Minutes - Jan 19, 2006

Date of Meeting: 

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Michael Chibnik, Thomas Conway, Ben Darbo, Jeff Denburg, Ed Folsom, Vicki Grassian, Meredith Hay, Omar(Amit Kapoor), Byod Knosp, Johna Leddy, Michael Mackey, George Malanson, Cheryl Reardon and Michael Wichman


Jane Holland, Organizational Effectiveness 

The meeting was called to order at 1:30 PM. 

Vicki Grassian welcomed Tom Conway, professor emeritus from the Department of Biochemistry Conway replaced Ian Smith and will represent the Emeritus Council.  He is a former research council member and chair and is excited to be part of this group.

Grassian reviewed the minutes from the December 8, 2005 meeting.  Conway suggested that acronyms be spelled out in future meeting minutes.  The minutes were approved by Michael Mackey and seconded by Meredith Hay.  

Working at Iowa

Jane Holland, from Central Human Resources, presented information on a survey called Working at Iowa.  The survey focuses on “Engagement”.  Engagement is being defined as “individuals feel that their contributions are integral to the excellence of the University”.  Holland provided an overview of the survey, described the composition of the working committee, provided an overview of the electronic application and described the data analysis process.  Professor Bridget Zimmerman, College of Public Health, is the researcher who will coordinate the data analysis.  The survey is scheduled to be released to campus in April 2006, with a summary report to be made available during the summer of 2006.  Summary reports will go to Central Administration and to leadership at the organizations.  The members of research council offered many suggestions for improving the effectiveness of the survey, especially as it relates to faculty.  It was also suggested that a 'one model fits all' type survey was highly inappropriate, given the various working environments at UI.

Membership of research council 

Grassian then began a discussion on the membership of research council.  She highlighted the Operations Manual 2.8 (19) Research Council Charter and reviewed the Research Council Membership Composition.  The current membership consists of two students (post baccalaureate), four staff and ten faculty.  For faculty membership, the operations manual specifically states that there should be two members, at all times, and related to the disciplines of the physical sciences, biological sciences, social sciences and the humanities.  In addition, two faculty members shall be 'at large.'  There is no mention in the research council charter about the participation of emeritus faculty.  (There is currently one emeritus faculty member on the council.)       

Questions were raised about membership on Research Council including:

  • Does Research Council have the expertise needed to assess publication waiver requests?  This has become more of an issue in recent years due to the increasing number of publication waivers requests.  These requests are often, but not exclusively, made by researchers working in the health sciences.
  • Does Research Council need to be more involved in determining who would fall into the current categories?  
  • Should there be formal representatives from the health sciences?
  • Should Research Council appoint Ad Hoc members to the committee based on expertise areas that are needed?
  • Should the Chairs of the Committee on Committees from Faculty Senate and Staff Council be consulted?

Grassian suggested that perhaps a sub-committee be formed next year to evaluate Research Council membership. 

OVPR activities

Meredith Hay updated the Research Council on recent OVPR activities that included:

  • The Associate Vice President for Research searches are moving along and will be announced on campus the week of Jan 23rd.
  • National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) will be reporting to the College of Engineering effective July 1, 2006.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

National Institutes of Health (NIH) will be moving to an electronic application (www.NIH.Gov).  This will impact the due date for PI’s.  They will be required to submit proposals five days before NIH application deadline.

To date, the overall grants and contract are down 11% (this is expected due to the decrease in the federal budgets).  In upcoming months, we will address how to increase the number of applications.  One strategy that is being discussed is to create a new position that will help researchers develop grant applications.  At this point, there will be a pilot program focusing on National Science Foundation (NSF) grants first, and if successful, will target other funding opportunities.  

Agenda items for the next meeting will include:

  1. Shared Credit Task Force
  2. Seed Grant Committees – 30 minutes at the end of next meeting. 

Meeting adjourned at 3:00 PM.