Statement of Purpose
The Earth Planetary and Space Sciences Institute (EPSSI) is and will continue to be a focus for interdisciplinary activities in earth, atmospheric, oceanographic and space sciences at Michigan Technological University. EPSSI's purpose is to enable its members to offer programs and pursue research opportunities in those disciplines that go beyond the scope of individual academic departments.
The renewal of an Institute is based in part on its past performance. Since being renewed in 2009, the Earth Planetary and Space Sciences Institute has made significant contributions to the University's mission in research and education.
Oversight and Expansion of the Atmospheric Sciences PhD Program
Members of the prior incarnation of EPSSI, the Remote Sensing Institute, designed, proposed, and oversaw the creation and implementation of the PhD program in Atmospheric Sciences. The Atmospheric Sciences PhD program allows faculty to recruit and retain students who would not be attracted to the more traditional, departmental programs. The first PhD from the program graduated in October 2013; at least two more are expected in the next six months. There are currently 13 students in the program in four departments (eight advisors). Six members of EPSSI are the original faculty in the Atmospheric Sciences program.
Strategic Faculty Hiring Initiatives in Sustainability and Water attracted several strong candidates whose research interests are in atmospheric science. New hires in Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences (GMES), Chemistry, and Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) also joined the Atmospheric Sciences faculty. With 11 faculty members, the Atmospheric Science program is one of the major programs in the country. For comparison, well established Atmospheric Sciences programs at the University of Wyoming and the University of Arizona have 10 and nine faculty members respectively1
Support for Large, Multi-Investigator Proposals
EPSSI has aggressively supported large, multi-investigator proposals, primarily through commitment of cost share to those proposals. Examples of those proposals that have been funded include the NSF MRI Multiphase turbulent reaction chamber, and the NSF Collaborative research project to investigate physical and radiative properties of North Atlantic free tropospheric aerosol.
Support for Research Infrastructure
EPSSI has supported infrastructure enhancement, primarily through cost share for Research Excellence Fund – IE proposals. Examples include an OC/EC analyzer in 2011 and a hi-vol sampler last year. The Institute has committed $10,000 for an REF-IE proposal this year for a single particle soot photometer in addition to $10,000 for an REF-IE proposal (submitted through Chemistry) for acquisition of an ion-chromatography system.
Support for Incoming Faculty
EPSSI is committed to supporting incoming faculty. To that end, the Institute has contributed $22,000 for startup support for a faculty member in GMES. EPSSI has also committed cost share to proposals for new faculty. New and untenured faculty within the Institute are asked to invite potential collaborators and/or proposal reviewers to campus during the fall EPSSI seminar series.
Sustained Research Productivity
Figure 1 is a plot of the cumulative overhead of all proposals associated with EPSSI since the Institute's last renewal. Note that capital equipment does not generate overhead and thus is not reflected in that sum. The plot shows that the members of EPSSI have a sustained and consistent record of procuring funding to support their research activities. We believe that the Institute's support plays a role in that success.
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Figure 1: Cumulative sum of the total overhead generated by proposals associated with the Earth Planetary and Space Sciences Institute since renewal in 2009. The average quarterly overhead generated is $128,284.
EPSSI Seminar Series
The EPSSI Seminar Series is held in the fall semester. See Appendix A for a list of seminar speakers since 2009. It is critical that scientists (not just graduate students) be exposed to the latest results and ideas. For this reason, the formal presentations that these visitors make while on campus are an invaluable contribution to the University's mission.
In many respects, the informal interactions with faculty and students are even more valuable. Moreover, Michigan Tech has a stated goal to become “a national University of choice.” The University's reputation among faculty and scientists at other institutions plays a role in that. We make an effort to ensure that external seminar speakers meet with a range of EPSSI members, and as a result most or all of them leave with a very favorable impression, contributing to improvements in Michigan Tech's national and international reputation.
The seminar series serves as a way for the various sub-disciplines within the Institute to interact and spark new collaborations. We have also used the Seminar series to promote interaction between Michigan Tech's main campus and research staff at the Michigan Tech Research Institute by bringing in MTRI personnel for seminars. The average attendance (estimated) at RSI seminars is 40.
