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

Feb. 24, 2006

Senate resolution addresses presidential searches

by Dan Kuester

In an informal vote Feb. 14, the Faculty Senate endorsed a resolution calling for faculty to hold a majority of seats on presidential search committees at Iowa State. The official vote on the resolution, which has already been passed by the Administrative Committee of the Faculty Senate, likely will be taken at the senate's March 7 meeting.

The resolution supports efforts of faculty at the University of Iowa and University of Northern Iowa to ensure strong faculty involvement in presidential searches under way at those universities. In a recent statement to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, Iowa's faculty senate president Richard LeBlond urged the regents to ensure that presidential search committees be chaired by a faculty member, broadly represent the university community, and consist of a majority of faculty members.

The Iowa State resolution contains similar sentiments.

Upcoming votes

In other business, the senate discussed several new items that are scheduled for a vote at the next meeting.

Steve Freeman presented a new policy intended to avoid undue or unfair influence in promotion and tenure decisions. The proposal modifies the procedure and eliminates double or multiple voting by anyone involved.

Discussion followed about the burden this may place on departments of varying sizes. Max Porter spoke in favor of the proposal citing several instances in which there was undue influence through multiple voting.

Freeman also presented best practices on selection of reviewers for a candidate. The proposal describes how outside reviewers should be chosen and the amount of input the candidate has to chose or decline a particular outside reviewer.

Tony Townsend voiced concerns about whether candidates would have an opportunity to reject outside reviewers selected by the department.

The senate also discussed a proposal to discontinue the major/curriculum Studies in Family and Consumer Sciences. There have been no students in this program since the 2001-02 academic year.

Finally, the senate heard a proposal for a name change in the agriculture and biosystems engineering department. If adopted, the masters and doctoral programs now called Industrial Education and Technology would change to Industrial and Agricultural Technology.

Motions passed by the senate:

  • Limiting appeals to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, to one. Rules have allowed the same appeal to be forwarded to the board twice -- once through the appeals process and once through the Faculty Senate Committee on Appeals. Changes force an appellant to select which appeal avenue to pursue.
  • Changes recommended to the Faculty Handbook. Every five years the senate is required to review senate governance documents. The Faculty Senate Council on Governance proposed several minor editorial updates and changes to the constitution.
  • Changes to procedures for changing Position Responsibility Statements. Sedahlia Crase of the Faculty Development and Administrative Relations Council presented proposed changes in how PRSs are changed. The proposal recommended that a panel be set up to mediate disputes when a faculty member and his or her department chair disagree on a PRS.
  • Proposal for guidelines for offering an undergraduate certificate. The certificate is considered more than a minor and less than a major and cannot be awarded before undergraduate graduation.
  • Policy change for academic probation. The intent is to quickly recognize students who may be having academic problems. Under the new procedure, students with a gradepoint average between 1.99 and 1.00 for one semester would be warned of possible academic consequences.

Academic probation policy change

Under an academic probation policy change approved Feb. 14 by the Faculty Senate, students with a gradepoint average between 1.99 and 1.00 for one semester would be warned of possible academic consequences. The intent is to recognize earlier students who may be having academic problems.