Minutes - Oct 2, 2012

Date of Meeting: 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

1:30pm – 201 Gilmore Hall

Council Members present:

Rakesh Awasthi, Scott Bounds, Jordan Cohen, Carolyn Colvin, Edward Gillan, Gary Gussin, Patricia Gillette, William Haynes, Robert Ketterer, Kevin Kopelson, Miriam Landsman, Johna Leddy, Kyle John Oskvig, Cheryl Reardon, Neil Segal, Alberto Segre and Paul Soderdahl


Rich Hichwa and Jim Walker 

Agenda Item 1:


Chair, Carolyn Colvin, welcomed the 2012-2013 Council members and asked that they introduce themselves. 

Agenda Item 2:

Approval of the April 10, 2012 minutes

The minutes from the April 10th meeting were approved.

Agenda Item 3:

“State of the State” presentation by Jordan Cohen

Jordan Cohen presented an update of OVPR accomplishments and upcoming issues.  OVPR Overview.pdf

Cohen additionally commented that:

  • The University of Iowa is submitting more proposals and more proposals are being funded, but the funding we are receiving is less.
  • Sequestration – which is an amount of money equal to the difference between the cap set in the Budget Resolution and the amount actually appropriated by the Treasury and not handed over to the agencies to which it was originally appropriated by Congress – could be dire. Congress has chosen to exempt certain very large programs from the sequestration process (for example, Social Security and certain parts of the Defense budget), and the number of exempted programs has increased over time, which could cripple the activities of the unexempted programs.
  • The UI Research Foundation is dealing with the loss of revenue of a major patent and is looking to replace that revenue.
  • Thanks mainly to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, there is a plan to invest 6 million dollars in a new animal facility.  This facility will better position the University for future funding.

Agenda Item 4:

OVPR reports by Rich Hichwa, Cheryl Reardon and Jim Walker on the “Big Items”

Rich Hichwa asked the Council members to think of ways that the University can become more competitive.
Along with competitiveness he emphasized value added partnerships and finding alternate funding mechanisms. In the current economic climate, limiting proposals per institution is becoming more common and institutions are and will increasingly be required to do more of the grant review and evaluation process.  Attaining, licensing and commercializing intellectual property is a growing source of revenue, and, therefore, economic development needs to be promoted and considered in faculty tenure.  If teaching, research and service are the three legs of the “stool” necessary for tenure, the Council should discuss ways for economic development to become a fourth leg. He suggested a white paper be created by the Council on ways to accomplish this.

Rich also reported on behalf of Ann Ricketts: 
• There were 170 people at the recent Morrison Workshop – a great turnout
• Research Orientation Day is October 29th
• Internal Initiative Funding proposals – BSFP, MPSFP and SSFP – are due October 12, 2012
• AHI and Digital Studio for the Public Humanities Initiative proposals are due February 6, 2013
• Currently establishing a University-wide platform to discuss how to engage the public

Cheryl Reardon reported on eResearch Administration (eRA), which is a joint venture of the VPR and ITS.  The goal of the eRA system is to address ongoing concerns about productivity, increasing compliance requirements and concerns from faculty related to research administration transparency and efficiency.   It will create a single point of entry for investigators and support staff to access administrative applications for research in compliance, pre and post award application.  – http://research.uiowa.edu/eRA

Jim Walker reiterated the benefits of eRA and added that advisory groups have been formed to better communicate regulatory and compliance issues; an Animal Care Advisory Committee; IRB Advisory Committee, etc.  The Research Council could help by formulating a structure to bring issues to the appropriate advisory committee for resolution.  He requested that if any RC member hears of a problem or issue, to please communicate it to one of these advisory groups, as it may be systemic.

Jim also reported on the University’s Enterprise Risk Management Committee.  The committee’s mission is to identify significant institutional risks that impact the overall institution’s purpose and mission, recommend policies related to controlling risks and promote a culture that identifies risk management as a part of doing everyday business. The following groups are members:  Office of the Provost; Office of the VP for Research; Student Services ; UIHC; Internal Audit; Business Services; UI Police Department; Human Resources; Risk Management and Office of the General Counsel.  Examples of major institutional risks include catastrophic utility outages including IT, security and safety, revenue stream impacts, internal or external misbehavior such as violence, and catastrophic weather.  These risks are evaluated from many perspectives including strategic, operational, financial, compliance and reputation. What could impact the University and our research is: infrastructure failure, civil protest / public opinion, a major weather event, explosion, hazardous materials incident, loss of data, violent incident, etc. These are the types of risks which the committee intends to address.

Agenda Item 5:

Issues for the Research Council to focus on this year

1. Review last year’s Centers and Institutes document and resurrect the Centers and Institutes subcommittee.
2. Cluster hires – possibly invite Tom Rice to a meeting to provide an update
3. Bridge Funding
4. IRB

Sue Burlingame will check for best availability for meetings in November and December.

Agenda Item 6:

Publication Waiver Committee

Alberto was asked to briefly describe the function of the Publication Waiver Committee.  He said their function is to advise the VPR regarding the University’s obligations to its faculty, staff and students and the public, as opposed to possible commercial or governmental pursuits of a waiver request.  When publication waivers are requested they generally need to move through the committee quickly – 24 to 48 hours – so email works best to review the requests.

The new Publication Waiver Subcommittee
Alberto Segre
Johna Leddy
Carolyn Colvin
Rakesh Awasthi
Miriam Landsman

Cheryl Reardon will arrange an orientation for this subcommittee.

Agenda Item 7: 

Information on the UI Research Park and Obermann Center “road trip”

Research Council members are invited to tour the BioVentures Center and the Obermann Center on Friday, October 26th.  Carolyn Colvin and Cheryl Reardon will drive.  A gathering place will be determined later.  The tentative itinerary is:

  • 2:00 p.m.  meet at location TBD and depart main campus  for the UI Research Park
  • 2:30 p.m.  presentation of the UIRP and tour of the BioVentures Center labs
  • 3:45 p.m.  depart for the Obermann Center/main campus
  • 4:00 p.m. tour of the Obermann Center

The meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.