« PreviousContinue »
in Secretary's Memorandum 1462 and provide for interim procedures essential to an orderly transfer of responsibilities between the Services involved. The assignment of functions made herein is effective September 1, 1961.
2. Cooperative State Experiment Station Service. There is hereby established the Cooperative State Experiment Station Service, headed by an Administrator authorized to exercise the general delegations provided in 9 AR 116 of the Department's Administrative Regulations. George Selke is designated Acting Administrator, Cooperative State Experiment Station Service.
3. Functions Assigned. Under the general direction and supervision of the Assistant Secretary, Federal-States Relations, the Cooperative State Experiment Station Service will administer, subject to the coordination of research activities by the Administrator, Agricultural Research Service, the following functions heretofore carried out by the State Experiment Stations Division of the Agricultural Research Service:
a. The Administration of the Agricultural Experiment Stations Act of August 11, 1955 (Hatch Act or 1887, as amended—7 U.S.C. 361a-361i).
b. Payments under Section 204 (b) of the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (7 U.S.C 1623) to State agricultural experiment stations.
4. Research Coordination. The Department's responsibility for research requires analysis and evaluation of projects carried on by all agencies of the Department and, also those conducted by the State agricultural experiment stations under Federal-grant funds. It is by this means that effective use of resources and essential integration of the planning and conduct of research is achieved. Responsibility for research coordination is assigned to the Administrator, Agricultural Research Service (9 AR 200a). Review and evaluation of State and Federal research proposals as a means of achieving coordination between De partment and State research has been carried on by the State Experiment Stations Division within Agricultural Research Service. This function will be performed by the Cooperative State Experiment Station Service under the supervision of the Administrator of the Agricultural Research Service pending further studies and review.
5. Incidental Transfers. The Administrative Assistant Secretary will approve such transfer of funds, records, property and personnel as are involved in the organizational assignments made in this Memorandum. Pending the actual transfer of the personnel involved, they shall be considered on detail to the Cooperative State Experiment Station Service. Administrative support functions will continue to be performed in the Agricultural Research Service with appropriate reimbursement or payment of costs involved pending further studies and review.
6. Views of Interested Persons and Group Acknowledged. Decisions made in connection with these transfers of functions have involved careful consideration of views expressed by interested persons and groups in response to advance public notice given on July 19, 1961. Thorough study and evaluation of comments received from the public provide assurance that the organizational changes approved will strengthen the Department's service to the agricultural economy and the Nation.
(S) ORVILLE L. FREEMAN, Secretary.
Some Major Policy Recommendations Made by Directors of Agricultural
REPORT OF THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON PROJECTS AND CORRELATION OF
The Joint Standing Committee on Projects and Correlation of Research was appointed for the purpose of studying the research projects now active in the Federal Department of Agriculture and in the State Experiment Stations. It seeks:
1. To determine if there now exists any wasteful, unnecessary or perhaps harmful duplication of effort within these agencies.
* Proceedings of the Thirtieth Annual Convention of the Associaion of American Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations, Washington, D.C., Nov. 15-17, 1916, p. 133.
2. To recommend general principles which may be applied at this time, to the end that public funds may be more efficiently and economically utilized.
3. To suggest definite opportunities for the correlation of investigative projects, planned with a view of solving the same or similar problems.
4. To determine the facts, to interpret the results, and to make recommendations, in order that greater efficiency may be obtained ; in some cases by hastening the completion of important work and in others by securing the advantages which may be derived by a combined attack
on the same problem at the same time at several locations. The committee has undertaken to make as careful and complete a survey as may be made of existing research projects in the State stations and the Federal Department. This survey has not been completed. Every station director has been asked to file a list of the projects now active in his station, and two-thirds of them have supplied this information. The printed program of work published by the Federal Department indicates the nature and scope of its research projects. The committee now has on file a list of about 1,200 investigative projects located in the stations and about 750 in the Federal Department. No final generalizations as to the extent of duplication can now be made. However, the information already available justifies the statement that the duplication is frequent and that in part it may be avoided by voluntary cooperation through conference of investigators.
The committee believes that if the information now on hand touching station projects were made available in some such way as is done by the Federal Department in connection with its published program of work, a most valuable means would be afforded of bringing about cooperation of effort and greater efficiency and economy would be secured. It hopes to present at the next convention of this Association a reasonably complete list of the active research projects of the several stations similar to the previously mentioned departmental list.
W. A. TAYLOR.
F. B. MUMFORD. On motion, the report of the joint committee on projects and correlation of research was received.
RECOMMENDATIONS MADE BY THE EXPERIMENT STATION COMMITTEE ON ORGANIZA
TION AND POLICY WITH REFERENCE TO GENERAL PRINCIPLES TO BE ADOPTED BY THE ASSOCIATION OF LAND-GRANT COLLEGES ON THE BASIS OF POLICY IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE PURNELL ACT AND APPROVED SUBSEQUENTLY BY THE AssOCIATION AT ITS THIRTY-NINTH ANNUAL CONVENTION, NOVEMBER 19, 1925
"In order to provide for definite action, the committee recommends that the following general principles be adopted by the association as the basis of policy in the administration of the Purnell Act.
