Report on Reports

3. The "Neal Report"...1986 - The National Science Board (Recommendations)

THE NATIONAL SCIENCE BOARD

THE "NEAL REPORT"... 1986


One lesson I have learned is that one must constantly educate administrators and non-science faculty about the special resource needs of scientific research. This is an on-going educational process that cannot cease. These needs include physical plant needs, computer and network needs and library needs.

A second lesson that I have learned is that the sciences have to stay visible in the life of the college and in the political arena of the faculty. Although the narrow world of our classroom and research lab can be all-absorbing, it is imperative that we interact formally and informally with faculty from other departments and with administrators. We must work at giving these colleagues a vivid picture of what we do, how we do it and the satisfactions and frustrations of doing it. If we do not have a strong presence on campus, resources will be spent elsewhere.

A third lesson is that changes cannot be expected to happen overnight, and that they require continued, respectful, but persistent pressure. A long-term commitment to effecting change and a long-term investment of effort in change is essential.
– PKAL F21 Statement, 2000.

RECOMMENDATIONS

To the states

  • Establish undergraduate STEM as a high priority, recognizing its essential importance to the economic, social, and cultural well-being of their citizens.
  • Undertake responsive planning for the renewal of facilities, equipment, and other physical resources.
  • Create commissions or task forces to determine conditions and needs of undergraduate STEM; set goals and recommend ways and means to achieve those goals.
  • To academic institutions

  • Develop short- and long-range plans for the renewal of facilities, equipment, and faculties.
  • Provide strong support for faculty updating and upgrading courses and curricula to meet needs of both majors and non-majors.
  • Engage all faculty, including research faculty, in the instruction of undergraduates.
  • Build collaborations with other educational institutions, including K-12, and with industry.
  • To the private sector

  • Provide greater and more stable support to undergraduate STEM, including support for expanded partnerships.
  • Increase corporate efforts to improve the public understanding of science and technology.
  • To federal agencies

  • Involve undergraduate faculty and students in research activities, including providing incentives to contractors to include appropriate undergraduate research in their work.
  • Develop a process of collecting and analyzing data that reveals national trends in undergraduate student achievement.
  • To the National Science Foundation or funding agencies

  • Provide a forum for leaders from the public and private sector to consider current efforts to increase the investment in undergraduate STEM.
  • Stimulate creative and productive activity in teaching and learning (and research on them) just as it does in basic disciplinary research.