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October 12, 2001

Senate continues discussion on temporary faculty policy

by Debra Gibson
Whose policy is it, anyway?

That question resonated throughout a lengthy Faculty Senate discussion Oct. 9 regarding the proposed policy on non-tenure-track appointments at ISU. Since last spring, the senate has debated the policy that would provide longer employment opportunities to temporary faculty members (who currently may only be employed for five years).

An earlier draft of the policy suggested caps regarding numbers of non-tenure-track faculty be set at no more than 5 percent of the total instruction within the institution, and no more than 15 percent of the total instruction within any given department. Following recommendations made by James Hutter, political science, those proposed caps were changed to 15 percent and 25 percent, respectively, as suggested by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

But several faculty members expressed concern that segments of a university policy are being shaped by an outside organization.

"We need to eliminate the AAUP reference, since these are ISU guidelines," said Palmer Holden, animal science. "I've never read the AAUP guidelines, and probably only about 10 people here have read them."

"I absolutely disagree," Hutter countered. "This is saying to our administration that there are AAUP guidelines on dealing with these faculty, and we're saying we want to follow them. If you haven't read them [AAUP guidelines], that's hardly a rationale for saying you know what you're doing."

Holden's motion to strike the AAUP reference failed. Discussion continued regarding concerns that ISU caps would need to change if AAUP guidelines were revised. Gregory Palermo, architecture, motioned the AAUP reference be amended to include "as of Oct. 9, 2001." The motion passed, and discussion on the remaining proposed amendments was tabled until the November meeting.

In other business:
  • The Senate agreed to work toward increased faculty involvement in such campus areas as athletics, ISU Foundation and the Greek system.
  • The Senate approved a resolution requesting no further reductions in the number of tenure-line faculty.
  • Tom Mitchell, ISU Foundation president, fielded questions regarding that organization's operations.

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