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Posted: Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Research Foundation News: RF Communicates with the Campus Community

From the Special Adviser to the Provost for Academic Research Initiatives
The Research Foundation (RF) at Buffalo State is launching a series of communications in the Daily Bulletin to share details with the campus community about the resources, processes, support, and guidance that are available at the RF.

The RF staff located in Bishop Hall is composed of 19 knowledgeable and experienced individuals. This team supports campus research and sponsored program activities from pre-award development and proposal submission through post-award operations, including award administration, purchasing, and accounts payable as well as information systems and human resource management.

This introductory message highlights four key leaders with experience in finance management and research administration who have been appointed to oversee and guide the RF initiatives and operations. A synopsis of their roles at the Research Foundation follows:

James A. Thor, associate vice president and comptroller, has been appointed Research Foundation operations manager (OM). The OM is responsible for overall RF operations on campus including (1) sponsored program administration services to the SUNY community and stewardship to our sponsors, (2) creating an environment to support and increase sponsored program funding, and (3) creating an environment to increase technology transfer and commercialization in support of SUNY’s efforts to revitalize New York’s economy.

Additionally, the OM is responsible for financial administration of all RF funds, which includes ensuring that all regulatory and compliance requirements as well as risk management and control systems are in place. This position provides oversight for nonfinancial compliance (i.e., responsible conduct of research) and manages coordinated efforts related to preventing potential conflicts of interest and potential litigation.

Robert L. Baumet, director of campus accounting, has been appointed Research Foundation deputy operations manager (DOM). The DOM works closely with the OM, fulfilling responsibilities for financial and risk management controls; overseeing commitments of matching funds; monitoring key sponsored program financial activity, including metrics, data, and reporting; and ensuring adherence to established policies and procedures. In this role, the DOM participates in developing policy and program plans, and has direct involvement in daily operations with RF staff, the director, and related RF personnel.

Lisa H. Krieger, assistant vice president for finance and management, serves as interim director of sponsored programs. In this capacity, she manages personnel activities and is fundamental in day-to-day office operations, interacting with staff regularly to address, resolve, and advocate solutions while ensuring that policies and procedures are adhered to by the RF and project staff. The interim director works closely with the DOM and OM, contributes to policy formation, and is the primary liaison between the RF, the campus, and the leadership team.

Mark W. Severson, Ph.D., dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences, will serve as special adviser to the provost for academic research initiatives until the search for a vice president for research and economic development is completed. The special adviser provides leadership to advance institutional efforts in support of the initiatives in Strategic Direction 2 (regarding research, scholarship, and creativity) in the campus 2009–2013 Strategic Plan. Specific expectations are to champion and articulate the Buffalo State research mission; advise on campus research infrastructure and incentive programs; cultivate relationships to expand academic research, especially interdisciplinary research; identify, develop, and nurture innovative steps to enhance awards and research support; and ensure that regulatory compliance is observed.

These leaders are available to answer your questions and may be contacted via e-mail. Please watch this space in the future for more RF news.


Mark W. Severson, Ph.D.
Dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences