September 2021


Be Kind. It is a Retention Issue.


By Luis Cifuentes, Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate School, NMSU


“Civility costs nothing, and buys everything.” Mary Wortley Montagu


At the end of President John Floros’s bi-weekly communication is the tag line, Be Bold, Be Kind, Be Safe.  As we begin a new academic year, and particularly as COVID-19 continues to stress our home and work lives, it is important to highlight the value of kindness and civility, and the importance of addressing its opposites, incivility and bullying.

Before continuing, I encourage you to participate in the Teaching Academy’s Introductory Session and Film and Workshop series – Fostering a Culture of Collegiality: Addressing Toxic Behaviors Amongst Faculty.  I will be attending next month.

What are incivility and  bullying? In her article on The Difference Between Bullying, Incivility, and Harassment in the nursing workspace, Dr. Renee Thompson includes three elements:

  • “A target: There has to be a target. This target can be a single person or group of people …
  • Harmful: The behavior has to be harmful in some way …
  • Repeated: I believe this is the most important element of bullying.”

Dr. Thompson goes on to say that “[i]ncivility is different than bullying. While the behaviors can be similar, they tend to be lower level. This is your typical rude, inconsiderate, or just crusty nurse. However, make no mistake about it, incivility is a healthy and professional workplace killer!”

While bullying is often top-down, an article focused on Australian Universities, Why universities must act on the rise of a new kind of bullying: incivility, comments that “smart bullies” contribute to the majority of bottom up incivility shown to deans by faculty.  As stated by a dean, leaders have the most difficult time with “smart bullies” who “are adept at working around workplace policies. Instead, they draw upon a full arsenal of uncivilized behaviors such as acts of rudeness, demeaning comments, and creating or spreading gossip and rumors.” Furthermore, “smart bullies use micro politics to create allies. They infiltrate committee structures and decisions to camouflage and insulate themselves as the real bully or instigator. Their behavior is tolerated and often chalked up to expressions of academic freedom.”

How big of an issue are bullying and incivility at universities? That is hard to quantify. Not knowing the size of the problem is common in both academia and research institutions.  A 2018 Nature article Does science have a bullying problem? discloses that “[n]obody knows how much bullying goes on in science, because few people have investigated the issue. Studies of bullying in workplaces began only in the 1990s, and some researchers have yet to examine what goes on in their own back yards.” According to Dr. Loraleigh Keashly, communications scientist at Wayne State University, one-quarter to one-third of academics say that they have been bullied in the past year.

What is the solution?  Many universities, particularly in Europe, have strong policies that prohibit bullying and harassment. There is no policy at NMSU, and while policies can be helpful, we shouldn’t wait for a policy to begin to address issues. For instance, here are three things unit leaders can do to Tackle the Rise in Workplace Bullying and Burnout:

  1. Heighten awareness,
  2. Don’t ignore bad behavior, and
  3. Make wellness a habit. 

According to the Nature article, having policies is not enough; they must be applied consistently by leadership. Bullying and incivility are not the sole purview of faculty. It cuts across the whole university impacting staff, students, and, yes, administration. It affects the climate; it negatively impacts retention.  As a community, we must begin by recognizing the problem so that we can address it and commit to a kind and safe campus environment.




Joint Statement from University General Counsel and Office of the Vice President for Research and Dean of Graduate School


By Alisha Giron, Assistant VP for Research and Roy Collins, III General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer


In support of LEADS 2025 Goal No. 4, NMSU has an interest in clarifying any process that increases efficiency in meeting time-critical research demands. One such process concerns review and signature of any research agreement (e.g., grant/contract, non-disclosure, confidentiality, proprietary, memorandum of understanding/agreement). University General Counsel (UGC) and the Office of the VP for Research and Dean of Graduate School (OVPRGS) jointly offer the following guidance for processing any research agreement: Please route each of these documents solely to Research Administration Services (RAS) for review and official signature

As you may know, a portion of research overhead charges provide funding directly to RAS specifically for this purpose. Within the OVPR, RAS is responsible for all agreements that either actually or potentially involve research activity. Rest assured that RAS will always reach out to UGC (or others) for further evaluation of any agreement either that requires expertise outside of the normal research administration purview, or that RAS considers to be unrelated to research.

By initiating the contracting process solely with RAS (, each Principal Investigator in particular can be saved additional processing time that is better spent on important research endeavors.



