RESEARCH COORDINATING COUNCIL
Memorandum 121
September 16, 1999


Members Present:

Barbara Adamcik, Phil Blick, Steve Byers, Chris Daniels, Kay Flowers, Will Hamlin, Dianne Horrocks, Edwin House (presiding), Sue Jenkins, Dave Kleist, Rudy Kovacs, Mark McBeth, Joe Morris, Subbaram Naidu, Ken Rodnick, Doug Wells


Members Absent/Excused:

Jonathan Blotter, Frank Harmon, Richard Inouye, IRHS Director, Skip Lohse, Keith Weber, Dan Wolfley, Paul Zelus
Dr. House declared a quorum was present. He described of the Council's meeting times and it's functions. The Research Coordinating Council (RCC) is the body that recommends research policies and other changes related to research issues to the Faculty Senate. Once the Faculty Senate approves them, these items are then forwarded to the Deans' Council, the Academic Vice President, and the President for approval.

There are several committees that report to this Council--Faculty Research Committee (FRC), Graduate Student Research & Scholarship Committee (GSRSC), Humanities/Social Science Research Committee (HSSRC), and the University Research Committee (URC). This Council reviews and approves changes in guidelines and requests for proposals from these committees. The FRC and GSRSC put out a call for proposals twice a year. HSSRC puts out an annual call in the fall and the URC puts one out in the spring. The Academic Vice President created a competition for released time for faculty to write grant proposals. The Research Coordinating Council reviews these proposals and makes recommendations to the Academic Vice President for funding. There is a $12,000-$15,000 budget for this. There is about $350,000 under the auspices of RCC for faculty and graduate student research.

I. It was MSC (12y,0n) to approve Memorandum #120 with the change that Mark McBeth was present.

II. REPORTS

A. Dr. House reported that INEEL Research Alliance partnerships with ISU are now in place; the signing ceremony took place in June. There is currently about $750,000 to support the Idaho Accelerator Center (IAC) and the Integrated Environmental Analysis under the Center for Ecological Research and Education (CERE). This will support several ISU departments and will last at least six years. Dr. House hopes to see this grow to about $1.25 million. ISU is currently in the process of renewing this contract for next year.

B. Will Hamlin reported that last spring the Faculty Research Committee voted to grant the chair one course of released time to take care of the paperwork on this committee. The call for proposals has been sent out with a deadline of November 8. There were 15 awards made with a total of $45,523 awarded last spring.

C. Joe Morris reported that the Graduate Student Research and Scholarship Committee made changes in the guidelines last spring. The call for proposals is out with a November 8 deadline. Roger Long from Biological Sciences was elected Chair for this academic year.

D. Dr. House reported that there was a total of $70,188 awarded by the University Research Committee. A handout showing the distribution of awards was given to the Council members. Dr. House informed the Council that both the FRC and URC budgets were improved about 25% last year and that increase will be sustained this year.

E. Council members were given a handout showing ISU's budget distribution from the State Board of Education. Dr. House informed the Council that the $1,322,250 shown for research includes the additional $300,000 that Dr. Bowen added to the research budget this year. He thanked the Faculty Senate for helping make this happen. These funds are used to support research centers, facilities, research committees and other items under the auspices of the Office of Research. Dr. House informed the Council that we still have a goal of 2.5% of the budget for research; it is currently only 1.81% according to the report provided by the budget office last summer. Dr. House will continue to solicit the 2.5% with the approval of this Council. A question was raised as to why the Public Service showed $0 on the handout. Dr. House said he would check with Leo Herrman and report back to the Council.

F. Council members received a copy of the Infrastructure Allocation for FY2000. Dr. House reported that he must use about one-half of this as match on a NSF grant. He also described the EPSCoR Coalition budget. ISU, along with BSU and UI, is charged a fee for belonging to the EPSCoR Coalition and Dr. House is responsible for ISU's share. He must also travel to key meetings to make sure we get our fair share of funding. The balance of the infrastructure funds are distributed according to requests. Dr. House encouraged all units to make requests each year.

G. Dr. House reported that all three proposals recommended by this Council under the Released Time to Seek External Funding(RTSEF) competition were funded.

H. Faculty Research Committee awards. See section B above.

I. Dr. House reported that final reports for RTSEF awards had been received from Dr. William Woodhouse and Dr. Larry Smith. Dr. Woodhouse was awarded $400,000 from the Bureau of Health Professions for a Graduate Training in Family Medicine grant. Dr. Smith has submitted grants that will total over $1 million, if awarded, and is part of a $300,000 EPSCoR grant that will be ending this fall.

J. The Council received a copy of the "Research Practices" document and Dr. Bowen's memo approving it. Dr. House informed the Council that this is now going into the Faculty/Staff handbook and the Research Policies and Procedures Manual.

K. Dr. House shared a copy of his memo to the Faculty Senate regarding Internet II and budget pages from the proposal. He informed the Council that the proposal was rewritten and resubmitted to meet the July 31 deadline. Dr. House noted that this released about $200,000 in research funds as the new proposal will only require $100,000 match from ISU. Literally, all $300,000 of the new research funds will be available as Dr. Bowen has made a commitment to cover this requirement whether the proposal is funded or not.

L. Dr. House shared a copy of an article written about the IDeA grant that Dr. Larry Smith received for the Molecular Core Biology Facility. This was a very nice article in the news bulletin of NIH, NCRR, regarding funding major equipment.

