Minutes - Mar 23, 2006

Date of Meeting: 

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Scott Bounds, Thomas W. Conway, Jeffrey Denburg, Ed Folsom, Vicki Grassian, Amit Kapoor, Byod Knosp, Johna Leddy, George Malanson, Cheryl Reardon, Alan Sener & Scott Stuart

Grassian called the meeting to order at 1:00 pm. 

Grassian noted that the April 20th Research Council meeting has been canceled.  Instead, the internal funding subcommittee will meet from 1:00 to 2:30 on April 20th.  The next Research Council meeting is scheduled for May 11, 2006, at 1:00 PM.

Grassian asked Research Council members if they had any revisions to the minutes from the February 16, 2006, meeting.  Leddy made a motion to approve the minutes with corrections.  The motion was seconded by Malanson.  The minutes were approved.

Shared Credit Task Force

Grassian provided the Research Council with an overview of the Shared Credit Taskforce Report.  The committee was charged by Vice President of Research Meredith Hay and Graduate College Dean John Keller to:

  1. identify the current barriers to interdisciplinary research;
  2. define and articulate the full range of issues covered by shared credit;
  3. define and articulate how different colleges and departments may or may not be affected by the issue of shared credit;
  4. determine if there are models within the University that are working and can be duplicated in other units;
  5. determine what [if any] processes/procedures within both pre- and post- award management offices might facilitate the distribution of shared credit as grants/contracts are submitted or expended;
  6. determine if our peer universities have approached the issue of shared credit and if any of these solutions can be applied at UI; and
  7. develop a set of guidelines that will help The University of Iowa establish best practices for shared credit involved in interdisciplinary research.  

Johna Leddy expressed that these same types of shared credit issues are associated with intellectual property efforts. 

Vice President Hay stated that the report was presented to the Vice Presidents Group in early March and will be implemented by the two new Associate Vice Presidents for Research, one for arts, humanities and social sciences, the other for biological, mathematical and physical sciences. 

Blue Ribbon Committee on the Natural Sciences

Jack Lilien (chair) reported on the progress of the Blue Ribbon Committee on the Natural Sciences.  In the summer of 2005, President Skorton, Provost Hogan and Vice President Hay charged a group of approximately 10 faculty members to review the future of natural sciences.  The committee was charged with: 1) answering questions related to where we stand; 2) determining strategies on how to improve; and 3) developing recommendations regarding the future of these programs. 

The committee is currently comparing The University of Iowa with approximately 30 peer institutions.  The peer comparison will help to compile statistics including demographics, tax bases of the state, how the tax base is broadly used, how the state budget is allocated, how are campus budgets managed, etc. 

The report will have two aspects: the first part involves budget aspects and the second part revolves around recommendations for the greatest impact in the next 50 years.  The ultimate goal is to have The University of Iowa lead the nation in these areas.  The committee hopes to have the report completed in the next three months.   

To date, three major categories of concept and ideas have emerged:

  • Money - How can indirect cost returns be used to promote rewards and incentives, graduate student funding, start-up packages, etc?
  • Facility - How do we decide which departments to build, which centers to create, etc?  What is the best way to meet these challenges?  How can we redistribute teaching loads around departments so everyone is on the same level?  How can we coordinate hiring between departments when departmental vacancies occur?
  • Infrastructure - What are the infrastructure base needs for the natural sciences?  How do we support core facilities? How to finance facilities, who runs them, etc?

Animal Care Issues at The University of Iowa

David Wynes updated the Research Council on animal care issues at The University of Iowa. 

UI was recently reaccredited by the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International.

Update on security issues regarding animal care.  Approximately 1500 faculty, staff and students have access to animal facilities.  We have recently implemented additional security systems in all facilities.  To gain access to these facilities, an individual must use their University ID card.  In addition, we are in the process of requiring ID badges be worn when in the animal care facilities.  Additional security measures have been implemented in all facilities. 

This program has grown over the past few years, and over 90% of all animals currently used in research at the UI are rodents. 

 As new construction occurs, programmatic plans are reviewed and appropriate space is added for animal housing to support the research.

Last year, we changed the rate structure for mice; from a per mice charge to a per cage charge. This has reinforced to user that the UI’s rates are very competitive as compared to peer institutions.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:17 pm.