Todd appointed to national committee

By Shannon Frazer

UK President Lee Todd was named to the National Academies’ Committee on Research Universities last Friday.

The National Academies is an organization whose mission is to bring together experts in scientific and technological fields to address national issues and provide advice to the public and government, according to its website.

Todd is one of 22 members to serve on the ad hoc committee for its current project involving research universities. The committee is lead by Chad Holliday, chairman of Bank of America and former CEO and chairman of DuPont.

Members will perform an extensive study of private and public research universities in the United States, and then equate those findings to those of comparable international institutions.

According to the National Academies’ website, the project is meant to ultimately determine: “the top ten actions that Congress, the federal government, state governments, research universities and others could take to assure the ability of the American research university to maintain the excellence in research and doctoral education needed to help the United States compete, prosper and achieve national goals for health, energy, the environment, and security in the global community of the 21st century.”

UK spokesman Jimmy Stanton said the committee will look at features such as finances and organization to ascertain ways to encourage continued academic success. They will also identify ways America can become better equipped to confront issues prevalent in society today.

Todd’s committee term is through September 30, 2011.

The study began on May 3 and the Consensus Report is projected for a May 2011 release. The project is expected to last 18 months and is sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

“It is a distinct honor to be named to such an august body,” Todd said in a news release. “I have long admired the work of the National Academies, and look forward to working on a project that I feel is of utmost importance to the future of my native state, our nation, and the world.”

In 2005, the National Academy published “Rising Above the Gathering Storm,” a Congress-mandated analysis of the current status and future of American higher education. The report focused on several recommended measures the government should take to create jobs and further scientific and technological advances at a rate that is competitive with the rest of the world marketplace.  Many of these proposals became law in 2007 and are the basis for the current National Academies committee’s research.

Todd recognized the necessary role of research universities for the U.S. to continually be on the cutting edge of education and technological opportunity.

“Research universities have helped shape this nation and the world for generations, and if the United States intends on remaining the global leader in innovation, creativity, and inspiration, our research universities must lead the way,” he said. “I look forward to getting started as we tackle some important — and timely — issues.”