed to gain a majority from either the department administrator group of the principal investigator group of Table 35 recaps the Mantel Haenszel chi square scores for the items wher e a significant difference in the importance ratings was present between department administrators and principal investigators.
100 Table 35 Analysis of Demographic Variables The third research question sought to determine whether demographics played a role i n influencing the perceptions of either the department administrators or the principal investigators. The analyses for this research question were computed by cross tabulation of the importance rating s , the 22 survey items with an independent variable, and the linear by linear chi square test was used to determine significant relationships between the importance ratings and the
101 demographic variable. Since an ordinal variable is cross tabulated wi th a binary variable, the Mantel Haenszel linear by linear chi square test was appropriate. Separate chi square testing for each of the two group s was completed for all of the variables Only those few variables where significant chi squares appeared are discussed in this section. Type of Institutions Principal Investigators Analyses of the perceptions of the principal investigator group as influenced by the type of institution produced significant chi square results for only one of the 22 attributes the importance of training updates, 2 (1, N = 429) = 4.20 p = .040 Table 36 illustrates the results of th e importance of training updates as reported in the different importance ratings by the type of institution for the principal investigator group Principal investigators from both public and private institutions had the largest but a significant differenced was noted. T he principal investigators doing research at public institutions (69.2%, N = 99) exceed ed the percentage of the researchers dealing with private institutions ( 61.2 %, N = 175). In general, almost the identical percentage of principal investigators from public institutions (26.6%, N = 38) and principal investigators from private institutions (29.4%, N = 84 )
1 02 Table 36 Cross Tabulation of Type of Institution and Importance of Ratings for Principal Investigators Training Updates Type of Institutions Dep artment Administrators The importance of flexibility in negotiations, 2 (1, N = 221) = 4.51, p = .020 and the importance of technical assistance, 2 (1, N = 233) = 5.45, p = .020, displayed a significant relationship in the chi square results within the d epartment administrator group when related to public and private institutions.. Department administrators (43.1%, N = 50) located at public institutions rated the importance of flexibility in negotiations higher than their counterparts (30.5%, N = 32) in the private universities and colleges. Tabl e 37 displays the results of the cross tabulation of the type of institution and the distribution of the importance ratings for flexibility in negotiations.
103 Table 37 Cross Tabulation of Type of Institution an d Importance of Ratings for Department Administrators Flexibility in Negotiations Department administrators in both types of institutions rated the importance of technical larger percentage of department administrators in public institutions (62.3%, N = 76) gave this highest rating as compared to their counterparts (45.0%, N = 50) operating within the private institutional sector. Table 38 contains the results of the distr ibutions for this cross tabulation. Table 38 Cross Tabulation of Type of Institution and Importance of Ratings for Department Administrators Technical Assistance
104 Amount of Research Funding Principal Investigators The p rincipal investigator group presented a challenge for chi square testing since there were small numbers of responses in several of the funding categories. Thus, f or this analysis, the funding data were re organized into two different groups: less than $1 m illion and $1+ million. Significant chi square tests appeared for two of the 22 attributes, flexibility in negotiations 2 (1, N = 409) = 5.77, p = .016 and the same person pre award and post award, 2 (1, N = 412) = 5.30, p = .021 One would tend to be lieve that the larger the amount of research dollars the more important flexibility in negotiations would be to the principal investigator. However, linear by linear chi square tests indicate d significance between these two variables but not in the manne r as expected The lower the amount of the research dollars funding the more the principal investigator 37.8 %, N = 111 versus 27 % N = 31 ) Table 39 contains the results for the cross tabulation between re search dollars of the individual principal investigators and the importance of flexibility in negotiations. Table 39 Cross Tabulation of Amount of Research Funding and Importance of Ratings for Principal Investigators Flexibility in Negotiations
105 Tab le 40 displays results of the significant chi squares for the cross tabulation of between research dollars amounts and the importance of using the same person for both pre award and post award for the principal investigators 2 (1 N = 412) = 5.30, p = .021 The most notable data within this table suggested that the more the amount of research dollars the less important dealing with the same person becomes for the principal investigators. While overall principal investigators de monstrated a slight preference for the same person for both pre award and post award, the larger the amount of research dollars secured by the individual principal investigator, the tendency to rate the principal investigators. Principal investigators that have secured over $1 million in research funds (43.5%, N = investigators with <$1 million dollars, 27.3% ( N = 81) of whom rated this survey item as Table 40 Cross Tabulation of Amount of Research Funding and Importance of Ratings for Principal Investigators Same Person Pre A ward / Post A ward
106 Amount of Research Funding Department Administrators Using the demographic variable of amount of funding handled by department administrators yielded only one service item with a significant chi square. Working with the same person for pre award and post award, 2 (1, N = 195) = 5.71, p = .017, was the one attribute that gave an indication of influence by the demographic variable of amount of research funds handled. This survey item was one of the three items that lacked > 50% of in this table is that for department administrators handling less than $10 million dollars N = 8), nearly double the percentages in the next two categories of $10 49 Mil (20.4%, N = 11) and $50 99 Mil (21.7%, N = 18). The last range of $100+ Mil has only 13.2% ( N = 5) giving this item a displays the results of the cross tabulation between research dollars handled and the im portance of the same person pre award and post award for the department administrator group.
107 T able 41 Cross Tabulation of Amount of Funding and Importance of Ratings for Department Administrators Same P erson P re A ward / P ost A ward Job Position Principal Investigators Due to the majority of department administrators listing the category of Other as their job position, job position as a demographic influenced was analyzed using linear by linear chi square tests for the princ ipal investigator group solely. To find out if a direct relationship existed between different levels of faculty and any of the 22 attributes, this researcher only includes responses received from Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor. The reasoning behind this decision was twofold. First, the were very limited. Second, the job position of Dean/Director typically contains a heavily weighted administ rative portion of the job duties versus the traditional split duties between research and teaching associated with the professoriate.
108 Only the attribute of using the same person for pre award and post award demonstrated a significant chi square 2 (1, N = 383) = 6.91, p = .009 The most Professors (27.2%, N = 68) and Associate Professors (42.7%, N = Assistant Professors displa yed a greater preference (35.6%, N = 89) than Associate Professors (21.3%, N = 16). Interestingly, Professors were in the middle for both of these ratings. Table 42 lists the results of the significant chi square cross tabulation between job ranking and the importance of using the same person for pre award and post award. Percepti ons of Services at Current Institutions The last research question investigated the perceptions of the department administrators and principal inves tigators to determine how often these 22 attributes were present at their respective Offices of Research Administration of their current institutions.
