ICPSR Council Minutes
March 8-10, 2006

Council members present: Darren Davis, Charles Franklin, Michael Haines, Mark Hayward, Aletha Huston, Paula Lackie, Nancy McGovern, Sam Myers, Ruth Peterson (Chair), Walter Piovesan

ICPSR staff present: Erik Austin, Rita Bantom, Bryan Beecher, Dieter Burrell, Linda Detterman, Peter Granda, Bree Gunter, Myron Gutmann, Hank Heitowit, Peter Joftis, Stacey Kubitz, Felicia LeClere, Chris Maxwell, Jim McNally, Mary Morris, Asmat Noori, JoAnne O'Rourke, Amy Pienta, Mary Vardigan, Cole Whiteman

Visitors: Dominique Joye, CESSDA Representative; Andrew Kaniki, South African Observer

Approval of Minutes

The minutes from the October 2005 Council meeting were approved unanimously.

Director's Report

Building News

Myron Gutmann noted that the construction of Perry II is almost complete. The move-in is set for the weekend of March 17-19. The telephone unit will move into the lower level of Perry I in late March.

After two years of planning, the secure data enclave will be opening this month. Gutmann explained that the enclave will be a valuable tool to PIs who have confidential and restricted data.

Marketing and Summer Program News

The 2006 fiscal year has seen 24 new members so far, with three drops; this is up from previous years (eight new members in 2004 and 18 in 2005). Gutmann also reported that the OR survey completed by Marketing Director Linda Detterman had very positive results.

Regarding outreach, Gutmann noted that ICPSR staff have attended eight conferences since October and have 20 more planned by the end of 2006. The committee on new product development has begun setting priorities and has come up with 35 new ideas so far. Staff are also looking forward to co-hosting the IASSIST meeting, which will take place in Ann Arbor May 22-26.

Registration for the 2006 Summer Program went live in late February. Current enrollment is on par with previous years. There are several new courses included in the curriculum, including a course on race and ethnicity. The course on maximum likelihood, taught by Charles Franklin, will begin in early April.

Collection Delivery and Collection Development

The Footprints system that tracks user support requests has seen about 200 requests per month since its installation. Of these, 61 percent have been from members and 21 percent from non-members; 18 percent are unknown in origin. The three largest categories of questions relate to users looking for data (20 percent), users asking how to access data (16 percent), and questions about study content (12 percent). Data utilization has increased a great deal from 2005 to 2006 across all categories of users.

718 files have been released since October 1. There are 111 new collections and 62 collections that have been updated. Studies that have been added to the collection since October include the Youth-Parent Socialization Panel, 1965-1997; the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey, 1998-2002; and Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods.

Regarding new projects, the Data-Pass project has begun soliciting legacy and at-risk data, and collaboration has begun with the Ford Library to evaluate the Teeter polls from the 1988 and 1992 elections. A poster utilizing the LEADS database of studies will be presented at PAA at the end of March, and a set of new questionnaires and instruments is available on the SAMHDA website. Gutmann also reported that ICPSR has published Working With Data, an online guide about how ICPSR processes data.

The following new proposals have been submitted since October:

  • Survey of Living Conditions in the Arctic (NSF)
  • Northwest Area Foundation Surveys (Northwest Area Foundation)
  • Household-Environment Interactions Across Nations and Over Time (NIH)

Preservation and Computing

At the end of January, there was a successful test audit of ICPSR's preservation activities by the Center for Research Libraries. The automation of turnover and release procedures will roll out April 1, and a report on tracking and automation will be presented at the June meeting.

The online registration systems for the Summer Program and the IASSIST meeting are up, and the new SDA Appliance tool is now available for off-line demos.

Finally, Gutmann reported that the recruitment process for a Digital Preservation Officer is underway.

Budget Report

As a supplement to the new Council Orientation, staff presented a brief report on Thursday morning describing ICPSR's financial position. As of 6/30/2005, ICPSR maintained a $2.19 million fund balance. Staff anticipates the organization's reserves will grow to approximately $2.6 million by the end of fiscal year 2006. Although the organization budgeted for a $182K 2006 surplus, we are expecting a roughly $465K gain. Delayed sponsored project spending and cost-cutting practices are the primary drivers of the expected surplus.

