Minutes - Apr 14, 2010

Date of Meeting: 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

2:00 – 3:00 pm 201 GILH


Jordan Cohen, Laura Dallas, Carin Green, Robert Kirby, Johna Leddy, Yasar Onel, Cheryl Reardon, Linda Snetselaar, and Michael Wichman


Francois Abboud, Richard Hichwa, Jay Semel, Jim Walker, and Derek Willard

Agenda Item 1: Approval of the Minutes

Approval of the minutes from the last meeting was deferred until the next meeting, since the members hadn’t received the minutes prior to this meeting.

Agenda Item 2: Cluster Hire Process

President Mason set forth a goal to create one hundred new tenure-track and tenured positions over five years, to restore lines previously lost. Task forces were convened (i.e., Diversity and Internationalization, Public Engagement and Outreach, Undergraduate Education, Graduate Education, and Research and Scholarship) to develop strategies to create new positions that will bring new knowledge and put this knowledge into action The three broad areas of strategic focus are (1) letters and arts, (2) sustainability, and (3) clinical and translational research. The one hundred faculty lines are to be restored in the form of cluster hires for these interdisciplinary “Grand Challenges.” 

In light of the above, questions were raised about where the University is at with the cluster hires, how the Research Council can be more engaged in the process, and what avenue or resource they can use to offer suggestions and input. There is a problem finding information about the cluster hires – nothing much is on the University websites, no or few e-mail broadcasts, etc. VP Cohen agreed that all departments should know who the “go to” person is for information, for example, on the Water Resources & Sustainability cluster hires, Developmental & Aging Studies cluster hires, etc. He suggested that all Research Council inquiries about cluster hires go through the OVPR. He also said that once the OVPR knows the plan for cluster hires the Research Council will be advised. There have already been a couple of rounds of cluster hires and the next round is targeted for this summer.

Agenda Item 3: Update on Survey

VP Cohen said that the recent Centers and Institutes survey, formulated by Linda with input and suggestions from the Research Council, was very well done. Linda said that as soon as she has some results she will share them with the RC.

Agenda Item 4: Preparation for President Mason attending the May Research Council Meeting

In preparation of President Mason attending the May 7th meeting, Linda requested that the Council members discuss questions they want to ask her; any they think of later can be submitted to Linda by April 19th, which is the date that they are due to President Mason. Some suggestions:

  • Institutional budget priorities.
  • Her view of the sustainability of the research enterprise.
  • What across-the-board changes will the University need to incorporate to maintain the cluster hires?
  • IT
  • University infrastructure.
  • Management of increased federal mandates for grant accounting and accountability.
  •  Has she notice an effect of the research development programs that have been offered to the faculty researchers and staff?
  • Suggestions for increasing funding for centers and programs that are not directly affiliated with a college.
  • Her impression of the research vitality at the federal level.
  • How does she feel UI research impacts Iowans and/or how does she feel it should impact Iowans?

The meeting was adjourned at 2:50 p.m.