Annual Reports

2016-2017 Annual Report



Committee:  Research Council


Report Year:  Fall 2016 – Spring 2017



Committee Chair(s)


Johna Leddy

Committee Members



  • Johna Leddy (Chair), Chemistry
  • Jane Nachtman, Physics & Astronomy
  • Jane Paulsen, Psychiatry
  • Kaikobad Irani, Internal Medicine
  • John Nelson, Political Science
  • Carolyn Colvin, Teaching & Learning
  • Barbara Eckstein, English
  • Weimin Han, Mathematics
  • Alberto Segre, Computer Science
  • Faryle Nothwehr, Community & Behavioral Health
  • Avery Qin, Undergraduate Student Representative
  • Nicholas Borcherding, Graduate Student Representative
  • Kristen Worthington, Post-Doc Representative
  • Elizabeth Constantine, Education Administration
  • Kevin Kelly, Occupational & Environmental Health
  • George Hospodarsky, Physics & Astronomy
  • Jessica Boyle, Division of Sponsored Programs
  • Gary Gussin, Biology/Emeritus Faculty (non-voting)
  • Robert Kirby, Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates (non-voting)


Committee Charge




2.8(19)b 2.8(19)b 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.

Current Year Meeting Dates


23 Sept 2016; 18 November 2016; 9 December 2016; 27 January 2017; 24 March 2017; 8 May 2017

Please indicate the typical frequency of meetings (e.g., first Tuesday of month at 4 pm). If there are subcommittees, please indicate the frequency of those meetings, too.

Research Council met in early afternoon, on average every 6 to 8 weeks. Meetings lasted <1.5 hours.

There were three subcommittees that met independently, each once or twice. The main subcommittee is the Publication Waivers Subcommittee. The other two were the Research Awards Subcommittee and Time Efficiencies Subcommittee.

Current Year Activities



This year, Research Council provided input to Vice President for Research and Economic Development on the following topics:

  • University Strategic Plan and role of shared governance
  • Human Research Subjects Projections Program (HRPP) and efforts to streamline the human subjects approval processes while maintain strict protection of human subjects
  • University financial support of research
    • University budget, impacts of State budget cuts, $17M deficit, and alignment of budget response with Strategic Plan
    • External research funding and federal outlook
    • Critical need for time to focus on research to allow effective grant applications that support the University missions of teaching and research
  • Undergraduate recommendations for a streamlined method for undergraduates to find research mentors
  • Minors on Campus Policy
  • Intellectual properties policies and approval by the Faculty Senate
  • Efficiencies that may allow more time to focus on research based on discussion and time usage survey (small population) that forms the basis for 2017-2018 Subcommittee activities
  • UMETRICS discussion on how to emphasis the impacts of University of Iowa students, faculty, and staff impact the lives of Iowans


The following topics were presented to the Research Council by VP Reed and staff: Organizational Chart for OVPRED and positions filled; Lewis Burke consultants updates post election; UAV (unscrewed Aerial Vehicles (e.g., drones)) committee and policy; University salary guidelines for postdoctoral associates in line with NIH recommendations (Graduate College Dean Keller); opening of MERGE; and Central Services Review Committee and Research and Economic Development Committee and membership.


Topics your committee anticipates addressing during the coming year

Next year, the Research Council will address questions raised by the OVPRED and provide guidance on University policy that impacts research. Research Council will continue to identify activities that detract research and teaching and consider ways to promote focus and commitment to research productivity campus wide.

Other issues of concern


Research at the University of Iowa supports the citizens of Iowa, the United States, and the world.  The commitment of University students, staff, and faculty to undertake the highest quality research remains unabated despite significant challenges to fund the research that educates the next generation. Iowans deserve to know how University research and teaching impact their lives. Research Council must provide its best input to protect and promote University research that drives advances in technology, science, art, humanities, medicine, and education.

What should we tell applicants for this committee regarding expectations of members (anticipated workload, existence of subcommittees, etc.)?

Research Council members meet 5 to 7 times a year for < 2 h. Any effort expended beyond that is voluntary and focused on a specific task.

The mission of Research Council is to promote research at the University and so advises in diverse areas.

The Faculty Senate Office collects agendas and minutes from the charter committees to send to the university archives. Please let us know the best way to get that information from you (e.g., direct us to a website, put us on the committee’s distribution list, etc.).

Recommendations, if any, to the shared governance groups.



Continue to diversify membership across colleges.  Last year’s recommendations requested members from Engineering and Business.  New membership for 2017-2018 includes an Engineering faculty member as well as a representative from the College of Law, both of which will provide excellent perspectives on issues OVPR&ED will look at in the next cycle.  A representative from the College of Business would be welcomed in 2018.