In building the 2007 budget, ICPSR maintains its goal to rebuild reserves and in doing so is planning for only a $72k annual gain. Following losses in 2002 and 2003, ICPSR has made concerted efforts to close each year favorably and has done so successfully. Priorities that are reflected in the 2007 budget include: leadership transition, technology development, and diversity activities. Federal budget cuts and the discontinuation of some currently externally funded projects are also reflected in the 2007 draft budget. In conclusion, staff asked Council to consider the budgetary impact of the following: further federal budget cuts, likely reduction in Summer Program tuition from University of Michigan students, outcome of offering training outside the traditional Summer Program timeframe, and results from new product research. Staff reminded Council that they needed to formally approve the 2007 budget at the June meeting.

Present and Future of ICPSR Computing

Bryan Beecher gave a presentation on the future of computing at ICPSR. ICPSR plans to invest in several new computing systems in FY07, in order to replace systems that are nearing end of service; improve preservation and delivery capabilities; and add capacity to meet demand.

ICPSR will also move from a monolithic to a distributed architecture for providing infrastructure (non-desktop) computing services --- from two multiple-purpose machines to several focused-purpose machines, organized around five major functions. The improved architecture is expected to solve a variety of problems, and to cost $75k/year, compared with the current $55k/year. The five functions that we will focus on are:

Database: ICPSR will upgrade its database management system software (to Oracle 10i) and hardware (to a dedicated high-performance server).

Preservation: ICPSR will create disk copies of electronic archival materials, which will make it less expensive to access them, to verify their accessibility and fidelity, and to keep up with evolving storage technology.

Processing: ICPSR will upgrade operating system software and server hardware to meet demand.

Storage: ICPSR will move online storage and backup to a specialized appliance to provide much greater capacity and expandability, consistent access controls between Windows and Unix, and self-service file restoration.

Web: ICPSR will move from a single all-purpose web server to a set of servers with distinct roles: Primary, Backup, Staging, Intranet, and Development. This arrangement will increase performance, security, and reliability; and it will provide a way for staff to preview new content before public release.

Recruitment Process and Strategy at ICPSR

ICPSR Human Resources Director Rita Bantom presented an overview of how ICPSR recruits and manages its workforce. She provided a demographic breakdown of the staff and pointed out that 85 percent of the staff have bachelors degrees or higher. She also stated that 11 out of the 18 minority staff members have been hired since July 2001.

Graphs of open positions, separations, and new hires were provided. ICPSR has fewer open positions than in previous years and has had a modest amount of staff turnover. The number of staff hires in a year depends mostly on new projects and staffing levels needed to get the work done. Bantom enumerated the different job roles and classifications in use at ICPSR and went on to talk about the most important recruitment and selection principles:

  • Apply conservative staffing ratios
  • Hire for the organization as a whole (so that staff can be reassigned if necessary)
  • Value excellence in credentials and skills
  • Recognize professional experience
  • Generate a diverse applicant pool
  • Practice work force planning (the right number of people with the right skills in the right jobs at the right time)

To develop a diverse applicant pool, ICPSR advertises in media outlets like the Chronicle of Higher Education and with network organizations such as the major social science professional associations. ICPSR also advertises at career fairs (e.g., University of Michigan Multicultural Fair, Michigan State Diversity Fair, Atlanta University Center Fair [Clark, Morehouse, and Spelman], and Michigan Collegiate Job Fair). In addition, ICPSR offers a summer internship program to provide an opportunity for an undergraduate to spend 10 weeks at ICPSR processing data and attending the Summer Training Program. Over 100 applicants, including many graduate students, have applied for the 2006 internship.

Bantom also outlined the process to fill an open position at ICPSR, which begins with the appointment of a search committee comprised of a group of about five to six staff. There are two interviews with job candidates: the first interview is technical, assessing a candidate's relevant skills, and the second is behavioral, concentrating on important behaviors in the work place.

To evaluate staff performance, ICPSR uses a Performance Management Communication System (PMCS) with the following objectives:

  • Establish clear expectations where performance is objectively measured and recognized
  • Encourage formal periodic discussions
  • Support a respectful environment that celebrates differences among staff
  • Endorse professional development opportunities

This is an annual event in May/June, and is intended to be a communication tool, not a rating based system. The next step is to move the PMCS tool to the Web.

