Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Jan. 12, 1996

P&S Council supports allowing work experience in lieu of a degree

by Anne Dolan

The Professional and Scientific Council has approved measures that support work experience and relevant skills in lieu of a bachelor's degree as a job qualification, and the continuation of a retirement incentive plan.

At its Jan. 4 meeting, the council unanimously passed a position statement that encourages the strongest possible pool of candidates for P&S positions, but recognizes equally a degree, coursework and/or experience as demonstrators of relevant knowledge and skills. The position statement will be forwarded to President Martin Jischke and Provost John Kozak, but does not become policy unless it is approved by the administration.

The council also approved a letter from the council to the State Board of Regents requesting the continuation of a retirement incentive plan for faculty and staff at regents universities. The current plan, which expires in 1997, was in effect when the state universities had a mandatory retirement age. There is no mandatory retirement age now.

The regents are expected to discuss new options this spring. The letter requests flexibility in a plan to give administrators from various units latitude in customizing retirement packages. It also notes that the need for medical benefits is a major reason employees delay retirement.

In other business, Steve Richardson and Vicky Thorland-Oster discussed follow-up efforts to the Succeeding With Students exercise in November. About half of the "action sheets" -- listing ideas for how individuals and departments can improve the student experience at Iowa State -- have been entered into a database, and about half of the 213 facilitators participated in "de-briefing" sessions in which they shared their own reactions to the exercise as well as comments they heard from the groups they led.

Thorland-Oster said two primary reactions have emerged: the title of the exercise was misleading and shaped expectations from participants that weren't met and people want to know what happens next in the process.

She said organizers are investigating several follow-up options, including making smaller copies of the information and maps used in the sessions available to all employees, developing a World Wide Web page or including some version of the Succeeding With Students exercise in the acclimation training series for all new employees. Money is a restricting factor in the "what's next?" equation, she said.

Richardson and Thorland-Oster both encouraged council members to continue discussions in their units about what can be done to help ISU students succeed.

Nomination forms for the council election this spring will be in the January P&S newsletter. Eight existing seats are open and an additional seat was created this year in external affairs. Nominations are due by Feb. 5 to Brenda Thorbs- Weber, 4 Hamilton.

The next meeting of the P&S Council is Thursday, Feb. 1, in the Memorial Union Gold Room. Loras Jaeger, director of public safety, will attend the open forum portion of the meeting to talk about campus parking issues and a parking survey done last fall. The open forum begins at noon.

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