Memorandum 158

                                                October 14, 2004


Members Present:

Linda Alexander                                   James Bigelow              Steve Byers                 

Deb Easterly                                         Larry Ford                               Gregory Green

Dianne Horrocks                                  Lori Johnson                             Skip Lohse                  

Mike McCurry                         Subbaram Naidu                      Bob Picard      

Malcom Shields                                    Beth Hudnall Stamm                 Al Strickland

Rob Van Kirk                                      Robert Wharton                       Thomas Windholz

Connie Tillotson (committee secretary)


Alternates:                    Karen Kearns for Kay Flowers

                                    Thomas Klein for Brian Attebery

                                    Rafiqul Tarefder for John Bennion


Members Absent:         Carol Ashton                Phil Blick                      Linda Deck

                                    Frank Harmon  Richard Inouye Paul Zelus


Guests:             Cyndy Kelchner, Institute of Rural Health

                                    Jim Lai, ISU Biomedical Research Institute

                                    Solomon Leung, ISU Biomedical Research Institute

                                    Swamy Laxminarayan, ISU Biomedical Research Institute



Dr. Wharton called the meeting to order.  Dr. Wharton requested that new members who were not present at the last meeting introduce themselves.  Dr.  Picard is the Graduate Council Representative.  Karen Kearns, Thomas Klein, and Rafiqul Tarefder introduced themselves as substitutes.  Dr. Wharton introduced himself to the new participants as the new Chief Research Officer, assuming those duties on September 1st.  This is our second council meeting. 


I.          Approval of Minutes - Dr. Wharton requested a motion to approve the minutes.  Dr. Picard moved to accepted the minutes, Dr. Van Kirk seconded the motion.  Motion passed (Memorandum #157).


Dr. Wharton advised the Council to review the memorandum listing the dates for upcoming meetings and asked them to put it on their calendars.


Al Strickland  suggested a notice to be sent to the various College and Department heads of the process regarding how individual are selected as members of the Research Coordinating Council.  He feels somewhere in the transition this procedure has not been followed and people are not appointed in the proper fashion.  He suggested a letter should be sent on an annual basis to reiterate how members of the Council are appointed.  It was decided a letter should be sent out at the end of the academic school year (April or May).




II.         REPORTS


            A.        Faculty Research Committee (FRC) - Dr. Green reported that the “Call for Proposals” has been sent out.  He mentioned that the proposals are due on November 5, 2004.  FRC will be meeting in late November and again in early December to finalize the decisions of the Committee for the selection of the awards.  He did notice that in the last RCC minutes it was mentioned that the cover page format for the proposals had been changed and wanted to clarify it was basically the combination of two cover pages into one.  FRC has also added a checklist since they did notice some of the proposals were incomplete and hoped  a checklist will assist the faculty in preparing complete proposals.


            B.         Graduate Student Research and Scholarship Committee (GSRSC) - Ms. Linda Alexander was available to provide the update for this committee.  She reported the Committee met last April and awarded over $14,000.  They had their first meeting of the fall semester on September 23.  Kathy DiLorenzo was chosen as the Chair for the committee and Linda Alexander as the Vice-Chair.  They have also appointed their Biology representative to the Graduate Council.   The “Call for Proposals” has been sent out and the proposals are due November 8th.  Their next meeting will be November 16 to award the ASISU scholarships for graduate students and shortly thereafter they will have a meeting to review the way they choose which of the graduate student applicants will be awarded a scholarship.  They will discuss how they will rate the applications fairly across the board with returning graduate students and new graduate students.  They have yet to resolve the issue on how to fairly rate the applications for the ASISU scholarships.  Dr. Wharton asked, if the method in which the applications are rated was modified, then is the GSRSC required to seek the approval of the RCC Council?   Ms. Alexander reported this was exactly what they needed to determine.  They need to decide:  a) if they create a fair ranking method, then b) their ex-officio member will guide them on the process of disseminating that ranking system to the appropriate people including the ASISU.  Dr. Ford clarified that ASISU actually disperses the funds and is the awarding body and ultimately they are the organization that will decide on what ranking system to use.  Dr. Ford said the GSRSC has been in close discussion with ASISU and Dean Covey.  He feels confident an acceptable resolution will be met.  The problem with the old ranking system is that it ranked people based on 30% of the undergraduate GPA, 30% graduate GPA, and 40% raw standardized test percentile rate scores.  This method severely biased the system against incoming graduate students because their graduate GPA is essentially zero.  So no matter how good their GPA is they are always at the bottom of the list.  Last year the GSRSC thought the ranking was very unfair and modified the distribution in a way they thought was fair.  This year they are trying to look a system that will at least will fix that flaw and maybe some others.  Dr. Ford also want to acknowledge that the members serving on this committee are very talented and very dedicated.  They have put in a lot of time and effort to insure the awards are distributed fairly.    