109 The research question was not designed to analyze the frequencies within the group of service offering s but rather to compare the frequency rate of the current service level to each of the 22 service items especially to those 18 service items designated as In other words, this study did not address whether l ess important services, as identified by the two user groups, were being provided with greater frequencies by their current institutions than those services This study was addressed the level of frequency for which each service item not the fact that one service item was being provided on a more frequent basis than another service item. Additionally this question serve d to provide an analysis of the perceptions of each group. Frequencies dis tributions were co mputed for each group. Frequency distributions were segregated into the following categories: , , li sted in the original survey was included as a missing response in the a nalysis. Ideally, the Office of Research Administration should achieve the administrators and principal investigators especially for the 18 attributes identified as by > 50% of the both the department administrators and principal investigators. Table 43 displays the frequency distributions reported by the department administrators. Table 44 illustrates the frequency distributions reported by the principal investigators. The pe rceptions of current services received by department administrators a nd principal investigators demonstrated diverse perceptions between the groups. Of the 18
110 principal investigators than with the department administrators. Only three items flexibility in negotiations (28.6%, N = 85) a personalized list of funding opportunities (32.2 %, N = 123), and a web listing of funding opportunities (43.6%, N = 136) failed to garner > 50% in the combined scores investigator group versus the six service items that failed to reach that same > 50% perf ormance level from the department administrator group. Within the department administrator group, t he lowest ranking was received by the service item dealing with end notices of the grants (39.6%, N = 70). In addition, s etting up the internal account (4 3.2%, N = 79), training updates (44.4, N = 83), return of phone messages in 24 48 hours (45.9%, N = 83), return of email messages in 24 48 hours (46.9%, N = 91), and friendly phone tone (49.3%, N = 99), comprise the remaining six service items failed to sc s by the department administrator group. Of the priority factors y > 90% or more from both groups these service items fared m uch better in the eyes of the principal investigators over the department administrator group. Priority factors should the respondents from both groups T he retur n of phone messages within 24 48 hours, the easy access to forms, the internal account set up, and the response to email messages within 24 4 hours (Table 18), all received the rating in the higher percentage rate from th e prin cipal investigator respondents over the department administrator respondents One out of three principal investigators (33.2%, N = 129)
111 48 hours whereas as less than one out of five d epartment administrators (17.8%, N = 33) reported at the same level of service. Similarly, only 20.6% ( N = 40) of the department administrators rated the service of responding to email messages within 24 48 hours by the Office of Research Administration u 36.8% ( N = 150) of the principal investigators. Likewise, for the easy access to forms and the internal account set percentage of the principal investigator gr oup (34.3%, N = 130 and 25.1%, N = 85, respectively) than from the department administrator group (25.0%, N = 48 and 19.7%, N = 36, respectively). The additional five priority items that exhibited > 90% or higher percentage in the only among the department administrator group (Table 18), the new trainings ( 51.0 %, N =105) the training updates (44.4%, N =83) the team effort attitude (51.5%, N = 104) equal treatment (56.8%, N = 113) and the easy access to policie s (54.0%, N = 109), were reported in the > 50% performance level for the combined frequencies with the exception of the training updates. All of these f ive attributes were rated below the 25% level in the gory by the department administrator respondents that felt these attributes to be important performance metrics for a successful Office of Research Administration. Moreover, a significantly larger percentage of the principal investigator respondents (29.2 %, N = by the Office of Research Administration than did the department administrator respondents (20.9%, N = 43); yet, it was the department administrators group that had
112 stressed the importa nce of this particular service. Approximately only one out of every five of the respondents in the department administrator group perceived that their Office of Research Administration provides any of these five priority items on a consistent basis. I t is i nteresting to note, the principal investigators reported that their preference of working with the same person pre award and post award was only present at a N = 154) of the time. Whereas, the department adm inistrators reported that their preference for the opposite of working with one person for pre award and one person for post N = 105) of the cases. It appears that prin cipal investigators are not receiving their choice for organizational structure as frequently as do the department administrators.
114 Table 44 Responses to Open end ed Question The third page of the survey listed only one open ended question that invited respondents to list other important aspects that in their opinion would add value to an
115 Office of Research Administration A significant result of this research study was the amount of co mments received in response to the open end question. Respondents in both your opinion would add value to an Office of Research Administration on the third page of t he survey. Nearly half of the department administrators (45%), 106 of the 235 respondents provided some comment. Equally surprising is that 28%, or 121 of the 433 respondents in the principal investigator group took time to submit text c omments to this o pen question area. These figures were uncharacteristically high and represent large portion of the respondents who actually took the time to type in additional thoughts and comments. Four emerging themes surfaced from the review of the comments received from both groups. For analysis and reporting purposes, the four themes were categorized as staffing related comments, communic ations related comments, online related comments and comments specifically related to one or more of the 22 survey attributes Quotes from actual surveys are used throughout this section to maintain the authentic characteristics of the comments. Staffing Related Comments Staffing related comments rece ived from both groups highlighted the importance of adequate and competent sta ffing for a successful Office of Research Administration A common thread shared by both groups was the amount of adequate staff assigned to the important component to success. In particular, o ne department administrator commented crisis
116 and principal investiga tor group, o ne respondent remarked, The office is often under staffed which leads to bottlenecks The knowledge and competence level of the staff of the Office of Research Administration were the subject of ents. Either knowledge or competence was listed in 13 of the department administrators and 25 o f the principal administrators. Comments from the principal investigator group t along with the ability to solve problems. A principal investigator emphasized that the staff should understand the research not just the time limits imposed. Comments from the department administr ator group tended to be more critical of the staff competency as seen in the comment, Additionally, the d epartment administrators discu ss complicated issues related to interputations [sic] of policies funding officers One principal investigator stated that while competence was the most important aspect, a service mentality was the second most important. Comments regarding a customer service mentality for the staff of the Office of Research Administration prevailed equally among the department administrato r s and principal investigators. The principal investigator group was more demonstrative when referring to customer service associated with the Office of Research Administration expressing attitudes that the office existed only to assist the faculty. Some of the more emphatic comments noted from the
117 princ ipal investigator group were : ; un A reminder that an ORA is primarily there to help a PI. PIs are NOT the enemy. Rather, they are the reason why the office ex and not treat the investigators as idiots who are obviously kiniving [sic] and dishonest The department administrator group was not without similar comments but these comments tended to promote a less hostile attitude towards the Office of Research Administration Perhaps the strongest comment noted from the department like Us against Them Interestingl y, multiple department administrators referenced service in terms of helping or assisting not themselves, but the principal investigators. An example of this attitude was noted in a comment registered by Office of Research Administration should be that of providing a SERVICE Department administrators differed in the perspective of the exact customer in customer service. he yet, another department administrator claimed that the Office of Research Administration should provide good customer service to the departments as the departments are the customers. Communication Related Comments The predominant trend that emerged from comments pertaining to communications focused on the ability for both the department administrators and the principal investigators to contact the Office of Research Administration. Organization
118 charts, designated point of contact, as important aspects that would add value to an Office of Research Administration by respondents from both groups. It would appear that both groups are not always certain of whom to contact within the Office of Re search Administration. One principal investigator also noted of the importance to update a contact list when there are personnel changes within the ORA. One principal investigator offered the suggestion that the Office of Research Administration designat e one person just to answer the phones and direct calls to the correct ORA staff member. A few department administrators commented about the Office of Research Administration as a venue to promote communications between other departments at the institution Ongoing seminars networking events, and periodic meetings hosted by the Office of Research Administration were suggested to increase the knowledge between the departments for possible future collaborations. Interestingly, no commentary regarding incre ased collaborations was evident within the principal investigator group, whom were primarily concerned with accessing the right contact person and receiving timely feedback. Timely communication by the Office of Research Administration was requested by var ious respondents in the principal investigator group. Principal investigators indicated the importance of timely review following the proposal submission. There was only a single similar comment present in the department administrator group. However, ti mely commu nication was not limited only to proposal submission s, but included receiving feedback when proposals are not funded and timely turnaround for signatures
119 when needed from the Office of Research Administration. These items were not mentioned by a ny of the department administrators. Online Related Comments Online was a popular topic receiving more than a dozen comments from each of the department administrator group and the principal investigator group. It is evident from the gist of the commen ts received that the Office of Research Administration should utilize an online platform whenever possible. Electronic handling of all forms for pr oposal submission was mentioned and more specifically, the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process was high lighted as a potential area for conversion to an online environment. Both department administrators and principal investigators suggested for the Office of Research Administration to post templates with standardized information that would aid in proposal submission. Online training and online policy retrieval received comments from both department administrators and principal investigators. Again, the department administrators demonstrated concern about the principal investigators in their comments stat ing that having these items online would provide flexibility needed by the researchers. Principal investigators did not express similar concerns for the department administrators. Online availability for budgetary information and boiler plate templates wi th standard subcontract terms were other topics that received multiple comments from both the department administrator group and the principal investigator group. Survey Items Related Comments The research showed that d epartment administrators and principa l investigators used the open question area to comment on one of the 22 attributes previously listed in
120 the survey. Comments were received focused primarily on three of the 22 items. The three survey items receiving comments were flexible negotiations, t eam effort, and billings and collections. Flexible negotiations received the most comments from the principal investigator group T eam effort had more comments from the department administrator group than the principal investigator group. Flexibility i n negotiations appeared to present somewhat of a paradox especially to the principal investigators whom valued consistency and equal treatment also desired flexibility in the negotiation process citing, Flexibility in dealing with individual characterist ic s of varying research protocols The remaining comments from the principal investigator group focused on a rapid timeframe for negotiations. None of the depart ment administrator comments related to this service attribute. Department administrators str essed the importance of a team effort approach by the comments recorded Team effort was cited by one department administrator who other department admin istrators prov ided the straight Two additional department administrator s requested that department administrators have some input in the implementation of new policies and the ORA should act as a partner with the departments. Consistency was viewed as a part of a team effort by one department administrator who other departments involved in the same proposal/cont Interestingly, multiple comments from the department administrator group demonstrated a different perspective of the meaning of team effort. Six comments
121 centered on the team effort approach between pre award and post award sections of the Office of Research Administration. The strongest of the comments from the department administrator group was one that stated other is a serious problem. Literally the left hand does know what the right hand is doing Other co mments were of a milder nature that stated the importance that a team effort approach be maintained between the pre award and post award segments, especially to provide a clear and consistent message from the Office of Research Administration to the resear ch community of the institution. There was no reference made to a team effort for the pre award and post award sections of the Office of Research Administration by the respondents in the principal investigator group. The three comments pertaining to bill ings and collections were all located within the principal investigator group. These comments pertained to the clarification of the individual was uncertain about what was included in the term, billings. The two remaining comments mentioned that the billing and collection process, to their knowledge was handled in multiple areas and did not have enough knowledge to adequate respond to this survey item. These comments are important to mention since the survey item, billings and collections done by the Office of Research Administration, did have the second lowest responses (388 out of 433) within the principal investigator group.
