The Vermillion Rotary Club met for its weekly lunch and meeting in the Freedom Forum on the USD campus at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 14. Jack Noble led our opening songs, while Rev. Ed Nusselhuf led in opening prayer.
Several visitors were introduced, including three Vermillion High School seniors and three prospective club members who have been approved by the club board. Sergeant at Arms, Al Pravacek, then presided over the weekly session in which members may tell some good thing that happened to them in the past week, for the price of a small fine.
Our program this week was given by Laura Jenski, a new administrator at USD who is vice president for research. USD is no exception to the trend in America for universities to establish strong research departments, both to open doors for new PhD. candidates and to serve the scientific and cultural needs of our country.
While two-thirds of the research in America today is done by private industry to enhance its position in the marketplace by developing new products, the US government, along with state and local governments, continues its funding of health, defense and energy research projects.
Ms. Jenski's position was created to provide USD with professional leadership in finding research projects and developing University infrastructure to qualify for research grants.
Ms. Jenski presented an interesting talk, aided by power point graphs and text projections, in which she focused on the past and present, but especially the future of public research as it can and should apply to USD. Showing that 60 percent of federal research dollars are given through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for health related research, while 12 percent goes for defense research and another 12 percent for energy research, with smaller percentages to other areas, M. Jenski pointed out that USD can and does fit into a number of special niches in the research community.
One area of opportunity she mentioned is that of research organizations dealing with cultural and social information.
Our meeting was closed by our weekly door prize drawing and the singing of one verse of My Country ?Tis of Thee.