Bantom noted that professional development is essential in a successful organization, and ICPSR offers several forms:

  • Tuition support policy (100 percent of tuition is supported, which is in excess of University of Michigan standard benefits)
  • Attendance at conferences, workshops, and seminars (presenting papers and staffing the exhibit booth)
  • Summer Program attendance
  • Center for Statistical Consultation and Research courses (some brought on-site)
  • Committee participation
  • Special projects and cross-training
  • Supervisory and managerial training

Compensation for ICPSR staff includes the standard U-M benefits package and competitive total compensation. In terms of career paths, staff have access to other U-M jobs and to internal career opportunities for promotion and advancement.

Council requested more details about staff advancement and promotion, and Bantom pointed out that there is not a lot of staff turnover, so there may not always be leadership positions available for people who want to move up in the organization. Thus, we strive to provide staff with challenging new projects and recognition when they acquire new skills. We may be able to reward them in compensation but not in title changes. Also, in some cases when advancement is not possible, we encourage staff to seek opportunities elsewhere in the University of Michigan or other venues. We hope that they leave ICPSR having had positive experiences and that they will act as advocates for us.

Several challenges and opportunities remain in the human resources area, including the ongoing commitment to diversity recruitment, retention, and engagement; the growth of the organization; leadership development; succession planning; and coping with technology change.

While our diversity efforts are paying off in recent years, we are still hiring minority individuals most frequently into entry-level positions and then promoting internally into intermediate positions; we still have progress to make in recruiting staff for leadership positions. That is why outreach to groups like the Association of Black Sociologists is so important.

Budget and Policy Committee

Council present: Michael Haines, Mark Hayward, Sam Myers, Ruth Peterson (Chair), Walter Piovesan

Staff present: Erik Austin, Rita Bantom, Myron Gutmann, Stacey Kubitz

Signing Authority Document

Several years ago, the University of Michigan's Office of the General Counsel advised staff and Council that the authority for granting permission to scholars to receive restricted-use versions of ICPSR datasets resided with the ICPSR Council. Agreements outlining terms and conditions of such use are routinely signed by the requesting party and by an ICPSR representative. At the time this advice was received, then Council Chair Halliman Winsborough delegated the Council's signatory authority to a member of the staff (specifically to Assistant Director Erik Austin). The newly-opened ICPSR Secure Data Enclave also requires signed agreement forms for use of the facility. Staff presented to the committee a draft of a letter from Council chair Ruth Peterson, delegating Council's signing authority for agreements of these two sorts to several current members of the ICPSR staff (ICPSR Director Myron P. Gutmann, Assistant Director Erik W. Austin, Associate Research Scientist Christopher D. Maxwell, and Assistant Director of Collection Development Peter A. Granda). Committee discussion of the draft focused on the procedure for enacting these agreements, on the due diligence being exercised to respect confidentiality, and on liability assumed by ICPSR as a result of such agreements. Myron Gutmann described the letter transferring signatory authority from the Council to selected staff members as a relatively routine undertaking.

At the plenary discussion of this item, the full Council recommended reprinting the letter with a date of March 10, 2006, then voted unanimously to approve the letter and have it executed.

FY 2006 Year-End Projection

Gutmann and Business Manager Stacey Kubitz briefed the committee on the state of the budget for the current (i.e., FY 2006) fiscal year. A year ago, staff had forecast a surplus of $182,000 for the 2006 fiscal year. With actual data on income and expenditures in hand for the first eight months of this fiscal year, staff is now projecting a FY 2006 surplus of $465,000. The main contributor to this greater-than-expected surplus is general underspending on numerous accounts, particularly those for sponsored projects (i.e., those funded by grants and contracts.) Kubitz noted that the surplus funds will be deposited into ICPSR's reserve account at the close of the fiscal year. Council discussion focused on reasons for the disjunction of predicted vs actual year-end balances, the desirable level of reserves for the organization, and ways of forecasting more accurately the actual end-of-year balances. In response to a question, Gutmann assured the committee that underspending has not reduced the quality of ICPSR's archival products, nor has it negatively impacted the paying of equitable salaries to ICPSR employees. He proposed that staff prepare for the October, 2006 Council meeting a report delineating the components of FY 2006's greater-than-expected surplus.