Remote Sensing Minor
The Remote Sensing Minor, Michigan Tech's first interdisciplinary minor, is administered by EPSSI. Five students have received the minor since 2002. Eleven are currently enrolled. 198 students have taken UN4000, Remote Sensing Institute Seminar2, since the fall semester of 2000.
See Appendix B for a further accounting of activities/expenditures since renewal in 2009.
Missions and Proposed Activities
A mission is a specific task with which a person or a group is charged. As stated above, the Purpose of EPSSI is to enable its members to offer programs and pursue research opportunities that would be beyond the scope of individual academic departments. The specific tasks by which the Institute accomplishes that Purpose are as follows:
EPSSI will continue to support and enable large, multi-PI proposals. Many research projects require the expertise and resources of multiple investigators. Funding agencies today are favorably inclined toward such large, multi-investigator, multidisciplinary projects. In the last renewal, we committed to submitting at least three such proposals, a goal which we exceeded. The primary means of support for such proposals is cost share, especially for NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) proposals, for which cost share is required. Support for speakers through the seminar series also plays a role in such support, as the Institute has specifically targeted potential collaborators as seminar speakers.
EPSSI will continue to contribute to the University's research infrastructure enhancement efforts, through cost share for regular and REF-IE proposals. Funding for equipment can be difficult in today's fiscal environment, yet that very equipment is what can make or break a proposal. Preference will be given to equipment which will benefit multiple members of the Institute. Equipment that will foster collaboration within the University (not just the Institute) will also be supported.
EPPSI will continue to support new faculty by contributing to startup funds when appropriate and possible.
EPSSI will continue to support and oversee the PhD program in Atmospheric Sciences. This includes support for new faculty (see first bullet above) as well as support for existing faculty (see following bullets). There are also administrative costs (e.g. secretarial support, processing of graduate applications) that EPSSI covers.
EPSSI will continue to support recruitment and retention of graduate students for its members. The Institute has placed a particular emphasis on recruitment of students in the Atmospheric Sciences program, which is not covered by any department.
EPSSI will continue to support graduate and undergraduate education. In particular, EPSSI has consistently provided funds for students (graduate and undergraduate) to attend national and international meetings. Attendance at such meetings is critical for students, and benefits the University by highlighting the research conducted here. EPSSI will also continue to fund summer undergraduate research projects where appropriate.
EPSSI will continue its long-standing, successful seminar series, which brings 12 to 14 nationally and internationally recognized scientists in disciplines spanning EPSSI's purview to campus every fall.
Justification for Renewal of the Earth Planetary and Space Sciences Institute
The Procedure to Renew an Institute includes the following statement on Justification for the Institute: “Justification. A description of the rationale for establishing the Center/Institute and the anticipated benefits from its creation.” Preceding that, under Mission Statement, is this statement: “This mission provides the basis upon which later evaluations of Center/Institute activities will be made.”
When renewed in 2009, the Earth Planetary and Space Sciences Institute outlined the following goals:
- Support new faculty by contributing to startup funds.
- Expand the University's research productivity and infrastructure
- Continue to support and oversight of the PhD program in Atmospheric Sciences.
- Continued support for recruitment and retention of graduate students for its members.
- Continued support for graduate and undergraduate education.
- Continuation of the Seminar series to foster interdisciplinary research and education.
As outlined in Section 2, the Institute has done those things (see also Appendix B). Section 3 of this document outlines the goals that EPSSI has set for the next five years.
As noted above, the Institute has aggressively pursued opportunities to enhance Michigan Tech's research infrastructure through acquisition of equipment and support of personnel. Notable support for acquisition of equipment and expansion of research infrastructure includes:
- NRC aerosol neutralizer
- an organic carbon/elemental carbon (OC/EC) field analyzer
- a high volume sampler (American Ecotech, deployed at Pico Mt. Observatory)
- an automated hi volume sampler (DIGITEL hi-vol DHA-80)
- a high-powered light source for shock wave imaging
- renovation of Dow 105 to accommodate the NSF MRI funded cloud chamber
- an ultra-high resolution mass spectrometer, (2013 MRI cost share, $15000 committed, proposal not funded)
- an ultra-high resolution mass spectrometer, (2014 MRI cost share, $15000 committed, proposal pending)
- development of instrumentation to measure the source contribution function of organic gases and aerosols from land surfaces (2014 MRI cost share, $50000 committed (over three years), proposal pending)
- acquisition of an SP2 soot photometer (2014 REF-IE cost share, $10000 committed, proposal pending)
- acquisition of an Ion Chromatography System with dual anion and cation capability (2014 REFIE cost share (proposal submitted through chemistry), $10000 committed, proposal pending)
In addition to the equipment and research infrastructure support listed above, EPSSI has fostered Michigan Tech's research productivity through support of personnel. The Institute has funded three summer undergraduate research assistantships3 for $10,300. Graduate student support totals $98,273, and support for postdoctoral scholars is $109,451.
