RESEARCH COORDINATING COUNCIL
Memorandum 119
March 18, 1999

Members Present: Barbara Adamcik, Ron Balsley, Jonathan Blotter, John Knox for Richard Brey, Steve Daley, Chris Daniels, Kay Flowers, Dianne Horrocks, Edwin House (presiding), Dave Kleist, Rudy Kovacs, Subbaram Naidu, Sarah Patrick, Jerry Priddy, Dan Wolfley

Members Absent/Excused: Tebbs Adams, Brian Attebery, Frank Harmon, Richard Inouye, Skip Lohse, Mark McBeth, Anna Ratka, Paul Zelus

Dr. House declared a quorum was present.

I. It was MSC (13y, 0n) to approve Memorandum #118.

II. REPORTS

1.    SBOE Research Site Visitation Panel Recommendation - The Idaho Accelerator Center ranked #2 in the SBOE Research Center Competition. Ralph Norton, grantwriter in the Office of Research, assisted with writing this proposal, and Dr. House was pleased at the outcome. Dr. House congratulated the ecology group who won that award. The SBOE funding is available immediately.

2.    The Undergraduate Research Day is scheduled for April 2. Dr. DeJesus is working with Student Affairs to make it a good day and is trying to include all disciplines.

3.    Dr. House reported that the Faculty Research Committee selected the top five nominees for Distinguished Researcher and they will be honored at the banquet on March 26. They are Dr. Frank Harmon, Dr. Craig Nickish, Dr. Jack Owens, Dr. Charles Peterson, and Dr. Maribeth Watwood. On March 29, the committee will meet to select the winner. Deadline for proposals is April 5.

Some faculty have been confused as to whether to submit their proposals to the Faculty Research Committee or the University Research Committee. The Faculty Research Committee’s maximum award is $4,000. It is usually for small items of equipment, travel, materials and supplies, or wages for a student. The University Research Committee awards about 80% of its available funds for equipment that can be used by more than one department. Awards for equipment are weighted in favor of those supplying matching funds. The funds awarded from the University Research Committee are not available until July 1 because the awards are from the next fiscal year’s funds.
4.    Jerry Priddy reported that the Graduate Student Research and Scholarship Committee will meet on March 26 to make recommendations for the ASISU graduate student scholarships and review research proposals.

5.    Dr. House reported that the University Research Committee (URC) proposal deadline is March 31. He stated that awards are not duplicates of those made by the Faculty Research Committee (FRC). For example, a PI can ask for equipment from URC and materials and supplies from FRC. Dr. House also compares the URC proposals with the CSAC awards and the Humanities/Social Science Research Committee (HSSRC) awards to avoid duplicate funding.

6.    Dr. House reported that the HSSRC met this week and awarded five proposals at the full request and made one partial award. The total awards amount to about $97,000. Award letters are going out today and tomorrow. There are still funds in the travel budget for this committee. Anyone wishing to request these funds should write Dr. House a letter of request stating how the travel is related to research/scholarly activity and list the specific travel costs.

7.    Dr. House reported that the deadline for proposals for Release Time to Seek External Funding is March 31, 1999. The released time can be for either fall or spring semester of the next academic year. Awardees are given released time from one 3 or 4 credit course. Dr. Lawson is looking for proposals to federal agencies that generate overhead dollars.

III. COUNCIL BUSINESS
A.     Suggested Promotion Guidelines for Research Center/Institute Directors - Dr. House distributed a handout listing suggested guidelines. He stated that these promotion criteria will not deal with the tenure issue. The primary issue is that a Research Center/Institute Director cannot spend as much time teaching and performing scholarly activity as a regular faculty member. They may spend 70% or 80% of their time on administration. Should these individuals be held to the same standards for promotion as a regular faculty member? Also what about assistant or associate directors of a research center/institute where research is the primary focus? They might teach a course or two each year and have some service involvement but not be able to make the same time commitment that a regular faculty member would.

Additional questions raised were: At what level should these individuals be on soft money and at what level should they be on joint soft money and hard dollars from the department? It seems likely that a center/institute director would be hired from within an academic unit. If a center/institute director is going from state funding to soft money, how will the hard dollars be secured for the position for the academic unit? It appears that the department would be required to take the director back into the department if he/she wished to return to regular faculty status. What if the center fails? What if the director wants to return to teaching?

Some Council members felt the minimum qualification should be at the associate professor level. Faculty are tenured at 5 years - tenured at rank. Why is "professor" attached? This could be a hire from professional exempt staff. Some directors want faculty affiliation with the discipline. This is analogous to clinical appointments. Do we need to include a grandfather clause? It was MSC (14y, 0n) to approve the document entitled "Suggested Guidelines for Promotion of Research Center/Institute Directors" as provided by Dr. House. This document then goes to Faculty Senate and if approved by that body, Dr. House then takes it to Deans Council. If approved by the Deans Council, it is forwarded to the President for his review.

B.     Biological Sciences Guidelines for Promotion of Research (Assistant) Professor. Biological Sciences is beginning to implement these this year for the first time. The Guidelines should have flexibility in the weight given to different areas (research, teaching, service) depending on how a person is required to spend his/her time. It was requested that this be put up on the newsgroup website. Dr. House asked the Council to discuss this with their constituents and bring back suggestions to the next meeting.

C.     Dr. House said that as part of the Capital Campaign, he was asked to name specific research centers to target for donations. The Deans were asked for suggestion of things that donors would be interested in funding to establish such a center. Dr. House put in four general sentences that could be used for any research center. He is including existing centers. Additional questions: Where is the funding for these centers going to come from if the donation is not enough to make them viable? Why not promote current centers? Dr. House stated that donations can involve a long process, and present a wide variety of opportunities with varying lengths of time involved.

D.    Dr. House distributed an article given to him by Dr. Kleist titled "The Corporate Conundrum," which discussed conflict of interest issues.

The meeting adjourned at 4:08 p.m.