RESEARCH COORDINATING COUNCIL
Memorandum No. 107
October 23, 1997

 
Members Present: Tebbs Adams, Jennifer Attebery, Jonathan Blotter, Richard Brey, Renee Bunde, Steve Daley, Dianne Horrocks, Allen Jackson, Richard Kearns, Dave Kleist, Rudy Kovacs, Tom LaHann, Mark McBeth, Kevin Moore, Sarah Patrick, Dan Wolfley, Edwin House (presiding)

Members Absent/Excused: Ron Balsley, Frank Harmon, Leonard Hitchcock, Richard Holmer, Richard Inouye, Jeff Meldrum, Paul Zelus

 

I. It was MSC (9y, 0n) to approve Memorandum No. 106 with the following changes: Mark McBeth was present, Richard Kearns was absent/excused, and Dr. Attebery left early, so III.D. paragraph four should state, "It was MSC (8y, 0n)...."

 

II. REPORTS

 

A. Faculty Research Committee - The Call for Proposals has been sent out. The committee will deliberate in November or December.

Dr. House received a memo shortly before the meeting from Jeff Meldrum, Chair, regarding the $100,000 allocated to the Humanities and Social Sciences. Dr. House noted some of the positions in the memo, one of which asks the Council to consider all departmental units whose proposals fail to meet the commercial value criteria. Because Dr. Bowen allocated the money specifically for the Humanities (includes the Arts) and Social Sciences, Dr. House did not believe that criteria would change.

However, Dr. House thought that the Council could review the clause that states, "An amount proportional to the award history of the Humanities and Social Sciences be set aside for those units and the remainder dispersed University-wide by the FRC..." and this should be an agenda item for the Council to vote on at the next meeting. Dianne Horrocks assured the Council that Social Sciences and Humanities are not excluded in the SBOE Specific Research Grant competition if they can convince the SBOE of commercial value. Dr. House can clarify the memo if needed.

Dr. Attebery wondered how much money the Faculty Research Committee is allocated. Dr. House told her $60,000/year. The Council was confused as to whether the memo stated a position from Jeff Meldrum, faculty member in Biological Sciences, or from the Faculty Research Committee. Dianne Horrocks suggested that it probably reflected sentiment from Biological Sciences unless the Faculty Research Committee was polled by phone, because the Faculty Research Committee has not met this semester. Dr. Attebery requested the breakdown of research/grant money by department for Social Sciences and Humanities. That information can be obtained from either Dianne Horrocks in the Office of Sponsored Programs or Dan Wolfley in the Grants and Contracts Accounting Office. Ms. Horrocks stated that there are more sources for hard sciences, but the Social Sciences and Humanities proposals that are submitted are often successful. There are fewer faculty in the Social Sciences and Humanities faculty who apply, although their success rate is as high or higher than those in the hard sciences. Ms. Horrocks also stated that she could distribute last yearís annual report which would have the breakdown of all external funding.

B. Graduate Student Research and Scholarship Committee - Dr. House reported that the GSRSC call for proposals is out. The committee will meet to deliberate soon. Applications for the ASISU scholarships are also coming in.

C. University Research Committee - This committee only meets in the spring--nothing to report.

D. Dr. Attebery reported from the Faculty Senate on the research title changes in the Faculty/Staff Handbook. Senator Randy Earles submitted an amendment to the Faculty Senate. Some of the changes are a) "Continuing Non-Tenure Track" will be taken out because it may threaten "tenure" for faculty; b) "Instructional" will be taken out because it implies severing research from instruction and "Adjunct" will be used in its place. The research titles will stay the same and are listed under "Clinical and Research." These changes were tabled at the last meeting and may be adopted at the next Faculty Senate meeting. Dr. Attebery also informed Dr. House that the "Research Post-Doc" title has not come up for discussion yet.

E. Dr. House reviewed the revised Infrastructure FY98 Allocation document. There were corrections regarding the Post-doc and an account number.

F. Dr. House reviewed a memorandum from the law firm of Dow, Lohnes and Albertson, PLLC, which addressed some nationwide trends in copyright laws. The traditional view of copyright is changing rapidly. One of the issues this memo addresses: ownership from the creative author on a piece of work done on University equipment, time, and property. The new shift may be that any work done with University facilities may be the property of the University.

This affects the use of network services and linkages, and also materials for instruction. On page three of the memo, there are two WIPO treaties that extend copyright to the Internet and will affect the Faculty Research Committee and Tech Transfer. Dr. House talked about the Ashcroft bill, and if the Ashcroft bill does not go through, every item that is now outside the "work for hire" definition will be included. This new interpretation changes the definition of "work for hire". Dr. Moore asked about consulting and working after hours, etc. Dr. House said this was excluded from university ownership, but use of the internet could change this as well. Dr. House also mentioned that at the conference where he received this memo, people were encouraged to write their congressmen and ask them to support the Ashcroft bill.

 

III. COUNCIL BUSINESS

 

A. Dr. House addressed the recommendations made by the Social Sciences/Humanities Ad Hoc Committee to the Research Coordinating Council. Some of the recommendations for the Humanities/Social Sciences Research Fund that President Bowen set up were 1) recommend that neither the Faculty Research Committee nor the University Research Committee handle these funds, but a special committee made of Social Science and Humanities members be established to oversee this allocation; 2) membership on this new committee will be done by election in the individual departments; 3) the Ad Hoc committee members will serve as temporary representatives for one year until permanent members are elected and will oversee the first competition; 4) $10,000 of the money will be reserved for travel--the remaining $90,000 will be used for funding "developed research projects", 5) the range of funding for "developed research projects" should be $8,000 - $24,000. The process will be competitive, and Dr. House will ensure it has an external peer review process.

There was a question regarding the term "developed research projects". Dr. McBeth relayed to the Council what the Ad Hoc Committee was trying to convey by "developed." He felt that since Faculty Research Committee grants were more for "seed grants and exploratory projects", the Social Sciences and Humanities grants would be similar to the SBOE competition on a larger scale (~$20,000). Ms. Horrocks questioned the range ($8,000 - $24,000) and why it started at $8,000. Dr. McBeth stated that they wanted to differentiate it from the amount used by the Faculty Research Committee. Ms. Horrocks recommended changing the range to start at $4,000. Dr. McBeth said that some in the Ad Hoc group had suggested $4,000, but the University Research Committee also has discretionary funding up to $8,000. It was pointed out that 80% of the University Research Committeeís awards are for equipment.

Ms. Horrocks conveyed that changing the lower limit to $4,000 would eliminate the gap between the Faculty Research Committee awards and the Social Sciences and Humanities awards--Moved to amend. It was MSC (11y, 0n) to approve amending the range of awards frm $8,000 - $24,000 to $4,000 - $24,000. The range of awards for the Social Sciences and Humanities allocation then would be $4,000 - $24,000..

Dr. Moore asked if this Social Sciences and Humanities grant would "replace" the SBOE grants. Dr. McBeth stated that the range they chose is because of the new SBOE clause and would be replacing SBOE money. The committee also wanted to keep Faculty Research Committee money open to junior faculty. This new funding will be allocated this spring.
 

It was MSC (10y, 1n) to pass the recommendations from the Ad Hoc Committee as amended. Discussion ensued concerning whether there was a plan on campus to assist faculty members outside the Social Sciences and Humanities who do not meet the commercial applicability clause (i.e. Business, Health Professions, Education). Dr. House stated that there was nothing being done at this point, but that the Research Coordinating Council is the right forum to get something done. Recommendations can be made to the Council and forwarded to the Faculty Senate.

Dr. House recapped the HERC history and the goals. Dr. Moore asked if the Social Sciences and Humanities committee restructured the process after HERC. Dr. House said they did, and Dr. Moore asked if they thought about how they wanted to support research--i.e. put the money to a Humanities Center or something like that.

Dr. Attebery asked what "commercial value" is going to be defined as--perhaps the faculty should push against HERC. Ms. Horrocks stated that they may only have five or six proposals with "commercial applicability" to submit. There may be a few reasons for that 1) the definition may be scaring off the faculty, 2) some do not trust HERC anymore, 3) some research may not have commercial applicability, but faculty should work with Dr. House and see if some can be found, and 4) some faculty do not trust the State Board of Education peer review process. Dr. House asked the Council members to encourage colleagues to apply.
 

B. Dr. House explained the change in RTEF RFP and Guidelines to the Council. After the "trial run" of seeking proposals, reviewing proposals and recommending funding, the outcome revealed that Dr. Lawson wanted to fund those faculty who wrote grant proposals for external funding for which indirect cost monies would be earned. Dr. House and Ms. Horrocks pointed out that the Humanities and Social Sciences receive very little indirect cost money from external grants. The Council addressed the changes to support what the Academic Vice-President wants. Under "Definition of Eligible Activities", no manuscripts, final reports, etc. will be listed.

 Dr. House suggested the Council may want to question the "indirect costs", but not what are "eligible activities". It was suggested that perhaps Dr. Lawson should be provided with data that showed faculty should not be penalized because they are bringing something else of benefit to the institution other than indirect costs, this criterion might be modified.

It was moved to recommend to the Academic Vice-President that RTSEF be funded on the strength of the proposal and not on indirect cost money based on the following concerns and data.... Dr. House suggested that data could be provided from Office of Sponsored Programs. Dr. Patrick pointed out that some faculty members do not even know which RFPís will be out when submitting their proposals for RTSEF. Also, there are other agencies that donít have any indirect costs. For example, the Albertsonís grant that Tracy Bliss recently wrote during her released time does not allow indirect costs. It was MSC (11y, 0n) to table this item until more information can be gathered.

It was MSC (11y, 0n) to delete items "b, c, and d" and change the language throughout the guidelines and the RFP.

Dr. Patrick brought up another issue: Dr. Lawson is looking at whether the individual has a target agency, but faculty do not always know which RFPís will come in. They can suggest an agency, but it would be helpful to make a statement that the norm is shifting to a short RFP/deadline turnaround. Dr. House stated that for a proposal to list a couple of agencies to consider is reasonable. Personnel in the Office of Sponsored Programs can also help "match up" ideas and agencies.

C. Dr. House discussed the State Board of Education call for Specific Research Grant Proposals and the definition of "commercial value" by the ISU committee. The subcommittee convened and did their best to create guidelines for faculty that are general and specific to be able to take any proposal from any discipline and "fit it in." Itís broad enough to include tourism and proposals that will improve the quality of life (resulting in people staying longer and spending more money on lodging, meals, etc.). There are eight criteria, and the hope is that faculty can find one that their proposal will "fit" in.

 
D. Dr. House discussed the extra compensation for faculty (re-review). The federal guidelines on this issue are clear--and include "pass-through" money. For example, DOE--Lockheed--ISU would include "pass-through" money. The question is, "Can truly private funding money be used?" Dan Wolfley reported that he contacted Boise State University, University of Idaho, and University of Utah. Boise State allows some additional pay but the University of Idaho and the University of Utah do not allow extra compensation from private funds beyond the base salary. Mr. Wolfley pointed out that allowing extra compensation with private funds would be reported as an "inconsistency" but it is not a major violation with the federal government. Boise State said that it does not monitor private funds. They receive 1½ times the pay if they receive private funds. University of Idaho was similar, but they do not receive extra pay. In the summer they use the NSF formula. University of Utah does not allow it at all. They use cost accounting standings--no extra pay.

 
Dr. House suggested having Dr. Stratton come and talk to the Council and describe what his interests are, and have Mr. Wolfley complete his investigation on how other universities handle this issue.

 
E. Dr. House described data ownership issues. The University has almost no policies on "who owns data." For example, when graduate students collect data under the supervision of their major advisor--who owns the data? Should the Council make some recommendations for the Faculty/Staff Handbook?

Dr. Patrick informed the Council that she has been dealing with "record retention" at the Institute. Certain records are necessary to submit to the granting agency. They have been making an "archive" of i.e. "Who keeps the data, what the financial agency needs, an agreement of whatís expected, etc." Dr. House asked Dr. Patrick to send him their information, and he will put the Instituteís forms on the next agenda.
 
The meeting adjourned at 5:00 pm.