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

Oct. 20, 2006

Faculty Senate considers department name change

by Erin Rosacker

Three docket items generated much discussion at the Oct. 10 meeting of the Faculty Senate. Two proposals will be voted on at the

Nov. 14 meeting, but a proposed name change for the department of health and human performance (HHP) was sent to the academic affairs council.

HHP faculty voted to change its name to the department of kinesiology, sending the request to Cheryl Achterberg, College of Human Sciences dean, and then to the provost's office. The provost's office forwarded the proposal to the senate's executive board, which approved the change.

When it was presented to the senate for advice and consent commentary as an administrative issue, a majority of senators agreed to send it to the academic affairs council for review. According to Arnold Van Der Valk (ecology, evolution and organismal biology), who initially presented the motion that tabled the item, this would follow proper procedure.

"We've operated under the principle that this was an administrative issue, but we wouldn't want to go through this kind of a change without input from the senate, so we brought this here for advice," said interim provost Susan Carlson.

Upcoming votes

A proposal to create an undergraduate certificate in Latin American Studies was introduced to the senate, but its requirement of a study abroad component was a source of debate. Concerns over cost, as well as potential visa and passport issues that could prevent some students from traveling abroad, were aired.

Another proposal that was introduced recommended discontinuing the university's practice of tracking students with unmet high school requirements -- a population of less than 4 percent of incoming freshmen. Supporters were quick to point out that this would not change the admissions standards, and would eliminate a redundant process that did not efficiently utilize the time and resources of those involved.

John Kvinge, director of academic affairs for the Government of the Student Body, addressed the senate in opposition to the measure. He said it would decrease the value of his degree. He also said it needed to be enforced better to eliminate inconsistencies among the colleges.

"We looked at what the graduate requirements are in the colleges," said Jane Jacobson, co-chair of the University Academic Advising Committee. "By the time students have taken their 'gen ed' requirements in any curriculum, they typically have satisfied the minimal requirements that were placed on students entering directly from high school."

In other business:

  • The senate voted unanimously to authorize a review of the president and his office. According to the faculty handbook, a review is recommended every five years, but the last review occurred in 1997. The review committee, chaired by University Professor Ann Thompson (Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching), has proposed a deadline of March 1, 2007.
  • The Faculty Senate spring conference dates have been set for March 23-24.


The Faculty Senate will vote on two items next month, but the HHP department will have to wait for approval to change its name to the Department of Kinesiology.