I) Role of the Director
ICERM has a Director who is the scientific and administrative leader of the Institute. The Director serves a renewable five-year term. /p>
The Director holds a tenured position at Brown University in the Department of Mathematics or the Division of Applied Mathematics, or jointly in one of these departments. The Director should have research interests that align with the mission of ICERM. Although the Director will have no formal teaching obligations, the Director contributes service both to the department(s) in which the Director is appointed and to the university. /p>
The Director’s responsibilities include
- serving as PI of the core NSF grant and other awards supporting ICERM’s missions;
- recruiting and supporting organizers for future ICERM programs;
- identifying funding and development opportunities for ICERM;
- representing ICERM to the Brown administration and to external constituencies;
- recruiting and supervising other scientific Directors;
- identifying and designing collaborations between ICERM and other institutions or entities at Brown;
- overseeing the staff and administrative functions of ICERM.
The Director reports annually to the Board of Trustees (BOT) and to the Vice President of Research (VPR) at Brown University on all matters of the Institute’s performance and its plans to achieve its mission.
In the event that the Director steps down or fails to be reappointed, the BOT will be informed immediately. Representatives from the BOT will participate in the search process, especially in evaluating candidates’ capacity to provide leadership for ICERM and the mathematical community. If the BOT has concerns about the Director’s performance then the Chair may initiate a discussion of the issues in executive session and share any conclusions with Brown’s VPR.
Brown has committed (most recently in 2019) to undertake a national search to hire the next Director, who would hold a tenured faculty position. The administration would treat a new hire as an ‘off-roster’ faculty position for the term of the Director’s service. If an internal candidate is chosen, the university will provide appropriate teaching relief to the faculty member’s department.
The Director is assisted by two Deputy Directors. These are half-time positions, tenable by either Brown faculty or faculty seconded from other institutions, for two to four years. They are chosen by the Director to bring a wide range of perspectives to the institute’s program development and management. Deputy Directors have scientific backgrounds complementary to the Director’s and help ICERM cast a wide net for potential program topics and audiences. Each Deputy Director is in residence during one of the academic year semester programs. They report to the Director and responsibilities include:
- oversee the detailed development of one of the annual semester programs at ICERM, including the development of program proposals, coordinating the preparation of the program (invited participants, selection of postdoctoral fellows and review of applications to the program), and working with organizers during the program;
- oversee other institute activities: topical workshops, summer undergraduate research program (Summer@ICERM), early career programs, small group research, and special events;
- assist in the solicitation and development of programs and workshops;
- assist with grant proposals to support existing and new programs and initiatives.
There are a variable number of Associate Directors, with responsibilities for specific aspects of ICERM programs and reporting to the Director. Associate Directors are chosen by the Director and paid by ICERM; the Director will report to the Board of Trustees on who holds these roles.
The Associate Director for Diversity and Outreach has the following responsibilities:
- representing ICERM at Mathematical Sciences Institutes Diversity Initiative (MSIDI) meetings at the Joint Mathematics Meetings and SACNAS Modern Math Workshop, and other events it sponsors;
- attending meetings of the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and Educational Advisory Board (EAB), especially as proposals are evaluated;
- reporting to meetings of the Board of Trustees (BOT) which oversees the diversity of ICERM activities as a whole;
- providing leadership for policy-focused events addressing diversity in the profession participating in all reviews of exit surveys and follow-up surveys.
Consulting Directors are researchers with long-standing connections to ICERM that provide advice on specific programs or scientific questions; they do not receive funding from ICERM.
II) The Board of Trustees
The BOT oversees all institute activities. This includes reviewing the budget and fund allocations, developing policies and procedures, advising on the appointment of the Director, recommending and approving appointments to the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and Educational Advisory Board (EAB), advising the Director and Brown administration on scientific opportunities and strategic issues facing the institute, and taking a leadership role in fundraising priorities and public awareness.
The BOT meets once each year and will hold conference calls as needed on specific issues. Board members are encouraged to participate in governance meetings and relevant scientific programs in person. The BOT should have 8-12 elected members. Initial appointments will be for four years. Renewal for up to four additional years is possible, especially during transitions between Directors. Terms should be staggered so as to have one or two new members each year. New members are proposed by a nominating committee and ratified by the full BOT. ICERM’s Director, Deputy Directors, and Associate Director of Diversity and Outreach attend ex officio. The Chairs of the SAB and EAB, Co-PIs on ICERM’s NSF grant, Brown’s Vice President for Research, and NSF program officers are invited to join BOT meetings.
