Initiative 1: Prioritize discovery in all scholarly efforts, when possible, to make it a priority in ASEC among faculty as it fits in their primary function areas.

  1. Create a culture of support to increase faculty research productivity. Focus on “What did you learn?” rather than “What did you do?”
  2. Build the department’s research capacity, especially with junior faculty in terms of grant/proposal writing and collaboration.
  3. Implement a department rubric for performance reviews and merit increases that reflects contributions to the three mission areas and the integration of the three mission areas.
  4. Develop a strategic research initiative program that identifies departmental priorities, capitalizes on the collective expertise of ASEC faculty, builds an inclusive and collaborative department across program areas, and focuses on interdisciplinary teams.

Metrics for This Initiative

  • Address item 4 by December 31, 2023.
  • Increase the number of journal articles by 10 percent (total and per faculty FTE); 5-year baseline from self-study (2014-2019, n = 70, 1.0 per faculty FTE).
  • Increase the number of books/book chapters by 10 percent per year (total and per FTE); 5-year baseline from self-study (2014-2019, n = 6, 0.09 per faculty FTE).
  • Increase the number of conference proceedings (abstracts, papers) by 10 percent per year (total and per FTE); 5-year baseline from self-study (2014-2019, n = 297, 4.24 per faculty FTE).
  • Increase the number of Google citations by 10 percent per year (total and per FTE).
  • Increase the number of partnerships across the university and with external groups that support collaborative research projects by 10 percent per year.

Initiative 2: Define and embrace a holistic view of scholarship, faculty expectations regarding scholarly outputs, and how scholarship will be measured to move forward as an academic department.

  1. Integrate discovery (i.e., expanding the knowledge base through peer-reviewed journal publications) in learning and engagement activities.
  2. Strategically align discovery agenda with new and emerging research at local, regional, national, and international levels.
  3. Develop scholarship and assess outcomes across all mission areas that generate scholarly outputs and external grant funding.

Metrics for This Initiative

  • Increase proposals submitted by 10 percent per year (total and per FTE); 5-year baseline from self-study (2014-2019, n = 124/year, 11.3 per faculty FTE/year).
  • Increase proposals led by ASEC faculty as PD by 10 percent per year (total and FTE).
  • Increase integrated proposals by 10 percent per year (total and per FTE).
  • Increase the number of projects aligned with ASEC discovery priorities by 10 percent per year.
  • Increase proposals awarded by 10 percent per year (total and per FTE); (2014-2019, n = $818,000/year, $74,364 per faculty FTE/year).
  • Increase total extramural funding by 10 percent per year (total and per FTE); (2014-2019, n = $829,104/year, $75,373 per faculty FTE/year).

Initiative 3: Strengthen existing initiatives and promote new interdisciplinary research teams of junior and senior faculty to respond to and take advantage of extramural funding opportunities.

  1. Build foundational understandings and skills among faculty and staff for interdisciplinary collaborations through effective team-building strategies.
  2. Leverage undergraduate programs as “ASEC Laboratories” for conducting integrated scholarship (i.e., discovery, learning, and engagement).
  3. Seek opportunities for engaging undergraduates in ASEC research activities, which could help entice undergraduates to enroll in ASEC’s graduate programs.

Metrics for This Initiative

  • 85 percent of ASEC faculty and staff participate in the Team Science workshop; Baseline = 2 faculty completed in 2021.
  • Conduct at least one SoTL research project per year that leverages undergraduate programs as “ASEC Laboratories”; Baseline for 2019-21 = 2 projects per year.
  • Increase the number of undergraduates engaged in ASEC research activities by 10 percent per year.

Initiative 4: Identify ASEC’s discovery role and opportunities in the College of Agriculture.

  1. Develop decision-making criteria to help guide the process of when to strategically choose between existing and new projects or initiatives that would advance the scholarship and metrics of ASEC.
  2. Identify strategies and resources to help support faculty and staff’s capacities to effectively lead and sustain large projects and initiatives for the college.
  3. Incentivize (through release time or student support) ASEC faculty and staff to lead large projects and college-wide initiatives.
  4. Explore opportunities to work with Extension specialists and educators for possible collaboration on small grants.
  5. Increase faculty collaboration and build relationships across other academic departments to expand inter-/transdisciplinary research opportunities.
  6. Diversity, equity, and inclusion should be leveraged moving forward in advancing the College of Agriculture’s strategic goal on inclusive excellence — advance new models of best practices, attending to core values and culture, for integrating diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence into the living culture of the college.
  7. Leverage strengths and an interdisciplinary focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion that could serve as a multiplier for the department’s courses, research studies, and outreach engagements.
  8. Promote and market ASEC’s achievements in discovery by highlighting faculty and staff expertise and scholarship to counter the perception of being a service department.
  9. Promote and market ASEC research (e.g., RFA announcements, open research seminars, “brown bag” lunch discussions, faculty members with current or forthcoming projects; ASEC’s “discovery and global footprints to stakeholders”).

Metrics for This Initiative

  • Increase the amount and frequency of internal and external communication of ASEC achievements in discovery by 10 percent per year.
  • Increase the number of ASEC researchers receiving university, national, and international recognitions, honors, and awards (total and per FTE) by 10 percent over five years.