Meeting Minutes - October 24, 2014

Date of Meeting: 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Members present:  Ed Gillan, Bob Kirby, Pat Gillette, Claire Sponsler, Cara Hamann, Barb Eckstein, Scott Bounds, Gary Gussin, Alberto Segre, Paul Soderdahl, Carolyn Colvin, Faryle Nothwehr

Others in Attendance: Cheryl Reardon, Rich Hichwa

Item 1: Welcome and Updates (Ed Gillan)

  • Ed Gillan announced that Neil Segal has left the University of Iowa and will be replaced on the council
  • The Publication Waiver Subcommittee will be made up of Patricia Gillette, Carolyn Colvin, Alberto Segre, and Ed Gillan

Item 2: VPR & ED Updates and Initiatives (Cheryl Reardon)

  • Dan Reed will give a State of the Research Enterprise talk on Monday, November 10th at 5:30 PM in Art Building West
  • The next round of internal funding opportunities opens on Monday, November 10th with a due date of December 9th
  • OVPR launched a new website in early October
  • There will be an Arts and Humanities Seminar on October 28th focusing on grant writing and locating funding
  • There was a kickoff event for the restructuring of Economic Development on October 6th in the Kinnick Stadium Press Box.  It was a great success with over 150 in attendance
  • 185 faculty and researchers attended the Morrison Grant Writing Workshop
  • Lewis & Burke Update
    • Lewis & Burke put on a workshop in Iowa City over the summer highlighting opportunities and grant writing strategies for the Department of Defense
    • OVPR will be sponsoring several groups of faculty to visit Washington, DC with Lewis & Burke.  The first visits were high level faculty earlier this year related to the NCATS-CTSA application.  Other groups of faculty are planning trips in late 2014 and early 2015 to visit agencies

Item 3: Approval of May 2014 Minutes

  • Minutes were reviewed and approved
  • The Annual report from 2013-2014 was approved, any further requests for revisions or additions should be sent directly to Carolyn Colvin

Item 4: Continued Discussion on Potential Research Council Charter Changes

  • Ed reviewed the charter and the discussions held last year regarding makeup the council’s make up.  Discussion about further narrowing the requirements and increasing the difficulty of filling open Research Council positions. 
  • Minor change suggestions
    • Ed suggested naming ex officio members by position
    • Alberto proposed loosening the charter requirements to trend toward more full representation.  Carolyn commented that the current requirements may skew toward full membership rather than full representation.
  • Group discussed duplicate representation from a single department.  Membership is likely reflective of the volunteer pool.
  • There is a feeling that the medical campus is underrepresented as is the College of Engineering.
  • Ed suggested that a subcommittee be formed to look at and potentially draft a new set of council composition requirements.  Ed and Alberto will work to rewrite the membership requirements possibly removing the “two members from” wording.  A draft will be put together for the next Research Council Meeting

Item 5: Undergraduate Research on Campus

  • New statewide funding models are leading to new ways of looking at undergraduate populations.  Bob Kirby indicated that the UI would like to increase undergraduate enrollment by 500 per year.  UI would like to use an increased focus on undergraduate research as a means to draw students to campus.  Undergraduate Research as an educational tool is a new strategy and could be a barometer for faculty scholarship.
  • The discussion should focus on the balance between promoting undergraduate research but not at the expense of quality research, scholarship, or solely to get the numbers up.  What are the goals?  How do we get faculty behind the initiative?  How do we make it good for both faculty and students?
  • Students should be involved earlier so that they can contribute more over their time in school.  Gary Gussin talked about the importance of a connection with professors as well.  Bob replied that surveys have shown that limited faculty contact is acceptable as long as the mentor or lab provides value.
  • Bob noted that awareness of undergrad research is promoted through summer orientation.
  • Alberto suggested that perhaps research should be something that is more exclusive versus striving for each student to do it.  The argument, primarily, is that the quality of student researchers may go down, and that the decline in faculty positions/move to more adjunct and lecturer positions may put more strain on a dwindling faculty.
  • Claire Sponsler would like to see undergrad research tied to coursework and more credit be provided for the positions.  Rich Hichwa replied that the output from the research should be the goal, not the credits.  Hamman noted that senior UG senior design project involvement has led to data for further pilot studies.
  • Research Council indicated that this should be a continuing discussion