History of the UISUG

The University of Iowa SAS® User Group was formed in response to a survey of Research Assistants conducted by a University of Iowa Committee created by the University of Iowa Staff Council. In April 2005 a letter of concern was put forth by research staff through Staff Council. This letter identified a number of areas of concern including the need for coordinated educational and developmental opportunities. Staff Council identified the following:

Educational and Developmental Opportunities: The University currently has an outstanding Learning and Development (L&D) program that is geared primarily to administrative staff, especially those in supervisory roles. We recommend developing a similar program geared to educational and professional development targeted to research staff to enhance mobility within the University of Iowa. (Staff Council letter to President Skorton, April 19, 2005)

As a result, Sue Buckley convened a work team to discuss targeted needs and develop educational opportunities specific to research staff. This team was formed in recognition of the critical need to retain our talented research staff and was given the following charge: to identify competencies that could be obtained through participation in classes, workshops or program series that would enhance the mobility of the UI research staff, especially those staff at the ranks of Research Assistant I, II, III and Senior Research Assistant.

One area of concern was training in use of software on campus, one specific area of interest was statistical software including the SAS® program. The UISUG was a direct result of efforts to provide SAS® training for University of Iowa Research Assistants and other UI staff. An organizational committee was formed which included representatives from the original Human Resources Committee, the University of Iowa Informational Technology Department and the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences. The UISUG organizing committee consisted of:

William Knabe, Program Consultant, Information Technology Services (ITS)
Mark Hale, Research and Development Project Leader, ITS
William McKirgan, CRIISP Data Manager, Iowa City Dept. of Veterans Affairs
Phyllis Stumbo, Human Resources Work Team Representative
Miriam (Bridget) Zimmerman, Director of Biostatistical Consultant Services, ICTS