122 Summary Research Q uestion 1 : What perf ormance measures are perceived by the principal investigators and department administrators as important factors of a successful Office of Research Administration? Both department administrators and principal investigators identified 19 items that were vie wed by 50% or greater of each group as performance metrics of importance for an Office of Research Administration. Eighteen of the items were identical, however, each group demonstrated a different preference for the organizational structure of the ORA. Four of the 18 items fell into the > 90% range for the principal investigators. Ninety percent of department administrators identified these same four items along with an additional five service items as being critical performance measures for a successful Office of Research Administration. Research Q uestion 2 : Are the perceptions of importance of each group related or unrelated? Correlation analysis showed that various services were related within both groups with the strongest direct relationship occu rring between the return of phone messages and email messages within the groups. Chi square analysis between the groups showed that although department administrators and principal investigators tend to agree on performance measures, the degree l evel of th at importance varied. The most significant variation was related to training of new personnel and updated trainings offered by the Office of Research Administration. Here more of the department administrators gave a higher rating of importance than did t he principal investigator group.
123 Research Q uestion 3 : Are the perceptions of importance influenced by demographics? Demographics played a very limited, to no role at all, in the influence level of the majority of the performance measures The demographi c variable of the type of institution, public versus private exhibited significant relationships in two service items for de partment administrators and a single service item for principal investigators. Department administrators of public colleges and un iversity rated flexibility in their counterparts located at private institutions. Likewise, principal investigators at public institutions rated training updates more fr equently than their colleagues at private institutions. Amount of funding yielded one service attribute for the department administrators and two for the principal investigators. The single attribute for the department administrators was using the same p erson for pre award and post award that initi ally was not designated as a performance measurement of importance for this group. This same attribute did also exhibit a significant relationship for the principal investigators where dealing with the same per son for pre award and post award became less important as the amount of funding increased. Flexibility in negotiation demonstrated a strong relationship for those principal investigators with funding <$1 million dollars. The final demographic variable to indicate a significant relationship again dealt with the service item of dealing with the same person for pre award and post counterparts of Associate Professor or Full Professor. Research Q uestion 4 : What are the perceptions of how frequently these services are provided by the current institutions of the two user groups?
124 Principal investigators rated the current services received at a higher frequency percentage than di d department administrators. Of the 18 shared attributes, principal performance level basis more than 50% of the time. For these same 18 shared items, the departmen t administrators identified fewer items where their current institutions provided than did the principal investigators The same trend emerged when examining the priority factors for each of the groups. Open ended Q uestion: Please list any other important aspects that in your opinion would add value to an Office of Research Administration. The open ended question gave further insight into items of importance from both groups. A significant finding is the amount of comments that was received from both groups. A theme was included when multiple comments were received from individuals (Oliver, 2004). Themes from both groups echoed the critical need for adequate and competent staff for the Office of Rese arch Administration, effective communication on the part of the Office of Research Administration, increased utilization of the online environment, and the importance for a service mentality and positive attitude of helping both principal investigators and department administrators.
125 Chapter 5 Summary of Study, Conclusions, Implication s for Theory, Practice, and Research Purpose The purpose of this study was to determine what service attributes should be designated as performance metrics to provide a su ccessful Office of Research Administration in the eyes of the internal user groups of the principal investigators as well as the department administrators. Following determination of those service attributes, this study sought to ascertain if these attrib utes held any relationships within the groups and between the groups. Furthermore, the study also investigated if demographics played a role in the perceptions of the two groups. Finally, this research study investigated the relationship between the serv ice items of importance and the service items currently provided by the respective institutions. For the purpose of this study, 80 (40 publicly funded and 40 privately funded) research universities were selected based on the number of faculty recipients of federal awards from the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation. Once the principal investigators were identified, the website of the various univ ersities was then searched to locate the corresponding department ad ministrator for inclusion in this study.
126 Method Summary This researcher developed a four part survey for distribution to the department administrators and principal investigators. A pilot study was undertaken and a few minor changes to the original pilot survey instrument were incorporated. The final survey began with a listing of 22 items to be considered for performance measurements for successful Offices of Research Administration. The second part of the instrument was comprised of one open end question aski ng each group for additional input. The initial 22 service items were listed again in the third part where respondents indicated the frequencies of each service item at their current institutions by their Offices of Research Administration. The final par t of the survey collected demographic information from the respondent. The survey was identical between the groups with the exception of the two service items of trainings, as these were customized to the specific group surveyed The surveys were distr ibuted through an online survey service known as SurveyMonkey.com. Respondents clicked on the embedded link contained within the email invitation and responses were collected by individuals collectors. The usable response rate for principal investigators was approximately 30% ( N = 433) and the us a ble response rate for department administrators was approximately 23% ( N = 235). The principal investigator response rate equated to a 95% confidence interval and the department administrator response rate fell a bit short of the 95% confidence interval but substantial exceed the 90% confidence interval with a n actual computed 94% confidence interval. The data collected was analyzed using the statis tical analysis software, SPSS 17 .0 for Windows. To investigate the research questions, this researcher used frequency
127 i ents, and c hi square linear by linear analysis. Summary of Findings Four research questions were examined within the parameters of this research study. Each of these research questions is present ed below with a narrative summary of the important findings. Research Q uestion 1 : What performance measures are perceived by the principal investigators and department administrators as important factors of a successful Office of Research Administration? An important finding was that > 50% of the principal investigators identified 19 of the 22 service items to be perceived as for performance measure ment s a ssociated with a successful Office of Resear ch Administration. Flexible office hours by the Office of Research Administration ( 40.4%) the designation of Certified Research Administrator for the staff of the Office of Research Administration (36.7%) a nd dealing with one person for pre award and a different person for post award (39.8%) were the items that did not receive a majority interest level from the principal investigators to be considered as important factors. Of the 19 service items identified by the principal investigators, four items were designated as priority factors due to the fact that > 90% of the respondents perceived these as being for a successful Office of Research Administration These four priority f actors were: (a ) Easy access to forms (97.2%); (b ) Email messages returned in 24 48 hours (96.8%); (c ) Setup of the internal account (93.3%); and (d ) Phone messages r eturned in 24 48 hours (92.3%). Priority factors were identified from both the
128 principal investigator group and the department administrator group to assist the Office of Research Administration in prioritizing strategic performance goals, especially when presented with limited resources. Table 45 lists the service items in order of importan ce principal investigator group of respondents.
130 A nother important finding was that > 50% of the department administrators identified 19 o performance measurements associated with a successful Office of Research Administration. Flexible office hours by the Office of Research Administration (29.1%), the designation of Certified Research Administrator (CRA) for the staff of the Office of Research Administration (35.1%) and dealing with the same person for pre award and post award (45.2%) were the items that did not receive a majority from the department administrators to be con sidered as important factors. Nine items achieved the priority factor > 90% of the department administrators as opposed to only four priority factors from the pri ncipal investigators. The n ine priority factors listed by the department administrators were as follows : (a ) Easy access to forms (99.6%); (b ) Email messages r eturned in 24 48 hours (97.4%); (c ) Set up internal account (99.1%); (d ) Phone messages returned in 24 48 hours (97.4%); ( e ) Training new employees (96.6%); (f ) Easy access to policies (97.0%); (g ) Providing training updates to employees (95.7%); (h ) Equal treatment of all departments by the Office of Research Administration (94.0%); and (i ) the Office of Research Administra tion pr omoting a team effort (93.2%). Table 46 lists the service
132 Research Q uestion 2 : Are the perceptions of importance of each group related or unrelated? This question was examined using two approaches, one approach dealt with direct relationships within each of the segmented groups and the other approach examin ed the direct relationship between the principal investigator group and the d epartment administrator group. To determine relationships within the groups, the Pearson correlation coefficient analysis was perform ed. The results indicated that direct relati onships did exist within the each of the groups surveyed. The strongest direct relationship for the department administrators ( r .797, p < .01) and principal investigators ( r = .625, p < .01) occurred between the same two variables of responding to email and phone messages within 24 48 hours. The principal investigator group exhibited multiple significant relationships between the attribute of easy access to forms and response to email messages ( r = .437), phone messages ( r =.414), and the timely setup o f the internal account ( r = .404). Eas y access to forms also demonstrated multiple significant direct relationships to ease of access to policies ( r = .444) and to training updates ( r = .410) within the department administrator group. An important findin g is also that the second strongest direct relationship between variables within the department administrator group occurred between providing trainings to new employees and providing training updates to existing employees ( r = .484). Table 47 summarizes the top findings for the correlations within the principal investigator group and within the department administrator group.
