Blog Viewer

Back in the Saddle - New Beginnings in Research Administration

By SRAI News posted 06-14-2019 07:10 AM


Authored by Mindali Dean
Program Manager, Office of Research Development & Communication
Texas Tech University

The Texas Chapter Meeting – Theme:  Back in the Saddle - New Beginnings in Research Administration. Last month, we talked about our chapter meeting in Fort Worth, Texas, June 17. But why are the chapter meetings important, what do they provide to members/non-members? I am very fortunate to work at an institution that not only allows my department to attend conferences, at least two per year, but it is part of our job description to attend. But why put so much importance on attending these meetings, conferences?

If you have ever attended a meeting/conference, you know that the big conferences are very costly, and many institutions don’t have the funds budgeted for their research administrators (RA) to attend, so the RA must use their own funds to attend. The larger meetings can be intimidating, let’s face it, talk about getting lost in a crowd, right? How about overwhelming, with so many workshops, concurrent sessions, where do we being?

Chapter meetings are often created to focus on local/state entities and their needs.  Bringing the meeting (aka mini-conference) to your local area for more RAs to be able to attend. Usually, these can be attended within 1 day for the main educational sessions, or concurrent sessions. The sessions are focused on the knowledge and experience of individuals in the same, or similar, career as you are.  Individuals who believe in what you are doing and want to share with you some best practices, tips/tricks, learned lessons and skills they have learned.

Often the chapter meetings are held at locations that are easy to get to, have participating hotels that recognize the significance and are willing to provide more perks; shuttle service to and from the meeting location, happy hours, full breakfasts and other ways to help meeting attendees cut their costs. The meetings are generally held by leadership committee members of the chapter, and provide a time to talk with them openly about your needs and what you want to see the chapter do, ideas you have about future meetings.

Our first Texas Chapter Meeting will begin on Monday, June 17, with brief introduction to who your Texas Chapter Leadership are, then our guest speaker is: Dr. Emmerentie Oliphant, PhD, Professor and Director MSW Program, School of Social Work, Stephen F. Austin State University, followed by a day of concurrent sessions, networking lunch, additional concurrent sessions and wrapping up with a Business Meeting. (if you are interested in presenting please email your Texas Chapter President, Mindali Dean at  

We look forward to seeing you at our Texas Chapter Meeting, in Fort Worth this June 17. The meeting location is the new building at the University of North Texas Health Science Center.  Feel free to contact me, SRAI Texas Chapter President, Mindali Dean, at, with any questions or comments. REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN