Annual Report to the Faculty Senate
Charge (University Operations Manual, Section 2.8b)
A. The Council shall be governed by the terms of the General Charter.
B. In addition, the Council shall (among other things):
- Advise in the formulation, review and application of policy and guidelines for University research and its funding both from within and without the University;
- Advise on questions concerning the compliance of research with University policies;
- Advise in developing methods for informing University members about research opportunities and for stimulating, evaluating and rewarding good research;
- Provide a forum to which faculty and students may refer questions and recommendations concerning University research policies and procedures.
Erin Irish, Linda Snetselaar (Biological Sciences)
Carin Green, Kevin Kopelson (Humanities)
Edward Gillan, Yasar Onel (Physical Sciences)
Catherine Ringen, Alberto Segre (Social Sciences)
Paul Romitti, Neil Segal (At Large)
John Rosazza (Emeritus Faculty)
Jordan Cohen (Vice President for Research and Economic Development)
Cheryl Reardon (Assistant Vice President for Research)
2010: October 1, October 29, November 19, December 10*
2011: February 7, March 7, April 4, May 2
*Council meeting with Interim Provost Barry Butler
At the initial meeting, the Council reviewed its charter and past agendas from previous academic years. In recent years, the Council held a joint meeting with the University Graduate Council and one or more meetings with University senior administration guest speakers. For the current academic year, the Council chose to use monthly meetings to largely work on three main projects each led by a project subcommittee chair. With holding only 4 meetings per semester, the Council also chose to increase meeting times from 1 to 1 ½ hours to maximize the opportunity for breakout sessions for individual project subcommittees and in-person exchanges of project progress among subcommittees. In addition, the Council retained a Publication Waiver subcommittee. Along with reports from each subcommittee, agendas were augmented with pertinent items relevant to the University research enterprise as posted (http://research.uiowa.edu/vpr/rcouncil/site/index.php?get=agenda). At the December meeting, the Council met with newly appointed Interim Provost Barry Butler.
As mentioned, the Council selected three main projects for the current academic year. One, Centers and Institutes, was a continuation of a project from the previous academic year (2009-2010), and two, Authorship Policy and Undergraduate Research, were new projects. Each project was carried out by a subcommittee of Council members. All Council members provided guidance and critique for each project.
Centers and Institutes
Linda Snetselaar (chair), Jordan Cohen (ex-officio), Edward Gillian, John Rosazza, Paul Soderdahl
During the previous academic year, Jordan Cohen, Vice President for Research and Economic Development, discussed with Council members, that no comprehensive list existed regarding the number and type of research centers and institutes within the University. Also, it was unclear to the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) what policies, if any, were being followed by University colleges or departments to create, implement, review, and sunset centers and institutes within the University. Additionally, without a comprehensive census of centers and institutes within the University, it was difficult for the OVPR to promote the efforts of these organizations and fully market the strengths and excellence of our University research enterprise to internal and external stakeholders. As such, during the previous academic year, the Council enumerated a list of centers and institutes on campus through a search of collegiate and departmental websites and feedback received from the Associate Deans for Research. Once the enumeration was completed, a web-based survey – which asked about source of funding, college and departmental affiliation, and other descriptive information to identify the mission of the center or institute – was sent to the director of each enumerated center or institute; approximately 50% completed the survey.
To develop a policy document related to the creation, approval, implementation, review and sunset of University Centers and Institutes
For the current academic year, the Council continued work to enumerate centers and institutes within the University and to develop a document that defined proposed guidelines for the OVPR for the establishment and oversight of new centers and institutes within the University that require institutional funding. Specifically, this policy provides recommendations for defining a center or an institute and criteria for formation and evaluation of such organizations. The guidelines and procedures included in the document complement existing Board of Regents policies for Centers or Institutes that request $250,000 or more in institutional funding, and which, therefore, require Board of Regents approval. The document also distinguishes between research centers and institutes and those that involve primarily teaching or service, and that proposed policies and procedures are not applicable to the latter types of centers and institutes. Also, proposed policies and procedures will not generally pertain to smaller collegiate or departmental centers who do not receive institutional funding, and whose formation and oversight is best managed by the units from which they have arisen. The draft document was approved by the Council.
Following review of the draft document by the OVPR, the document will be forwarded to University stakeholders for review and comment.
John Doershuk (chair), Kellie Bodeker, Richard Hichwa (ex officio), Catherine Ringen, Neil Segal, Alberto Segre
At the initial meeting for the current academic year, Richard Hichwa, Senior Associate Vice President for Research, discussed the lack of a comprehensive University policy for authorship. Presently, the University Operations Manual includes only a brief statement on authorship policy for scholarly activities – 27.6 a. (4) (b) “Only those authors who have had a genuine role in the research should be included in authorship of papers, and all named authors must accept responsibility for the quality of the work reported.” This rather general statement can contribute to significant misunderstandings by contributors as related to publishing and reporting of such activities. In contrast, most institutions in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation and other University of Iowa peer institutions have detailed policies on authorship. As such, a concise, but broadly applicable, authorship policy is needed to provide guidance to the University faculty, staff, and students in conveying research and scholarship findings for peer review and dissemination.