133 When examining the relationship between the two groups, a n important finding to note is that princ ipal investigators and department administrators generally tend to agree on the service items to be provided by a successful Office of Sponsored Research Administration. Each group identified 19 service items that should be associated with a successful Of fice of Research Administration. Of these 19 attributes, 18 service items listed in the survey scored a > 50% majority by both groups Additionally it is significant to note that > 90% of both the principal investigators and department administrators vi ewed four of the 18 agreed upon (a ) Easy access to forms; (b ) Email messages returned in 24 48 hours; (c )
134 Internal account setup in a timely manner; and (d ) Phone messages returned in 24 48 hours. Another i mportant finding for this research question is the comparison of the degree of importance between the groups Department administrators demonstrated a higher degree of importance on multiple service items as opposed to the principal investigators. Most i nteresting is the fact that department administrators rather than the academically oriented principal investigators, attribute a higher degree of importance to the training services offered by the Office of Research Administration Results from Mantel Ha enzel chi square analyses showed that department administrators place a greater emphasis on trainings for new employees 2 (1, N = 663) = 101.528, p = .000, and on training updates for existing employees, 2 (1, N = 653) = 129.098, p = .000, tha n do princ ipal investigators. Moreover, the department administrator group placed higher emphasis on several service items including, easy access to policies, 2 (1, N = 663) = 64.289, p = .000 easy access to forms 2 (1, N = 653) = 11.919, p = .001, responding t o phone messages within 24 48 hours, 2 (1, N = 663) = 17.l698, p = .000, promoting a team effort, 2 (1, N = 658) = 22.896, p = .000 and the equal treatment to all departments by the Office of Research Administration, 2 (1, N = 656) = 15.076, p = .000. Another important finding resulted in the contrast of organizational structure preference between the department administrators and the principal investigators. Principal investigators consistently preferred to deal with the same person for both pre awar d and post award whereas, the department administrators exhibited a preference for a separate individual for pre award and a diffe rent individual for post award. The
135 preference for organizational structure of the Office of Research Administration appears to be unrelated between the two groups. Research Q uestion 3 : Are the perceptions of importance influenced by demographics? The most relevant finding to this research question is the fact that the demographic influence o n the survey items is minimal. None of the stated service items designated as priority ( > 90% combined frequency) demonstrated and direct relationship with any of the demographic variables. Two mentionable findings occurred within the principal investigator group. Providing training upda tes, highly valued by the department administrators, was viewed by principal investigators from public institutions with greater importance than their counterparts at private universities, 2 (1, N = 429) = 4.20, p = .040. The second mentionable finding p ertained to the preference of the principal investigator group to work with the same person for pre award and post award. This variable did demonstrate a si gnificant difference when cross tabulated with both the amount of personal research funding, 2 (1, N = 412) = 5.30, p = .021, and the job position of the principal investigator, 2 (1, N = 383) = 6.91, p = .009. The research indicated that t he less the amount of personal research funding, the more important it was to the principal investigator to work with the same person for pre award and post award. Similarly, the less experienced, Assistant Professor indicated a greater importance for w orking with the same individual. It is interesting to note that, while department administrators failed to rate w orking with the same individual pre award and post award as an important factor ( > 50% combined frequency), a relationship did occur when the amount of funding was examined, 2 (1, N = 195) = 5.71, p = .017. Moreover, as the
136 amount of funding handled by t he department administrator grew, the less importance given to this survey item. Research Q uestion 4 : What are the perceptions of how frequently these services are provided by the current institutions of the two user groups? The most important finding for this research question is that a higher percentage of principal investigators perceived the important service items being provided at a more frequent performance level at their current institutions than do departmen t administrators. Principal investig ators reported a higher performance level than the department administrators, especially on their designated four priority service items (Table 45). Nearly 80% of all of the principal investigators reported that email messages were being responded to with in 24 Table 47 lists the frequency distributions reported by the principal investigators regarding their perceptions of the performance level of the important factors and prior ity service items provided by the Office of Research Administration at their current institutions.
138 Conversely for the department administrator group, the highest performance level achieved among the nine priority items (Tab le 46) was significantly lower using the same from the nine priority items was the service item pertaining to the equal treatment exhibited by the Office of Research Adm inistration where 56.8% of the department While the principal investigators reported favorably on their four priority items, th e department administrators clearly do not perceive the same performance level for those four priority items along with the five additional priority items designated by the depart ment administrators (Table 46). Table 48 lists the frequency distributions r eported by the department administrators regarding their perceptions of the performance level of the important factors and priority service items provided by the Office of Research Administration at their current institutions.
140 Additional R elated F indings. A major significant finding occurred in the large number of responses received from the open end question incl uded in the survey instrument. Of the 235 department administrator responses received 106 (45%) listed comments pertaining to other important aspects that would, in their opinion add value to an Office of Research Administration. In the case of the principal investigators, 121 of the 433 respondents (28%) included comments to the same question. These figures indic ate a high degree of relevance and interest of the topic to both groups ( Michaelidou & Dibb, 2006). An important finding from these comments stated the concern for adequate and competent staffing for the Office of Research Administration by both departmen t administrators and principal investigators. Another important finding from the comments indicated an attitude of hostility and confrontation between the Office of Research Administration and the user groups. Both principal investigators and department administrators emphasized the service component of an Office of Research Administration coupled with a team effort approach towards research activities. A final important finding emerged from the demographic data collection that demonstrated a lack of kn owledge of the total amount of research dollars present at the current institutions of the respondents in both the principal investigator group and the department administrator group. While 98.6% ( N = 414) of the principal investigators reported their per sonal research dollar amount, over 30% ( N = 128) either, did not know or incorrectly listed the amount of total annual research dollars for their current institution. The same trend was found with the department administrators in their lack of knowledge r egarding the annual amount of research dollars. Over 28% ( N = 61) of the
141 department administrators either did not know or incorrectly listed the amount of total annual research dollars. This myopic view would seem to indicate the compartmentalized view a cross the whole of the institution. As mentioned elsewhere in the survey, increased communication initiated by the ORA would serve to better educate these user groups as to the total aspects encompassed by this office. Beyond surprising, t his finding is significant in that awareness of the total volume of research dollars processed by the Office of Research Administration annually could substantially impact the perceptions of both the principal investigators and department administrators. Limitations T his research study contains two limitations. Selection of the principal investigator group was limited to only two major granting agencies : the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health. Other major research granting entities such as the Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, the National Endowment of the Arts, and the National Aeronautics and Spa ce Administration, were not utilized as a database to select the principal investigators. Another factor not inc luded in the selection of the principal investigator participants in this study was private foundations that are a major resource for research funds within academia. Using the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health as the select ion criteria for the principal investigators resulted in a heavy emphasis on medical and health science institutions. Since the principal investigator target population further served as the basis for the department administrator inclusion, the selection criteria also resulted in further stratification with the department administrator group as
142 well. This survey does not reflect the full composite of the myriad of academic areas of research within the institutions of higher education. Representation by the various colleges and universities was not on an equal basis. Responses received varied from a single response to as many as 38 responses from a specific institution. Although 72 institutions of higher education did participate in this research study due to the varying amount of survey received, each institution was not represented equall y in the findings. The unequal representation of institutions was present in both the principal investigator group as well as within the department administrator gr oup. Implication s for Theory The theoretical framework as discussed in chapter two provided the conceptual understanding and basis for perceptions of services to serve as a basis for performance metrics of a successful Office of Research Administration. To recap, the Balanced Scorecard, developed by Kaplan and Norton (19 92), and then later, modified for the non profit sector by Niven (2003), outlined the three distinct sectors Internal Business Perspective, Learning and Growth Perspective and F inancial Perspective to evaluate performance for a non profit organization. The results of this study validated the perceptions of both of the groups, the principal investigators and the department administrators, that services provided by the Office of Researc h Administrati on did cover all three aspects. While the 18 shared service items of importance did cover the three perspectives, none of the designated priority items (Tables 45 and 46) were listed in the Financial Perspective, indicating that both princip al investigators and department administrators currently place less
143 importance on this aspect. Table 49 lists the 18 service items of importance that were shared by both the principal investigators and the department administrators in relation to the theo retical framework perspectives of the Balance Scorecard as modifie d for non profit organizations. Table 50 Performance Metrics of Importance by Perspective Internal Business Perspective New trainings provided by the Office of Research Administration. Con fidential hotline operated by the Office of Research Administration. Training updates conducted by the Office of Research Administration. Easy access to forms maintained by the Office of Research Administration. Easy access to policies monitored by the Off ice of Research Administration. Technical assistance supported by the Office of Research Administration. Employee Learning and Growth Perspective Phone messages returned within 24 48 hours. Process internal account setup paperwork on a timely basis. Commu nicate end date notifications for research awards. Answer phone calls with a friendly tone. Promote a team effort attitude towards research activities. Respond to email messages within 24 48 hours. Financial Perspective General funding notices compiled by Office of Research Administration. Funding notices personalized towards research expertise. Flexibility in negotiations regarding research projects. Web listing of available funding opportunities. Billings and collections done by the Office of Research Ad ministration. Equal treatment throughout the institution by the Office of Research Administration.
