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APPENDIX D REE Administrator Interviews The committee conducted telephone interviews with administrators from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Cooperative State Research, Educa- tion, and Extension Service (CSREES), the Economic Research Service (ERS), and the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) in June and July of 2001. The following questions were used to guide the interviews. Vision for the Future of Agricultural Research In what directions would you like to lead your agency? What factors, both internal and external to REE, help and hinder your moving in those directions? Research Priorities What changes, if any, would you like to see in how priorities are established? What changes, if any, do you envision for the way in which stakeholders relate to your agency? Do you have the flexibility needed to shift resources to newly emerging priorities? If not, what mechanisms would you recommend to improve flexibility? Research Quality and Relevance · From your perspective, what are some of the most effective ways to ensure research quality and relevance? How are these implemented at your agency? 182
APPENDIX D Interdisciplinary Research; Interagency Research 183 What is your perspective on interdisciplinary research? Interagency research? What are some of the barriers to conducting interdisciplinary research within your agency? Between your agency and other federal agencies? REE Organization . Since the reorganization of REE, how do you believe the research agencies are functioning in relationship to USDA action agencies? Relationship of Public-Sector Research to Private-Sector Research From your perspective, has public research changed by working more closely with industry? If so, how? From your perspective, what is the appropriate relationship between your agency and private industry? Professional Development and Human Resources How can your agency best attract and retain research leadership? What changes, if any, in your agency's professional staff are necessary to meet research priorities? Do you feel that your agency has sufficient flexibility to make personnel changes? In what ways should REE be interacting with universities to ensure that appropriate professionals are available in the future and that current staff have access to scientific innovation? Expectations from the NRC Report · What recommendations and advice from the NRC study panel would be most useful to you in leading your agency? What questions have we not asked that you think would be important for producing a forward-thinking, helpful report? . Questions to the Committee Members from the Administrators Closing Remarks