Annual Reports

2013-2014 Research Council Annual Report to the Faculty Senate

Charge

As specified in 2.8(19)b 2.8(19)b in the University Operations Manual

  • (A) The Council shall be governed by the terms of the General Charter.
  • (B) In addition, the Council shall:
  1. Advise in the formulation, review and application of policy and guidelines for University research and its funding both from within and without the University;
  2. Advise on questions concerning the compliance of research with University policies;
  3. Advise in developing methods for informing University members about research opportunities and for stimulating, evaluating and rewarding good research;
  4. Provide a forum to which faculty and students may refer questions and recommendations concerning University research policies and procedures.

Membership and Meeting Schedule

Members of the 2013-2014 Research Council include:

Faculty

  • Carolyn Colvin, Teaching and Learning (Chair)
  • Miriam Landsman, Social Work
  • Edward Gillan, Chemistry
  • Jan Gilotti, Geoscience
  • Barbara Eckstein, English
  • William Haynes, Internal Medicine (replaced in November by Joseph Dillon/Internal Medicine)
  • Robert F. Ketterer, Classics (replacing Carin Green who was on leave)
  • Johna Leddy, Chemistry
  • Neil Segal, Orthopedics
  • Alberto Segre, Computer Science
  • Gary Gussin (Representative of the Faculty Emeritus group)

Staff

  • Scott Bounds, Associate Research Scientist (Physics & Astronomy)
  • George Hospodarsky, Associate Research Scientist (Physics & Astronomy)
  • Patricia Gillette, Research Support Specialist (Occupational/Environmental Health)
  • Paul Soderdahl, University Libraries

Student Representatives

  • Alek Durumeric (Undergraduate)
  • Peterson Maina (Graduate)

Post-Doctoral Representative

  • Michael Crawford, Post-Doctoral Scholar, Pathology

Administrative Representatives (ex officio)

  • Dan Reed, Vice President for Research and Economic Development
  • Rich Hichwa, Senior Associate Vice President for Research
  • Cheryl Reardon, Assistant Vice President for Research
  • Ann Ricketts, Assistant Vice President for Research
  • Bob Kirby, Director, Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates

The Research Council held 6 meetings during the 2013-2014 academic year with subcommittee meetings (e.g., the Publication Waiver Subcommittee and the Research Misconduct Policy Subcommittee) held on an as-needed basis.

Review of Previous Council Work (2012-2013)

During the 2012-2013 academic year, the Council’s work may be summarized in three areas.

  • Central to the 2012-2013 Research Council agenda was a presentation by the newly appointed Vice President for Research, Dan Reed who shared his vision for UI’s research agenda and the intersections with economic development initiatives in the State.  In his February, 2013 presentation to the Council, VP Reed noted that research trends suggest shifts toward interdisciplinary, multi-investigator, multi-campus projects with shared core facilities.  In April, 2013, David Hensley (Office of Economic Development) attended the Council’s meeting and described economic development activities/efforts and their intersection with Iowa’s research mission.  At the April, 2nd meeting, VP Reed and Cheryl Reardon (Assistant Vice President) announced initiatives that included a new program for research faculty fellows, newly revised strategies/processes for discretionary funding, and OVPR awards to recognize both faculty and staff.
  • Tom Rice, Associate Provost for Faculty, shared information related to the cluster hire initiative at Iowa in November, 2012.  Members expressed concern that the cluster hire initiative was largely missing from the University’s undergraduate mission.  Additional concerns were raised concerning the use of education monies to fund programs that on closer review focused more on research and less on teaching. 
  • Research Council members heard presentations (December 11, 2012/May 7, 2013) from VP Ann Ricketts, Linda Snetselaar (former Faculty Senate President and newly appointed Associate Provost for Engagement and Outreach), Associate Provost Tom Rice, and Professor Colin Gordon who addressed the University’s initiatives to bring greater attention to public engagement and Iowa’s application as an engaged institution to the Carnegie Community Engagement Program.

