The University of Iowa

FACULTY COUNCIL

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

3:30 pm – 5:15 pm

Penn State Room #337 Iowa Memorial Union

 

Members Present:  Judith Aikin, Edwin Dove, Rebecca Hegeman, Ronald Herman, Patrick Lloyd, Teresa Mangum, Kim Marra, Katherine Tachau, Paul Weller, John Westefeld, Jerold Woodhead

 

Members Absent:  Richard LeBlond, Chuck Lynch, Mazen Maktabi, Sue Moorhead, Shelton Stromquist

 

Faculty Senate Officers in Attendance:  Jeffrey Cox, President; Margaret Raymond, Vice President; Craig Porter, Secretary; Amitava Bhattacharjee, Past President

 

Guests:  Jeffery Patch (Daily Iowan), Charles Drum (University Relations), Mark Janis (Law), Al Hood (Emeritus Faculty Council), Gay Pelzer (General Counsel’s Office), Grainne Martin (General Counsel’s Office), Kathryn Wynes (Provost’s Office), Bill Decker (Research), Michael O’Hara (CLAS), Jon Whitmore (Provost’s Office), Lee Anna Clark (Provost’s Office), Bruce Wheaton (Research), Julie Thatcher (Faculty Senate Office)

 

I.          Call to Order

 

The meeting of the University of Iowa Faculty Council was called to order by its president, Prof. Jeffrey Cox, at 3:36 pm.  Pres. Cox immediately indicated that the announcement category on the agenda would be changed to item II and that proposed agenda item III.B. Campus Planning Committee would become item II.C. under announcements.  Finally, Pres. Cox indicated that items A and B under the original agenda item IV. New Business will be interchanged. 

 

II.         Announcements

 

A.        Final Senate Meeting, April 29

 

The final Senate meeting will conclude with election of the 2003-04 Faculty Senate Officers.  Following this election the final 2002-2003 Senate meeting will adjourn and the newly elected Senate officers will preside over a brief, first meeting of the 2003-2004 Faculty Senate.  Current and newly elected faculty senators will attend both meetings.

 

B.         Faculty Council/Administration Retreat, May 29

 

Pres. Cox announced that the current and new Faculty Council members may attend this retreat.

 

C.         Campus Planning Committee

 

Pres. Cox indicated to the councilors the importance of faculty engagement in campus planning discussions.  Unfortunately no one from the Campus Planning Committee was able to attend today’s meeting as a consequence of conflicting public meetings.  This item was thus struck from the agenda. 

 

Pres. Cox continued his announcements with a reminder that the AAUP meeting will be Saturday, April 19, 2003.  Pres. Skorton will address this group at 11:00 am.  He encouraged all faculty to attend and also to join.  Prof. Tachau made the point that the AAUP is not principally a union.  Rather it is a national professional organization whose primary role is to protect and advance academic freedom.  A question was asked of Pres. Cox as to whether or not clinical track faculty were eligible to join the AAUP.  The answer was yes. 

 

D.        Faculty Senate Replacement

 

Prof. Raymond moved and Prof. Tachau seconded the motion that “The Faculty Council endorses the Senate replacement as recommended by the Committee on Elections and forwards it to the Faculty Senate for approval”.  Unanimous approval was given. 

           

III.       Approvals

 

A.        Meeting Agenda

 

The meeting agenda was approved as modified by Pres. Cox.  The modifications are noted above in I. Call to Order

 

B.         Faculty Council Minutes, February 25, 3003

 

The Faculty Council minutes were unanimously approved as presented. 

 

C.         Faculty Senate Agenda, April 29

 

The Faculty Senate agenda was approved as presented with one minor future modification:.  President-elect Raymond indicated that the title of her remarks listed as item III. will change from “Inaugural Address” to something perhaps less pompous. 

 

 

IV.       Reports

 

A.        Faculty Senate President, Jeffrey Cox

 

Pres. Cox advised the councilors that the Faculty Senate Officers had met with the Editorial Board of the Iowa City Press Citizen.  He would like to see this become an annual event..  The Faculty Senate Officers found a considerable lack of knowledge among the membership of the editorial board about what the 1,700 faculty of the University of Iowa do for a living.  Both participant groups felt that the meeting was worthwhile.  The substance of the meeting was very much that of a continuation of the discussion which has been had by the Faculty Senate Officers with the legislative delegation, a discussion that has been summarized in earlier council and senate minutes of the 2002-2003 academic year .  One result of the meeting was an invitation for faculty to provide opinion pieces for potential publication in the Press citizen.  These would be opinions of approximately 800 words on issues of interest to the Iowa City community at large. 

 

B.         Committee on Elections, Julie Thatcher  

 

Pres. Cox introduced Julie Thatcher.  He commended the efforts of Prof . Berman in developing electronic voting.  He also gratefully acknowledged the substantial help provided by Julie Thatcher in this mammoth effort.  Prof. Berman subsequently resigned her chairmanship of the Committee on Elections.  Julie Thatcher has assumed Prof. Berman’s role in the interim. 