“(1) This act is supplementary to the two previous ones for experiment stations. It is to build upon what already has been provided. It is for a going concern, and it is not designed to relieve the states of their financial obligations. It is for new investigation or putting new force into work already under way.
“(2) As it is supplementary and for increasing investigation, general overhead charges, except such as relate to the support of definite projects, are not considered to be warranted. The purpose which the fund is to serve will stand out more clearly if its admixture with other funds in the support of projects is held down to the minimum. To scatter it unduly and in small amounts over projects supported mainly from other funds will increase the task of administration and may suggest that it is being dissipated.
“(3) The Purnell Act is designed to promote sound investigation in accordance with modern conceptions of that term and the present status of knowledge. Progress at this stage calls for clear-cut, concrete proposals. This implies analysis of complex problems and the study of individual features by the most adequate means that research has disclosed, with the constant aim of strengthening methods and making inquiry more penetrating.
“(4) Only a relatively small field in the several branches of a station can be covered at a given time. Hence the plan of concentrating on a few topics in
each field and making the work comprehensive, thorough, and conclusive is highly important. A few things should be done well rather than many things indifferently.
“(5) A systematic, well-rounded research program promises more at this stage than a fortuitous, disconnected set of projects. It enables a more adequate attack on the selected topics and a better related whole.
“(6) The problem is the natural unit in the organization of research on manysided subjects. A relationship will thus be established between the research in production and that in economics, sociology, and the home, as a basis for 'the establishment and maintenance of a permanent and efficient agricultural industry.'
"(7) The importance of cooperation and coordination within the stations, between stations, and with other agencies is now so definitely indicated as to make it a leading principle of administration. It is emphasized by the new fields of economics and rural life into which the stations are expanding. The breadth of many problems and their similarity in different sections favors joint effort in place of unrelated action. It is logical that the United States Department of Agriculture and the experiment stations should work in close cooperation, and every effort should be directed to that end.
“(8) Effective research requires trained workers, with a sound background in science quite as much as in their specialties. The need for investigators with vision, initiative, and keen perception is imperative at the present stage. The securing of such qualifications will require the maintaining of a high standard of requirements and the making of positions sufficiently attractive to warrant the necessary preparation.
“(9) The experiment station is one of the primary features of the college. Responsibility for discharging its functions does not cease with its administrative officers, but is reflected on the parent institution. Sympathetic recognition and support of the essentials for research, the type of workers required, and the adjustment of their duties are fundamental to the meeting of just expectations under the new act.
"(10) The administration of an experiment station has become large and exacting matter. It has assumed an importance it has never had before. It calls for breadth of understanding and critical judgment in research, coupled with organizing ability and a familiarity with the leading problems of agriculture. With rapid growth in prospect, effective direction will call for time to study the whole situation—the needs of the state, the proposals submitted, the organization of joint efforts, and the maintenance of contacts with the progress of the work. Upon wise administration will depend in the first instance the effective use of the large new appropriations for agricultural research.
E. W. ALLEN,
A RECOMMENDATION BY THE COMMITTEE ON EXPERIMENT STATION ORGANIZATION
AND POLICY, ON OUTLINING PROJECTS ? More Critical Scrutiny Still Needed in Outlining New Research Projects The importance of improving or maintaining standards of experimental station research and to this end the need for careful study of project plans for new projects were discussed by the Committee on Experimental Station Organization and Policy in 1925 and again in 1926. Yet, so far as your committee is able to judge from individual experience and information available as to general practice, there is still opportunity for improvement, and there is still need for more careful scrutiny on the part of project leaders and administrative officers in outlining new research projects so as to insure “concrete investigations of such limited range as to make them feasible of accomplishment” within reasonable time.
The authorization of new projects is an important administrative matter, and merits the most careful consideration and cooperation of the research leader
Proceedings of the 41st Annual Convention of the Association of Land-Grant Colleges and Universities, Chicago, Illinois, November 15–17, 1927.
and his co-workers with the responsible administrative officers in narrowing the proposed investigation to a concrete phase of a problem looking to conclusions with minimum qualifications.
Practices and policies followed at different experiment stations in initiating a new piece of research or in drawing up and adopting a research project differ widely. The plan followed depends in part at least upon the size of the station staff and upon the way in which the different directors are accustomed to handle administrative business. The methods in vogue may be roughly classified as follows:
(1) The director takes full responsibility in passing upon projects.
(2) The director appoints a standing committee to act in an advisory capacity and to make a careful study of all projects submitted.
