Report of the Deans on the Institute for Plasma Research



1)      Priorities and Resources for IPR


a)      We believe that IPR has assembled a collection of outstanding scientists whose research and funding is at a high level. The collective impact of the Institute would, however, be strengthened if steps along the lines below were undertaken. This would make the Institute much more competitive for the scarce resources in our two colleges, and we would enthusiastically endorse the following commitments for the period FY02-FY04 inclusive if IPR were to adopt such a program:


i)        An additional annual $30,000 of operating funds from the Clark School of Engineering.


ii)       An annual commitment of $30,000 from the Weiner/Skiff lines for operating funds.


iii)     An additional $30,000 largely from the Weiner/Skiff lines, and with the difference made up by CMPS, towards a joint IPR/Physics position (this would, of course, not be limited to the FY02-FY04 time span).


iv)     An additional annual $60,000 of operating funds from the campus.


The program we are proposing consists of:


b)      The Institute should aggressively continue its efforts to move into research areas that are developing as important fields of science and engineering, are in line with national and regional priorities, or for which there is significant industry demand and student interest.


c)      The Institute should change its name to one that more accurately reflects the core of the Institute’s programs, especially the recent and future directions of the Institute as noted in item 1.


d)      The Institute should significantly strengthen its interaction with academic departments in CMPS and Engineering, especially with Physics/IPST/CSCAMM, including joint planning for future research directions and appointments.


e)      The Institute should strengthen its interactions with industry, develop new industrial links with physics and, in engineering, place more emphasis on applied research.


f)       The Institute, in cooperation with the relevant academic departments, should become a more student-focused institute with the aim of:


i)        increasing the number of graduate and undergraduate students involved with experimental and applied research;

ii)       playing a more active role in combined research and curriculum development activities so as to increase its visibility among students; and

iii)     playing a more active role in student recruitment activities, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels.


g)      The Institute should establish a system where academic faculty appointments in the Institute are made on a 3 year basis, with renewal on the basis of a review (which must be sensitive to the difficulty of relocation of laboratories).


h)      The Institute should significantly increase its communication activities so as to more effectively publicize its strengths and accomplishments to various constituencies, on and off campus.


At the end of FY 04, a review will be conducted to evaluate the Institute’s progress toward the above mentioned programs. Continuation of additional operating funds will depend on the result of this review.



2)      The Directorship:


         Tom Antonsen's position as Acting Director ends Dec. 31,'00, and after lengthy consideration the IPR faculty have decided that the research and education effort of IPR will move ahead most quickly if it retains its status as a separate institute. Dr. Pat O'Shea has accepted the position of Interim Director for the period Jan1, 2001 - June 30, 2001, and  a search committee chaired by Jordan Goodman has been struck to conduct an internal search for a Director for the period July 1, 2001 - June 30, 2006.