Operation of Research and Education Centers
The Research and Education Centers represent an extremely valuable resource within the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and have played a significant role in the total research and education programs over the years. With the ever-increasing demand for relevancy in adjusting the college programs to meet the needs of modern agriculture, they must be effectively and efficiently utilized. The Research and Education Centers serve to establish the image and visibility of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the University of Georgia to a significant portion of the people of the State of Georgia. The primary role of the Research and Education Centers is to support agricultural research and education programs.
- It is the responsibility of the administration and faculty of the CAES to aid in the development and coordination of the programs at Research and Education Centers. Department Heads may delegate signature authority to the REI Coordinator if desired; however, the responsibility remains with the Department Head.
- Each Department Head or District Head having faculty planning new projects at a Research and Education Center shall consult with the Research and Education Center Superintendent. Annual requests for land with an identified intended use should be made no later than February 15 of each year with detailed research or education plans provided to the Center Superintendent by March 1 for spring and summer use. Fall and winter land requests should be made by August 1 each year with detailed plans provided by August 15.
Acceptance of the proposed research, extension or education project will require the agreement and signature of the appropriate Scientist, Department Head, and Superintendent. For county extension programs the District Head will substitute for the Department Head. Upon agreement among these individuals, the appropriate documentation should be forwarded to the Center Superintendent, who will forward it to the Assistant Dean responsible for the Center and then to the appropriate Associate Dean(s).
In instances where there are disagreements concerning requests, the appropriate Assistant Dean will mediate the situation. Each Department or District Head having faculty conducting programs at a Research and Education Center is strongly encouraged to visit that Center prior to September 15 of each year to discuss programs with the Superintendent.
The electronic Farm Project Outline Request Form must be completed. Superintendents will accept late requests only after approval by the Assistant Dean for that location.
In developing the appropriate research or education program the Department Head or District Head will:
- Ensure that all proposed work is documented in an annual agreement consisting of the following items:
- Project title and project number
- Procedures (i.e., experimental plan with list of treatments, expected termination dates, data to be collected, resources needed, cultural practices, etc.)
- Specific responsibilities of the Scientist and Center personnel.
- Approval and signatures by project leader(s), Department Head or District Head, the Superintendent, and the Assistant Dean for that campus, and the appropriate Associate Dean.
- A copy of the research project will be attached to the online form when research is initiated and as projects are revised or new ones written.
- A general summary of the previous year’s research finding(s) or demonstration (not data) should be provided to the Superintendent with copies to the Department Head or District Head of the home unit prior to initiating projects or demonstrations the following year.
- The Superintendent of each Research and Education Center has the responsibility of reviewing the proposed work with each scientist to determine the availability of facilities and resources for the proposed research or educational project. The Department Head or District Head will participate in the review if requested by either the Superintendent or scientist. Scientists must recognize that the operating expenses for most of the research, education and demonstration projects at the Research and Education Centers are funded through the sale of crops grown on the Center in field-scale demonstrations. It would be greatly beneficial if all scientists pursuing grants include funds for support of projects conducted at Research and Education Centers.
- Research and Education Center Superintendents’ will prepare oral activity reports at monthly intervals to the appropriate campus Assistant Dean. Superintendents may prepare an annual written report for their files and distribution to key clientele provided the cooperating scientists are given proper recognition.
- Research and Education Center personnel shall maintain weather stations, collect and summarize daily weather records and share these records with all project leaders working at the Research and Education Center.
- The Superintendents are responsible to the designated Assistant Dean and appropriate Associate Dean for the total operation of the Research and Education Centers. The Superintendent will, in consultation with the appropriate Assistant Dean and Associate Dean, develop a short term work program and equipment needs for the Center. Advice and suggestions will be solicited from subject matter specialists, Department Heads, and other appropriate individuals including the Advisory Committee. Once the program is agreed upon, it is the Superintendents’ obligation to see that it is carried out as planned. Any changes or adjustments in the program will be by written agreement of the project leader(s) and agreed upon by the Superintendent and appropriate Assistant Dean.
- Each Superintendent shall designate a member of the Center’s staff to act on behalf of the Superintendent in lieu of his/her absence. The designee shall be responsible for decisions and to act in emergency situations when the Superintendent is unavailable.
- All livestock maintained by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is for the purpose of research and education. All animals, regardless of location, belong to the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The purpose of this policy is to achieve the most efficient use of these animals in research and education programs.
- The Research and Education Center Superintendent has full responsibility for the welfare of all animals maintained at his/her Center.
