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September 12, 2003

Preliminary vote by P&S Council favors current calendar

by Anne Krapfl
The Professional and Scientific Council cast an early vote in favor of an academic calendar status quo during its Sept. 4 meeting. In a preliminary vote, council members favor the current calendar 24-5 over an alternative that shortens the semester, lengthens class periods and adds a 10-day January term to the calendar.

The council is expected to have a final vote on the calendar prior to a November deadline set by President Gregory Geoffroy for campus input to the two calendar options. The council's only vote of record was a May ranking of the original four academic calendar options, and council leaders said they wanted to update that record as campus discussion of just the two options resumes this fall.

The council also voted on its top priorities for the year, from a list developed at its July retreat. The priorities are:
  1. Develop a presentation that promotes the visibility and function of the council.
  2. Broaden the council perspective beyond P&S-only issues to include university-wide issues.
  3. Encourage and facilitate professional and leadership development among council members.
In other council business:
  • Marcia Brink, co-chair of the communications committee, announced the council will hold just four noon forums this year prior to council meetings, instead of the monthly gatherings of recent years. The goal is to boost participation by offering them less frequently. Forums will be held prior to the Oct. 3, Dec. 4, April 2 and May 6 council meetings. The Oct. 3 forum will be a set of roundtable discussions of timely issues for P&S employees. Topics will be announced in the Sept. 26 issue of Inside and on the council's Web site.

  • Mary Darrow, chair of the recruitment and retention committee, announced that 10 proposals for recruiting or retaining students will be funded this year. Of the $30,000 available, $29,970 will be distributed. (See story)

Council president Kevin Kane asked the committee to more critically analyze results and outcomes of the funded projects next spring, with the goal of identifying patterns or tools that consistently seem to succeed at attracting or keeping students at Iowa State. In tight budget times, he noted, it's important to have evidence that a budget item is worthy of continued funding. The tighter scrutiny also will be helpful in setting more specific criteria for grant applicants in the future.

The deadline for the first quarter "CYtation" Awards for P&S employees doing exceptional work is Oct. 1. The application form is online from the council's Awards Web site.

The council's next meeting begins at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3, in the Memorial Union Pioneer Room. A forum of roundtable discussions begins at noon in a Union location to be announced.

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