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

March 10, 2006

One person, one vote for promotion and tenure decisions passes faculty senate

by Dan Kuester

At its March 7 meeting, the Faculty Senate approved changes that alter the voting process for promotion in many departments. The changes were recommended by the senate's Promotion and Tenure Task Force.

The changes are designed to avoid undue or unfair influence on promotion and tenure decisions by limiting the number of times a faculty member can vote on a candidate. For instance, if a faculty member votes for a colleague's promotion in a department's promotion and tenure committee, then that faculty member can't vote again when that same colleague comes before the entire department for a decision.

While applauding the intent to avoid undue influence, not all senate members thought this the correct way to mend the problem.

Stephanie Madon said the change could have the opposite effect. Madon said it would be difficult for smaller departments to comply, and said the change "trades one problem for another."

Senators also approved recommendations from the task force on how external reviewers are selected. The new policy would require that half the reviewers be selected from a list provided by the candidate, and half by the department.

Anthony Townsend spoke out against the proposal, saying that the candidate should have the option to reject reviewers chosen by the department.

In other senate business, these items passed unanimously:

  • A resolution regarding the selection of regent university presidents that calls for faculty to hold a majority of seats, including the chair's seat, on the search committee.
  • Assignment, alignments and responsibilities of the committees that are part of the Council on University Resource Policies and Allocations.
  • Discontinuation of the major/curriculum Studies in Family and Consumer Sciences in the department of apparel, educational studies and hospitality management.
  • Name change for graduate technology programs in the ag and biosystems engineering department, from Industrial Education and Technology to Industrial and Agricultural Technology.

Council chairs and the secretary also were elected for next year's senate. They are:

  • Secretary, Nancy Grudens-Schuck
  • Academic Affairs, Suzanne Hendrich
  • Development and Administrative Relations, Anthony Townsend
  • Governance, Max Porter
  • Judiciary and Appeal, Steve Freeman
  • Resource Policies and Allocation, Jack Girton

In new business, the senate heard a proposal to discontinue the secondary undergraduate major in pest management. The proposal is scheduled for a vote at the senate's March 28 meeting, which begins at 3:30 p.m. in the Memorial Union Sun Room.


Changes approved by the faculty senate to the departmental voting process for promotion decisions are designed to avoid undue or unfair influence by limiting the number of times a faculty member can vote on a candidate.