 

Julie indicated that the Senate had recently completed its first electronic election.  Twenty-four new senators were elected and the process appeared to run well.  The impression is that faculty participation increased with the initiation of electronic voting.  Confirmation of this impression will be sought in the fall.

 

 

V.        New Business

 

A.        Committee on Committees, Margaret Raymond

 

The attachment identifies the proposed slate of committee replacements for the 2003-04 academic year.  There were no volunteers to serve on the Rules and Bylaws Committee.  Prof. Raymond subsequently moved and Prof. Tachau seconded acceptance of the committee replacement as proposed.  Additional discussion included a consideration of the consolidation of the Rules and Bylaws Committee with the Elections Committee.  This discussion will move forward in the fall of 2003.  Additional discussion occurred on the topic of how these vacancies are filled.  The selection of chairs of Senate committees for the following academic year are made by the incoming Faculty Senate President in May.  The Faculty Senate President makes recommendations for replacements for University committees and non-charter committees to the President.  Custom dictates that students chair some committees, such as the Presidential Lecture Committee. 

 

B.         Policy on Intellectual Property, Bruce Wheaton

 

Pres. Cox informed the councilors that the proposed revision of the Policy on Intellectual Property was the result of a two-year effort. He then  introduced Bruce Wheaton, the Executive Director of the University of Iowa Research Foundation.

 

Mr. Wheaton echoed Pres. Cox’s comments in indicating that the revision committee had been working for a long time.  By comparison, however, the committee has worked rapidly in that the national average for the revision of intellectual property policies at similar institutions is six to seven years.  He indicated that the committee had worked hard to assess the current policy, to review peer university policies and to review policy and position statements prepared by such organizations as the AAUP, etc.  The finished document is not a fair use document, rather it is intended to be a document that addresses products created at the University of Iowa.  It does not alter prior policy regarding the ownership of patents or copyrights.  The differences between current and new policy are highlighted in the cover letter.  Significant differences include:  the creation of a new Intellectual Property Advisory Committee; an alteration in the formula by which earnings from intellectual property are distributed; and the addition of examples to illustrate potential applications of the policies.  The intent of the placeholder comment regarding the alteration of the earnings distribution formula identifies an intent to increase the share to inventors and authors but to maintain the current policy by which 25% of proceeds are used by the Office of the Vice President for Research as a research enrichment fund.  An additional significant difference was noted in the cover letter: the policy articulates the view that the University will not wave ownership of patent rights allocated to it under law and policy. 

 

Mr. Wheaton expressed his interest in consulting with faculty over the newly revised policy.  He intends to make a presentation similar to this at the Research Council in May and intends to schedule additional meetings with the Faculty Senate and the University Student Government.  Pres. Cox then commented that the Faculty Senate Officers had seen this policy in an earlier iteration.  The Senate Officers offered no opinion about the change in earnings distribution percentages other than to support the concept of stabilization of the percentage utilizable by the Office of the Vice President for Research.  They did express concern, however, that faculty affected by the policy need to have the right to use standard university faculty grievance procedures for disputes arising from its application, something that was not included in the earlier version they reviewed.  Partly in response to this latter comment, language was introduced to specify when grievances could go to the President and when they would go through normal faculty grievance channels.  This language can be seen at the top of page seven. 

 

