Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
April 16, 1999

Electronic discussion group starts

by Linda Charles

Faculty now have a new forum in which to discuss educational issues.

Faculty Senate senator Chris Schilling, materials science and engineering, has started an online e-mail forum called Faculty Values (

"Since I've been on the Faculty Senate, I've met several faculty who share common concerns about academic standards, professional ethics, post-tenure review and other issues," he said. "The problem is that we are in different buildings and we're too busy to meet face-to-face.

"This is a place for faculty to talk back and forth about those issues," Schilling added. "The forum can act as a sounding board and information resource, and hopefully will encourage more faculty to participate in university governance. The idea is not new. Stanford has a similar e- forum called 'Tomorrow's Professor.'"

Right now, the discussion is centered around the proposed post-tenure review policy that faculty are voting on, but Schilling said he hopes to receive comments about other issues too, such as declining academic standards, student course evaluation and distance education.

Schilling is surprised at the number of faculty who subscribed to the list initially. A week after it began late last month, 50 faculty were on the list.

Schilling hopes, eventually, the Faculty Senate, the Center for Teaching Excellence or another like group will sponsor the forum. Comments sent to the online forum are e-mailed to everyone on the list. Though there is no archive of the comments at present, Schilling hopes one can be developed in the future.

To join the group, send an e-mail to facultyvalues- with the single word "subscribe" as the message.

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