The survey was followed by a faculty forum, which identified the following problems associated with the URG program:
a) insufficient support of pre-tenure faculty, (b) inconsistent departmental evaluation processes, (c) discomfort with interdisciplinary review of proposals at college level, (d) inconsistent and inequitable representation of departments in the college review process, (e) inappropriately heavy amount of work expected from members of the college proposal review committee, and (f) generation (by the URG application and evaluation process) of considerable faculty bitterness.
In the autumn of 1999, the Dean of the GAS convened a task force to review and revise the URG program.
It collected information about departmental review and rating processes, faculty productivity (presentations, publications, and grants) resulting from URG support, and models for internal grant programs at other universities.
With appointments at an all-time high, and continued retirements and hiring projected, the URG program provided an important support for pre-tenure faculty development and retention.
On the one hand, they were expected to mentor development of strong URG applications and advocate for funding of applications from their departments.
There was also the clear indication that departments strategized ranking of URG proposals to garner advantage with the college review committee.
The URG program (2000) that emerged from the task force's deliberations surprised all of its members.
The URG program is also increasingly viewed as being primarily appropriate for junior faculty members; thus, senior faculty--particularly people with significant external grant funding--recuse themselves from the program voluntarily.
One of the major goals of the task force was to reconfigure the URG program in such a way as to improve faculty morale.
To increase the perception of fairness in program administration within and across departments, the new program also introduces changes in composition and operation of the college proposal review committee, requiring that departments not exceed their two-year terms of representation on the committee, and that committee members not be allowed to apply for URG grants.