Structure and Management of the Earth Planetary and Space Sciences Institute
Every department represented within EPSSI is entitled to representation on the EPSSI Advisory Council. Members of EPSSI who are in the same department shall choose amongst themselves who will represent their department on the Advisory Council. If not a department representative, the Director of the Atmospheric Sciences program, which EPSSI oversees, shall be an additional member of the Advisory Council. The term of a member of the Advisory Council will be two years.
The Director of the Institute, who reports to the Vice President for Research, is selected from the members of EPSSI by the Advisory Council. The term of the Director shall be three years. A Director may be re-appointed by the Advisory Council.
Duties of the Director include (but are not limited to) oversight of the day-to-day operations of the Institute, coordination of the seminar series, oversight of the minor in remote sensing, oversight of EPSSI's support of the Atmospheric Sciences PhD program4, and coordination of multi-PI proposals supported by EPSSI. Additionally, the Director is responsible for the yearly report to the Vice President for Research. In the interest of transparency and accountability, the Director shall also prepare and distribute a yearly report to the Advisory Council of the Institute's finances. The report shall include an accounting of expenditures greater than $3000. The Institute will provide funding for secretarial/administrative assistance for the Director.
Centers within EPSSI
Centers may be established within RSI with the approval of the Advisory Council. Of course, Centers must also follow the guidelines for establishment as set forth by the office of the Vice President for Research. The Lake Superior Ecosystems Research Center (LaSER) is the only Center currently authorized under EPSSI.
Space and Facilities
EPSSI, like most other Centers and Institutes at Michigan Tech, has no allocated space5. There are no needs for space at this time.
Funding for the Institute's activities is provided by IRAD funds directed to the Institute from grants affiliated with EPSSI (see Table 1).
Money from this indirect cost recovery will be used to fund the Mission and Proposed Activities detailed in Section 3. The projected costs of activities EPSSI will undertake are shown in Table 1 (see also Appendix B), while routine and administrative costs are shown in Table 2. All costs shown in Table 1 are not expected yearly. In the event that multiple items come up in the same year and that the Institute does not have the resources to fund all of them, the order of priority is reflected in the order of listing in Table 1.
Table 1. Projected Costs for Proposed Activities
|Matching funds for proposals, with an emphasis on major equipment and postdoctoral support||$50,000|
|Faculty startup support (typical)6||$15,000|
|Graduate student recruitment||$10,000|
|Funding for undergraduate research (per student)||$3,500|
Table 2. Routine and Administrative Costs
|Atmospheric Sciences Program Director||$8,000|
List of Participating Faculty
|Will Cantrell, Director||Physics|
|Raymond Shaw, Director, Atmospheric Sciences Program||Physics|
Appendix A: Earth Planetary and Space Sciences Institute Seminar Speakers, Outside Speakers Only
|Bereket Haileab||Carleton College|
|Manvendra Dubey||Los Alamos National Laboratory|
|Amanda B. Clarke||Arizona State University|
|John Tarduno||University of Rochester|
|Mike Fromm||Naval Research Laboratory|
|Chuck Connor||University of South Florida|
|Colette Heald||Colorado State University|
|Steve Ackerman||University of Wisconsin–Madison|
|Tim Dixon||University of Miami (NSF MARGINS Distinguished Lecturer Program, Special Seminar)|