NMSU Institutional Review Board Welcomes Faculty, Staff, and Student Researchers & Maestro Users!


By Michelle Gavin, Research Compliance Coordinator, RIC


The NMSU Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the Office of Research Integrity and Compliance (RIC) welcome NMSU faculty, staff, and students to Fall 2021.  We hope you all have had a safe and enjoyable summer break.  The IRB Committee and RIC staff are excited about the Fall Semester and all the great research opportunities that will be taking place here at NMSU.   

We would like to introduce you to our new Research Integrity and Compliance Graduate Student, Anisa Hernandez.  She recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Counseling and Community Psychology and is now pursuing a Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy her at NMSU.  We are so excited to have her as part of our team!  

We are here to help researchers comply with federal, state, and institutional regulations to ensure safety and protection of human subjects involved in research!   As a reminder, researchers are encouraged to review information concerning human subject research and the IRB process located 

  • in Maestro on the Dashboard
  • on the new IRB research form template titled "IRB New Application to Use Human Subjects in Research (Expedited or Exempt) located in Maestro under MyApps,
  • on the NMSU Office of Research Integrity and Compliance IRB website under
  • at CITI Program online training and free webinars that are available to NMSU researchers (faculty, staff, and students).  To access these webinars,
    • Log in to using your registered CITI user ID and password (not your NMSU credentials)
    • Click courses (view courses) then select "Add a course"
    • Scroll to the bottom of the list to question nine and choose the webinars you wish to view and then click "Submit."
    • Question eight titled “COVID-19: Back to Campus (2020-2021) and Remote Contact Tracing” will need to be added as it has been marked "required".

Please be aware that the IRB Committee has been reviewing and updating policy and procedures for research involving human subjects. Recently the IRB Committee approved the updated content to the "NMSU IRB Internet Research Policy,"  adding a section addressing compensation in online studies. This document can be found on the compliance IRB website under "Policies and Procedures" as well as the Maestro Dashboard.  A related webinar titled "Social Media and Research Recruiting" is provided by CITI and available free to NMSU researchers.

If you have questions or need assistance, the IRB and the compliance office staff are here to help. We have incorporated Zoom meetings with researchers to help answer questions and discuss their specific research projects and how to ensure protection of human subject participants. We invite you to Zoom with us!  If you need help, call us at (575) 646-7177 or send an email to ​


Anisa Hernandez, Research
Integrity and Compliance
Graduate Student

Streamlyne Implementation: Update


By Phillip De Leon, Associate Vice President for Research


Over five half day meetings during August 2-13, the NMSU implementation team met with the Streamlyne team in order to plan the year-long project. During this time NMSU received an overview of all of the required foundational and configuration data and the team began planning for where this data will be sourced, i.e. ARGIS, Banner, data warehouse, etc. NMSU ICT's Paul Lucero technical lead on the project, with the support of Gerald Smith and Kevin Muir are responsible for developing data integrations and interfaces between Streamlyne and other university systems, as well as, other required technical tasks. During August 16 through 31 NMSU's technical team has been working with the Streamlyne technical team on the mappings (many hundred) from NMSU data to required fields in Streamlyne. Our approach to importing data into Streamlyne will be in the form of a "one-time load" or via Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) -- the latter used for that data which needs to be refreshed regularly once Streamlyne is active. In parallel, Paul, Gerald, and Kevin have been developing custom software to extract data from the NMSU side, format data into the proper file formats for the one-time loads, and push data into Streamlyne via API. The foundational data requirements are planned to be completed in early October. Please direct questions related to NMSU's implementation of Streamlyne to




Awards for Exceptional Achievements in Creative Scholarly Activity: Call for Applications

By Cortney Chavez, Executive Assistant to VP for Research and Dean of Graduate School

The University Research Council and OVPRGS are pleased to solicit applications for Awards for Exceptional Achievements in Creative Scholarly Activity.  Please see the announcement for details on award categories, eligibility, application materials, and evaluation criteria.  The Early Career Award eligibility is for faculty within 5-7 years of their terminal degree. 

Applications are due September 27, 2021.  If you have any questions regarding these awards, please contact me (Cortney Chavez) at the OVPRGS ( or the Chair of the University Research Council, Christopher Sroka ( 

*Please note that all applicants must be in good standing with the university. Students are not eligible for these awards. Administrators are also not eligible unless the activities described occurred when they were not in an administrative position or were unrelated to their administrative activities. 




