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WSCUC Standard 3:

Developing and Applying Resources and Organizational Structures to Ensure Quality and Sustainability

• Faculty and Staff

• Fiscal, Physical, and 
   Information Resources

• Organizational Structures and
   Decision-Making Processes

 
The institution achieves its purposes and attains its educational objectives at the institutional and program level through the core functions of teaching and learning, scholarship and creative activity, and support for student learning and success. The institution demonstrates that these core functions are performed effectively by evaluating valid and reliable evidence of learning and by supporting the success of every student.
 

 

 
  

   
Faculty and Staff

Criteria for Review


3.1 — The institution employs faculty and staff with substantial and continuing commitment to the institution. The faculty and staff are sufficient in number, professional qualification, and diversity and to achieve the institution’s educational objectives, establish and oversee academic policies, and ensure the integrity and continuity of its academic and co-curricular programs wherever and however delivered.

As of March 2017, the number of full-time graduate school faculty is 162; they provide instruction and mentoring for 260 graduate students. The graduate office is staffed with 10 people. As of December 2016, there are 227 total members of the faculty at TSRI, including the graduate school faculty, and more than 1,500 technical and support employees.  

Many TSRI faculty members are recipients of prestigious honors and awards. They are engaged in many fields of scientific research: cell biology, chemistry, immunology, molecular biology, molecular and experimental medicine, neurobiology, and neuropharmacology.

TSRI is fortunate to have a small student-to-faculty ratio (1.6:1). This allows for enhanced individualized training and mentoring.
 

3.2 — Faculty and staff recruitment, hiring, orientation, workload, incentives, and evaluation practices are aligned with institutional purposes and educational objectives. Evaluation is consistent with best practices in performance appraisal, including multisource feedback and appropriate peer review. Faculty evaluation processes are systematic and are used to improve teaching and learning.

The Institute is committed to recruiting and retaining world renowned scientists, highly qualified students, postdoctoral fellows, technicians and administrative staff who have the ability to flourish in a rigorous, multidisciplinary, scientific environment that requires independent thought and creativity when solving problems and considering alternatives.

Orientation and training needs of the faculty and staff are assessed by the Human Resources Training Department. They design programs centered around orientation, management training for faculty and supervisors, on-the-job skills, and desktop applications.
   

3.3 — The institution maintains appropriate and sufficiently supported faculty and staff development activities designed to improve teaching, learning, and assessment of learning outcomes

While many of the departments at TSRI host their own faculty development programs, the institute has also developed mechanisms for peer-to-peer mentorship. These mechanisms are driven by recognition of the importance of properly training young investigators with managerial, teaching, and mentorship skills.

For example, TSRI has established a monthly “Junior Faculty” luncheon where assistant professors can discuss topics with, and receive advice from, invited tenured professors and institutional leaders. At these meetings, such subject matter as decision-making processes, management and leadership responsibilities, problem-solving techniques, planning strategies, and laboratory organization are routinely discussed.

TSRI regularly hosts seminars, presented by both TSRI employees and outside experts, on ethics in research, management skills and preparation of grants and manuscripts. These meetings and seminars are exceptional resources in helping young professors establish laboratories and succeed within the first few years, and assist in graduate student mentorship.

Senior faculty members, such as Professor Glen Nemerow on the California campus, have taken on the role of Faculty Mentor with the responsibility of improving the training and teaching of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows by junior faculty. In this capacity, they participate in the aforementioned training and development workshops, teach courses offered to graduate students and undergraduate trainees, and meet individually with junior faculty members on both campuses in an effort to offer guidance and advice.

Furthermore, 12 new appointments at the Assistant Professor level were recently made over a 12 year period at TSRI due in large part to the Advanced Discovery Initiative (ADI) program established from a generous Novartis endowment. Thus, there is considerable activity and interest at TSRI focused around these new hires to provide a nurturing and stimulating environment in which many of the senior faculty are fully engaged.

   

Fiscal, Physical, and Information Resources

Criteria for Review

  
3.4 — The institution is financially stable and has unqualified independent financial audits and resources sufficient to ensure long-term viability. Resource planning and development include realistic budgeting, enrollment management, and diversification of revenue sources. Resource planning is integrated with all other institutional planning. Resources are aligned with educational purposes and objectives.

TSRI's leadership team (“management”) is responsible for preparing the financial statements that reflect the administrative and academic operations of the Institute. Financial statements, which are available for download and viewing on TSRI’s main external website, are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America and necessarily include amounts that are based on best estimates and judgments with appropriate consideration given to materiality. Management has made these estimates and judgments based on extensive experience and a substantive understanding of the underlying events and transactions.

In fulfilling its responsibility for the reliability and integrity of financial information, management has established and maintains accounting procedures and related internal control systems. Management believes that these systems and controls provide reasonable assurance that assets are safeguarded, that transactions are executed in accordance with management’s authorizations and properly recorded to permit the preparation of reliable financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America, and that material errors or irregularities are either prevented or detected within a timely manner by employees in the normal course of performing their assigned duties. The Scripps Research Institute’s independent auditors, which audit the Institute’s financial statements, consider the established internal control systems to the extent necessary to express an opinion on the financial statements.

Every spring, the Institute undergoes a budgeting process. The Graduate Program presents and discusses its projected plans and activities for the upcoming year with the Executive Advisory Committee (EAC). Consisting of the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Senior Vice Presidents, and Vice Presidents, the EAC is charged with providing administrative oversight and support for the long-term budgeting and financial needs of the Graduate Program. The EAC meets semiannually to review Graduate Program issues including: enrollment, budget and planning, self-study and assessment, and programmatic matters.

Grants and contracts provide funding for a significant portion of the institute's research activities. This revenue is derived primarily from the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies. In addition, grantors include, among others, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the Juvenile Diabetes Association.

