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Research Data Domain Council Charge Letter

(Original on Academic and Student Affairs, Executive Office of the President and Provost letterhead)

October 25, 2021

Research Data Domain Council
Richard Fenger, Assistant Director, Decision Support Services, ORIS, Office of Research, chair
Carol Rhodes, Director, Office of Sponsored Programs, Office of Research
Lily Gebrenegus, Director, Grant & Contract Accounting, UW Finance
Colleen Bettis, Assistant Director, MAA Compliance, Compliance, UW Finance
Melissa Petersen, Assistant Vice Provost for Research Compliance, Office of Research
Samir Khoury, Assistant Director, Equipment Inventory Office
Carole Palmer, Professor and Associate Dean for Research, Information School
Stella Kim, Core Data Analyst, Grant & Contract Accounting, UW Finance
Subject matter experts, to be invited or consulted as needed

Dear Research Data Domain Council members,

Thank you for your willingness to serve on the University of Washington’s Research Data Domain Council. This committee is part of a new stewardship approach developed in conjunction with the University’s revitalization of data governance. The Research Data Domain council is charged with developing a cohesive approach to stewarding the University’s research data — an approach that derives the most value from research-related data while managing risk. This is a one-year appointment.


In 2006, the UW formed a Data Management Committee to provide support and advice regarding the administration, access and use of UW data. The committee appointed data trustees and custodians to steward University data. In 2017, the provost charged a Task Force with redesigning and updating the UW’s data governance model. The updated model was launched in 2019.

A survey of stakeholders in 2020 made clear that the data stewardship model, to date, was unclear and not well aligned with current data governance. Some of the appointed data trustees and custodians were engaged but not supported; others were disengaged. To address these issues, UW Data Governance has developed a new approach to stewardship.

Types of data stewards:

Institutional Domain Stewards are consensus-builders who support a strategic, cross-functional view of data for the benefit of the enterprise. They serve on the Data Governance Steering Committee and represent the domain in enterprise level conversations. The Institutional Domain Steward for Research is Jim Kresl, Assistant Vice Provost and Director, ORIS, Office of Research.

Data Domain Council Chairs are consensus-builders who convene domain council meetings that address domain-specific issues and serve on the Data Governance Operational Committee where they represent the domain in cross-functional, enterprise discussions about domain data. The Data Domain Council Chair for Research is Richard Fenger, Assistant Director, Decision Support Services, ORIS, Office of Research.

Sub-domain stewards are experts who understand, identify and resolve data quality issues within their business area. They are active participants in the domain council and ensure a cohesive approach to data throughout its lifecycle. The sub-domain stewards for the Research domain are members of this council.

In addition to stewards, subject-matter experts are key to the Data Domain Council’s work. Some subject matter experts are members of this committee; others may be consulted on an ad hoc basis.

Research sub-domain stewards and subject-matter experts:

Name Area Role
Carol Rhodes Pre – Award (Grants Management Lifecycle) Sub-domain Steward
Lily Gebrenegus (temporary for Sue Camber) Post-award (Grants Management Lifecycle) Sub-domain Steward
Colleen Bettis (temporary for Linda Ward) Management Accounting and Analysis (plus Space & Facilities cora data) Sub-domain Steward
Stella Kim Entity Core Data Management (Core and reference data-Funding sponsor management, a shared concern with ADV & FIN domains) Core data domain Steward
Samir Khoury Equipment Inventory Office Sub-domain Steward
Carol Palmer Researchers & Research Teams Sub-domain Steward
Melissa Petersen Research Compliance representation for multiple compliance areas (Human, Animal, Environmental Health & Safety, others) Sub-domain Steward
Various Subject Matter Experts various areas Subject Matter Experts

Domain Council Charge:
Together, you will work to anchor the people, process, and technology change in the Research domain. You will represent the concerns of others and put foremost the needs of the entire UW. You may be tasked with representing the enterprise, a domain, or a smaller constituency: a business unit, department, or even a set of data itself.

As members of the Research Data Domain Council, you will focus on issues unique to the domain and will support the chair of this council to represent domain issues in cross-domain and institutional discussions at the Data Governance Operational Committee. Similarly, the chair, Richard Fenger, will support the Institutional Domain Steward, Jim Kresl, in strategic, cross-functional enterprise discussions at the Data Governance Steering Committee.

As you undertake this work, we ask that you:

  • Work on behalf of the UW as a whole, including all three campuses and the Medical Center
  • Take an institutional view and think about the data in the context not only of the function, process, or system for which you are responsible but also across functions and across the enterprise
  • Focus on data over systems, stewarding the data regardless of where it resides
  • Approach your work as a collaborative leader and representative, gathering input from those not present on this council and providing the information essential for the Data Domain Council Chair to represent the domain to data governance groups and to the leaders and councils of other domains
  • Promote, with your work, informed decision-making and shared solutions, create buy-in and enable positive culture change, and apply experience and expertise to ensure data strategies come to fruition
  • Keep UW’s diversity and equity goals and UW’s privacy principles and policies in mind when making recommendations.

Deliverables will be based on priorities the Research Domain Council sets for itself in collaboration with UW’s data governance groups and in response to overall data governance priorities. Work will include planning, policy, data definition and classification, quality, access, inventory, issues response, communication and training, architecture, and analysis specific to the data within the domain.

Richard Fenger will temporarily provide administrative support to the council until a permanent administrator is established. Ann Nagel and Marisa Nickle will attend the meetings as ex-officio members, as needed, to connect the domain councils with UW data governance groups and support a consistent and cohesive approach to stewardship.

Thank you for your willingness to serve the UW community in this important capacity.


Phil Reid
Vice Provost, Academic and Student Affairs
Professor of Chemistry