|Anita Grunder||Oregon State University|
|Weston Thelen||University of Washington|
|Nickolay A. Krotkov||NASA GSFC/UMBC|
|Chris W. Fairall||NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory|
|Florian M. Schwandner||Earth Observatory of Singapore|
|David Parrish||NOAA ESRL|
|Will Cantrell, Claudio Mazzoleni, Lynn Mazzoleni, and Raymond Shaw||Michigan Tech|
|Alistair Smith||University of Idaho|
|Dave Schwab||NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory|
|Jed O. Kaplan||Environmental Engineering Institute, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) Lausanne, Switzerland|
|John Chadwick||University of North Carolina Charlotte|
|V. Rao Kotamarthi||Environmental Science Division , Argonne National Lab|
|Jonathan M. Lees||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill|
|Elizabeth Hays||NASA Goddard Space Flight Center|
|Gabriele Pfister||National Center for Atmospheric Research|
|Robert Kayen||US Geological Survey|
|Engielle Paguican||Universite Blaise Pascal Clermont Ferrand, France|
|Joe Meert||University of Florida|
|Bob Shuchman||Michigan Tech Research Institute|
|Tim Garrett||University of Utah|
|Michael R. Hoffman||California Institute of Technology|
|Yan Liu||Northern Michigan University|
|Elissa M. Eastvedt||Langmuir Laboratory, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology|
|Giuseppe Petrucci||University of Vermont|
|Qing Liang||NASA GESTAR/Universities Space Research Association (USRA)|
|Jim Pankow||Portland State University|
|Ronald T. Eguchi||ImageCat, Inc.|
|Richard Aster||New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology|
|Andres Diaz||Universidad de Costa Rica|
|Patrick Haertel||Yale University|
|Guy Brasseur||Climate Service Center—Germany|
|Luke Van Roekel||Northland College|
|Annmarie G. Carlton||Rutgers|
|Matt Haney||USGS-Alaska Volcano Observatory|
|Rajul Pandya||Spark – UCAR Science Education|
|Andrei Abelev||Naval Research Laboratory|
|Andrea Vander Woude||Cooperative Institute for Limnology and Ecosystems Research|
|Matt Alvarado||Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc.|
|Xiquan Dong||University of North Dakota|
|Eurico J. D'Sa||Louisiana State University|
|Daniel Titze||University of Minnesota, Duluth|
|Barbara Finlayson-Pitts||University of California, Irvine|
|Stephen Schwartz||Brookhaven National Lab|
|Alexander Laskin||Pacific Northwest National Lab|
|Marianne V. Moore||Wellesley College|
|Daniel Obrist||Desert Research Institute|
|Mikhail Ovchinnikov||Pacific Northwest National Laboratory|
Appendix B: Major EPSSI Expenditures Greater than $3000, Since Renewal in 2009
Undergraduate Research Assistants
|May 7, 2010||Summer Support, Undergraduate Research Assistant (M. Falkowski)||$3,500|
|May 7, 2010||Summer Support, Undergraduate Research Assistant (C. Mazzoleni)||$3,500|
|March 21, 2013||Summer Support, Undergraduate Research Assistant (J. Becker)||$3,300|
Graduate Student Assistantships
|May 26, 2009 to June 26, 2009||Tuition/Travel for Cornell Course in Aquatic Remote Sensing for F. Yousef (Kerfoot)||$3,902|
|August 31, 2009||Doctoral Fellowship and FB to E29478. Grant Proposal Cost Share (B. Rose)||$9,524|
|August 31, 2009||Tuition to E29478. Grant Proposal Cost Share (B. Rose)||$9,523|
|July 15, 2010 to August 26, 2010||Summer Support and Tuition for Graduate Student Bo Zhang (Perlinger)||$2,901|
|August 23, 2010||Doctoral Fellowship and FB to E29478. Grant Proposal Cost Share (B. Rose)||$9,524|
|August 23, 2010||Tuition to E29478. Grant Proposal Cost Share (B. Rose)||$9,523|
|October 28, 2010 to December 28, 2010||Graduate Support and Tuition for Graduate Student Amalia Anderson (Kostinski)||$4,346|
