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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

April 15, 2005

Senate rules on adjunct requests

by Diana Pounds

The Faculty Senate approved a construction engineering program request to offer adjunct instructor positions, but balked at an animal science department request to hire adjuncts during its April 12 meeting.

Construction engineering program officials sought the adjunct positions for Ph.D. candidates who have supervisory experience in the construction industry. Charles Jahren, associate professor in civil, construction and environmenal engineering, noted that many incoming construction engineering students have construction experience and that instructors with industry experience would be an asset in the classroom.

Animal science department officials sought two adjunct instructor positions for Ph.D. candidates who would assist with teaching, advising and recruiting.

"We would like to add a couple of people that would greatly enhance our teaching efforts in the evaluation of livestock," animal science professor Pete Hoffman said.

The difference between the two proposals in senators' eyes appeared to be the rationale for requesting adjunct instructors and the term limits (or lack thereof) on their appointments.

Sen. Bill Woodman, sociology, said the construction engineering proposal had merit because the program was seeking adjunct instructors with special skills different from the faculty on staff. The animal science department proposal, he added, appeared to be a way to hire help to get the teaching done.

Sen. Gregory Palermo, architecture, said he sympathized with the animal science department's "dilemma" (keeping up with teaching overloads), but added its "proposal was largely founded on the lack of FTEs."

Another sticking point for senators in the animal science proposal was its lack of term limits on the adjunct instructors. The construction engineering proposal stipulated a maximum appointment length of five years, based on yearly contracts.

In other business, the senate:

  • Postponed action (until April 26) on a proposal that would restrict faculty professional development assignments to tenured faculty who have been at Iowa State for at least two years. Currently, there is no length of service requirement and professional development assignments can be awarded to not only tenured, but tenure-track and non-tenure eligible faculty. The proposal also recommends consideration of an alternative professional development program for tenure-eligible faculty.
  • Heard an update from Jim Davis, chief information officer, on changes under way in the campus IT environment. July 1 is the target date for completing the reorganization of central information technology units into one, Davis said. The campus community wants to interface with one central IT organization, Davis said, and the new organization (which does not yet have a name) will meet that need. Other projects under way include expanding wireless access on campus, expanding internet bandwidth, and investigating a single sign-on/password for various online services.
  • Elected Tim Day, assistant professor in biomedical sciences, to the Athletic Council.

Next meeting

3:30 p.m., April 26
Memorial Union Sun Room