144 Implications for Practice The results of this study have several implications for the Office of Research Administration to better serve their internal com munity of customers. The results of this study should serve as a basis in the strategic allocation of the resources of the Office of Research Administration. Table 49 lists 18 service items that were identified by both principal investigators and departm ent administrators to be important offerings by the Office of Research Administration. Where resources are limited, Office of Research Administration should concentrate on the priority items (four service items from the principal investigators and departm ent administrators along with the additional five service items identified only by the department administrators) as these attributes earned > 90% of the respondents. Based on the results of combined methods of analyses, including the commentary received from the open end questions, the Office of Research Administration should concentrate on increased the awareness of the magnitude of administrative functions handled by this office. Additionally, the designat ion of the Certified Research Administrator (CRA) was not perceived to be of significant importance by > 50% of either the principal investigators nor the department administrators. However, the CRA designation would address the concerns of competency of t he staff as expressed by both groups. The results of this study also indicate d there is roo m for improvement in the performance level standards regarding the services perceived as important by the principal investigators and most definitely, towards impr ovement in the perceptions of the department administrators. There is a pressing need for the Office of Research
145 Administration to promote a service oriented, team based mentality to better serve their internal customers. Despite the similarities in the perceptions of important performance metrics between the principal investigators and the department administrators, each group can maintain a different perce ption in the performance level for any service item listed. The generic nature of most of the servi ce items lends this Modified Balanced Scorecard to adaptation to other service areas of support wi thin the institution including non academic departments such as Purchasing and Human Resources along with academic related support functions such as the Libra ry and Media Services The Office of Research Administration, while a non academic, support function is an integral part of the infrastructure needed for ongoing operation of current research institutions of higher education. The items proposed for perf ormance metrics by this research study can be adapted to other support areas as previously noted. Items such as notification of the end dates of awards and listing of available funding opportunities could be replaced by procurement information for purchas e orders and easy access to a listing of the various employee benefits available by the Office of Human Resources. Other support service departments within the colleges and universities will service the two user groups contained within this research study but may have a somewhat more comprehensive user group database, especially the Office of Human Resources. However, this does not negate the adaptability or applicability of data from this study to other service departments within the institution. The c omponents identified for the Modified Balanced Scorecard can be implemented universally at colleges and universities. There were no significant differences between public or private funded universities. Thus, the Modified Balanced
146 Scorecard can be used b y various institutions, and could possibly serve as a benchmark for comparisons between institutions, should the institutions choose to share there annual results. One of the criticisms of measuring performance, according to Meyer (2002) is the arbitrary s election of a certain performance measurement. In the case of this research study, service items were selected directly by two main user groups, thus negating any arbitrary or capricious choices for performance metrics Using these clearly identified ser vice items as a scorecard basis will enable the institution to clearly communicat e performance objectives to the directors and staff of the Offi ce of Research Administration. Communication of performance measurements and strategic objectives will be enhan ced when the institution has adopted the balance scorecard approach as presented herein. Implications for Research The results of this research study suggest multiple topical areas for future research. The first implication is focused on the e xpan sion of the selection basis for principal investigator to include a wider spectrum of granting agencies should be considered as the premise fo r future studies of this nature. Individuals researching non medical and non health related topics were either un derrepresented or absent from this research study. The second implication for future research occurred when n early half (47.7%, N = 104) of the d epartment administrators select ed This large quantity in an undefined field gain meaningful insights into the impact of job position on the group of department
147 administrators. Due to the unidentified aspects, a dditional research should be conducted to determine the actu al composition of the classification in th e job position variable. Once further identified, the research study could be conducted to determine the impact of these more clearly defined job position s with regards to the department administrator grou p. Another implication for future research is to investigate how the resources of Offices of Research Administration are being allocated currently. It would be beneficial to undertake research to determine if less important services are currently being pr ovided at a higher level of frequency by the ORA to the two user groups than those services determined that resources are being expended upon service items, perceived by th e user groups as non essential, then the Office of Research Administration, may be able to re allocate certain resources towards better servicing of their internal constituencies. This research study reported the frequencies in regards to the presence of certain service items at the current institution of the survey respondent. By design, n o information was collected regarding the quality of those services. In addition to the frequencies of services provided, research into the quality level of those s ervices being offered should be conducted and measured appropriately Once completed, these additional insights could aid the Offices of Research Administration with improved strategic decision making in resource allocation. The final implication for futu re research that emerged from this research study centers on the presence of an underlying internal conflict between the Office of Research Administration and the two users groups. In particular, further analysis is indicated for
148 the lower ratings given b y the department administrators regarding the frequencies of the performance level of those services currently provided by their respective institutions. Typically, faculty, in this case the principal investigators tend to be more pessimistic when rating administration (Rawls, 19 98) however, this was not evident by this research study Research to understand this conflict and tension along with exploration to determine how these perceptions were formed would add valuable insight to this nascent field of r esearch administration. Conclusions The objective of this research study was to identify key attributes, referred to as service items perceived by two user groups, principal investigators (faculty) and department administrators (staff) as important fact ors for a successful Office of Research Admi nistration. The attributes designated would serve as performance metrics for a Modified Balanced Scorecard. Both department administrators and principal investigators essentially view the same service items as part of the mission of the Office of Research Administration. When evaluating their performance, Office of Research Administration should concentrate on the delivery of the 18 service items identified, with special emphasis on the four priority items iden tified by both groups as well as the additional five service items designated by the department administrators. Overall, t he Office of Research Admi nistration is perceived by both the principal investigators and the department administrators, as the de f acto service arm of the university and as such, their existence is based on promoting and supporting, rather than impeding research activities within the university In addition to this support function, department administrators also view the Office of Research Administration as a valuab le
149 asset for training purposes. Results indicate that t he Office of Research Administration needs to create more awareness within the internal community towards the importance of the compliance aspect and workload volume handled on an annual basis Over a decade ago, federal research funding was identified by Zusman, (as cited in Altbach, Berdahl, & Gumport, 1999, p. 112) as a critical area impacting students both directly and indirectly. As funding from tuition and stat e revenue sources shrink (Elias, 2009) coupled with decreasing endowments (Levenson, 2009) research awards will play an ever increasing role w ithin the collegiate community. Despite challenging economic times and severe budget shortfalls, President Obama is proposing an increase of 4% in the federal budget for overall basic research. If approved, the National Institute of Health would an additional one billion dollars to their current $32.2 billion dollar budget. The National Science Foundation would rec eive an 8% increase in their research award funding (Nelson, 2010). These actions further cement the importance of research administration within the realms of academia. The Office of Research Administration will become more visible in the future as well as more accountable by their internal and external customers. Moreover, performance measurements of a balanced nature will be continually instrumental in the strategic planning process (Meyer, 2002, p. 108) as each research season renews itself through mu lti year grants and contract awards. The Modified Balanced Scorecard is seen as an indispensable tool for the effective administration of research funding in the sector of higher education.