(3) The director calls into conference members of the station staff who are in a position to contribute to the study or the drafting of the project. Whatever the method of procedure the leader of the proposed project should assume responsibility for knowledge and analysis of previous investigation, or investigations under way, which may have a bearing on the research proposed by him. In like manner, he should be prepared to support his proposed methods of investigation as adequate for accomplishment in the research proposed, and feasible of being carried out with the facilities and equipment which may be made available.
After thorough consideration of these matters, the next important task is to formulate a project statement which pictures for adminisrative officers, other investigators, and co-workers the merits of the project, its objective, procedure in the proposed investigation as to technique and methods, the probable period of time and its reasonableness, and the funds required and their adequacy for the proposed work.
Your committee recommends as a policy to research workers and responsible administrative officers more careful scrutiny of new projects, keeping in mind :
The Title. This should characterize the concrete limited unit of work to be undertaken and not cover the entire field to which the project is related.
The Objective. It should be clear cut and specific, and not involved with statements of procedure.
The Outlook. The project should be constructive in character. It should take account of the status of the question, attack points which need further study, supplement other work, exhibit vision and ingenuity, and give prospect of success.
What, specifically, is it proposed to add to the sum of knowledge of the subject ? Such a contribution may deal with some new point, or those still in doubt, or determine applications to the conditions in the region.
The Procedure. It should be up-to-date, representing the progress and current views on methods and technique. It should give data that will stand statistical analysis and be comparable with other similar accepted data. Does it cover the requirements of the subject, or is it one sided or inadequate in some respects ?
Thoroughness. The project should be designed to undertake thoroughly and with reasonable completeness the investigation of the subject and should not be fragmentary and superficial.
Probable Duration. Is the time element a reasonable one? Does the project commit the station to a course it may not be desirable to carry through?
The Funds Required. Is the estimate ample for the proposed investigation ? Are the expenses and other essentials within the means of the station budget?
COOPERATIVE RESEARCH WITH COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISES AND INTERESTS 8 The establishment of the agricultural experiment station as a publicly supported research institution was based upon the premise that the results accruing from research in the field of agriculture benefited all society. That this premise was correct has been amply demonstrated by the broad application that has been made of the results of such research. Since research in this field benefits all society, it should be supported not by a single class or by a few groups of especially interested classes, but by society as a whole. Commercial agencies, therefore, that have a particular interest in such work because of its close relation to their own activities can usually best serve their own interests, those of the
* Policy Recommended by the Committee on Experiment Station Organization and Policy, November 21, 1928.
stations, and of the general public by using their influence to secure for the station adequate financial support from public funds.
When public funds are not available for the conduct of research of a special character for which there is urgent and immediate need, private grants from commercial agencies may make possible the securing of prompt results and thus serve both these interests and those of the public.
There is ample evidence that experiment stations and the farmers whom the stations serve have profited materially by contacts and cooperation with commercial enterprises and interests. The committee feels, therefore, that under certain definite limitations and conditions it is proper for the experiment stations to accept grants for agricultural research from such agencies. The following general conditions are laid down as the basis for a broad policy:
1. The research supported in this way should be of general public importance and in the field of the agricultural experiment station.
2. All such researches should be institutional and not cooperative with individual departments or staff members, and salaries and other expenditures should be handled through regular institutional channels.
3. Carefully worded project agreements should be drawn, setting forth the nature and purpose of the project, and the conditions under which the grant is accepted and is to be used. In this the interest of the station and of the public should be safeguarded in the same way as research under other station funds and the right to patent any discovery be reserved to the institution.
4. Results should first be made public through the regular station channels, whether favorable or unfavorable to the cooperating agency.
Outside Work and Relationships of Station Staff The question of part-time employment or acceptance of fees for extra service rendered to outside agencies is one that needs to be considered from time to time by practically all staff members and administrative officers. Your Committee has given serious consideration to this matter and realizes the difficulty of setting up definite policies that would be applicable under all conditions. There are certain general policies, however, whic we feel might aid in guiding both staff members and directors.
1. As a general rule it seems inadvisable for station employees to accept fees or to engage in any regular work for compensation while they are employed as full-time research workers on an experiment station staff.
2. Where outside work of any nature is permitted a definite understanding should be had as to the nature of the service, time required, and compensation.
3. It is realized that there are so many different aspects to the question of accepting compensation for writing that is is difficult to set up a definite policy which would always apply. This, however, should be a matter of administrative control, and should exclude articles promoting the sale of particular agricultural commodities. Articles using unpublished research material of the station or committing the institution to any practices or policy should have the approval of the regular authorized agency of the institution.
H. W. BABRE
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
COOPERATIVE STATE EXPERIMENT STATION SERVICE
ESSENTIALS OF AN EXPERIMENT STATION PROJECT OUTLINE
Title. A brief, clear, specific designation of the subject of the research. The title, used by itself, should give a good indication of what the project is about.
"As revised May 3, 1955, and in effect at the time of this printing.
634244 0 - 62 - 20