Inside Iowa State

Inside Archives

Submit news

Send news for Inside to, or call (515) 294-7065. See publication dates, deadlines.

About Inside

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

March 30, 2007

Faculty Senate fills future docket

by Erin Rosacker

Faculty senators moved quickly through a jam-packed agenda at their March 27 meeting, which included a pair of elections, special presentations and three new items to consider for the next meeting.

Revisions to the policy on University and Distinguished Professorships were passed unanimously following a brief discussion. The vote was postponed at the last meeting, when the revised definition of University Professor was questioned. The change removes an emphasis on the individual's institutional service, instead focusing on the candidate's contributions to institutional change.

In new business, the academic affairs council presented a resolution to make Iowa State's existing policy on accommodation of religious practices more visible by linking it to both the Faculty Handbook and the course catalog. The language of the resolution also encourages faculty to include information on the policy in course materials.

The university policy allows students and employees to request "reasonable accommodation of their religious practices if those practices conflict with academic or employment requirements."

Library support

The resource policies and allocations council put forward a resolution that supports improving funding for the library. The resolution urges the central administration and the colleges to make adequate funding for the library a top priority in the new budget model; supports the proposed student library fee; and sets a goal of keeping the acquisition budget at least on pace with the Library Acquisitions Price Index.

Earlier in the meeting, library dean Olivia Madison updated the senate on the decline of the library in the Association of Research Libraries rankings and the consequences of continued budget constraints and inflationary costs.

"Your library is at a crossroads, being a research library that meets your needs and future needs," Madison said. "One that is close to becoming a second-tier library that will not meet those needs, much less the goals of the university.

"Our challenges are many and they're largely budget-driven," Madison added, highlighting new hidden costs such as access fees and copyright clearance costs.

What's in a name

Wendy Wintersteen, dean of the College of Agriculture, was on hand to discuss the college's proposed name change to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The senate can offer administrative advice on the matter, which ultimately will need approval from the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.

"We have been very pleased at the overwhelming support that we've received regarding the proposed name change," Wintersteen said. "We believe this gives the opportunity for the College of Agriculture to be fully recognized for the sciences that it is involved in, and for the college to continue to be a strong supporter of the life sciences throughout this university.

"We see this as a very positive opportunity not only for the college, but for the university as well," she said.

Wintersteen said the name change already has earned internal and external support, including the college's faculty and the dean's advisory council.

ISUComm update

Senators heard an update on ISUComm, a new curriculum of communication requirements for students that spawned from Faculty Senate discussions in 1998 and earned senate approval in 2004. The curriculum is being phased in gradually. Foundation courses - which add a focus on written, oral, visual and electronic (WOVE) communication - were approved for the 2007-2009 catalog. Changes in the upper-level curriculum are expected in the future.

"We are looking forward to full implementation of ISUComm curriculum beginning this fall," said Donna Niday, associate professor of English and director of ISUComm foundation courses.


"Your library is at a crossroads, being a research library that meets your needs and future needs, one that is close to becoming a second-tier library that will not meet those needs, much less the goals of the university."

Olivia Madison