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155 Documents&type=retrieve&tabID=T002&prodID=EAIM&docId=A9349679&sour ce=gale&srcprod=EAIM&userGroupName=flstuniv&version1.0 Scholey, C. & Armitage, H. (2006). Hands on scorecarding in t he higher education sector. Planning for Higher Education, 35 (1), 31 41. Serow, R. C. (2000). Research and teaching at a research university. Higher Education, 40 (4), 449 463. Sivrais, S. E. & Disney, C. (2006). Changing the culture of research admin istrators at a public university. Journal of Research Administration 38 (2), 60 68. Retrieved from http://find.galegroup.com.ezproxy.fiu.edu/itx/informark.do?&contentSet=IAC Documents&type=retrieve&tabID=T002&prodID=EAIM&docId=A159027258& source=gale&srcprod=EAIM&userGroupName=flstuniv&version1.0 Sorenson, S E. (2006). A monitoring system to achieve academic success and increased structural diversity for students of color and women Dissertations & Theses: Full Text database (Publication No. AAT 3241841) Steinbach, N (2005, April 20). Assistan t professor, associate professor, lecturer...what s the difference. NewsVOAcom Retrieved from http://www.voanews.com/specialenglish/archive/2005 04/2005 04 20 voa2.cfm Steinberg, L. H. (1973) A study of univer sity research administration: O rganizational structure, function and effectiveness (Doctoral Dissertation, Western Michigan University, 1973) (AAT No.7330302) Sterner, A. (1999). Faculty attitudes toward in volvement in grant related activities at a predominantly undergraduate institution SRA Journal 5 (1), 5 21. Retrieved from http://www.srainternational.org/NewWeb/pub lications/Journal/pdf/sraj1 99.pdf Stodnick, M., & Rogers, P. (2008). Using servqual to measure the quality of the classroom experience. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education 6 (1), 115 133. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com doi:10.1111/j.1540 4609.2007.00162.x Streharsky, C. J. (1998). Leadership challenges in research/sponsored program administration. SRA Journal 73 (8). Retrieved from http://find.galegroup.com.ezproxy.fiu.edu/its/inf ormark.co?&contentSet=IAC Documents&type=retrieve&tabID=T002&prodId=EAIM&docId=A53643803&so urce=gale&srcprod=EAIM&Group Name=flstuniv&version=1.0 Sullivan, B ., & Estes, C. (2007). Measuring customer service quality in local government. Public Manager, 36 (1), 37 39. R etrieved from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Do cument ID: 1269830651)
156 Tang, T. L. & Chamberlain, M. (1997). Attitudes toward research and teaching: Differences between administrators and faculty members. The Journal of Higher Education 68, 2 12 227. Retrieved from http://vnweb.hwwilsonweb.comezproxy.fiu.edu/hww/results/results_single_ftPES .jhtml Ulrich, D., Brockbank, D., Yeung, A., & Lake, D. G (1995). Human Resource Competencies: An Empirical Assessment. Human Resource Management (1986 1998), 34 (4), 473. Retrieved from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 389600151). Vogt, P. (2007). Quantitative research methods for professionals Retri eved from https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/content/eBookLibrary/content/eReader.h?asset id=8a 020168 5913 4cc4 9d33 bcaec0fc04a3&assetmetaid=55962848 b22a 447d a7cf eff9a8b9abd3 Weaver, J. C. (1960). What federal funds mean to the universities today. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 327, 114 122. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/sici=002 7162%28196001%29327%3C114%3AWFFMTT53e2.0.co%3b2 8 Welker, M. E. & Cox, A. R. (2006). A report on research activities at research universities. Research Management Review 15 (1) 1 11. Retrieved from http://www.ncura.edu/content/news/rmr/docs/v15n1.pdf Zusman, A. (1999). Issues facing higher education in the twen ty first century. In P.G. Altbach, R. O. Berdahl, & P. J. Gumport (Eds.), American higher education in the twenty first century ( pp. 109 148). Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
158 Your participation in the following study is both valued and critical to its success!! I am attempting to gather research for my doctoral dissertation. This is a pilot study for a survey to determine the important aspects of a central office of sponsored research administration. If you deal with a Centralized Office of Sponsored Administration, your expertise is needed! I invite you to take a couple of minutes and complete this survey. If you have any questions, please contact Kim Cole (786) 427 7504 or via email email@example.com Thanks for your help! PERSONAL INFORMATION Please circle the number that best describes your choice. 1 I am presently employed by an institution best described as: Comm. College 1 Primarily Teaching 2 Pr imarily Research 3 Medical University 4 Other 5 2 The annual research $$ for my current institution fall into the following Under $10 Mil 1 $10 $49 Mil 2 $50 $99 Mil 3 $100+ Mil 4 Uncertain 5 3 The annual resear ch $$ amount that I dealt with falls into the following Under $1 Mil 1 $1 $5 Mil 2 $5 $25 Mil 3 $25+ Mil 4 prefer not to say 5 4 At my current institution, I currently work in a Departmen t 1 Dean's Office 2 Rese arch Center 3 Other 4 prefer not to say 5 5 My department/college falls under the following college/school Arts & Science 1 Engineering / Technology 2 Business 3 Medical/Heal th Sciences 4 Other / Not App licable 5 6 My current job position can be classified as Adm. Asst. 1 Coordinator 2 Assistant Dir/Dean 3 Associate Dir/Dean 4 Director/ Dean 5 7 My current institution is Private 1 Public 2 For Profit 3 Foundation 4 N/A 5 8 I have been at my current institution for Yrs. ______ Months 9 The time I have spent in contract and grant administration is Yrs. ______ Months PRINCIPAL Appendix A : Pilot Study Surveys
159 Appendix A : (Continued) As a Principal Investigator, that indicates your opinion on the overall importance of the following items when dealing with a centralized office of sponsored research please note that these items may not be present at your current institution Very Important Important Somewhat Important Not Important Not Sure 10 Notification of all available funding opportunities sent directly to Faculty. 11 Notification of funding opportunities only applicable to your research area of expertise. 12 Listing of funding oppo rtunities in a central location such as a website that I can view on my time schedule. 13 Dealing with same individual for both pre award and post award issues. 14 Dealing with one pre award specialist and one post award specialist. 15 M y contact person at Sponsored Research has the designation of CRA (Certified Research Administrator) 16 Training offered by Sponsored Research for new PIs. 17 Training offered by Sponsored Research to cover updates and changes in policies and p rocedures. 18 Billing and collections handled by Centralized Sponsored Research Administration personnel. 19 Amount of time from award notification until all Internal Paperwork is completed. 20 Notification by Sponsored Research Administr ation of impending end dates of project. 21 Phone calls are answered with a friendly tone. 22 Phone messages are returned within 24 48 hours. 23 Emails are responded to within 24 48 hours.
160 Appendix A: Continued 24 Policies and Pro cedures are published and convenient to access. 25 Forms are available through Internet access and are easy to locate. 26 The Sponsored Research Admin. Office offers flexible hours available before 8 am and after 5 pm or on weekends 2 7 Technical assistance provided for Internet sites including Grants.gov. 28 All departments/colleges are treated equally by the Sponsored Research. 29 Hotline or some confidential of reporting irregularities is available. 30 Other importa nt aspects of Sponsored Research Administration Offices are: Please indicate how often the following aspects are present at the Office of Sponsored Research at your current institution. Consistently Usually Occasionally Rarely Not sure 31 Notification of all available funding opportunities sent directly to faculty or department. 32 Notification of only funding opportunities applicable to your research area of expertise sent to faculty/department. 33 Listing of funding opportunities in a central location such as a website that I can view on my time schedule. 34 Dealing with same individual for both pre award and post award issues. 35 Dealing with one pre award specialist and one post award specialist. 36 Staff at Sponsore d Research office have earned the designation of CRA (Certified Research Administrator) 37 Training offered by Sponsored Research for new PIs/faculty. Appendix A : (Continued)
161 Appendix A: Continued 38 Training offered by Sponsored Research to cover updates and chang es in policies and procedures. 39 Billing and collections handled by Centralized Sponsored Research Administration personnel. 40 Accounts are set up within two weeks or less from date of Award Notification. 41 Notification by Sponsored Re search Administration of impending end dates of project. 42 Phone calls are answered with a friendly tone. 43 Phone messages are returned within 24 48 hours. 44 Emails are responded to within 24 48 hours. 45 Policies and Procedures are published and convenient to access. 46 Forms are available through Internet access and are easy to locate. 47 The Sponsored Research Office offers flexible hours available before 8 am and after 5 pm or on weekends 48 Technical a ssistance provided for Internet sites including Grants.gov. 49 All departments/colleges are treated equally by Sponsored Research 50 Some method of confidential reporting is available and complaints are investigated in a timely manner.
