Research Advisory Committee

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MISSION: The mission of the Research Advisory Committee (RAC) is to increase the quantity and quality of research at The University of Alabama by enhancing the research enterprise on campus.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES: Researchers at The University of Alabama are dedicated to producing meaningful, ethical, cutting-edge research in an intellectually free environment supportive of research.

PURPOSE: The Research Advisory Committee (RAC) advises the administration on matters of policy pertaining to research, both internal and external, and provides the Office for Research and the Office for Sponsored Programs faculty input concerning policies and procedures that govern administration of externally funded research.  The committee also serves as a forum to discuss research-related issues at The University of Alabama.  The committee is a direct two-way communication channel that faculty and administration can use to convey issues and receive information about research-related concerns.  Facilitating communication, engaging members of the research community, and addressing policies that effect research on campus are key issues for this committee.

RAC LEADERSHIP: The RAC is led by an Executive Committee comprised of the current Chair, a Chair-Elect, and the Past Chair. To ensure continuity, members in leadership roles will serve three successive years as members of the Executive Committee. At the end of the academic year, a first-year member of the committee will be elected Chair-Elect and will serve in that role during their second year on the committee. They will assume the role of Chair in their third year on the committee and will continue as a non-voting, ex-officio member (Past Chair) the following year. Succession of leadership roles will occur in April of each year.

COMPOSITION: This committee shall consist of 17 voting members: Three representatives from Arts & Sciences (one each from science/mathematics, arts/humanities and social/behavioral sciences), three representatives from diverse departments in Engineering, one representative from each of the remaining colleges/schools (Commerce and Business Administration, Communication and Information Sciences, Community Health Sciences, Continuing Studies, Education, Human Environmental Sciences, Law, Libraries, Nursing, and Social Work); and a Faculty Senate Representative. These members shall serve staggered non-succeeding three-year terms. If elected to the RAC Leadership, an additional year on the committee on the RAC as Past Chair is required. The following shall serve as liaison members: Vice Provost for Information Technology, the Director of the Office for Sponsored Programs, the Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of the Graduate School, and a representative from the Office of University Counsel.

The divisional representatives of the research faculty will be recommended to the President by the Division Heads.

MEETING SCHEDULE: The RAC meets every third Thursday of the month.

Official (Academic Affairs) RAC Standing Committee Page

REPORTING CHANNEL: Dr. John Higginbotham , Interim Vice President for Research and Economic Development –

Matthew Therrell –

David Albright –



Arts and Sciences
Rekha Nath– (Term Expires 2019)
Natural Sciences
Matthew Therrell– (Term Expires 2018)
Social Sciences
Adam Lankford– (Term Expires 2020)

Commerce and Business Administration
Jeff Martin– (Term Expires 2019)

Continuing Studies
John Sikes– (Term Expires 2020)

Communication and Information Sciences
Jeremy Butler– (Term Expires 2020)

Community Health Sciences
Mercedes Morales-Aleman– (Term Expires 2019)

Steve Thoma– (Term Expires 2017)

Jason Bara – (Term Expires 2018)
Jeff Carver – (Term Expires 2020)

Human Environmental Sciences
Amanda Thompson– (Term Expires 2019)

J. Shahar Dillbary– (Term Expires 2019)

Ann Graves – (Term Expires 2019)

Social Work
David Albright – (Term Expires 2020)

University Libraries
Donald Gilstrap – (Term Expires 2020)

Faculty Senate Representative
Patrick Kung –

Liaison Members
John McGowan – Vice Provost for Information Technology
Cindy Hope – Director, Office for Sponsored Programs
Susan Carvalho – Dean, Graduate School
Mike Spearing – Office of Counsel