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ARRA “Stimulus” Weekly Update, May 15, 2009

  1. Reporting

Weekly Submissions to UNC-GA. Campuses have been submitting information on ARRArelated proposals, preliminary notices of award (i.e. JIT submissions) or actual awards for several weeks now. The weekly reports are submitted in cumulative form. Please note weekly reports starting with the May 21st report date should include the federal award number for any actual awards received. Please add an award number column to the right of the CFDA# column to capture this information. The reports should be sent to Sarah Smith, with a copy to Courtney Thornton, on a weekly basis by 12:00 p.m. on Thursday. The submission time coincides with the time frame for submitting materials to be discussed at the UNC-GA Council meeting on Monday
mornings. This information will be pulled by UNC-GA from RAMSeS and SPARC by June 1st.
UNC General Administration will launch its redesigned website June 1st. The Office of
Research portion of the site will have a stimulus section and the report referenced above will be posted along with the weekly updates, other pertinent documents and links to related agency sites.


State Reporting: OERI Directive #3 - A group comprised of finance, purchasing, construction/facilities and the Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) staff convened on May 11th to develop a set of proposed parameters for the UNC System campuses in response to OERI Directive #3. The response will be submitted early next week and published in the next weekly update.


Federal Reporting: The Government Accounting Office (GAO) has been tasked with a range of responsibilities to help promote accountability and transparency and ensure the ARRA funds are used as specified. Responsibilities include conducting bimonthly reviews of how funds are used by selected states and localities (North Carolina is one of 16 states selected for additional monitoring). The NCbased GAO team contacted Rob Nelson, the Vice President for Finance, this week with an inquiry as to how the university system will manage ARRA reporting. Attached is the summary response submitted to GAO. The summary reflects campus plans based on discussion during the
SPARC televideo conference and a follow-up SPARC Post-award Workgroup conference call on May 11th. The summary was sent along with the weekly updates for April 24th, April 9th, April 3rd and March 27th as well as the cumulative report of proposals, preliminary notices of award and awards for the week ending May 7th. GAO thanked Rob for the prompt response.

  1. Stimulus Resources

The Council on Government Relations wrote OMB Director Peter Orszag on May 13th to express concern over OMB 9-18, which does not provide universities the same relief for ARRA administrative costs as those granted to states. COGR has requested a meeting with Mr. Orszag and his staff to discuss a proposal which would allow a 2% increment, applicable to ARRA funded research, to be added to each institution’s indirect cost rate. A copy of the letter is included in the PDF of this update. OMB memorandum 09-18 can be found at the following URL:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/assets/memoranda_fy2009/m09-18.pdf.
 

  1. Agency Activity

Vice President Joseph Biden submitted to the President the first progress report covering the implementation of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 in the 90 days since the signing of the Recovery Act. Chapter 2 of the report discusses jobs and job estimates. The full report is located at the following URL:
http://www.recovery.gov/sites/default/files/FINALQ1_ARRA_Report.pdf
 

The National Science Foundation received approval from Congressional Appropriators on May 8th for its plan for Recovery Act funds. On May 11th the Major Research Instrumentation and Academic Research Infrastructure programs were announced. Links to the programs are located at the following URL: http://www.nsf.gov/recovery/
On May 9th, NSF released the terms and conditions that will apply to ARRA funded projects, which can be found at the following URL:
http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/arra/arratc_509.pdf?govDel=USNSF_109
 

The U.S. Department of Education will soon release the Request for Proposals (RFP) for the ARRA funded Teacher Quality Enhancement (TQE) grants. An eligible grant applicant is a partnership that includes, at a minimum: (1) A high-need local educational agency (LEA); (2) A high-need school or a consortium of high-need schools served by the high-need LEA and/or, as applicable, a high-need early childhood education program; (3) A partner institution of higher education; (4) A school, department, or program of education within such partner institution, which may include an existing teacher professional development program with proven outcomes
within a four-year institution of higher education that provides intensive and sustained collaboration between faculty and LEAs consistent with the requirements of the law; and (5) A school or department of arts and sciences within such partner institution. The partnership may also include the governor of the state, a business and other types of educational entities, e.g., state board of education, charter school, or teacher organization. Definitions and other more detailed information on eligibility requirements are provided in the Higher Education Opportunity Act, Title II, Part A. The CFDA# is 84.405A. Campuses are strongly encouraged to align their applications with the UNC strategic plans for teacher recruitment and retention. Please contact Alisa Chapman, Associate Vice President for University-School Programs at chapman@northcarolina.edu if your campus has any questions about the UNC strategic
plans.