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November 21, 2003

Senate considers reorganization guidelines

by Linda Charles
A three-tier plan that lays out discussion, planning and approval procedures for reorganizing academic units is under consideration by the Faculty Senate.

A draft of the plan was introduced by senate president Jack Girton at the Nov. 11 meeting and will be discussed at the December meeting.

Girton noted that currently there is no written policy for reorganizing academic units. Such a plan may become important to faculty as the university continues to face budget problems, he said.

Under the proposal, the first phase of a reorganization would be a formal discussion, initiated by the administration, with the appropriate faculty and administration groups. The discussion would center on possible solutions to either a problem or an opportunity, and could include alternatives to reorganization.

The appropriate administrator (dean, provost or president) would decide whether to continue to the second phase: planning. If the planning includes reorganization, the final plan would include an explanation of how reorganization would take advantage of the opportunity or solve the problem; how it would affect the teaching, research and extension/outreach of the faculty in those units; how it would affect other areas of the university; and what resources would be needed to implement the plan. The final plan also would spell out from where resources would come and a time frame for implementation.

The final phase would be the approval process, starting with the faculty groups and administrators who were involved in the original discussion.

Faculty who would be affected by the reorganization would be asked to approve, by a majority vote, the way the reorganization would be accomplished. (The draft notes that opinion polls, straw votes or votes on alternative versions of the plan taken during the planning phase could not be substituted for this vote.)

Next, the plan would be sent to the Faculty Senate for approval, then to the university president and finally to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

In other business, senate president-elect Sanjeev Agarwal announced that next year, the senate will meet from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month in the Memorial Union Sun Room.

The next senate meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9, at The Hotel at Gateway Center.

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