162 As a Principal Investigator, box that indicates your opinion on the overall importance of the following items when dealing with a centralized office of research administration please note that these items may not be present at your current institution Very Important Important Somewhat Important Not Important Not Sure Notification of all available funding opportunities sent directly to Faculty. Training offered by the Office of Research Administration for new PIs. Billing and collections handled by the Office of Research Administration personnel. Notification of funding opportunities only applicable to your research area of expertise. The Office of Research Administration is flexible when it comes t o negotiating about charges and policies Listing of funding opportunities in a central location such as a website that I can view on my time schedule. Dealing with same individual for both pre award and post award issues. Hotline or some confidential of reporting irregularities is available. Dealing with one pre award specialist and one post award specialist. My contact person at the Office of Research Administration has the designation of CRA (Certified Research Administrato r) Phone messages are returned within 24 48 hours. Training offered by ORAs to cover updates and changes in policies and procedures. Forms are available through Internet access and are easy to locate. Amount of time from award noti fication until all Internal Paperwork is completed. Appendix B: Final Surveys
163 Appendix B: (Continued) Notification by S ponsored Research Adm. of impending end dates of project. Phone calls are answered with a friendly tone. The Office of Research Administrat ion offers flexible hours available before 8 am and after 5 pm or on weekends The Office of Research Administration acts / views research as a team effort. Emails are responded to within 24 48 hours. Policies and Procedures are publis hed and convenient to access. Technical assistance provided for Internet sites including Grants.gov. All departments/colleges are treated equally by the Office of Research Administration. Other important aspects that add value to the Offi ce of Research Administration are: Please indicate how often the following aspects are present at the Office of Research Administration your current institution. Consistently Usually Occasionally Never Not sure Notification of all available funding opportunities sent directly to faculty or department. Training offered by Office of Research Administration for new PIs/faculty. Billing and collections handled by Office of Research Administration personnel. Notification of only funding opportunities applicable to your research area of expertise sent to faculty/department. The Office of Research Administration is flexible when it comes to negotiating about charges and policies. Listing of funding opportunities in a central lo cation such as a website that I can view on my time schedule.
164 Appendix B: (Continued) Dealing with same individual for both pre award and post award issues. Some method of confidential reporting is available and complaints are investigated i n a timely manner Dealing with one pre award specialist and one post award specialist. Staff at the Office of Research Administration have earned the designation of CRA (Certified Research Administrator) Phone messages are returned within 24 48 hours. Training offered by the Office of Research Administration to cover updates and changes in policies and procedures Forms are available through Internet access and are easy to locate. Accounts are set up within two weeks or le ss from date of Award Notification. Notification by Sponsored Research Administration of impending end dates of project. Phone calls are answered with a friendly tone. The Office of Research Administration offers flexible hours availa ble before 8 am and after 5 pm or on weekends The Office of Research Administration acts in partnership with the researchers. Emails are responded to within 24 48 hours. Policies and Procedures are published and convenient to access. Technical assistance provided for Internet sites including Grants.gov. All departments/colleges are treated equally by Office of Research Administration.
165 Appendix B: (Continued) The annual research $$ for my current institution falls into the following Under $10 Mil $10 $49 Mil $50 $99 Mil $100+ Mil Uncertain The annual research $$ amount that I deal with falls into the following Under $1 Mil $1 $5 Mil $5 $25 Mil $25+ Mil prefe r not to say At my current institution, I currently work in a Department Dean's Office Research Center Other prefer not to say My department/colleg e falls under the follo wing college/school Arts & Science Engineering / Technology Business Medical/ Health Sciences Other / Not Applicable My current job position can be classified as Asst. Professor Assoc. Professor Professor Director/ Dean Other
166 As a Department Administrator, please that indicates your opinion on the overall importance of the following items when dealing with a centralized office of research administration please note that the se items may not be present at your current institution Very Important Important Somewhat Important Not Important Not Sure Notification of all available funding opportunities sent directly to Faculty. Training offered by the ORA for new Departme nt Administrators.. Billing and collections handled by the Office of Research Administration personnel. Notification of funding opportunities only applicable to your research area of expertise. The ORA is flexible when it comes to negoti ating about charges and policies Listing of funding opportunities in a central location such as a website that I can view on my time schedule. Dealing with same individual for both pre award and post award issues. Hotline or some confiden tial of reporting irregularities is available. Dealing with one pre award specialist and one post award specialist. My contact person at the Office of Research Administration has the designation of CRA (Certified Research Administrator) Phone messages are returned within 24 48 hours. Training offered by Sponsored Research to cover updates and changes in policies and procedures. Forms are available through Internet access and are easy to locate. Amount of time from award notification until all Internal Paperwork is completed. Appendix B: (Continued)
167 Appendix B: (Continued) Notification by Sponsored Research Administration of impending end dates of project. Phone calls are answered with a friendly tone. The Office of Researc h Administration offers flexible hours available before 8 am and after 5 pm or on weekends The Office of Research Administration acts views research as a team effort. Emails are responded to within 24 48 hours. Policies and Procedure s are published and convenient to access. Technical assistance provided for Internet sites including Grants.gov. All departments/colleges are treated equally by the Office of Research Administration.. Other important aspects that add valu e to the Office of Research Administration are: : Please indicate how often the following aspects are present at the Office of Research Administration your current institution. Consistently Usually Occasionally Never Not sure Notification of all ava ilable funding opportunities sent directly to faculty or department. Training offered by Office of Research Administration for new Department Administrators.. Billing and collections handled by Office of Research Administration personnel. Notification of only funding opportunities applicable to your research area of expertise sent to faculty/department. The Office of Research Administration is flexible when it comes to negotiating about charges and policies. Listing of funding opportunities in a central location such as a website that I can view on my time schedule.
168 Appendix B: (Continued) Dealing with same individual for both pre award and post award issues. Some method of confidential reporting is available and complaints are investigated in a timely manner Dealing with one pre award specialist and one post award specialist. Staff at the Office of Research Administration have earned the designation of CRA (Certified Research Administrator) Phone messages are returned within 24 48 hours. Training offered by the Office of Research Administration to cover updates and changes in policies and procedures Forms are available through Internet access and are easy to locate. Accounts are set up within two weeks or less from date of Award Notification. Notification by Sponsored Research Administration of impending end dates of project. Phone calls are answered with a friendly tone. The Office of Research Administration off ers flexible hours available before 8 am and after 5 pm or on weekends The Office of Research Administration acts in partnership with the researchers. Emails are responded to within 24 48 hours. Policies and Procedures are published and convenient to access. Technical assistance provided for Internet sites including Grants.gov. All departments/colleges are treated equally by Office of Research Administration.
