Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
Mar. 20, 1998

Senate narrowly votes to keep P&T vote on track

by Anne Dolan

At its March 10 meeting, the Faculty Senate came within one vote of delaying the faculty vote on the new promotion and tenure document until a second committee had reviewed it.

Senator Peter Sherman, statistics, who introduced the proposal, said he "totally agrees with the document," but that it still needs some work and is being pushed through too quickly. He argued for a second review committee to ensure that assistant and associate-level faculty members -- "those in the tenure trenches" -- have input to the proposed changes.

President-elect Denise Vrchota called Sherman's proposal "a dreadful motion" and said faculty at all levels have had since the 1997 Faculty Conference -- nearly a full year -- to share their thoughts on faculty review, promotion and tenure. In a written ballot, the motion was defeated 31 to 30.

The senate also defeated a proposal by Senator Bryan Cain, math, that only tenured or tenure-track faculty and continuing adjunct faculty be allowed to vote on the promotion and tenure document when it goes to the full faculty for approval. Opponents argued that the general faculty -- including adjunct members -- form the senate and that it's not right to exclude them from the vote.

The senate will have a special meeting Tuesday, March 24, for further discussion and an anticipated vote on the proposed document. The senate must approve it before the full faculty votes on it next month. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in 260 Scheman.

In other business, Provost John Kozak announced the creation of a new position -- vice provost for undergraduate programs. (See related story in this issue.) The search will be conducted within ISU faculty ranks and should be concluded by semester's end.

Carla Espinoza, assistant vice president for human resource services, and Gwen Woodward, coordinator of services for students with learning disabilities in the dean of students office, answered questions regarding a proposed policy on accommodating students with disabilities.

Senators questioned whether some accommodations, such as reading test questions to a student or allowing two hours for a typical 50-minute exam, put students without disabilities at a disadvantage.

Woodward said the law requires Iowa State to provide access, not guaranteed success, to students with disabilities. When students with disabilities request a service of accommodation, faculty have a responsibility to honor it, either by providing it themselves, asking a T.A. to provide it, or contacting Woodward's office to have the service provided.

Woodward said services that carry a fee are funded according to a formula. Up to the first $50 is paid by the department offering the class. The next $150 is paid by the college in which the student is enrolled, and the remainder is paid by a central university disability fund. Woodward noted that at ISU, tutoring is not part of student accommodation. Students pay tutoring costs themselves. Some universities pay for this service for students with disabilities.

The senate also:

Following the March 24 special meeting, the next regular meeting of the senate begins at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 14, in 260 Scheman.

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