|January 13, 2011 to April 21, 2011||Graduate Support and Tuition for Graduate Student Foad Yousef (Kerfoot)||$5,935|
|August 25, 2011||Doctoral Fellowship and FB to E29478. Grant Proposal Cost Share (B. Rose)||$9,524|
|August 25, 2011||Tuition to E29478. Grant Proposal Cost Share (B. Rose)||$9,523|
|November 26, 2011 to December 24, 2011||Graduate Student Support. Hourly. M. Hobmeier (C. Kerfoot)||$2,205|
|February 18, 2012 to March 17, 2012||Grad Student Support. Hourly. J. LeDuc (C. Kerfoot)||$2,796|
|August 24, 2012||Doctoral Fellowship and FB to E29478. Grant Proposal Cost Share (B. Baltensberger/B. Rose)||$9,524|
|August 24, 2012||Tuition to E29478 (B. Baltensperger/B. Rose)||$9,523|
Post Doctoral Support
|October 19, 2010||Post Doctoral Salary. E52406. Grant Proposal Cost-Share (R. Shaw)||$25,000|
|October 19, 2010||Post Doctoral Fringes. E52406. Grant Proposal Cost-Share (R. Shaw)||$9,650|
|July 28, 2011 to August 25, 2011||Post Doctoral, Shen Xinhua, (S. Carn)||$5,501|
|August 25, 2011||Post Doctoral Salary. E52406. Grant Proposal Cost-Share (R. Shaw)||$25,000|
|August 25, 2011||Post Doctoral Fringes. E52406. Grant Proposal Cost-Share (R. Shaw)||$9,650|
|August 24, 2012||Post Doctoral Salary. E52406. Grant Proposal Cost-Share (R. Shaw)||$25,000|
|August 24, 2012||Post Doctoral Fringes. E52406. Grant Proposal Cost-Share (R. Shaw)||$9,650|
Equipment and Startup Funds
|January 22, 2009||Startup Funds (S. Carn)||$20,000|
|February 12, 2009||Startup Funds (P. Doskey)||$45,000|
|June 10, 2010||NRC Aerosol Neutralizer||$4,175|
|July 28, 2011||Startup Funds to D90777 (L. Kramer)||$11,000|
|December 2, 2011||Sunset Laboratory, OC/EC Field Analyzer, PICO (L. Mazzoleni)||$9,550|
|March 19, 2012||American Ecotech, PICO (L. Mazzoleni)||$5,876|
|April 3, 2012||Tisch Environmental Lab, Supplies PICO (L. Mazzoleni)||$4,248|
|August 11, 2012||Plant Improvement for Cloud Chamber Project (R. Shaw)||$25,000|
|August 13, 2012||Startup Funds to D90777 (L. Kramer)||$11,000|
|March 23, 2013||American Ecotech, Vol Sampler + Maintenance Workshop (L. Mazzoleni)||$3,544|
|August 29, 2013 to December 30, 2013||Automated High Volume Sampler. REF Proposal Cost Share to E49314 (W. Cantrell)||$6,953|
|October 9, 2009||Support for ATM Courses (Physics)||$3,000|
Appendix C: Proposals Currently (as of March 2014) Associated with the Earth Planetary and Space Sciences Institute
|PI||Agency||Title||Total Project Value to Date|
|Baltensperger/Rose||NSF||MITEP: A model for improving earth science education nationwide||$3,897,418|
|Cantrell||NSF||Measurement of Ice Nuclei in the Contact Mode||$390,786|
|Carn||NASA||A-Train Volcano Observatory (ATVO)||$279,091|
|Carn||US DOEd.||International Geological Master in Volcanology and Geotechniques||$460,000|
|Carn||NSF||CDI-type II proposal: Vhub: Collaborative research: Cyberinfrastructure for volcano eruption hazards modeling and simulation||$333,343|
|Carn||U of Neb||A combined EOS data and GEOS chem modeling study of the direct radiative forcing volcanic sulfate aerosols||$129,476|
|Carn||U of Md||Continuation of long-term sulfur dioxide EDR with the NPP ozone mapping and profiler suite nadir mapper||$65,092|
|Carn||NASA||Multi-decadal sulfur dioxide climatology from satellite instruments||$661,458|
|Carn||Canegie Inst. W.||Improving constraints on volcanic CO2 emissions from the Vanuatu Arc||$24,303|
|Huentemeyer||NSF||Studying cosmic-ray acceleration and propagation, gas content and interstellar radiation fields in our galaxy with the HAWC observatory||$470,250|
|Kostinski||NSF||Stochastic aspects of physical and radar meteorology||$400,252|
|Mazzoleni, C||Nev Sys Ed||MRI: Development of a photoacoustic light absorption and albedospectrometer for the characterization of aerosol radiative transfer in the solar spectrum||$76,965|