M. Dr. House shared a copy of an article from the National Science Foundation regarding the federal role in supporting academic research and graduate assistants. Dr. House informed the Council that federal support of research assistants is significant and most of the support for research assistants at ISU comes from grants.

N. Governor Kempthorne created a new initiative for $1.2 million that is research oriented. The purpose is to hire competitive faculty in the science, engineering, and social science areas. ISU submitted a proposal for $140,000 in the Applied Tech area and $224,000 in the research area. The Applied Tech funds are for surveying using GIS technology. The research funds are to hire two new faculty for ecology and six doctoral research assistants. These assistants are funded and on board--four in Biological Sciences, one in Engineering, and one in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Physics was offered a slot but did not submit any candidates. These funds will be continued on an annual basis.

O. Dr. Karl DeJesus and Dr. John Kalivas provided the leadership last year to start an undergraduate student research committee. Dr. DeJesus submitted a proposal to Dr. Bowen to serve as a Presidential Intern with this as his project. He was awarded this internship for spring semester. Currently an ad hoc committee is being formed to establish bylaws, guidelines, etc. Dr. House has reserved $21,000, some of which is from the new research funds as a budget for this committee. Dr. DeJesus will probably serve as interim chair for this year.

P. Dr. House reported that proposals from Dr. Jack Owens, History, and Dr. Matt Prineas, English & Philosophy, were selected to be advanced under the NEH stipend competition.

Q. Dr. House mentioned that Dr. Chris Daniels volunteered to lead a committee to list all major equipment and major facilities at ISU. The list will show who to contact, what the user fees are, and what services are provided. This is important because we now have several facilities charging user fees--the Idaho Accelerator Center, the Molecular Core facility, the Animal Care facility, the GIS Center, and the Scanning Electron Microscope will have user fees once it is in place. This is a $250,000 piece of equipment. Dr. House informed the committee that he was notified of a possible $125,000 award from EPSCoR if the University would match it for major equipment. Dr. House put out a request for the major equipment needs; the scanning electron microscope was felt to be the item most needed. Dean Hjelm and Dean Wells funded part of the match along with Dr. House. Dr. House said he was very grateful for their help. This microscope will be located in the Life Science complex. It's digitized so that information can be sent over the Internet. This was part of the Internet II proposal.


III. COUNCIL BUSINESS

A. Council members received a copy of the Suggested Guidelines for Promotion of Research Center/Institute Directors. Dr. House informed them that items 4 and 6 were contentious issues in Deans' Council. Members felt the guidelines were skewed toward research. The traditional criteria for promotion does not reward individuals for being a good administrator. Dr. Lawson tabled this in Dean's Council and said he would help rewrite this document. Dr. House asked the Council if anyone had suggestions for rewriting these guidelines. He said in other institutions research faculty only teach one or two courses because their focus is research, and are expected to cover their full salary with funding from grants after three or four years on the job. Some of the issues raised were: 1) Who should be on the committee to evaluate such an individual?, 2) What happens if the individual is given a significant raise as a research/institute director and then chooses to go back to faculty status? Is the department required to continue that level of funding? 3) What if the individual is brought in as non-tenured and later chooses to revert to faculty status, how does the department handle that? What if teaching competency has not been demonstrated? It was noted that satisfactory teaching abilities are required to achieve the Associate Professor level. However, Dr. House told the Council that there is currently an assistant professor who is a co-director of a research center. The Council chose to leave rewriting these guidelines to Dr. House and Dr. Lawson. Dr. House requested that the Council members let him know if they have any suggestions by the next meeting.

B. Dr. House presented a request from Dean Larry Harris, College of Education, to Vice President Jonathan Lawson for a name change in Dr. Gene Davis' center because part of the mission is research. At one point this center was called the Bureau for Educational Research and Service (BERS). This was changed to the Office of Professional Development for Schools (OPDS) because the previous dean did not view any function as research. This is a request as a Level I research center which deals with title/mission only. It was MSC (12y,0n) to approve the name change from the Office of Professional Development for Schools to the Intermountain Center for Education Effectiveness.

C. It was MSC (12y,0n) to endorse the pursuit of the goal of 2.5% of the state appropriated budget for research.

D. The revised version of the University Research Committee's Guidelines for Proposals was given to the Council. Everything in bold was proposed to improve the guidelines. It was MSC (12y,0n) to approve the guidelines as revised.

E. Dr. House told the Council that ISU's Grant and Contract Officer was concerned about work for pay related to graduate assistants because of the consistency requirement in the federal regulations. Some assistants are paid one wage during the summer and then a higher wage when hired as an assistant for the academic year with no change in duties.

Dr. House mentioned that we have a minimum rate for assistants but not a maximum. However, units need to be careful when deciding stipends because, in one instance, a master's research assistant would be have been making a higher wage than a doctoral research assistant working in the same lab. Ms. Horrocks said it is probably acceptable if assistants are hired at a higher wage for the academic year following the summer, but cannot be reduced again after the academic year if the funding is from the same agency. It was noted that funding for assistants sometimes shifts to different grants; in this instance, a change in pay is probably okay as long as it is from a different funding agency and not below ISU's minimum. The Council agreed to table this issue until the next meeting.

F. Dr. House gave the Council a copy of a letter he received from the National Technology Transfer Center. He would like to participate but needs information from other parts of the campus. This is similar to the Community of Science except that this deals with technologies, inventions, etc. International patent laws are different but this was not seen as a problem now. It was noted that information on the Web is public property. There were no objections to ISU participating.


The meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.