Strategic Overview for FY 2007

Gutmann outlined the strategic priorities that went into forming the 2007 budget. The first of these priorities is recruitment of the next generation of senior management (to replace three senior managers who have retired or will retire in the next year or so). Advertisements for two of these positions have been sent out, and applications received. Technology development includes rebuilding core computer systems with more modern hardware, as well as designing a system to protect ICPSR from hardware or software failures or natural disasters. Staff will expend effort on a set of diversity activities to expand services to groups not always well represented in the past. New product development will refine a list of new products and conduct research on the most likely targets for these products.

FY 2007 Draft Budget

Kubitz and Gutmann then presented the committee with a draft budget for FY 2007. They explained that a major goal of ICPSR's annual budgets remains to rebuild its reserves. Staff is now forecasting a FY 2007 surplus of $72,000 of revenues in excess of expenses. Built into the draft budget are known reductions in Federal government support (particularly from NIH); the termination of some sponsored projects; leadership transition costs; and technology replacement costs. Gutmann asserted that the organization is in fairly good budgetary shape for FY 2007, but alerted the committee to likely budgetary stringencies in the FY 2008 ICPSR budget. Committee discussion ranged across definitions of specific line items in the draft budget presented, and included numerous questions from new Council members. Kubitz noted that revisions to the 2007 budget will be made in the weeks between the March and June Council meetings, with final approval of next year's budget occurring at the June, 2006 Council meeting.

Personnel Issues

Gutmann outlined steps already begun or being planned for recruitment of three senior staff members. Efforts to fill a position of Digital Preservation Officer are quite far along, with a top candidate identified and a likely start date of September 1, 2006. Advertising for the position of Associate Director has begun, and discussions undertaken with other ISR Centers to seek agreement on a joint appointment between ICPSR and one or more of ISR's Centers. Gutmann requested suggestions of likely candidates, noting that it now seems unlikely a new Associate Director could start by September 1, 2006. Committee members suggested some disciplines from which likely Associate Director candidates might come (Political Science and Sociology), and pointed staff to past Summer Training Program participants as another potential source of candidates. Gutmann also led a brief discussion of strategies for recruiting the next Director of the Summer Training Program.

Diversity Planning and ISR Situational Review

These items were carried over to future Council meetings.

Grant Applications Submitted Since October

This agenda item was not discussed in the meeting, as committee members had no questions about supporting material on the item that was provided in the Council briefing book.

Collection Development Committee

Council present: Darren Davis (Chair), Charles Franklin, Aletha Huston, Paula Lackie, Nancy McGovern

Staff present: Peter Granda, Peter Joftis, Felicia LeClere, Chris Maxwell, Amy Pienta

Archiving Data That Are Archived Elsewhere

Darren Davis opened the discussion about how ICPSR deals with archiving data that are archived elsewhere and about the advantages and disadvantages of ICPSR being involved in this process. European observer Dominique Joye presented information on how the Swiss data archive has accomplished this. There was a discussion about MADIERA, which is the distributed archival method that integrates all of the catalogues of the European archives. MADIERA will provide an integrated catalogue that includes all of the collection in Europe. Two issues were discussed, including authenticating users and defining levels of use. This distributed archiving mechanism means that the catalogues are available everywhere but the data resides in a single archive. To achieve this, all studies are marked up in NESSTAR.

There will be a demonstration of the MADIERA website and functionality at the June meeting. At this point we will begin to assess the potential participation of ICPSR in MADIERA.

Discussion of the Minority Data Archive

Davis inquired about plans for the Minority Data Archive. Felicia LeClere, who has been designated as the short term manager of the new archive, described the plans for the archive including the archival development, staffing, and funding plans.

For the June meeting, LeClere and team will provide a detailed plan for the archive including a description of the content, an outline of the web content, and a development plan.

End of the International Archive of Education Data

Peter Granda described the loss of funding from the National Center for Education Statistics for the IAED, which ended in December of 2005. The method of notification and the dialogue concerning the funding was idiosyncratic and difficult to anticipate. Granda shared his experience with the attempts to retain support for IAED. NCES has asked for the return of the data, although ICPSR may retain dissemination copies. Davis suggested that this might be an opportunity to add data to the IAED, which to date was focused solely on data from NCES. Granda noted that ICPSR staff are still pursuing additional funding leads and retaining the archive in its present form. The Committee agreed to monitor the archive and the potential for funding elsewhere.