NMSU Utilizes Academic Analytics to Analyze Research Trends and More


By Hamid Mansouri Rad, Senior Proposal Development Specialist, RAS


The offices of the Provost, and VP for Research and Dean of Graduate School have recently invested in Academic Analytics, a tool that provides crucial information on scholarly activities of researchers. The data is based on major indicators of accomplishments such as journal articles, citations, books, grants, conference proceedings, and awards which can be useful for strategic planning, fostering team science, and recognizing researchers’ accomplishments, among others. Of particular interest to those engaged in proposal development is the "Research Insight" component of Academic Analytics that allows users to search our institution and those in the state or across the nation for researchers using research topics. The search results can be further explored to gain insight into the investigators' types of research activities and their collaborators and use this information to invite them to participate in proposals in response to relevant funding opportunities as they arise. For more information about Academic Analytics, please send email to    



NSF Partnerships for Innovation (Limited Submission)


By Hamid Mansouri Rad, Senior Proposal Development Specialist, RAS


We would like to remind our faculty about National Science Foundation (NSF)'s solicitation for Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) program that offers competitive funding for technology translation and development based on prior NSF-funded research projects from all science and engineering disciplines. This solicitation accepts proposals in two tracks: PFI-Technology Translation (PFI-TT) and PFI-Research Partnerships (PFI-RP). While there are no limits as far as the number of proposals we are allowed to submit, NSF limits us to submit only one proposal in PFI-RP track. This track requires the creation and implementation of new multidisciplinary, multi-organization partnerships between academia, industry and other public and private entities to pursue new innovative technology development projects.

Proposals are due by January 12, 2022.

Those interested should notify NMSU's Research Administration Services of their intent (by October 29) by sending email to, subject line Limited Submission: NSF PFI. For more information please send an email to





Limited Submission Funding Opportunities


By Hamid Mansouri Rad, Senior Proposal Development Specialist, RAS

Research Administration Services maintains a list of limited submission funding opportunities for NMSU research community.  The list is accessible through a link on the Research website,  through the Research Administration tab. NMSU users can also access the list directly on SharePoint.  We encourage NMSU researchers to periodically visit the site and if they are interested in any of the opportunities to please inform us by sending email to 




Pivot Funding Opportunity Database


This is a reminder that in order to assist NMSU faculty and staff in locating external funding opportunities, the OVPRGS has purchased a subscription to ProQuest’s Pivot available at  

To create an account with Pivot for the first time

  1. Click on the Sign up link.
    1. On the next page, click on Use email address/create password.
    2. Enter your name.
    3. Enter your NMSU email address.
    4. Create a password.
    5. Choose New Mexico State University from the Affiliated Member Institution drop down menu.
    6. Check the consent checkbox.
    7. Check the reCaptcha check box.
    8. Press the Create my account button.

 To request a one-on-one or group Pivot training, send email to



Graduate School

Graduate School, NMSU Online, and Faculty Collaboration in Degree Program Development


By Carol Flinchbaugh, Associate Professor of Management and Graduate School Faculty Fellow

Over the summer, faculty, the Graduate School, and NMSU Online began collaborating to facilitate the rapid development of new online graduate degrees. For instance, a new multidisciplinary Organizational Leadership degree in Communication Studies is in the development stages and will include courses from three different academic colleges. It is important to understand that faculty across the different academic colleges are still leading the curriculum development. NMSU Online and Graduate School are working in a support function to assist the course development. The collaborative nature of this program development is necessary as it draws on the expertise of different units that understand how to create online programs for adult learners.

We expect that there might be other multidisciplinary graduate programs that could meet the diverse needs of our state and students through collaborative online educational programs. As Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School Luis Cifuentes states, “We are committed to offering graduate programs, using all modalities, which meet the needs of both the student, at any age, and workforce.” Do not hesitate to reach out to the Graduate School if you have ideas about collaborative degree programs that meet NMSU’s mission to serve the diverse needs of New Mexico.


Need Guidance on Securing External Funding? Contact Me!


If you are an NMSU graduate student or post-doctoral scholar needing guidance on securing external funding, please contact me at Please also visit the list of current funding opportunities that I maintain on SharePoint and let me know if you have any questions.

Chong-Hwey Fee

Chong-Hwey Fee, Proposal
Development Specialist, RAS
Questions and comments regarding NMSU’s Research Digest should be directed to Hamid Mansouri Rad, Ph.D. at, (575) 646-6429.