The Council of Principal Investigators (CPI) comprises individuals elected to represent Principal Investigators (PIs) from The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio research community. The CPI’s mission is to ensure continued improvement of the research environment for faculty, students and staff at UT Health San Antonio. The CPI, acts as an independent voice for the PIs it represents, works with administration to optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of the research and training environment, with the goal of increasing the national recognition of UT Health San Antonio as an institution competitive in research and teaching.
The CPI meets monthly to consider specific issues relevant to research. Recommendations are formulated, then discussed with and implemented through the appropriate organizations or administrative offices.
Making the CPI a stronger voice for researchers
The CPI has regular scheduled meetings with UT Health San Antonio leadership (President Henrich, Ms. Marks, and Dr. Potter), to discuss concerns of importance to researchers and the research enterprise. These meetings are extremely constructive and ensure that research remains an important component of the Institution’s mission, and that the administration hears a strong voice on behalf of its researchers.
This last year has been challenging with the implementation of the Enterprise Design for Growth and Effectiveness (EDGE) initiative (renamed as MOST). The CPI has worked diligently with Ms. Marks, Ms. Gomez-Leon, Dr. Potter, and others to communicate the concerns of the PIs and to provide feedback on the effectiveness of this initiative. By working with leadership, the CPI have helped streamline processes related to travel, procurement, pre- and post- award management. We will continue to advocate for the PIs to increase the efficiency of this redesigned operating model aimed at modernizing campus administrative services.
The CPI met with Ms. Tawney and her HR leadership team to provide input from the PIs on the development of performance-based incentives for research staff, the comprehensive leave policy, and to discuss issues and voice concerns as HR implemented the Kronos system for tracking employee time and attendance.
The CPI have also:
- Worked with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs on the English language proficiency requirement that should make recruiting international postdocs easier and faster for our faculty.
- Identified effective ways for Facilities Management to communicate and schedule essential construction.
- Met with the leadership of Lab Animal Resources to discuss animal per diem cost analysis and rate setting. Discrepancies were noted for housing costs for VA researchers, and these were charged to the same rate as internal investigators.
- Worked proactively with leadership on possible solutions to maintain compliance with new federal policies (e.g., NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing).
- Notified the administration of potentially serious issues with the implementation of new spam filters on the UTHSA email system, provided guidance and suggested solutions to manage spam more effectively.
- Engaged the Marketing and Communications office regarding faculty profiles, website navigation and design (both internal and external).