The Vice President shall appoint an Intellectual Property Committee under the terms of the policy.  It is this committee that will help to resolve disputes arising from the application of the policy.  Although committee membership will be at the request of the Vice President for Research, appointments will be subject to consultation with the Senate and the University Student Government.  Prof. Tachau advised that the Intellectual Property Committee has a necessary requirement for membership with particular expertise in these complex matters.  She continued that in spite of this appropriate membership need, the committee it is not intended to supplant standard University faculty grievance processes when they are deemed appropriate.  In response Prof. Raymond indicated that the attempt to remedy the Faculty Senate Officers concerns regarding faculty grievance processes was laudable.  However, the language used in the final sentence of the opening paragraph on page seven was much too broad to effectively accomplish this goal.  Mr. Wheaton agreed and thanked Prof. Raymond for her comment.  Mr. Wheaton responded in the affirmative to a question regarding the ability of the University of Iowa Research Foundation  (UIRF) to proceed or not to patent an invention.  Thus, he continued, a department or a  college can bear the costs of attempting to garner a patent but the University of Iowa will own the patent.  Prof. Raymond asked how the distribution of profits will be made if the costs for generating the patent are borne by the department or college and not the University of Iowa Research Foundation.  The answer to this question can be found on page four under items 2.5 1 and 2.  In essence, these sections indicate that whoever bears the cost of generating the patent will be reimbursed before any additional financial gains are distributed.  Prof. Bhattacharjee asked about distribution policy in the setting of multiple inventors.  In his reading of the revision he found language addressing this likely event to be lacking even though he opined that this would be a potential source of dispute.  Mr. Wheaton indicated that equal distribution would be accorded unless there was an agreement otherwise amongst the inventors.  Prof. Bhattacharjee suggested that this should be spelled out clearly in the policy and Mr. Wheaton concurred.  Prof. McFarland took the floor to make two comments.  In his first he opined that the document presented was “long on process but not on intent”.  As one example he suggested the need for guidance to the committee involved with resolving disputes.  He went on to indicate that the University should attempt to protect both its product as well as its production and in so doing should favor licensing by local companies.  He saw the absence of such language in the policy as a shortcoming.  His second point was made based on his understanding of laws of ownership.  In this regard he suggested that if the employer and the UIRF were not interested in patenting a product, then the ownership should revert to the inventor.  He further opined that the inventor ought to be in the best position to see the unique value of his or her product and that it would likely be illegal for the University to take that product and its patent and effectively “place it in the trash”.  Mr. Wheaton responded that historically there has been a policy to give ownership of such patents back to their inventor.  The reason that the current committee was advised not to embrace this policy was the inherent conflict of interest between personal gain in a public setting.  Prof. Janus responded that there is nothing in patent law that requires the reversion of patents to their owners.  These issues, he continued, are a matter of policy and contractual negotiations. 

 

There followed a discussion about the relationship between the conflict of interest policy, its rationale and issues of commercialization and exploitation of copyrighted material for the benefit for the State of Iowa.  At this juncture Assoc. Provost Clark suggested that all pertinent, related policies be listed at the end of the intellectual property policy.  Prof. Raymond asked Mr. Wheaton what the Disclosure Review Committee has as its task.  Mr. Wheaton indicated that it is to review what the inventor believes he has invented.  Prof. Raymond then turned to the copyright policy and expressed concern over paragraph 3.2, disclosure.  She pointed out that the wording places the onus on its creator of disclosing the fact that the University has an interest in a new work.  Prof. Raymond then agreed to help Mr. Wheaton and his committee in clarifying this section.  Prof. Bhattacharjee responded to the prompt disclosure requirement.  It was his suggestion that disclosure was the issue not the rapidity with which is should occur.  Pres. Cox continued about the problematic nature of the requirement for prompt disclosure that derives from the fact that most faculty don’t look to invent, have no patents but, indeed, do have intellectual property.  Prof. McFarland asked how the assignment of the right of patent ownership to the University could be justified if it were to occur in a setting in which a student, who pays to be, for example, a chemistry student makes a patentable discovery.  Prof. Tachau and Mr. Wheaton both responded that the policy does not claim to make such assignment.  Prof. McFarland disagreed pointing to page three of the draft patent policy, item 2.2.b.  Mr. Wheaton denied the intention expressed by Prof. McFarland and Assoc. Provost Clark pointed to item 2.1 wherein the suggestion is offered that the University may assume ownership of patents on qualifying inventions made by students “in a limited number of situations”.  She continued that such ownership is further limited by the need for the “significant” use of University resources.  Prof. McFarland asked how “significant” facility use might be defined if a student pays to use the Chemistry Lab.  It was then suggested that students pay tuition to be educated and not to use facilities. 

 

A question was subsequently asked about both the date of institution of the new policy and whether or not faculty will be able to opt in or out of the proposed changes in benefits distribution.  Mr. Wheaton indicated that the answers to these questions continue to be discussed.  Pres. Cox then offered that these policies will need ample opportunity for broad-based discussion and input prior to their actual finalization.  He then asked how the Council wished to proceed with respect to the provision of advice to the committee and their response to the advice.  Following a brief discussion a decision was made to ask that the policy be sent back to the Council following its revision.  Mr. Wheaton asked how significantly the membership of the Council would change in the fall.  Prof. Raymond responded that only four new members would be seated.  Prof. Aikin also requested that the committee in future drafts address language and issues generated by software creation.  

 

VI.       Executive Session

 

A.        Regents Award for Faculty Excellence

 

Following a motion and its second, approval was unanimously given to the slate of candidates as proposed. 

 

B.         Michael J. Brody Awards

 

Following a motion and its second, approval was unanimously given to the slate of candidates as proposed.

 

Several offerings were then were made in an attempt to optimize the process by which the Senate participates in the awards process.  A suggestion was made to create a standing Faculty Senate Award Committee, one of whose charges would be to clearly delineate an awards process in a written document to be presented to the Provost and the Associate Provost for Faculty. 

 

VII.      Adjournment

 

The meeting was adjourned at 5:15 pm. 

 

 

________________________________________

Craig C. Porter, MD

Secretary, University of Iowa Faculty Senate