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December 14, 2001

Senate passes policy on temporary faculty

by Linda Charles
The Faculty Senate heard from President Geoffroy on the budget and tasers during the Dec. 11 meeting. The senate also approved a policy on non-tenure track faculty.

"Right now, it doesn't look like we will have another mid-year deappropriation," Geoffroy said. "But that could change, depending on what happens in the March revenue estimating conference. There are those who claim the economy is improving. I hope that's the case."

The bad news, Geoffroy said, is the revenue estimates for FY03 are $485 million short of what is needed for the state to carry out its plans. He said the governor and Legislature are likely to defer some items, and the governor probably will propose some significant reorganization of state government, although much of that may be "politically difficult" to achieve.

"One of the things that did happen as a result of the (18.5 percent) tuition increase passed by the Board of Regents (State of Iowa), is that we reduced the budget-cutting targets (for FY03) for the academic colleges, particularly lowering them relative to the non-academic units of the university," Geoffroy said.

Tasers recommended
Geoffroy told the senate that he will recommend to the regents that campus law officers be allowed to use the Advanced Taser stun device (see related story on tasers in this issue).

Geoffroy said undergraduate students strongly favor tasers. The Graduate Student Council made no recommendation, but feedback he received from graduate students was mostly favorable, he said. The P&S Council also made no recommendation, but individual feedback was favorable. The senate voted 36-25 against recommending the use of tasers. Geoffroy said individual comments from faculty generally favored taser use, though he did receive some negative comments.

"The decision came to my desk," Geoffroy said. "I have to make it, and I have done so. I have considered everything I received, weighed arguments, and also thought about my own opinions on the issue. In the end, I have decided to proceed with the recommendation."

Non-tenure track policy OK'd
The senate also finished months of work by approving a proposed policy on non-tenure track appointments. The policy now will go to the administration for approval.

Under the proposed policy, temporary faculty members, with approval of appropriate faculty, could be appointed to continuing positions. Currently, full-time temporary faculty can only be employed for five years.

The policy also would limit the non-tenure and part-time faculty to 25 percent of faculty in departments, and 15 percent in the university overall.

Under the policy, non-tenure track positions will be "term appointments," eligible for renewal based upon the quality of performance and the continuing need of the unit.

Non-tenure track faculty would start out as "lecturers" or "clinicians" with an appointment of one to three years, that could be renewed for a total of six years. After six years, they could be appointed to "senior" lecturer or clinician positions. This appointment would not exceed five years, but could be renewed indefinitely, based on favorable review and continuing need.

The senate's next meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15, in 260 Scheman.

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