Our excellence in research and creative works distinguishes us in all that we do in education, service and engagement. Further, we know this influences the quality of the student experience, the patient experience and the cultural enrichment that we offer the world around us.

Recognizing the need to support faculty scholarship in all of its forms, Chancellor Cartwright has charged Provost Latha Ramchand and Vice Chancellor Mark McIntosh — in collaboration with the Faculty Council and our deans — to assemble a working group of faculty to recommend mechanisms that would incentivize and support our scholars toward even greater productivity in research and creative works. This group will review and make recommendations around financial incentive programs as well as infrastructure (staffing, resources, facilities and policies) that support individual scholars and research teams. The group will begin working this fall with the goal of submitting recommendations by Feb. 1, 2019. We intend to implement any new incentive programs beginning July 1, 2019.

Through these efforts, we will create an overarching program to grow all research and creative works outcomes indicative of a strong global public research university, a member of the AAU, and Missouri’s flagship institution. Chancellor Cartwright is looking for recommended programs that will drive our research and creative works efforts toward our collective goals of significantly increasing our books, journal publications, citations, national honors and awards for our faculty and students. Any new programs must also focus on hiring and retaining exceptional nationally recognized faculty (including National Academy members), as well as doubling externally sponsored research expenditures, establishing three to five new national research centers, expanding collaboration across the university, and creating a culture that values excellence in all forms of scholarship. We must critically examine existing barriers and recommend creative ways to improve our collective efforts. This will help strengthen a supporting environment for outstanding research and creative works.

One specific outcome of this holistic approach to incentivizing research is that FY19 will be the last year that the campus will have the Grants and Contracts Incentive (GCI) plan as currently defined. Consequently, this committee has also been charged with examining the Research Incentive Fund (RIF) distribution policy. The working group will develop new incentive programs that will drive our productivity while addressing any impact of the elimination of the GCI plan on faculty.

Finally, any implemented programs for increasing the productivity and visibility of our outstanding faculty must challenge and enable us to improve. We must incorporate ongoing review processes and adjust these programs annually, as appropriate, to ensure their effectiveness.