To create a concise, but broadly applicable, authorship policy for the University Operations Manual
Acknowledging that development, review, and approval of an authorship policy for the University Operations Manual was mostly likely a multi-year goal, the current year goal was development of a draft authorship policy to forward to University stakeholders for review and comment. The draft policy defines the meaning of authorship and what responsibilities participation as an author entails, recognizing the various academic disciplines in the University. Specific key points addressed by the draft policy are: 1) definition and differentiation of authorship versus acknowledgement; 2) definition of unacceptable authorship (guest, gift and ghost); 3) order and contribution of authorship (first author, senior author, students); 3) responsibilities and accountability of all authors; and 5) authorship disputes and their resolution. To develop the draft policy, the subcommittee reviewed relevant model documents from peer institutions in multiple disciplines (e.g., social science, medicine). Multiple drafts were submitted and reviewed by Council members and the OVPR. The revised policy was reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel. Upon review and comment by the Deputy General Counsel, it was decided not to imbed the policy within the University Operations Manual II-27.6 Ethics in Research section as intended, because the section is undergoing revision. Instead, the policy will be a separate entry in the University Operations Manual. The draft policy, approved by the Council, the OVPR, and Office of the General Counsel, has been forwarded to the Provost Office, Graduate College, and Staff Council for review and comment.
With feedback received from the above mentioned stakeholders, the Council will revise the policy and forward to other identified stakeholders for review and comment. Once all identified stakeholders have had an opportunity to review and comment on the draft policy, the final, revised draft will be forwarded to the Faculty Senate for a vote to adopt the policy into the University Operations Manual.
Robert Kirby (chair), Daniel Chevalier, Kevin Copelson, Carin Green, Erin Irish, Calvin Luzum, Yasar Onel
At the initial meeting for the current academic year, Robert Kirby, Director, Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (ICRU), discussed the need to enumerate the research activities conducted by undergraduate students and faculty who mentor such activities, beyond what are sponsored and funded by the ICRU. This lack of comprehensive information regarding research activities by undergraduate students, for example, precludes the University from responding to basic questions from funding agencies, such as, “How many of these students are going on to graduate school?”. Further discussed was the need to have an undergraduate research program that is inclusive and enhances all undergraduate research activities and provides appropriate recognition for students and faculty who participate in such activities.
To assess faculty and student experiences with research activities for undergraduate students and develop approaches to enhance such activities
The current year charge for the project subcommittee was to assess faculty and student experiences with research activities for undergraduate students. Specifically, the subcommittee desired to ascertain the proportion of faculty who have mentored undergraduate students in research activities, provided classroom training to undergraduate students in research methods, and any barriers encountered and recognition received for engagement of undergraduate students in research activities. Likewise, the subcommittee desired to ascertain the proportion of undergraduate students with an interest in research, the proportion that have participated in research, and any barriers encountered and recognition received for participating in such research. To collect this information, the subcommittee developed web-based surveys to administer University-wide to faculty and undergraduate students. In March, Robert Kirby, subcommittee chair, presented an overview of the project and the surveys developed to the collegiate Associate Deans for Research. The Associate Deans were requested to encourage their faculty to participate in the survey, which was administered in April. Data from the faculty survey are being reviewed. The student survey is scheduled to be administered during fall semester 2011.
Following administration of the student survey and analysis of faculty and student survey data, a report will be generated that details the experiences of current faculty and student with research activities for undergraduate students. Strategies to enhance reported successful experiences, to reduce reported barriers, and to increase recognition for faculty and students will be identified and suggestions for implementation will be developed.
Recommendations to Faculty Senate for the 2011-2012 Academic Year
The Council recommends continuation of the Centers and Institutes subcommittee until a policy for creation and evaluation of new University Centers and Institutes is developed, approved, and implemented by the OVPR. Likewise, the Council recommends continuation of the Authorship Policy subcommittee until the drafted policy is approved and entered as University policy. Lastly, the Council recommends continuation of the Undergraduate Research subcommittee to conduct the student survey and to draft a report of faculty and student experiences with undergraduate research and strategies to enhance such experiences.
The Council thanks personnel within the OVPR for their attendance at meetings, insights into the University research enterprise, and administrative assistance with Council operations. We also thank Interim Provost Butler for holding an open forum with Council members and providing feedback on Council projects. As chair, I thank Council members for their flexibility and willingness to work on multiple projects concurrently, as the approach of using subcommittees and breakout sessions required longer meeting times. Although not new, this approach was a departure from those used in recent years and also required considerable work by the subcommittees outside of the scheduled Council meetings. I am particularly appreciative of the leadership provided by the subcommittee chairs, Linda Snetselaar, John Doershuk, and Robert Kirby. In addition, I am most grateful to Susan Burlingame for her administrative assistance in leading the Council.
Paul Romitti Chair, Research Council