- Every project involving performance of animals at any Research and Education Center should have a University of Georgia animal scientist as a leader, co-leader or collaborator. An exception would be in those special cases where the animals are used solely as a tool to evaluate grazing pressure on plant growth performance of new forage cultivars. Center Superintendents would be responsible for care and handling of such animals.
- For each approved project, a leader must be specifically identified as the person in charge. This information shall be communicated to all cooperators and personnel working with animals at the Research and Education Center. Changes in the operation of the project shall be made by the project leader only after conferring with the cooperators and Center personnel.
- Each approved project must have a termination date. Upon termination of a project, the animals will be sold or reassigned for use in other projects.
- Multiple use of animals is encouraged if projects can be superimposed compatibly and the data from all projects handled in a sound manner.
- An Experiment Project Outline and Responsibility Form shall be prepared and approved for every project.
- Transfer of animals from one Center to another location for project purposes is encouraged where appropriate and with agreed budget transaction. Animals will not be maintained solely for teaching purposes. When animals are used in the teaching programs, their use should be scheduled to coincide with normal project activities. Animals will not be maintained solely for demonstration purposes. Demonstrations may be scheduled to coincide with normal project activities.
- Plant Science resources at the Research and Education Centers are for use by all College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences faculty as determined appropriate by the Superintendent and the appropriate Assistant Dean.
- The Superintendent and scientists will agree on the disposition of commodities when a project is initiated. Every effort should be made to sell or internally use commodities produced at the Research and Education Centers to help support the research and education programs.
- Commodities produced should be used within the Research and Education Center system where feasible and with agreed budget transactions between locations.
- Any new introduction of plants and pests on Research and Education Centers must be by agreement of the Assistant Dean, Superintendent, and scientist. A USDA-APHIS permit will be required when appropriate.
- Communication among Research and Education Center personnel, CAES scientists/extension specialists and appropriate administrators will be accomplished by a full understanding and compliance to the forms required and by personal communication. Communications associated with any decisions will be made between the project leader, the Research and Education Center Superintendent and the Department or District Head. Their designee may handle on-site routine requests not involving significant changes in the research or education plan or cost of doing the research or education project. The Center Superintendent and the project leaders have a responsibility to keep each other informed at all times about all activities connected with the project in progress at the Research and Education Center. In the event of a breakdown in communication or of unresolved differences between the project leader and the Research and Education Center Superintendent and the Department or District Head, the appropriate Assistant Dean for that campus will be expected to seek a solution. Continuing difficulties will be brought to the attention of the appropriate Associate Dean for Research, the Associate Dean for Extension, or the Associate Dean for Academic Programs, depending upon the nature of the project. Department Heads having faculty involved at a given Research and Education Center are strongly encouraged to visit that Center prior to September 15 of each year and review the appropriate project in progress on an annual basis. Should problems develop between a Superintendent and a project leader, the Department or District Head and Superintendent should seek a resolution. If they are unable to resolve the situation, the appropriate Assistant Dean should be informed. Scheduling visits and work to be accomplished must be done in advance (preferably at least 2 days) by the project leader or designee and the respective Center Superintendent or designee. This permits better scheduling for spraying, irrigation, efficient use of equipment, etc., for everyone.
At Research and Education Centers where an employee(s) of other units or agencies are assigned, an open line of communication between the respective organizations and Research and Education Centers should be maintained. The supervisor(s) of the employee(s) are encouraged to interface with Research and Education Center superintendents. When applicable, plans of work, responsibilities, and procedures, as well as overall job performance of the assigned employee(s), should be discussed by the employee(s), supervisor(s) and the Research and Education Center Superintendent.
- a. Insurance coverage – Responsibility of the scientist, department or agency owning the equipment.
b. Priority for storage – The first priority for equipment storage will be equipment owned by the Research and Education Centers. Equipment owned by scientists, departments and other agencies will be stored as space permits.
c. Use of equipment* – The scientist, department or agency owning the equipment will have first priority for use. However, Superintendents will have authority and assume responsibility for use (and maintenance and repair when used) when not being used by owner. A log of use (date, hours) by Center personnel will be kept with the equipment used.
d. Sharing of equipment* – Sharing of equipment between scientists working at the Research and Education Centers is encouraged. Center Superintendents can assign equipment and provide an operator to assist other project leaders when equipment is not being used by owner. A log of use (date, hours) by Center personnel will be kept with the equipment used.
e. Scientists, departments and agencies that do not agree with these guidelines shall make provisions for storage of their equipment under their direct supervision.
- All University employees and students working at Research and Education Centers will be responsible for their conduct and consider the Research and Education Center as a unit of the University of Georgia.