2013-2014 Research Council Activities

  • At the September 17, 2013 meeting of the University Research Council, VP Dan Reed introduced two faculty fellows to the Council.  Meenakshi (Gigi) Durham, Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Thomas Scholz, MD, Professor of Pediatrics will serve as the OVPR Faculty Fellows.  The OVPR has retained the Office of Lewis and Burke (LB) to raise Iowa’s research portfolio with funding agencies (e.g., NSF, DOE, DOD).  Research Council members were invited to meet with LB officials during their initial campus visit.  The OVPR’s office hosted an ideation summer in November, 2013 to expand the ways faculty/staff researchers envision working together and to promote ongoing collaboration.  Details of the OVPR’s Rewards and Recognition program (designed as an incentive program and to recognize excellent in research) were discussed. VP Reed described broader engagement initiatives that include connecting with economic development groups, rotary organizations, and community colleges across the State.  Reed stated that the University needs coordinated efforts to effectively ‘tell our story’.   Faculty Fellow Durham will create a faculty media training program to assist researchers with media communication.
  • Members of the Research Council suggested the following items be considered for discussion during the academic year.  One member asked for a discussion of bridge funding and clarification as to who is eligible for lab space. RC members suggested discussions as to how to effectively form partnerships across campus to bridge the differing cultures and further ideation efforts.  A tour for interested Research Council members was arranged to highlight the research efforts on the West Side campus was arranged and scheduled for October, 2013.
  • In November, 2013, RC members began discussions of a policy revision that would become central to the work of the Council for the remaining term.  Senior Associate VP for Research, Rich Hichwa, provided background on Iowa’s Research Misconduct Policy and requested that the Council consider through its discussions a) the current process where ad hoc committees are formed for each instance/allegation of misconduct and replace ad hoc committees with a standing committee.  RC members raised questions concerning membership, protection of “whistleblowers”, confidentiality of allegations, and committee workload.  A subcommittee (A. Segre, J. Leddy, and G. Gussin) was appointed to work with VP Hichwa to propose changes to the policy.
  • The Council met on February 19, 2014 to review revisions to the Research Misconduct Policy as recommended by the subcommittee.  RC members suggested wording changes and discussed substantive policy recommendations to which VP Hichwa and Grainne Martin, General Counsel’s Office responded.  Following extensive discussion, the Council membership voted and unanimously recommended that the revised policy be sent to the Faculty Senate for review and discussion.  The Faculty Policy and Compensation Committee of the Faculty Senate met on February 28th to review the revised Research Misconduct Policy and recommended the policy be passed on to the Faculty Council and Senate for their review.   (*As a footnote, the revised Research Misconduct Policy was approved by the Faculty Senate in April, 2014, and once approved by the other governance groups, the revisions will be incorporated into the University Operations Manual.)
  • On April 2, 2014, at Faculty Senate President, Erika Lawrence’s request, members of the Research Council discussed the Research Track Faculty policy and the proposed policy changes.  RC members recommended wording changes to the policy.  Ed Gillan, RC member and member of the FPC (Faculty Policy and Compensation Committee) will convey the RC members’ suggestions with the FPC.
  • The final Research Council meeting was held on May 15, 2014. VP Reed provided updates concerning the state-wide response to the Mobile Museum.  At the close of this academic year, VP Reed reports that research expenditures are up 5%, increases in private and corporate funding are noted, and there are increases in research funding proposals and research awards. Two ideation meetings have been held with five themes emerging to frame the work of researchers who reported the positive impact of meeting other scholars.  A new OVPR Faculty Fellow (David Gier, School of Music) has been selected.  Associate Provost Linda Snetselaar shared updates on the activities in the Office of Engagement and Outreach.  Colin Gordon (History) reported to the Council that Iowa’s Carnegie Application had been submitted and anticipates a decision in December, 2014 concerning the status of the application. 
  • A second item before the Council throughout the spring term was an ongoing discussion of the membership of the Research Council.  Members discussed how to strike a balance in equitable representation on the Council.  At the April, 2014 meeting, members were learning toward representation on the Council based on a percentage of researchers as opposed to a percentage of funding by a particular college/unit.  This will remain a topic of discussion for the 2014-15 Council membership.

Recommendations to 2014-2015 Research Council

As evident in the 2013-14 Research Council meetings, members should continue to be engaged in thoughtful discussions that focus on the shifting research landscape on campus and at a national level, particularly in light of the proposed changes to Regents’ proposed funding models.  RC members will remain engaged in the work of the Lewis Burke official and in trends shared by VP Reed concerning how research tends (interdisciplinary, multi-investigator, multi-campus projects) continue to be at play in shaping Iowa’s research future.  Discussions of the Cluster Hire program should appear on the Council’s agenda as more data is available to understand the program’s impact.  Discussions concerning the Council’s membership will resume in Fall, 2014.  The Research Council members can serve the campus by continuing to explore the intersections between economic development and public engagement efforts in Iowa.