January 29, 2016

Date of Meeting: 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Attendance – Ed Gillian, Barbara Eckstein, Carolyn Colvin, Kate O’Brien, Lance Heady, Kevin Kelly, Paul Soderdahl, Johna Leddy, David Cunning, Claire Sponsler, Gary Gussin, Bob Kirby, Elizabeth Constantine, John Nelson, George Hospodarsky

Others – Cheryl Reardon, Ann Ricketts, David Conrad, Dan Reed, Kevin Kregel, Greg Carmichael

Item 1:  Welcome (Ed Gillan)

  • This fall will mark the first time Research Council fills open seats using the updated Charter approved last year
  • President Harreld is planning to visit a Research Council meeting this spring.  He is visiting with all Charter Committees to learn about what they do

Item 2:  Approval of December 11, 2016 Meeting Minutes

  • Please review and send attendance/any corrections to Mike as the original notes file was lost due to a corrupted flash drive.

Item 3:  Updates from OVPR & ED (Cheryl Reardon)

  • “THEM” exhibit at the Old Capitol Museum showcasing a travelling collection of pieces depicting the marginalization of various groups.  OVPR has made a large effort to make people aware of the exhibit and its importance given the controversial nature of the collection
  • Applications for the next round of Faculty Fellow hires are due by February 28th
  • Creative Matters will be presenting Margaret Wertheim on February 11th focusing on the intersection between science and culture
  • OVPR has worked with the UI Research Foundation regarding crowdfunding at UI.  OVPR will create a website that will allow for “Kickstarter”-type campaigns for researchers, focusing on smaller projects
  • OVPR has been working with an advisory committee of University officials and local representatives to create an Unmanned Aerial Vehicles policy.  A draft policy is in place and the committee will be vetting it.  It will affect many UI research projects as well as general campus policy.  We do not currently know the number of research drones on campus, but the overall level of use varies.  Major considerations are risks, purpose for use, and insurance
  • Dare to Discover banners can now be seen around Iowa City featuring researchers and scholars from the University of Iowa
  • Dan Reed will be speaking at a World Canvas event on Monday, February 1 about research and real life, how scholarship and society intersect
  • Research Award nominations are due on February 5th, additional details can be found on the OVPR website

Item 4:  University of Iowa Cluster Initiatives, Past, Present, and Future (Kevin Kregel & Greg Carmichael)

  • Kevin Kregel spoke about the history and current state of the cluster hiring initiative, indicating that there has been consistency in the clusters’ development along with a very positive view of the initiative from the collegiate deans as it has been helpful in faculty recruiting.  Feedback from cluster hires has generally been very positive as well.  Questions from cluster faculty tend to regard tenure and promotion.  Resources for salaries tend to be the primary hurdle, along with a lack of facilities/infrastructure. He also provided data on the current status of 7 UI clusters, including inception dates, numbers of faculty lines approved and numbers filled.  All current clusters have several open faculty lines.
  • Paul Soderdahl provided an update from the Digital Scholarship and Publishing Studio as an example of infrastructure using shared resources from the UI Libraries (resources are unaffiliated with the cluster initiative).
  • Plans for the cluster initiative going forward will be dependent upon the UI Strategic Plan.  The strategy is to look long term; do we build on current clusters/expand and create new clusters?
  • Cluster Initiative needs to do a better job of internal UI marketing, but directors feel the clusters are visible on a national level.
  • Greg Carmichael gave an update on the Informatics cluster.  Informatics Cluster hires are required to provide 50% of their normal teaching load in informatics due to the lack of teaching faculty in this area.  An MOU was signed for the required teaching.  As a result, the Informatics Cluster is one of the larger UI Clusters.
  • Several RC members commented on the importance of clusters on campus as a mechanism to foster faculty interactions across departments and colleges.  Others asked Kregel on potential for future faculty input into new cluster formation.  Until several Presidential operations and strategy initiatives are completed, there are no plans for new cluster formation or expansion of current clusters. 

Item 5:  Economic Development Advisory Committee Updates (David Conrad)

  • The Advisory Committee is moving forward and looking for Research Council Members to join.  It was suggested that the name of the advisory committee not be off-putting to certain segments of UI Faculty; one suggested title: Research Impact and Economic Development Committee.
  • Johna Leddy and Barbara Eckstein volunteered to represent Research Council on the committee.

Items of Potential Interest to RC Members

  • University of Iowa Informatics Initiative (UI3) - the newest cluster on campus is actively recruiting faculty in a wide range of interdisciplinary areas. Proposals are due February 1, 2016. Flyer announcing this initiative is attached to this agenda.
  • From the Obermann Center: Attend a teach-in on Teaching Sustainability Across the Discipline, February 5, 2016, 10:30 AM - 3:30 PM, Iowa City Public Library.
  • Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development Administrative Research Fellowship Program. The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (OVPR&ED) invites tenured or clinical faculty members at The University of Iowa to apply for an administrative research fellowship.  Application materials due February 26, 2016.
  • Taking It to the Streets -Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Obermann Graduate Institute March 3-4, 2016.