Changes in NACJD

Chris Maxwell described new efforts on the part of NACJD to acquire data from landmark studies in the area of juvenile offenders. NACJD is currently working with OJJP to acquire these datasets.

Methodology for Acknowledging Depositors

Amy Pienta described new efforts to acknowledge data depositors and identifying especially important contributions to the collection. The Committee discussed a variety of methods including reputational acknowledgement and other ideas. The Committee suggested a simple methodology.

Pienta will provide an evaluation form, a trial slate of depositors, and a brief report concerning the method of selection at the October Council meeting. She also share the LEADS database and methodology with Council and others.

Membership and Marketing Committee

Council: Walter Piovesan (Chair), Ruth Peterson

Staff: Linda Detterman, Mary Morris

Membership Activity & Utilization Reports

Membership activity for FY2006 has continued to be positive with the addition of 24 new members (13 new members have joined since the October 2005 Council meeting). To date, three members have dropped their memberships for a net of 21 new members.

Membership gains in FY06 are running well ahead of previous years. To determine why membership is increasing at such a positive rate, ICPSR staff intends to conduct a "new member" survey during the summer of 2006 to better understand new member reasons for joining as well as how they became aware of ICPSR and made the decision to join. Results of the survey are expected to be reviewed during the October 2006 Council meeting.

Utilization of data (measured in datasets) has also increased relative to earlier years. Note that some of the increase can be attributed to the new download mechanisms and defaults that were introduced with the newly designed ICPSR website. The download default for a study is "all" datasets; thus, it is believe that many users are using the default versus selecting specific datasets for download, thereby increasing utilization statistics that use datasets as the basis for measurement and comparison. ICPSR staff will continue to monitor and analyze utilization.

Marketing & Membership Initiative Updates

The committee briefly reviewed the direct marketing initiatives noting that the At-Risk members mailing was completed as part of the OR Media Kit mailing that launched in late February. Most of the other targeted mailings are scheduled to occur in summer 2006. Brief updates were discussed related to the following:

  • Miller Scholars Fund: An additional drive will be conducted in fall 2006. Annual drives to increase this endowment are planned.
  • Affiliation Agreement Forms: Updates of the text and membership categories were needed for these forms. The revision of text and design of the forms is nearly complete, and the revised forms will be customized and sent to National and Federation Hubs for review and signatures in the summer 2006.
  • New Product Development discussions have been continuing since fall 2005. Over 35 product ideas were generated, and currently the committee is prioritizing these ideas for development.
  • The IASSIST 2006 meeting is being held in Ann Arbor and hosted by ICPSR, University of Michigan Libraries and the School of Information. In planning this event, ICPSR staff hope to incorporate some of the procedures to improve the OR Meeting - these include the possibility of sponsorships to defray costs as well as other administrative improvements.
  • Dataset Purchase Rates: The price for the purchase of one dataset was set at $500. This price point was selected after a review of utilization rates as a point that would not encourage a significant number of members to cancel membership and purchase datasets a la carte. Note that graduate students can negotiate lower rates if they are unable to meet the $500 price.
  • Conferences: Having attended eight since October, ICPSR has 20 more conferences scheduled for exhibition through the end of calendar year 2006.

Individual Memberships

The creation of an individual membership category has been discussed over the course of several months. Collection Development asked Membership & Marketing to consider this category as a means of thanking data depositors for the successful deposit of their data, particularly if they are unable to access members-only data should they not be affiliated with a member institution. If such a category were developed, it was believed that the category needed strict guidelines for use as well as a price point, should non-depositors inquire about the category. Eligibility and costs for this category would be as follows:

  • Individual must have no means of institutional membership: no affiliation with a college or university or an institution that could obtain an institutional membership or subscription. For example, self-employed researcher or consultant or retired professor who would be the sole user of ICPSR holdings. That is, no other employed staff, research or administrative, would actively download or use data as these activities would require institutional membership.
  • One-year individual membership (free) offered as part of a "thank-you package" to data depositors who have completed the deposit process. Depositors must have no other means of institutional membership (see above). Membership would begin at the onset of release of the data. If depositor desires to continue the individual membership beyond the one year offer, s/he must meet the first bulleted requirement above and pay the individual membership fee.
  • The annual rate for a professional membership was recommended at $800.

