Minutes - Dec 11, 2012

Date of Meeting: 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

10:30am - 201 Gilmore Hall

Council Members present: 

Scott Bounds, Carolyn Colvin, Ed Gillan, Patricia Gillette, Jane Gilotti, Gary Gussin, William Haynes, Robert Kirby, Miriam Landsman, Johna Leddy, Daniel Reed, Neil Segal and Alberto Segre


Minnetta Gardiner, Ann Ricketts, Kathy Rushlo and Linda Snetselaar

Agenda Item 1: 

Approval of the November 6, 2012 minutes

There was a correction of the date of the minutes to be approved in the November 6th meeting minute’s draft.  The corrected minutes were approved.

Agenda Item 2:


Chair, Carolyn Colvin, welcomed the Council members and asked that they introduce themselves to VP Reed.

Agenda Item 3: 

Presentations from Ann Ricketts and Linda Snetselaar and comments from Carolyn Colvin on connections between the University’s research enterprise and outreach / public engagement

Linda Snetselaar reported on the recent 2012 Faculty Council/Administration Retreat.  Linda said the retreat brought together a great cross-section of UI leadership, i.e., Faculty Senate, Faculty Council, Presidents Office, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, and UI Division of Continuing Education.  As part of the retreat, participants divided into small group sessions to discuss and get feedback regarding connections already formed between faculty and the community and making future connections.  There was consensus that public engagement needs to be a part of education, research and service, and that adding it as a ‘fourth leg’ of the ‘three legged stool’ for tenure will never be generally accepted.  A symposium or some event to showcase successes was suggested and, if possible, be combined with public engagement awards from President Mason.  Perhaps invite Regent Lang.

Ann Ricketts reported on the public engagement movement.  Ann said her initiation into the public engagement movement was in 2010, as a co-chair of one of Provost Loh’s Academic Budget and Planning Strategic Initiatives Task Forces; the Task Force on Public Outreach and Civic Engagement.  Outcomes of this task force included:

  • Expanding partnerships with Community Colleges
    • Chet Rzonca executed agreements with all 15 community colleges, which allows students to complete UI BLS or BAS degrees remotely.
  • Building a culture of /and infrastructure for engagement at UI
    • Chet and the Office of the Provost administer a $1M pool of funds aimed at creating “Better Futures for Iowans”

Comments from Council members:

  1. College buy-in is necessary to elevate the importance of public engagement.
  2. Central to engagement is reciprocity.
  3. Develop metrics – determine what counts and classify.
    •  Do we have a portal or a way for community members who are reaching out to the University to connect?
    •  What are the community patterns – who is reaching out to the University?
    •  Involve community in design so it’s what they need and helpful to them.
    •  Public engagement isn’t just geographical but virtual as well (as with the HIV population).
  4. UI Administration could help researchers by developing databases for “go to” people in the communities (one example is the Iowa Research Network IRENE, established in 2001 through the joint efforts of the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians (IAFP), the University of Iowa Department of Family Medicine, and the IAFP Foundation).
  5. The College of Public Health, under the direction of PI Fred Wolinsky, was selected as one of PCORI’s Pilot Projects Programs.
  6. Social Service has for many decades been socially engaged – community involvement is vital in social work.
  7. We have to recognize that public engagement isn’t the best fit for some faculty.

Carolyn Colvin showed a slide of The Carnegie Foundation list of institutions who have been successfully classified, and emphasized the need to garner interest in pursuing classification for the University of Iowa.   The benefits would be manifold.   Colin Gordon, Professor of History, will spearhead the application.  This would have profound implications for economic development.  Carolyn cited Ernest Boyer’s book, Scholarship Reconsidered, in which he argued for abandoning the traditional “teaching vs. research” model on prioritizing faculty time, and urged colleges to adopt a much broader definition of scholarship.

Agenda Item 4:  

Discussion on Postdoc Participation on the Research Council, by guest Minnetta Gardinier, Associate Dean, Graduate College

The Office of Postdoctoral Scholars is located in 205 Gilmore Hall, and operates under the purview of Minnetta Gardinier, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, and Ann-Marie Ericson, Program Assistant.  Minnetta said that it has become more common over the past five years for Universities to have an Office of Postdoctoral Scholars.  There are 350 postdocs on campus, with a majority of them (213) in the College of Medicine.

Minnetta Gardinier spoke in support of postdoctoral scholar representation on the Research Council; initially as an ex officio member but ultimately with full voting privileges.  She said that they are an underrepresented group who have determined that, of the UI Charter Committees, the Research Council would be their best fit.  A handout was provided with more information on the Office of Postdoctoral Scholars:office of postdoctoral scholars.pdf                           

The meeting adjourned at 12:02 p.m.