Partnerships with industry provide additional revenue for research, while advancing new therapies for patients in need. TSRI currently has more than 30 active partnerships. These partners have included Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novartis and Johnson & Johnson. Gifts from individuals and private foundations also provide an important source of funding for TSRI.
 

3.5 — The institution provides access to information and technology resources sufficient in scope, quality, currency, and kind at physical sites and online, as appropriate, to support its academic offerings and the research and scholarship of its faculty, staff, and students. These information resources, services, and facilities are consistent with the institution’s educational objectives and are aligned with student learning outcomes.

The Scripps Research Institute's Graduate Program is the “crown jewel” of the institute. Priority is given to funding the Graduate Program to ensure the adequacy of an exemplary educational experience that will attract and retain highly qualified individuals. TSRI provides access to academic and administrative resources to all students and trainees. These resources include the Office of Graduate Studies, Kresge Library, the Office of Career and Postdoctoral Services, the Office of Counseling and Psychological Services, Human Resources, and International Office are all available to assist students and postdocs.
 

Organizational Structures and Decision-Making Processes

Criteria for Review

  
3.6 — The institution’s leadership, at all levels, is characterized by integrity, high performance, appropriate responsibility, and accountability.

As described in TSRI’s Faculty Bylaws, the institute, its faculty and its leadership adhere to a set of Academic Principles considered to be the inviolate tenets governing the conduct of responsible scientists at TSRI. These Academic Principles are:

  • The freedom of scientific pursuit and the absolute right to exchange ideas.
  • The responsibility to conform to the highest ethical standards of scientific and professional conduct.
  • The conduct of research in a responsible and accountable manner.
  • The encouragement of the application of discoveries for the benefit of society.

Because TSRI regards distinction in research accomplishment and promise the fundamental basis of academic appointment, each member of the Faculty is expected to participate in basic scientific research activities having scope and goals appropriate for their Faculty rank.
 
The governance of TSRI is vested in the Board of Directors of TSRI. As the final authority in all matters affecting TSRI, the Board of Directors exercises jurisdiction over all financial, research and educational policies. The Board of Directors has delegated operating authority and responsibility to the President/CEO in order to provide for efficient administration of TSRI and for the accomplishment of its goals. The President/CEO directs the operations of TSRI with respect to research, education, financial matters, institutional facilities and relations with the scientific community. With the advice from the Faculty Council, the President/CEO interprets and executes existing administrative policies and procedures and, where necessary, establish new policies and procedures with respect to research, education and financial matters. A Board of Scientific Governors appointed by the President/CEO and composed of eminent scientists from outside TSRI shall review the activities of TSRI annually and shall report on these matters to the President and the Board of Directors.
 

3.7 — The institution’s organizational structures and decision-making processes are clear and consistent with its purposes, support effective decision making, and place priority on sustaining institutional capacity and educational effectiveness.

To view the organization chart for The Scripps Research Institute, click HERE. To view the organization chart for TSRI's Graduate Program, click HERE.
   

3.8 — The institution has a full-time chief executive officer and a chief financial officer whose primary or full-time responsibilities are to the institution. In addition, the institution has a sufficient number of other qualified administrators to provide effective educational leadership and management.

The Scripps Research Institute has a full-time President/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) who also serves as treasurer. The CEO directs the academic and operational activities of the Institute and takes the lead in developing long-term strategy and external alliances, with a focus on building “bench-to-bedside” research capabilities. The CEO and CFO work together to enhance the Institute’s scientific reputation and build a strong financial base for the Institute. The CEO appoints vice presidents and deans to aid in the conduct of TSRI business. They too are responsible for scientific, educational and administrative duties delegated by the CEO and shall be acting with the authority of the CEO. For a complete list of TSRI administration and executive leadership, please click here.
   

3.9 — The institution has an independent governing board or similar authority that, consistent with its legal and fiduciary authority, exercises appropriate oversight over institutional integrity, policies, and ongoing operations, including hiring and evaluating the chief executive officer.

The governance of TSRI is vested in the Board of Directors of TSRI. As the final authority in all matters affecting TSRI, the Board of Directors exercises jurisdiction over all financial, research and educational policies. The Board is responsible for overseeing TSRI's educational and training quality, institutional integrity, research endeavors, financial sustainability and ensuring that TSRI is effectively executing its mission. TSRI's Board of Directors is composed of nearly 20 individuals with diverse, professional backgrounds and areas of expertise. For a list of members, please click here.

The Board of Directors has delegated operating authority and responsibility to the President/CEO in order to provide for efficient administration of TSRI and for the accomplishment of its goals. The President/CEO directs the operations of TSRI with respect to research, education, financial matters, institutional facilities and relations with the scientific community. With the advice from the Faculty Council, the President/CEO interprets and executes existing administrative policies and procedures and, where necessary, establish new policies and procedures with respect to research, education and financial matters. A Board of Scientific Governors appointed by the President/CEO and composed of eminent scientists from outside TSRI shall review the activities of TSRI annually and shall report on these matters to the President and the Board of Directors.

   

3.10 — The institution’s faculty exercises effective academic leadership and acts consistently to ensure that both academic quality and the institution’s educational purposes and character are sustained.

According to TSRI's Faculty Bylaws, the faculty have the right to direct the use of TSRI's facilities, resources and personnel for the purpose of performing research-related activities. For a complete list of TSRI Graduate Program faculty, please click here.

Moreover, TSRI faculty members serve on the Faculty Council, which acts as an advisory body to the President. The TSRI Faculty Council considers all matters concerning the scientific and organizational policies and procedures of TSRI and makes recommendations on these matters to the President. The Faculty Council is composed of the Chair of each Department, and tenured Faculty members elected by a majority of the Faculty members of each Department.