After some discussion, Council voted to approve the creation of a professional membership rate offered at $800, annually. Also, the membership web page will be updated to include a short description of this category and an affiliation form will be created.

OR Meeting 2005

A brief review of the 2005 OR Meeting was conducted noting that: there were 131 total participants, 94 who were ORs/DRs or subs for ORs/DRs. This is similar to years past. The meeting finished about $3,000 under budget.

Several ORs had approached Council requesting that travel reimbursements be increased or travel be fully covered. Currently, ORs receive $100 toward their expenses. In total, travel expenses represent 38 percent of the OR Meeting budget. Short of covering full travel expenses, which would not be feasible in terms of budget, the committee did not believe increasing the travel stipend, even if doubled, would significantly impact attendance and does not recommend increasing the stipend at this time.

OR Meeting 2007

Several ORs approached ICPSR staff to encourage alternate scheduling of the OR Meeting such that it occur on Thursday/Friday versus Friday/Saturday. ICPSR staff conducted a survey among ORs/DRs to gather preferences related to the schedule. In short, 40 percent preferred the alternate schedule; 19 percent preferred the traditional schedule; and 37 percent indicated either schedule would work. Thus, the committee recommended holding the 2007 meeting using the alternate schedule and assessing whether this schedule positively impacted attendance.

It was noted that a switch to the alternate schedule would require that the October 2007 Council meeting (one day in length) would need to occur either on Wednesday or on Saturday. Since many Council members were missing for this discussion, those present felt that all Council members should be polled about the Council meeting implications prior to approving the switch to the alternate schedule for the OR Meeting.

Ruth Peterson asked that staff prepare an email outlining the options that she will use to poll Council members, since a decision on the schedule will be needed prior to the June 2006 Council meeting to accommodate meeting and lodging reservations for the 2007 meeting. This was identified as an action item.

Hurricane-Impacted Institutions

Approximately eight member institutions are located in or near the hurricane impacted areas. Two of the institutions have been unable to find funds to cover their 2006 membership dues. The committee recommended that these institutions be forgiven their 2006 dues. It is expected that there will be lingering effects in 2007. The committee recommended that staff be given flexibility to react to requests for forgiveness or reduction of dues as they occur.

Preservation and Access Committee

Council: Paula Lackie (Chair), Darren Davis, Kathleen Mullan Harris, Nancy McGovern

Staff: Bryan Beecher, Mary Vardigan, Cole Whiteman

Staff presented a summary of planned enhancements for the biennial renovation of the ICPSR website. Highlights included new hardware systems for the web server, a new search engine, a variety of behind the scenes clean-up tasks, and a handful of new features.

Staff reported on the CRL test audit, noting that ICPSR was the first of three organizations scheduled to test the audit process. The feedback from the auditors was generally very positive.

Staff reported on the current status of the Data Enclave (ready), and on a project to create incentives for researchers to deposit "archive ready" data and documentation (on-going).

The bulk of the meeting was spent discussing the "mirroring the collection" agenda item. It soon became clear that there was not consensus on terminology, and that there was not a shared understanding of what it meant to "mirror the collection." Staff offered two suggestions for "collection":

  • The collection of access copies that are distributed through our website
  • The collection of archival copies that are not distributed (aka the "Data Library")

Staff also offered two suggestions for "mirroring":

  • Maintaining a physical copy of a 'collection' (access or archival) at some location that is a reasonable distance from Ann Arbor for disaster recovery purposes.
  • Maintaining a backup web server (which delivers access copies) for use during any period of time where the main web server is unavailable, including during a disaster.

Based on these working definitions, Council requested that Staff prepare several documents articulating the details of the current status of projects underway (e.g., a backup web server) or creating plans for future projects (e.g., maintaining one or more copies of the archival holdings in remote locations).

Training and Instruction Committee

Council present: Charles Franklin (Chair), Michael Haines

Staff present: Dieter Burrell, Linda Detterman, Hank Heitowit

Summer Program Overview

Charles Franklin and Hank Heitowit presented an overview of the 2006 Summer Program. New instructors and new courses were noted, including: Methodological Issues in Quantitative Research Methods on Race and Ethnicity; Longitudinal Analysis of Historical Demographic Data; Statistical Analysis with Missing Data; People, Places, and Environment in NE Thailand; Health Care Change in the U.S.

