California State University, Fresno faculty recorded another record-breaking year of securing grants and contracts for a variety of research and projects during 2000-2001.
Growth in funding increased 27 percent in the last fiscal year, said Dr. Tom McClanahan, associate vice president for University Grants and Research. That means that in the last three years, the total of grant dollars received has grown more than 250 percent — from $13 million in 1997-98 to more than $33 million in 2000-2001.
McClanahan credits Fresno State faculty members, backed by proactive deans and vice presidents.
“Research activity is very encouraging,” McClanahan said. “Faculty and staff are attracting attention with their research activity in ever-increasing fields.”
Dr. J. Michael Ortiz, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, added, “Without a doubt, faculty expertise is the primary factor associated with successful research applications. Other factors are a reputation for quality that is earned over time and a great deal of personal initiative and effort. We’re very proud of our faculty and the staff of the University Grants and Research Office,” Ortiz said.
In 2000-2001, more than 500 faculty proposals were submitted to the grants office and were then sent to over 150 public and private funding agencies.
McClanahan said the university’s professionalism has resulted in a leadership role in grant-related services to the Central Valley. Funded projects include an array of outreach and service to business, education and government agencies.
“Fresno State is becoming increasingly competitive in obtaining state and federal funding, and in many areas of academic focus we are clearly dominant,” he said.
Agriculture and Water Technology research is one area where Fresno State has few peers. Between the Center for Irrigation Technology (CIT), the California Agricultural Technology Institute (CATI) and the CATI-administered Agricultural Research Institute (ARI), Fresno State conducts millions of dollars in research and training.
CIT alone is administering multimillion-dollar contracts on behalf of the California Energy Commission to help state farmers install high-efficiency energy measures.
The College of Health and Human Services has been very active in seeking external support, and last year it received several million dollars in research and training grants as well as financial support for students. For example, health science professor Vickie Krenz, who started with a very small study several years ago, now directs more than $250,000 in sponsored research with other campus researchers involved.
Science research on campus has become an increasing point of pride at Fresno State. So too are science related services provided to the Central Valley. For example, Dr. Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, M.D., Ph.D., coordinates a $957,969 program designed to increase access to mental health services among the Central Valley’s Latino community. Dr. Fred Schreiber, Ph.D. and Francisco Pineda coordinate a $335,937 program that involves faculty and students at several local community college campuses, called, “Bridges to the Baccalaureate”. Their mission: increase successful completion of the BS degree by minority students.
McClanahan is both optimistic and realistic about prospects for continued growth in the university’s sponsored research. “In the current year