Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
April 18, 1996

Faculty Senate to consider report on improving undergraduate education

by Linda Charles
When asked to come up with ways of "Improving the ISU Educational Experience," faculty across campus responded with nearly 300 ideas. Those ideas have been boiled down to 62 recommendations that the Faculty Senate will consider at its April 30 meeting.

If the senate approves, the recommendations will be passed on to the president, provost, college deans and chairs of senate councils and committees for consideration and possible action.

The report pulls out 15 "priority recommendations" on students, faculty and administration. Two of the recommendations call for gathering more information from sources other than ISU faculty.

The suggestion heard most often from faculty, according to the report, calls for changing the reward system so faculty would have time to get more involved with students. The recommendation says faculty are "disproportionately" rewarded for research efforts over other efforts, such as teaching, advising, faculty governance and outreach and service.

Another recommendation calls for faculty to become more involved with students, through advising, extracurricular activities, involving students in their research, visiting high schools to talk to prospective students, working with departmental clubs and helping with co-op and internship programs.

The report also calls for helping high school students become better prepared for college. One recommendation would expand student orientation to give students a taste of an actual academic experience, with a lecture, note-taking, testing and writing. The report suggests career counseling during orientation and in the first year to help students pick appropriate majors and be more successful while in college.

Designating two vice provosts, one for undergraduate education and instruction and the other for graduate education and research, is suggested in another recommendation.

"The goal of this recommendation is to put greater emphasis on and more resources into undergraduate instruction by having an undergraduate college," said Jim Hutter, associate professor of political science, who oversaw the report.

Suggestions for the report were obtained during college caucuses in January. The entire process was a "really unique experience." Hutter said. "The process we used was open to all faculty. I doubt there has ever been such an activity and opportunity when faculty have made these kinds of suggestions."

The complete report is available on the Faculty Senate homepage, which can be accessed through "Faculty & Staff Information" on the ISU World Wide Web homepage.

The senate also will consider a change in the royalties policy. The general policy calls for faculty to donate royalties to the university when they use their own text or materials in a course. The policy allows two exceptions: when faculty are not involved in selecting course materials; and when faculty request exceptions from their deans and DEOs. The proposed change provides some direction on when an exception should be granted and adds the provost to the list of those who must approve the exception.

A change in the name of the general graduate studies major for M.S. and M.A. degrees to Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies also will be considered by the senate. The new name, recommended during a recent program review, would be more comparable to similar majors at other institutions and should more accurately reflect the kinds of programs students plan under the major.

The senate also will accept nominations for its May 6 election. Senate president Ron Peters has announced he will not seek re-election. Joanna Courteau, professor of foreign languages and literatures and senate vice president, and Bill Woodman, professor of sociology and chair of the Liberal Arts and Sciences caucus, have indicated they will run for president.

The senate meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 30, in 2532 Veterinary Medicine.

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URL: 4/18/96