Inside Iowa State
October 8, 1999

Jischke, conduct policy top senate’s October agenda

by Linda Charles
President Martin Jischke and a draft of a new conduct policy are on the agenda for the 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 12, Faculty Senate meeting in 260 Scheman.

As has become an annual custom, Jischke will present a few remarks to the senate, followed by time for questions.

The senate also will begin consideration of a draft of a new policy that outlines the procedure for dealing with faculty misconduct. The policy includes procedures for investigating complaints, providing due process to the accused while "safeguarding the dignity of the accuser," and determining if sanctions are warranted.

"Review by one’s peers is an intrinsic part of this entire process, so the faculty role is essential rather than merely advisory," the policy states.

Among the reasons a faculty member can be sanctioned are professional dishonesty; demonstrated incompetence; substantial neglect of duty; and serious misconduct that is prohibited by official university policies, such as the professional ethics, sexual harassment and personal conduct policies.

The proposed conduct policy provides two procedures for dealing with alleged faculty misconduct. The first, an informal process, allows allegations to be settled through mediated discussions among those involved. The formal proceeding calls for a faculty committee to be assembled to review the case.

If dissatisfied with the results of the informal process, the accuser may elect to file a formal complaint, or the informal process may be skipped altogether.

The policy also allows for certain situations in which the provost may need to take immediate action without assembling the committee. Such situations could involve a threat of physical danger to people or property, reasonable indication of criminal violation, health hazard, need to protect equipment or funds; or need to protect either the person making the allegation or the person who is the subject of the allegation.

When immediate action is taken, the policy calls for the provost to assemble the hearing committee within 24 hours. The committee then will determine if further action is needed. If the committee and provost disagree, the committee may take its recommendations to the president.

The formal process begins with a written complaint. The provost then assembles a hearing committee composed of three faculty members chosen from a list of previously designated faculty.

If the committee decides the charges are unsubstantiated, it will recommend to the provost that the case be dismissed. If the committee decides the allegations are substantiated, it will send a recommendation for minor sanctions to the provost or major sanctions to the president.

Minor sanctions include less than a full salary increase, partial suspension (less than one semester) with a corresponding salary reduction (less than 5 percent), or the reassignment of duties. Major sanctions include dismissal, suspension without pay, partial suspension (a semester or more), reassignment of duties and reduction in salary.

When major sanctions are recommended, the president may decide to assemble a "major sanction committee" to further investigate the allegations. The committee of nine faculty members will investigate the complaint and hold a hearing. The committee may agree with the major sanction recommended by the president, recommend a different sanction or recommend the case be dismissed.

The complete draft of the conduct policy is available through the AAUP Web site at:

Also on the senate agenda is a proposal to establish an under-graduate major in communication studies at the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication.

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Revised 10/6/99