The Chair of the BOT is chosen by its members and serves until the end of their term or two years, whichever is longer; this may extend the Chair’s term of service on the BOT. The Director will consult the Chair of the BOT regularly, keeping the Chair apprised of issues facing ICERM.
The BOT may convene ad hoc subcommittees to address specific matters, especially issues arising between annual meetings. These include the appointment of new Directors, strategic questions requiring quick decisions, representing the BOT at site visits for grant applications, etc. The Chair of the BOT may call a meeting at any time to address exigent circumstances requiring a quick response.
The Director will report to the BOT in writing each year on the diversity of participants in ICERM’s scientific and educational programs, and its efforts to recruit diverse program organizers and board members.
III) The Scientific Advisory Board
The SAB is responsible for approving the programs and scientific activities of the Institute. In addition, through direct communication with the Directors, SAB members are involved in shaping the direction of the scientific enterprise through specific suggestions of thematic programs, program organizers and participants. All program commitments of participant support funds from the core NSF award must be approved by the SAB, with the exception of Summer@ICERM programs.
The SAB meets in the fall with a conference call in the spring. Board members are encouraged to participate in governance meetings and relevant scientific programs in person. The SAB should have 14-16 elected members. Initial appointments of SAB members will be for three years. Renewal for up to three additional years is possible. Terms should be staggered so as to have three or four new members each year. New members are proposed by a nominating committee and ratified by the BOT. The purpose of the SAB is to represent the perspective of the national mathematical sciences community, so members generally come from outside Brown.
The Chair of the SAB is chosen from current members and serves until the end of their term or two years, whichever is longer; this may extend the Chair’s term of service on the SAB. The Chair and Director work together to craft the agenda of SAB meetings. ICERM’s Director, Deputy Directors, and Associate Director of Diversity and Outreach attend ex officio. Co-PIs on ICERM’s NSF grant and NSF program officers are invited to join SAB meetings.
The Associate Director for Diversity and Outreach participates in SAB meetings and the board is encouraged to offer feedback, as well as specific suggestions, in cases where a program could include more participants from under-represented groups.
The SAB may accept, conditionally accept subject to revisions, or reject a proposal. It may appoint a subcommittee to oversee and approve requested revisions.
IV) The Education Advisory Board
The EAB is charged with (1) oversight of the mentoring mechanisms and professional development of graduate students and postdoctoral candidates; (2) oversight and selection of undergraduate summer research programs, and helping to develop successful proposals; and (3) evaluating and advising on K-12 outreach programs, especially GirlsGetMath@ICERM. (Note that this is not funded by the core NSF grant.)
The EAB meets each fall. Board members are encouraged to participate in governance meetings and relevant educational programs in person. The EAB should have 7-9 elected members. Initial appointments will be for three years. Renewal for up to three additional years is possible. Terms should be staggered so as to have new members each year. New members are proposed by a nominating committee and ratified by the BOT.
The Chair of the EAB is chosen by the EAB from current members and serves until the end of their term or two years, whichever is longer; this may extend the Chair’s term of service on the EAB. The Chair and Director work together to craft the agenda of EAB meetings. ICERM’s Director, Deputy Directors, and Associate Director of Diversity and Outreach attend ex officio. Co-PIs on ICERM’s NSF grant and the Chair of SAB are invited to join EAB meetings.
Summer@ICERM proposals will be evaluated by the EAB, with the Chair of the SAB kept informed about the scientific focus of the programs.
V) Evaluation of programs
ICERM programs will be evaluated both at their conclusion and after some interval has passed. The principal goal of evaluation is to gauge the impact our programs have on the development of both the field and the careers of participants. A secondary goal is to audit our own performance as an organization.
ICERM Directors and managers regularly review all exit surveys to ensure programs are running smoothly and achieving the scientific goals of organizers. Scientific feedback from these surveys will be shared with organizers of workshops, Summer@ICERM and GirlsGetMath programs, and semester programs.
ICERM Boards work with the Director to ensure the quality and impact of its research and professional development activities.
Before considering proposals for future semester programs, the SAB will review past semester programs using data from surveys taken immediately following the program and at two- and five-year intervals. Publication data, impressions of organizers, and the professional growth of early-career participants will also be considered. The goal is to focus on long-term research and professional development outcomes of ICERM programs, including their impact on the evolution of the field.
In its evaluation of Summer@ICERM proposals, the EAB will review recent programs using data from surveys and information on publications, presentations, and placements after graduation. It will also review GirlsGetMath@ICERM exit surveys and materials.