Annual Report - 2004 - 2005 Academic Year

University of Iowa Research Council

Mark Sidel
Professor of Law
Chair, Research Council, 2004-05

In 2004-05 the UI Research Council met on fourteen occasions between September 2004 and June 2005, addressing a number of pressing research policy issues and overseeing a number of research-related issues.  Among the key issues addressed were:

  • The structure, operations and internal review (self-study) of the Office of the Vice President for Research
  • The search for a new Vice President for Research
  • Pre-award support for researchers (grant submission, training, etc.)
  • Post-award support for researchers
  • Research productivity and the role of OVPR, colleges and others
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Economic development and technology transfer
  • Growing the research enterprise
  • Effects of budget cuts on research-related University units
  • The University’s new intellectual property policy
  • Internal funding and research incentive goals, priorities and operations (an issue discussed on several occasions during the year)
  • Review of proposed new research policy 27.1, 27.2, 27.3 (dealing with secret research, publication restrictions and related issues; the Council gave its agreement in principle to the new draft and forwarded it to VPR Hay for further discussions)
  • Research and the University’s strategic planning process
  • Professional and scientific salary issues
  • Publicizing undergraduate research
  • Indirect cost recoveries to departments and researchers (addressed on several occasions)
  • Scholarly journal and publication issues (joined by Nancy Baker, University Librarian, and Ed Shreeves, Associate Director, University Libraries)
  • The impact of union negotiations on tuition and other issues involving graduate students and research components (joined by Richard Valentine and Peter Hansen of AAUP, Kevin Ward of Human Resources, and John Keller of the Graduate College; later discussion included Twila Reighley of DSP)

Considerably more detail on these discussions, issues and decisions may be found in the minutes of the Research Council and are available from the Office of the Vice President for Research (Marlyce Bohler).

The Council met with President David Skorton and Provost Michael Hogan during the year to discuss research-related issues.  At the end of the year, the Council met with the incoming Vice President for Research, Meredith Hay, to welcome her to the University and to discuss a wide range of research-related issues.

In 2004-05 the Council dealt with a number of requests for waivers of University contractual provisions in agreements with external research funders, generally relating to publication or other issues governed by the University Operations Manual.  This was conducted through a new subcommittee (Sidel, Michael Flatte, Johna Leddy) that examined the waiver requests and made recommendations either to VPR Decker or, where Council discussion seemed warranted, to the Council itself.  The Council anticipates continuing the subcommittee format because of the rising number of waiver requests.

A new feature of the Council’s work this past year was a focus on periodic examination and reports on the activities of key OVPR units, including the regulatory compliance; the work of the Division of Sponsored Programs and the Clinical Trials Office; economic development and technology transfer; and other important components of OVPR.  The Council is grateful to David Wynes, Grainne Martin, Twila Reighley, Charlotte Talman, Bill Decker, and others for their assiduous preparation for these sessions and for answering the many detailed questions posed by Council members.

At its May 10, 2005 meeting the Chair (Sidel) formally and warmly expressed the Council’s gratitude to Bill Decker for his dedicated and exemplary service as interim Vice President for Research and for many years of service at The University of Iowa. 

The Council’s work was greatly facilitated by the strong and committed support offered by Bill Decker, Cheryl Reardon, Marlyce Bohler, Jackie Kjaer and others in the Office of the Vice President for Research.  The Council is grateful for their support.