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

April 28, 2006

Joint college software engineering degree clears Faculty Senate

by Erin Rosacker

The final Faculty Senate meeting of the academic year ended with a cleared docket, which included unanimous approval of degree programs in software engineering and business/managerial economics. Approval by the senate puts both degree programs in front of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, for possible inclusion in next year's catalog.

The software engineering degree program, which was hampered by the question of which college -- Liberal Arts and Sciences or Engineering -- could claim student enrollment, passed after the registrar's office committed to developing a "joint college" approach by next fall. This would keep the numbers evenly split between the schools, much like the resources and revenues, explained Ken Kruempel, chair of the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee.

Engineering also saw its proposed change to admission requirements (two years of a single foreign language) and recommendations passed without objection. The recommendations for high school students include four years each of mathematics and science and three years of social science.

Teaching report

Provost Benjamin Allen presented his annual tenure reports, highlighted by 45 cases of awarded tenure.

"The faculty had a slight increase in the number of tenured and tenure-track faculty," Allen said. "That's good news."

Allen also looked at the percentage of credits taught by non-tenure eligible (NTE) faculty. The majority of the departments and colleges are under the 25 percent benchmark set forth in a 2002 Faculty Senate policy, including 11 departments that are below 10 percent.

However, on a university-wide scale, that number is 24.1 percent despite the policy's recommendation of 15 percent. It also is an increase from last year (23 percent). Allen pointed to budget challenges as the primary culprit for non-compliance with these numbers.

When talking to department heads about the issue, Allen was told "the bottom line is lack of resources." They also cited skewed data due to Web-based courses offered and tenured faculty on administrative assignment. But a proposed new budget model that distributes funds differently provides hope for some department chairs.

Despite the upward trend in the numbers of NTE faculty, Allen cited excellence in teaching from all faculty. "The majority of department chairs reported that the quality of teaching done by NTE faculty is good to excellent," Allen said.

Student-athlete success

Faculty athletics representative Paula Morrow delivered a presentation outlining her work with athletics. In figures from the fall 2005 semester, ISU's student-athletes posted a combined 2.98 grade-point average, topping the overall GPA of the student body (2.89). The tennis squad boasted a 3.56 to lead all teams, while football owned a respectable 2.57 at the other end of the spectrum.

Improvements were made in temporary enrollment (academic probation) and special admit numbers. Nearly half (45 percent) of all student-athletes earned a 3.0 GPA or higher and 21 percent were on the Dean's List.

NCAA graduation rate data showed that 56 percent of ISU's student-athletes, including 58 percent of minority student-athletes, graduated in six years, compared to 66 percent of the total student population. However, 89 percent of student-athletes that stayed at ISU after exhausting their eligibility graduated.

In one of the NCAA's new academic reform initiatives, each institution's academic progress rates (APR) are measured. Schools that continually fail to meet the minimum requirements face penalties, including loss of scholarships.

Under the APR's "real time" method, points are awarded each term for scholarship student-athletes who meet academic eligibility standards, with an extra point awarded if that individual stays at the institution. A minimum score of 925 anticipates a 50 percent graduation rate.

The men's basketball team is the only program that failed to meet that minimum, logging a score of 891. However, the NCAA determined that number fell within an "acceptable confidence boundary" when the smaller squad numbers were taken into consideration. The women's golf and gymnastics teams posted perfect 1000 scores on the APR scale.

Presidential awards

Outgoing Faculty Senate president Claudia Baldwin (veterinary clinical sciences) presented three special awards as her last act before handing over the gavel to Gregory Palermo (architecture).

Provost Ben Allen, Denise Vrchota (Greenlee School of Journalism) and William Woodman (sociology) each earned recognition for their contributions to the senate.


"The majority of department chairs reported that the quality of teaching done by non-tenure-eligible faculty is good to excellent."

Provost Benjamin Allen