|Mazzoleni, C||USDOE||The radiative role free tropospheric aerosols and marine clouds||$317,401|
|Mazzoleni, C||NASA||FNR Swarup China Fellowship||$60,000|
|Mazzoleni, C||USDOE||Atmospheric Transport||$39,937|
|Mazzoleni, L||NSF||Collaborative research: Chemical, physical and radiative properties of North Atlantic free tropospheric aerosol after long-range transport||$546,213|
|Mouw||UNH||Development of novel detection and precision algorithms for Microcystis blooms||$19,031|
|Nitz||CO St U||Northern hemisphere Pierre Auger Observatory in Colorado||$195,999|
|Nitz||USDOE||Recovery Act: Years 13-15 studies of high energy particle astro physics||$765,000|
|Shaw||USDOE||Laboratory investigations of contact freezing and the aerosol to ice crystal transformation process||$212,261|
|Shaw||NSF||MRI: Development of a multiphase turbulent reaction chamber for laboratory studies of atmospheric aerosol and cloud processes||$1,989,930|
|Shaw||NSF||Laboratory and field studies of cloud-turbulence interactions via digital holography||$688,384|
|Shaw||NASA||Investigating the effect of solar activity during a grand minimum on clouds||$380,011|
|Smirnov||NSF||A Paleomagnetic and Geochronological Reinvestigation of the ~1.1 Ga Coldwell Complex: Implications for the Reversal Asymmetry in Keweenawan Rocks||$166,220|
|Smirnov||NSF||Paleointensity, morphology and stability of the proterozoic geomagnetic field as recorded by mafic dikes ins India||$242,309|
|Smirnov||NSF||CAREER: Reading magnetic fingerprints from deep time: An insight into the geodynamo and early earth system evolution||$470,009|
|Smirnov||NSF||Early career: acquisition of a high sensitivity superconducting rock magnetometer for paleomagnetic and paleointensity research||$357,569|
|Waite||NSF||CAREER: eruption dynamics from low frequency volcano seismic signals||$521,468|
|Wu||EPA||Extreme Event Impacts- Ozone & Particulate Matter Air||$370,446|
|Cantrell||REF||Volume Air Sampler||$40,471|
|Total Sponsored Funds||$14,571,093|
Appendix D: Pending Proposals Associated with EPSSI as of March 2014
|Carn||U of Maryland||Advancing satellite retrievals of SO2 and NO2 next generation algorithm for new and improved OMI products|
|Carn||NASA||Continuing and enhancing global SO2 and HCHO data records from Aura/OMI to NPP/OMPS|
|Carn||NASA||Extending NASA's long-term satellite data records: Advanced SO2 and NO2 measurements from Suomi NPP PMPS|
|Doskey||US DOI||Emission factors for secondary organic aerosol precursors from combustion of boreal peat fuels|
|Kramer||NSF||CAREER: A comprehensive investigation of ozone sources and their impacts on the rural Great Lakes region|
|L. Mazzoleni||NASA||Cloud chemistry of remote marine environments|
|L. Mazzoleni||NASA||Organic aerosol in the remote marine free troposphere|
|Nitz||US DOE||Studies of particle astrophysics at the cosmic frontier|
|Perlinger||Aahrus U, Denmark||Snow-air interactions of persistent organic pollutants (SAIPOP)|
|Waite||NSF||Analog modeling of volcanic eruption jets|
|Wu||US EPA||Evolution of atmospheric particulate matter and related pollutants in the context of global change|
- Not counting Emeritus faculty
- The name of the course is a hold-over from EPSSI's previous incarnation, the Remote Sensing Institute.
- Data from one of those was used as preliminary data in a proposal to DOE.
- The Atmospheric Sciences PhD program is non-departmental; as such it is housed in the Graduate School, but administered through RSI. The program is overseen/coordinated by an Atmospheric Sciences Program Director.
- As recorded in Aspire.
- This could vary substantially, depending on the Institute's reserves and the type of research a given incoming faculty member is proposing to do.