A brief review of the 2005 Program was also presented. The staff reported that there was a strong possibility that the University of Michigan could impose a new funding formula for reimbursing ICPSR for tuition/credit enrollments. This change could result in a somewhat reduced income/revenue for the Program. If the formula is changed, it is anticipated that it would not impact the Program until the summer of 2007. However, it might be necessary for the Council to consider at the October 2006 meeting a more robust increase in non-credit fees to offset the possible reduction in Michigan funding.

Staff also reported that the Summer Program instructional staff has made significant progress in the area of diversification. In 2006, the Program's instructional staff will be 14 percent minority, and 16 percent women. Special note was made of the new course on quantitative approaches to the study of race and ethnicity. There was optimism that the new course would further increase minority enrollments above the 17 percent in 2005.

Council members asked that the staff team working on "new product developments" in the area of instruction coordinate their efforts with the Committee.

OR Sabbatical

It was noted that the two OR sabbaticals funded for FY2006 were focused on undergraduate instruction related materials. This was cited as a positive synergy between different units in ICPSR.

SIMI Report

There was a continuation of previous Committee discussions around the role of SIMI in fostering innovative products in undergraduate instruction. One model favored is the one that produced the recent SETUPS module for the use of the 2004 NES and an understanding of U.S. electoral politics. Staff and Council were urged to think creatively about what other major datasets and substantive topics might be explored for future projects, utilizing a similar web-based design.

Future Committee Discussions

Franklin set forth a policy agenda for the Committee for future Council meetings:

  • Continued attention and support for diversity in the Summer Program
  • Attention to the growth potential of the Program and the physical and intellectual limits to the Program
  • The implications of such limits on off-site and off-cycle (non-summer) courses
  • Continued attention to undergraduate instruction
  • Concern over revenue and budget issues

Open Session

Ruth Peterson gave the following summary. This summary was generated during the executive meeting of Council.

  • Council is pleased with the progress at all levels (e.g., Summer Program, archives) of the diversity initiative at ICPSR.
  • Council advised ICPSR that they would like to see expedited progress on the development of ICPSR's backup systems. Additionally, all reports to Council about these activities should be written in layman's terms. Also, Council asked for an overview of financial costs for each of the various options for the deployment of backup systems.
  • Council noted that they are aware that changing leadership is on the agenda for ICPSR.
  • Council would like to be involved in how the staffing plan unfolds.
  • Council, at Peterson's prompting, will send along names of people, associations, etc., that will serve to help us with recruitment of faculty.
  • Council would like ICPSR to be attentive to the cross-fertilization of ideas across Council Committees.
  • Council will follow-up on an agenda with James Jackson, ISR Director, for the June meeting.

Andrew Kaniki and Dominique Joye gave brief reports about their experience during the three-day Council meeting. Council also reviewed the following action items:

Budget and Planning    
Report with more detailed displays about why and where there were deviations from the planned budget October 2006 Stacey Kubitz
Collection Development    
Presentation on the Madeira Portal & Report on existing policies and issues about international data June 2006 Peter Granda
Report on Collection Development Policy June 2006 Amy Pienta
Report on Diversity Archive June 2006 Felicia LeClere
Trial-run of issues related to important data contributors October 2006 Amy Pienta
Report on at-risk data identification June 2006 Amy Pienta
Membership and Marketing    
Resolve date options for the OR and Council meetings for October 2007 June 2006 Linda Detterman
Preservation and Access    
Create timelines of strategies for mirroring the access copies and data library June 2006 Bryan Beecher
Develop estimate of amount of data on disk vs. tape for long-term preservation purposes June 2006 Cole Whiteman
Report on putting an uncompressed copy of the access copies Outside Ann Arbor June 2006 Bryan Beecher
Draft language for arrangements for a collocation site for the warm Backup June 2006 Bryan Beecher
Invite Margaret Hedstrom to speak about the NSF incentives project For the June or October meeting April 2006 Myron Gutmann
Create forum on international archival technology standards (carried over from October 2005) October 2006 Myron Gutmann, Kevin Schurer
Report on Shibboleth-style authentication issues for ICPSR June 2006 Mary Vardigan

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