May 26, 2000 4:00 p.m. version

Draft Meeting Minutes

Space Grant "State Involvement Committee"
May 23, 2000 Teleconference

Prompted by a request from Julius Dasch to Tom Durkin in March of 2000, the following people agreed to serve as members of the State Involvement Committee. The committee is tasked to address the issue of state government involvement in Space Grant Consortia activities. A 1-hour teleconference was held on May 23, 2000. Committee members present for the call are indicated by a " ".

    Committee Member                Phone Number          E-Mail Address

Tom Durkin (SD)                     605-394-1975   
Sherry Farwell (SD)                 605-394-2493   
    Kevin Dalsted (SD)                 605-688-4184             KEVIN_DALSTED@SDSTATE.EDU
Jim Taranik (NV)                     775-784-4258   
Janice DeCosmo (WA)            206-685-8542   
    Mary Sandy (VA)                    757-865-0726   
Bill Hiscock (MT)                     406-994-6170   

Others Present                            Phone Number           E-Mail Address

Julius Dasch (NASA HQ)           202-358-1531   
Diane DeTroye (NASA HQ)      202-358-1069   

 After introductions, Tom Durkin gave the following purpose of the State Involvement Committee.

Purpose: To assess ways to involve more State Government in Space Grant Consortia activities, to focus on the establishment more effective partnerships, and to present our findings to the National Council of Space Grant Directors (at the October 2000 Council meeting in Salt Lake City).

Julius Dasch felt comfortable with that purpose and felt that a draft white paper should be completed and routed to the committee prior to presentation at the October Council meeting in Salt Lake. Julius thanked the committee members for taking on the task. This is an important step to get more involved with state government. He explained that Frank Owens wants the Space Grant Directors to be the lead contact for NASA activities in each state. He said that EPSCoR is helpful in state development (and economic development) plans. In some states, it is difficult to determine the state plan. Julius indicated that the Space Grant Directors could identify new players that have the best contact with state government. In working to infiltrate the government, those players should be included in Space Grant Consortia activities and planning. How does Space Grant get in parallel with state government issues? Julius indicated that we want to know how Space Grant will help state government and visa-versa. We want to develop new resources and affiliate contacts to help with this. Julius indicated that the big push now is to involve state government and diversify. Space Grant Consortia should have a person, or people, that focus on reaching out to state government and explaining to state government how Space Grant can help them.

Sherry Farwell added that SD hasn't been able to get partnered (linked) with state government to date, but hiring Tom Durkin (who worked in state government for over 12 years) was one thing the SD Space Grant Consortium (SDSGC) did to make linkages. Tom Durkin has been speaking at state-sponsored conferences about Space Grant and NASA EPSCoR. A recent invitation has been made to the SD Office of Aeronautics (in the state Dept. of Transportation) to join the SDSGC as a government affiliate. Their response is pending.

Tom Durkin said that the Aerospace States Association (ASA) <> will meet on June 27-28 in Washington, D.C. Tom indicated that ASA is a good, "existing" group with similar interests as Space Grant and with which to make in-roads. Tom, Bill Hiscock and Kevin Dalsted (SDSGC member at SD State University) will attend the ASA meeting. Julius Dasch pointed out that ASA is a good contact, but we must realize that Lt. Governors do not have a strong position in many states. Bill Hiscock mentioned that a Space Grant Directors meeting several years ago was held in conjunction with an ASA meeting. (Note: In a previous discussion between Tom Durkin and Mary Sandy of Virginia, Mary briefly mentioned an effort several years ago where the Space Grant Directors addressed the issue of state government involvement. This included some communication with ASA. Tom will check with Mary and Bill for any appropriate meeting minutes so that they can be included or referenced in the white paper).

Janice DeCosmo of Washington mentioned that the state DNR and other groups said they have always been wary of working with universities. This is due to the fact that state governments are often under a deadline for a product or service, but the universities may not be as cognizant or concerned with the time constraints. Janice suggested that we should not only reach out to the states to address this issue, but also reach out to our own university people that are tasked with improving university relations with states. Janice has met DNR people who are interested in working with remote sensing (which would be a good topic with which to interface with them). Julius asked Janice to talk to some of the political science people about the relationship that the School of Public Affairs has with local government agencies. We can all talk with our political science community.

Jim Taranik raised two additional points. First, a process should be in place that causes the governor's office to recognize Space Grant as the central point of contact for NASA within the state. Secondly, a similar process should be in place that causes NASA to recognize Space Grant as the central point of contact. Jim said that Nevada has been successful in this regard with the governor's office, but confusion continually arises when NASA's education division contacts the governor's office directly and then says that they don't work with Space Grant. Jim said that NV has a State Science Advisor, but that you really need a governor staffer that is interested in science and technology in order to open the door to the governor.

Bill Hiscock agreed with Jim's comments and went on to say that Montana has the same problem with NASA saying that they are the direct contact, rather than Space Grant. Montana has been very successful at getting state matching funds. He said the Legislature loves the idea of providing matching funds for Space Grant activities. Bill stressed that the MT Legislature really relates to NASA's KC-135 Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunity Program operated by the TX Space Grant Consortium. Tom Durkin added that SD's participation in the KC-135 program created an excellent platform from which to promote Space Grant. The consensus of the committee seemed to be that the KC-135 program is an existing national program that, if taken advantage of, would likely benefit all Space Grant Consortia in efforts to reach out to additional affiliates (state government and otherwise). With regard to state involvement with Space Grant and our efforts to identify existing linkages and find new ways to form linkages, Bill mentioned that there will be a break between EPSCoR states and the bigger, non-EPSCoR states. Because of this, it was decided that the white paper will need input from several of the bigger states.

Sherry Farwell mentioned the existence and intent of the Western Research Alliance (WRA) in South Dakota. It was created to open a dialogue between entrepreneurs outside of the university system, the universities, and other interested parties. It is intended to get an idea of the thinking of the economic development community and bankers, and to determine where the interests of entrepreneurs may lead to collaboration. The WRA has involved Governor Office representatives at some meetings, so that the Governor doesn't get the impression that WRA is working in a vacuum or duplicating efforts. Sherry said that we want the Governor to see that the WRA is working on technology development and not just "Ivory Tower" research. Julius said that we should include some of the examples that the committee discussed in the White Paper.

Regarding the white paper, consensus from the committee was that it should be a general white paper on ideas and common case histories that will evolve into 52 separate white papers with site-specific mechanisms to build partnerships with state government.

Julius said he would like the white paper to present a "vision" of what Space Grant will look like in 100 years.

It was agreed that all of the Space Grant Directors should be asked the following two questions in preparation for the white paper:

  1. What linkages with state government does your Consortium now have?
  2. What linkages with state government do you think your Consortium ought to have?

Tom Durkin will poll the Directors via e-mail. The committee will then collate the responses and group them into categories for inclusion in the white paper.

The committee agreed that a draft white paper should be distributed among ourselves by July 1, 2000. After we review it and are comfortable with the draft, it will be distributed to some of the larger, non-EPSCoR states by August 2000 for their input. The white paper will be presented at the October 2000 Council meeting.

Jim Taranik suggested that any specific requests of the committee members be e-mailed directly to them (e-mail addresses at the top).


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