Minutes - Nov 20, 2013

Date of Meeting: 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

November 20, 2013

10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Members present:  Patricia Gillette, Paul Soderdahl, Gary Gussin, Neil Segal, Alberto Segre, Carolyn Colvin, Ed Gillan, Miriam Landsman, Johna Leddy, Scott Bounds, Jane Gilotti, Barbara Eckstein, and George Hospodarsky

Others in Attendance: Cheryl Reardon, Senior Assistant Vice President, and Rich Hichwa, Senior Associate Vice President for Research, and Robert Kirby, Director, Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates

Item 1: Approval of Minutes

Minutes from the September 17, 2013 Research Council meeting were reviewed, amended, and approved

Item 2: Update from OVPR

Cheryl Reardon, Senior Assistant VP for Research reported to the Research Council on Lewis- Burke meetings held to date: October 2013 Lewis & Burke Campus visit, November on-campus follow-up meetings with Deans (in preparation for the November Hawkeye Caucus event in Washington, D.C.).  November 2013 Ideation Summit:  The Ideation Summit targeted senior faculty who worked together to pitch 21 ideas which were then narrowed down to three which represented common, broad themes that can help to target future proposals and areas of focus.  The purpose of the collaboration with Lewis & Burke is to match UI research priorities with emerging federal agency priorities.  There will be an Ideation 2.0 in January targeting early career faculty to churn new ways to think about research and help the University of Iowa compete nationally for funding.

Research Council members expressed concerns about the narrowing the Campus Research Agenda to only 1-2 ideas.  Members wondered what would happen to the research ideas pitched at the Summit but not placed on the final list.  In what ways will these ideas receive attention and support?  Cheryl indicated that the goal of the summits is to include participants from all colleges, faculty who represent interests from all colleges across campus.

Item 3: Report to Research Council, Research Misconduct Committee

Rich Hichwa, Senior Associate VP for Research - Dr. Hichwa conducted a Power Point presentation discussing Research Misconduct including definitions, frequency, and procedure for how the committee handles issues.  Dr. Hichwa would like the Research Council to consider eliminating the current process where ad hoc committees are formed for each instance/allegation of misconduct and replace it with a standing committee.  Dr. Hichwa notes that ad hoc committees can take too much time to assemble (membership being required from each college) and, based on the appointment rules as they stand, can potentially include members that may not be familiar enough with the type of research to make an educated decision.

Concerns from the Research Council include appropriate representation within a standing committee, loss of perspective by not including certain backgrounds/disciplines, potential for conflicts of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest based on the makeup of the standing committee, size of the committee, and the legal ramifications regarding the suggested changes.

Dr. Hichwa responded to concerns by noting that it is up to the Research Council to decide on the changes, if any.  The size and makeup of the committee is less important than the nature of the committee.  Ad hoc committees are too difficult to assemble and can negatively affect investigations if they are not completed in a timely manner.  The committee could add members on an ad hoc basis to provide more balance and mitigate any potential conflicts of interest.  There are no legal ramifications to consider regarding changes made to the committee.  The committee’s charger is a University of Iowa document and can be changed to suit the needs of the institution.

Other issues noted – Standing membership could be staggered in thirds so the entire committee does not have to be replaced at the end of each term.

“Whistleblowers” are protected with a focus on protecting the interests of all involved.  Allegations remain confidential, but some actions are taken on a case-by-case basis.

Misconduct is reported at a lower rate at UI than at other institutions.

If the workload exceeds the capacity of the standing committee, ad hoc committees can be formed.

A subcommittee consisting of Rich Hichwa, Alberto Segre, Johna Leddy, and Gary Gussin will convene to come up with suggestions for changes to the Operations Manual regarding Research Misconduct Committees.  The goal is to have suggested policy changes submitted to the Faculty Senate in early in January, 2014 and changes completed by the end of the academic year.

Item 4: Discussion of Current Guidelines for Research Council Membership

This item will be discussed at the next research council meeting

Item 5: Recruiting Research Council Members to Serve on Awards Committees

Cheryl Reardon, Senior Assistant VP for Research indicated a need for faculty or staff to serve on certain award committees.  Committees will meet in early February to review award applications.  Neil Segal, Robert Kirby, and George Hospodarsky volunteered to serve.

Item 6: Other Items for Discussion

Robert Kirby invited Research Council Members to attend the Fall Undergraduate Research Festival featuring booths/presentations by approximately 90 undergrads.  Work will be judged by graduate students (held on December 4, 2013 from 4:30-6).

OVPR will be hiring a second group of Faculty Fellows with applications due in January.  Faculty Fellows (one from the arts and one from the sciences or math) will be ready to start in summer, 2014.

Alberto will join the Publication Waiver Subcommittee to replace William Haynes.