Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
May 21, 1999

Senate OKs revised teaching appointment policy

by Linda Charles

The Faculty Senate approved a revised teaching appointment policy for non-tenure-track staff during its May 4 meeting.

Under the policy, faculty would provide "expert advice" to DEOs considering teaching appointments of non-tenure-track staff. Details of how faculty should be consulted would be specified in departmental or program governance documents. Faculty in any department or program could choose to delegate the responsibility to their executive officers if they choose.

If "circumstances prevent obtaining faculty consultation," the DEO could make up to a one-year appointment, but any reappoint-ment would need to be made "in consultation with the faculty."

The policy would affect only the appointment of instructors who sign course grade reports.

Last year, the senate passed a similar policy that called for faculty to "oversee" these appointments and provide "approval" before the appointments could be made. That policy also would have allowed appointments to be made without faculty approval in "emergencies."

Last year's policy was revised after consultation with administrators. The new policy will be sent to the provost and, if approved, added to the Faculty Handbook.

The senate also received a report from the committee that reviewed the provost's office. Among the commit-tee's recommendations are giving the provost clear autonomy in providing academic leadership; increasing the office's budget and provost's budgetary authority; adding one or two faculty to the office on an interim, part-time or special-project basis to ease understaffing problems; and suggesting the provost make at least annual visits to each college to better foster communication.

In other business, Rick Carter, chair of the senate's Facilities and Educational Resources Committee (FERC), reported on a survey on classroom conditions and preferences conducted last spring. Carter said the survey showed that, in general, faculty were not dissatisfied with classrooms, but that there were problems. More than 100 classrooms, including some that recently were renovated, were identified as having "deplorable" conditions by surveyed faculty. The senate passed a resolution calling for the FERC to represent the general faculty's interest during any signifi-cant renovations or media upgrades to any instructional facilities.

The senate also agreed to establish a standing committee to address concerns of minorities and women. The committee, as proposed by senator Christine Pope, history, would have broad discretion in what it chooses to consider -- for example, stopping the tenure clock for pregnant faculty or halting the sale of products with Iowa State's logo when made by women in sweatshops.

The senate also approved several academic program changes, which will need final approval by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. Changes include reducing the graduate majors offered by the department of animal science from seven to five through reorganization and elimination; creating an interdepartmental graduate minor in complex adaptive systems; changing the name of the College of Business M.S. in "Business Administrative Science" to "Business"; and creating an interdepartmental major in bioinformatics and computational biology.

The senate will meet again next September.

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