169 Appendix B: (Continued) The annual research $$ for my current institution fall into the following Under $10 Mil 1 $10 $49 Mil 2 $50 $99 Mil 3 $100+ Mil 4 Uncertain 5 The annual research $$ amount that I dealt with falls into the following Under $1 Mil 1 $1 $5 Mil 2 $5 $25 Mil 3 $25+ Mil 4 P refer not to say 5 At my current institution, I currently work in a Depart ment 1 Dean's Office 2 Research Center 3 Other 4 P refer not to say 5 My department/colleg e falls under the following college/school Arts & Science 1 Engineering / Technology 2 Business 3 Medical/ Health Sciences 4 Other / Not Applicable 5 My current job position can be classified as Adm. Asst. 1 Coordinator 2 Assistant Dir/Dean 3 Associate Dir/Dean 4 Director/ Dean 5
170 App endix C : Solicitation List s of Colleges and Universities Public Universities Very High Research Designation (Alphabetically) 1. Arizona State University 2. Colorado State U niversity 3. Florida State University 4. Indiana University (Bloomington) 5. Ohio State University 6. Pennsylvania State University 7. Rutgers University (New Brunswick) 8. SUNY at Stony Brook 9. University of Alabama at Birmingham 10. University of California Los Angeles 11. Univer sity of Connecticut 12. University of Florida 13. University of Georgia 14. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign 15. University of Maryland College Park 16. University of Massachusetts (Amhurst) 17. University of Michigan 18. University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) 19. Univers ity of Tennessee 20. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Private Universities Very High Research Designation (Alphabetically) 1. Boston University 2. Brown University 3. Case Western Reserve University 4. Columbia University 5. Duke University 6. Emory Unive rsity 7. Georgetown University 8. Harvard University 9. Johns Hopkins University 10. Northwestern University 11. Princeton University 12. Tulane University 13. University of Chicago 14. University of Miami 15. University of Notre Dame 16. University of Pennsylvania 17. University of Rochester 18. Uni versity of Southern California
171 19. Vanderbilt University 20. Yale University Public Universities High Research Designation (Alphabetically) 1. Auburn University 2. Clemson University 3. Colorado School of Mines 4. Michigan Technological University 5. New Mexico State Univers ity 6. Northern Arizona University 7. San Diego State University 8. South Dakota State University 9. SUNY at Birmingham 10. Temple University 11. Texas Tech University 12. University of Louisville 13. University of Maryland Baltimore County 14. University of Montana Missoula 15. University o f North Texas 16. University of Oregon 17. University of Vermont and State Agricultural College 18. University of Wisconsin Milwaukee 19. Virginia Commonwealth University 20. West Virginia University Private Universities High Research Designation (Alphabetically) 1. Baylor University 2. Boston College 3. Brigham Young University 4. Catholic University of America 5. Clarkson University 6. Drexel University 7. Florida Institute of Technology 8. Fordham University 9. George Washington University 10. Howard University 11. Illinois Institute of Technology 12. Loyol a University Chicago 13. Marquette University 14. Northeastern University 15. Rice University 16. Saint Louis University 17. Stevens Institute of Technology 18. Syracuse University 19. University of Denver 20. Wake Forest University Appendix C : (Continued)
172 Appendix D : Final Survey Documents Informed Consent 1. The purpose of this study is to determine what aspects are viewed as important by faculty and department staff that should be offered by a centralized office of research administration. You will be asked to first indicate the importance of certain aspects associated with a centralized Office of Research Administration. Then you will be asked to indicate the presence of these aspects at your current institution. This study is being conducted as part of a doctoral dissertation. If you take part in this stud y, you will be asked to spend between 10 15 minutes completing an online survey. Benefits have not been specifically identified for participants. This research is considered to be minimal risk. That means that the risks associated with this study are the same as what you face every day. There are no known additional risks to those who take part in this study. We will not pay you for the time you volunteer while being in this study. Confidentiality Response will be tracked for follow up purposes and to a void multiple participation from individuals. We must keep your study records as confidential as possible. The records will be stored on a password secured laptop. Any physical records will be contained in a locked cabinet. However, certain people may need to see your study records. By law, anyone who looks at your records must keep them completely confidential. The only people who will be allowed to see these records are the research team, including the Principal Investigator and faculty advisors, along wi th certain government and university people who need to know more about the study. For example, individuals who provide oversight on this study may need to look at your responses. To insure that we are protecting your rights and your safety, The University of South Florida Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the staff that works for the IRB along with other individuals who work for USF that provide other kinds of oversight may also need to look at your records. We may publish what we learn from this study. If we do, we will not let anyone know your name. We will not publish anything else that would let people know who you are. If you have questions about your rights as a participant in this study, general questions, or have complaints, concerns or issues you want to discuss with someone outside the research team, call the Division of Research Integrity and Compliance of the University of South Florida at (813) 974 9343. If you have any questions, concerns, or complaints about this study, or should you exp erience any technical problems, please call Kim Cole at 786 427 7504 or 561 324 9177. You should only take part in this study if you want to volunteer. There will be no penalty if you decide not to participate in this study Yes, I agree to participate and understand the terms. No, I do not wish to participate
173 Appendix D (Continued) Email Solicitation Department Administrator Survey Dear Colleague: I am a doctoral student at the University of South Flo rida and a Department Administrator at Florida International University. I am conducting research as part of my dissertation. My research entails surveying department administrators and applicable staff members whom interact with Offices of Sponsored Res earch Administration to determine their perceptions of these centralized offices. This study has received approval by my institutional review board. Would you please help me complete my research by taking 10 15 minutes, click on the link below and com plete the survey? Your support is crucial to the success of my study. You will be asked first to rate the importance of certain attributes regarding Offices of Sponsored Research Administrat ion in general. Then, you will be asked how often certain attri butes are present at your Administration. Here is a link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx Thanks for your participation! Very truly yours, Kim Cole Please note: If you do not wish to receive further emails from us, please click the link below, and you will be automatically removed from our mailing list. https://www.surveymonkey.com /optout.aspx
174 Appendix D (Continued) Email Solicitation Principal Investigator Survey Dear Dr. [LastName] I am a doctoral candidate at the University of South Florida conducting research as part of my dissertation. My research entails surveying f aculty to determine their perceptions pertaining to Offices of Sponsored Research Administration. This study has received approval by my institutional review board. You have been identified as a significant contributor in the field of federal research grants and, therefore crucial to my study. If you have 10 15 minutes, would you be so kind as to click on the hyperlink below to complete an online survey? You will be asked first to rate the importance of certain attributes regarding Offices of Sponsor ed Research Administration in general. Then, you will be asked how often certain attributes are Research Administration. Here is a link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx If you do not wish to participate please click on the link below to avoid receiving follow up reminders. https://www.surveymonkey.com/optout.aspx Thank you f or your time and support. Gratefully yours, Kim Cole, MBA, CPA, Phd/ABD
175 Appendix D (Continued) Follow up Email sent to non respondents Recently you were sent an invitation to participate in a research study pertaining to perceptions of faculty to ward Offices of Research Administration. I am a doctoral student at the University of South Florida and am conducting this survey as part of a dissertation which Board. While, I have received quite a few responses, yours is not one of them. I am wondering if you could please take approximately 10 15 minutes to complete this survey. Your support is genuinely appreciated. Here is a link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx Thanks for your participation! Very truly yours, Kim Cole
A bout the Author Kimberley W. Cole (Kim) received her Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree in Industrial Technology from Kean University. She earned her MBA from Tennes see Tech University and voted into the international honor society for business Beta Gamma Sigma. Kim holds an active Florida Certified Public Accountant license. Kim is currently the Assistant D ean for Budget and Operati ons for the College of Education at Florida International University (FIU). Previously at FIU she served as the Deputy Director for the Metropolitan Center of FIU, an urban think tank research center and as an Associate Director for the College of Medici ne and the Applied Research Center. Kim was Assistant Controller at Florida Atlantic University prior to joining FIU. Her career in higher education administration began at the University of South Florida, where her experience included positions with the Small Business Development Center, Facilities Planning and Construction ( USF St. Petersburg ) and the College of Public Health
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Principal investigator and department administrator perceptions of services provided by offices of research administration at research universities
h [electronic resource] /
by Kimberley Cole.
[Tampa, Fla] :
b University of South Florida,
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Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2010.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic dissertation) in PDF format.
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System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this research study was to determine what service attributes were perceived as important factors for a successful Office of Research Administration (ORA) to provide to principal investigators and department administrators. Initially established more than 50 years ago, The Office of Research Administration (ORA) has evolved into an integral component for the fiscal sustainability of many institutions of higher education. Existing performance metrics based on financial measures do not sufficiently capture the quality of the level of service demands placed on the ORA by the two internal user groups. The conceptual basis of the Balanced Scorecard modified for the non-profit sector served as the theoretical framework. The study involved 668 respondents (433 principal investigators and 235 department administrators) from 72 research universities. Principal investigators and department administrators agreed on 18 service items as important performance metrics for successful Offices of Research Administration. However, the two groups did vary somewhat in the degree of importance of these 18 service items. Four services, responding to email and phone messages within 24-48 hours, easy access to forms, and timely setup of the internal award account were identified as priority factors by greater than 90 percent of the principal investigators. In addition to these four items, another six items-trainings for new employees and training updates for existing employees, equal treatment by the ORA, easy access to policies, and promoting a team effort approach to research-were identified as prior factors by greater than 90 percent of the department administrators. Demographics did not display a significant relationship in the perceptions of either group. Principal investigators did display a higher satisfaction for level of performance for the items of importance, especially related to the priority factors at their current institutions.
Advisor: Donald A. Dellow, Ed.D.
Higher education administration
x Higher Education Administration
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.