            C.        Undergraduate Research Committee (UgRC) - Dr. Van Kirk reported that the Committee met last week.  He was finally able to secure the names of the members from each of the academic units.  The “Call for Proposals” has been released.  The due date for proposals is Monday, November 8th at 5:00 pm.  He also requested to have the information on the Office of Research website updated.  The Committee will meet November 9th and November 16th in working sessions to review the proposals and will hopefully have the names of the recipients either before or shortly after the Thanksgiving break. 


            D.        University Research Committee - no reports at this time.


            E.         Federal Initiative Update - Dr. Ford reported FY05 requests are on hold at this point.  There is a continuing resolution in place to fund the agencies at last year’s level either through November 20th or 22nd and everything except the Department of Defense appropriation bill remains to be finalized.   A notice has been posted to Senator Craig’s website that we will receive another appropriation for the Boise Center Aeronautical  Lab.  Dr. Ford is anticipating we will receive slightly less in FY05 than last year and that most of our major requests will be funded.  Dr. Ford also mentioned that several weeks ago he sent out a request for FY06 proposals to all deans, directors, and department heads with a request that they should be thinking about submissions - in particular those that have not submitted a proposal before.  The proposals should be submitted by the end of next week.  It is a 90% certainty that our lobbyist will be here on December 6th and 7th to listen to presentations from those that have submitted proposals.  We will know within 2-3 weeks what the outcome will be.


            F.         INEEL Contracts  - Dr. Ford said there is not much too report on this except the contract will be announced on November 15.  Dr. Wharton mentioned that a group of individuals will be going to Idaho Falls tomorrow to meet with our counterparts from Boise State University and University of Idaho to discuss how we can collaborate  together with the new contractor.  We want to present a unified face to the new contractor with the intent that we will already have a plan in place as opposed to waiting until they contact us.  On our next meeting, Dr. Wharton will update the Council to the results of the meetings.


IV.       Council Business


            A.        Annual Report 2003-2004.  Ms. Easterly reported she usually prepares this report on behalf of the Chief Research Officer.  It summarizes the monies which have be awarded in the individual Committees.  A copy of the report is submitted to the President, the Vice-President, and then Faculty Senate (which has already been submitted).


            B.         Barriers to Research - Dr. Wharton discussed a document entitled Barriers to Research and asked if anyone hasn’t seen a copy and if anyone wanted a copy of the document.



            C.        Notice of Intent - A Notice of Intent has been submitted for an ISU Biomedical Research Institute.  Dr. Jim Lai, Dr. Solomon Leung, and Dr. Swam Laxminarayan were introduced.  Dr. Lai thanked the Council for their time and consideration to listen to the proposal for the ISU Biomedical Research Institute.  Dr. Lai mentioned since Dr. Chris Daniels was unable to present this topic to the Council, he is presenting it for him.  Dr. Lai reported about 18 months ago several professors/researchers had began to collaborate and interact on grant writing as a result of the activities of the NIH/INBRE initiatives.  Most of you heard in August about the ISU/U of I/BSU Collaboratory multibillion dollar grant which will allow the state to improve its biomedical infrastructure.  As part of that initiative ISU has received approximately 1.5 million dollars over the next 5 years.  We should consider pooling the expertise we have on campus.  Dr. Lai provided some background for the incentive and rationale to put together the proposal to proceed with a Biomedical Research Institute.  Prior to the announcement of INBRE (IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence, Dr. Daniels and Dr. Lai met with President Bowen, Dr. Lawson, and Mr. Prolo just to discuss how INBRE impacts the research infrastructure at ISU.  They are in support of the notion of having an interdisciplinary research institute on campus that will help to be much more synergistic.  In terms of initial infrastructure support, Dr. Daniels has proposed a budget from INBRE showing approximately $300,000 per year for the next five years to be used to provide some administrative support as well as a variety of research intensive activity.  In addition they have acquired a number of pieces of equipment in various areas (College of Pharmacy, Biology, etc.).  Dr. Lai concluded by asking the Council for any questions or discussion.  Dr. Ford asked for clarification on whether they were requesting the full $300,000 per year of INBRE funding which over the next five years would total 1.5 million dollars.  Ms. Horrocks wanted to know whether they were planning on submitting the NOI to the State Board.  She feels it needs a little fine tuning and perhaps the blessing of the deans.  She understands they probably are aware of it, but perhaps letters of support would be helpful.  Also, corrections should be made to professors/faculty names, etc.  Dr. Wharton requested information in regard to the process of submitting an NOI.  The Council will revisit the revised notice of intent and then the Council will vote on at our next meeting. 


            C.        FRC, GSRSC, and HSSRC “Call for Proposal” Corrections - Dr. Wharton reported this agenda item was to only provide information.  Some of the Call for Proposals had posted incorrect information for the Biosafety Committee contact, the Animal Welfare Committee contact, and the Human Subjects Committee contact.  The Call for Proposals have been corrected on the website.


            D.        Other Business - Dr. Wharton asked if anyone had any other business to discuss or report.  None at this time.  Dr. Wharton mentioned we are currently conducting the Accreditation review. 


The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.