MPGI Mission

MPGI Policies

As Adopted, June 2013

A. Membership

  1. Membership categories:
    To better meet the needs of the diverse faculty associated with MPGI, members are divided into two categories: Full members, and Associate members.
    • Full members: These faculty have major research interests in molecular genetic and/or genomic approaches to studies of plants, microbes and/or animals. They may be affiliated with any academic department of the University. New members may self-nominate, or be nominated by an existing member. Nominations must be approved by a 2/3 majority of members voting (see point 3 on voting procedures). Members must meet the expectations described below to retain full membership. The MPGI Steering Committee will review the membership annually. Faculty who do not meet the expectations for full membership may choose or may be asked by the Steering Committee to change their membership to the Associate level. Faculty who are resident in the Cargill Microbial and Plant Genomics Building are expected to maintain full membership in MPGI.
    • Associate members: These faculty have interests in molecular genetic and/or genomic approaches to studies of plants, microbes and/or animals. They will be kept informed of MPGI activities such as seminar series and retreats. Their opinions about issues of interest to MPGI may be solicited. There are no formal expectations for Associate members. Associate members may join MPGI simply by notifying the Director of MPGI.
  2. Membership benefits:
    Many activities of MPGI are open to and benefit the entire University community. These include seminars, research retreats, symposia, and other opportunities to interact with faculty who have shared interests.
    • Full members: In addition to the benefits listed above, full members have other benefits. These include eligibility to apply for financial resources available through MPGI, such as travel grants, small equipment grants, and graduate support. They have the opportunity to present their research projects through MPGI seminar series and retreats. They are kept informed about MPGI activities, have opportunities to provide opinions about issues relevant to MPGI, and vote on Institute-related issues. Some full members are assigned laboratory and/or office space in the Cargill building, following nomination by their department heads / Deans and subject to approval of the MPGI Steering Committee.
    • Associate members: Associate members are kept informed about MPGI activities, and have opportunities to provide opinions about issues relevant to MPGI.
  3. Membership expectations:
    • Full members: To retain status as a full member, faculty and their research groups are expected to regularly participate in the MPGI events (such as retreats, symposia and seminars) and submit an annual membership renewal form every December.  Full members that have not participated regularly may be asked to switch to Associate status. Full members should be willing to share in the responsibility to serve on various MPGI committees and attend membership meetings. Faculty who are resident in the Cargill building should work with each other and the MPGI Director on matters relevant to the operation of the building.
    • Associate members: There are no formal expectations for associate members. They may be invited to participate in the seminar series, but are not obligated to do so. 


B. MPGI Director and Steering Committee

  1. Selection and term of office of the Director:
    The Institute is led by a Director and a Steering Committee under the auspices of the Deans of the College of Biological Sciences (CBS) and the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Sciences (CFANS) (or any college succeeding these units). The Director is selected by full members, following selection procedures developed by the MPGI Steering Committee, and with approval of the Deans (CBS and CFANS). The Director may be selected from within the membership, or recruited from outside the University. The Director is selected for a three-year term and may not serve more than two consecutive terms.
  2. Selection and term of office of the members of the Steering Committee:
    The Institute has a Steering Committee composed of six faculty members and the MPGI Director. The Steering Committee members are elected from among full Institute members, with each serving a three-year term. Staggered terms will be established to maintain continuity.
  3. Responsibilities of the Director:
    • The Director reports to the Deans of CBS and CFANS.
    • The Director works with the Steering Committee to develop yearly plans for Institute activities.
    • The Director, together with the Steering Committee, should be active in fostering the development of new and existing research facilities and the development of emerging research areas related to the mission of the institute and the interests of its members.
    • The Director will represent the Institute to the University and the broader scientific community. Within the University, the Director will maintain close communication with appropriate Deans and Department Heads, and with other related centers and interdisciplinary groups. Interactions outside the University will include the biotechnology industry and other interested groups.
    • With advice from the membership and the Steering Committee, the Director is responsible for obtaining operating funds for the Institute, including the CRIS project renewal requests to MAES and annual allocations from CBS and CFANS. The Director is responsible for all reporting requirements associated with these funds.
    • The Director will coordinate and promote funding opportunities for Institute members that extend the research, teaching and outreach capabilities of the Institute and foster multi-disciplinary activities within the University. These activities may include nucleating grant proposals and working with college development officers to seek gift funds for the Institute.
    • The Director supervises an administrative person for the Institute, and has authority for personnel decisions regarding this staff.
    • The Director has authority for day-to-day oversight of the Cargill Microbial and Plant Genomics building operations, and is aided in these duties by the MPGI administrative person and MPGI members that are building residents.
  4. Responsibilities of the members of the Steering Committee:
    • The members of the Steering Committee work with the Director to chart the course of the Institute.
    • The Steering Committee works with the Director to plan and carry out Institute activities.
    • The Steering Committee is responsible for maintaining a transparent system for distribution of Institute funds.
    • The Steering Committee makes decisions on monetary awards and use of funds for Institute activities in accordance with the Institute’s mission and goals, and with the objectives of funded projects.
    • The Steering committee, together with the Director, sets policy for the Institute, subject to approval by the members.
    • The Steering committee oversees regular evaluation of membership and approval of new members.


C. Procedures for voting on Institute policy and membership issues

  1. Voting eligibility: 
    For matters concerning MPGI policy and membership issues, those eligible to vote are the current full members of the institute.
  2. Quorum:
     A quorum is defined as 50% of those eligible to vote.


D. Procedures for changing MPGI mission and policy statements

  1. Recommendations for change: 
    Proposals for change may be raised by any full member of MPGI.
  2. Procedures for change: 
    The director and steering committee may propose changes to mission and policy statements to the members either in a membership meeting or may circulate proposals to the membership by mail or email. Members may suggest changes to the director or steering committee, or may raise a proposal for change in a general business meeting of the membership. Changes to the mission and policy statements must be approved by 2/3 of members voting.