RESEARCH COORDINATING COUNCIL
March 25, 2004
Members Present: Curtis Anderson, John Bennion, Steve Byers, Linda Deck, Kathy DiLorenzo, Dianne Horrocks, Edwin House (presiding), Skip Lohse, Rod Seeley, Malcolm Shields, Al Strickland, Susan Swetnam, Dan Wolfley
Members Absent/Excused: Carol Ashton, Brian Attebery, Phil Blick, Maureen Brandon, Alok Bhushan, Deb Easterly, Kay Flowers, Larry Ford, Frank Harmon, Richard Inouye, Subbaram Naidu, Neill Piland, Thomas Windholz, Paul Zelus
Dr. House declared a quorum was present.
I. It was MSC (8y,0n) to approve Memorandum #154 with the following change: In II.A. line 2, change Physics to History.
A. Faculty Research Committee – Dr. Swetnam reported that all five nominees were selected as Outstanding Researchers, and the banquet honoring them was held last night. The committee will select the Distinguished Researcher tomorrow afternoon. The Distinguished Researcher receives $2,500. Faculty Research Committee proposals are due April 9, 2004.
B. Graduate Student Research and Scholarship Committee – Ms. DiLorenzo reported that proposals were due March 22, 2004. The committee will meet tomorrow to award ASISU scholarships and distribute the packets of research proposals to the committee members. The committee will meet on March 26 to review the proposals and again on April 30 to make the awards.
C. Undergraduate Research Committee – Dr. Anderson reported for Dr. Brandon that the Undergraduate Research Symposium starts tomorrow. The Idaho Academy of Sciences rotates to various universities, and it is located at ISU this year. There will be 38 posters presented Friday afternoon from 4-6 p.m. and, on Saturday morning, there will be 20 oral presentations. Ten proposals were funded by this committee in the fall—three travel grants and seven research grants for a total of $12,012. The deadline for proposals this spring is April 5, 2004.
D University Research Committee – Dr. House reported that the deadline for proposals is Wednesday, March 31, 2004. A meeting will be scheduled to review and award these proposals.
F. Federal Initiative Update –Dr. House reported that eighteen projects were presented before the Congressional delegation for the appropriation process and one additional project was presented to see if we could get a land exchange from the Bureau of Land Management. We are now going through the sequence that follows these presentations. Because this is an election year, there is a significant effort to put these appropriations bills together much earlier. There are already three appropriation bills that are being put together this week. This is much earlier than the past two or three years. We will be following these bills very closely. For those of you who are recipients of these funds, we have to put a lot of effort into getting the money after it has been appropriated. We are doing well with this but there are still two or three projects for which we have yet to find the right contact people, get the guidelines for submitting proposals, and finalize and submit those proposals. This year is the best yet as far as knowing who to talk to and retrieving the money in a timely fashion. In the past it took almost a year after the appropriation bill passed to get the money.
G. Dr. House reported that he has been working closely with the bid teams that will be bidding on the INEEL contract. The official Request for Proposals (RFP) is scheduled to come out somewhere between April 7 and April 14. Proposals will have to be submitted within 60 days after the RFP comes out. The four major bid teams are working full-time right now. One team is centered in Denver, two are centered in Idaho Falls, and the fourth is centered in Columbus, Ohio. Idaho State University, Boise State University, and University of Idaho are all heavily involved in developing these proposals and will be playing a much greater role with these bid teams than in the past.
H. The call for proposals for the Release Time for External Funds is out with a deadline of March 31, 2004. These proposals are reviewed by the Research Coordinating Council and then recommended for funding to the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. House encouraged members and their constituents to apply. There is a fairly high likelihood of being funded in this competition.
I. Dr. House asked Dan Wolfley to comment on the Time and Effort Reporting process. Dan reported that it was going well and that there are currently only about ten reports outstanding.
III. COUNCIL BUSINESS
A. Dr. House said he would like the Council to make a recommendation as policy regarding the issue of graduate research assistant overload pay. Dr. Anderson said it seemed difficult to quantify a specific number of hours. Dr. Strickland suggested using a specific number of hours over a specific time period because sometimes a graduate research assistant works more than the traditional 19/hours per week in a pay period and sometimes less due to the viability of the research material, deadlines, etc, so the hours need to be averaged over some specific time period. Motion by Dr. Strickland, second by Dr. Anderson: “If a graduate research assistant works more than 20 hours beyond the normal 19/hours per week in a pay period, the graduate research assistant’s supervisor must seek permission from the Graduate Dean for specially defined circumstances.” Dr. Seeley asked what limits currently exist? What are the consequences? What are the IRS rules? It was suggested that Karen Sparks from the Financial Services Office be invited to the next RCC meeting to discuss IRS rules, etc. Dr. House said she would be invited. Dr. Strickland withdrew his motion.
B. Corey Schou’s E-mail response to the Council’s request for more clarification on the Institute of Informatics Research (IRI) was distributed. Dr. Seeley asked if there would be courses offered by the Institute and expressed his concern as that seemed to more of an academic unit’s responsibility. Dan Wolfley brought up the issue of funding. The memo from Dr. Schou to Dr. Lawson regarding IRI funding shows that the funding will come from the NIATEC account and related overhead. However, Dan says there is no overhead attached to that account. Several Council members voiced concerns about the Institute and requested a clear, concise description of exactly what the Institute will do, where the funding will come from, what the reporting line will be, etc. They would like to see a two-page, succinct statement with this information. Dr. Swetnam would like to see a bulleted list of goals. Dr. Anderson asked if the Institute was requesting Level I or Level II research center status. It appeared to be Level I since there was no request for financial support from the Office of Research. Level I does not require as much detail as Level II because it only involves the approval of the term “Research Center” or “Institute” in the title. The vote on this Institute was tabled until more clarification is received. Dr. House said he would get Dr. Schou and Dr. Strickland together to prepare the clarifying information.
C. Dr. House asked Ms. Horrocks to discuss the E-mail she received from David Buck, Purchasing Director. Ms. Horrocks reported that some people in Financial Services want to meet with the RCC subcommittee regarding the issue of equipment disposal so they can have some input. Ms. Horrocks said the flowchart would probably have to be modified to include Financial Services in the loop. She will set up a meeting with the RCC subcommittee and Financial Services before the next RCC meeting. Hopefully, the subcommittee will have their finalized recommendation ready so the Council can vote on it in April.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:20 p.m.