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

Aug. 6, 2008

Council sets priorities

by Erin Rosacker

Professional and Scientific Council members gathered for their first meeting of the academic year Aug. 4, setting priorities and considering several motions.

The group reviewed last year's priority list and accomplishments, then considered a lengthy list of issues for this year. Using classroom "clicker" technology, council members ranked each issue's importance. The top five topics were plucked from that list, then ranked again in order of importance. The results, in order, were:

  • Salary: policy, increases and matrix
  • Compensation structure study: policy development and implementation
  • Performance management policy and use of performance appraisals in salary decisions
  • Work/life balance accommodations
  • Pay range: employees progressing through

Smoke-free support

A resolution that supports adoption of a smoke-free campus policy got its first read. The policy -- still in development -- will contain interpretations of the state's new smoke-free law that are specific to ISU. The resolution states that the council "reserves judgment" on implementation and enforcement of the policy.

Questions sparked discussion about educating students and campus visitors, and enforcement in outside areas -- particularly the football tailgating lots.

"That's going to be part of the education effort," said Kevin DeRoos, chair of the council's policies and procedures committee. "It's a challenge we face."

Sponsored funding response

An ad hoc committee was charged with reviewing a sponsored funding policy developed by the Faculty Senate. The proposed policy governs the acceptance of sponsored funding for research and service projects conducted by ISU faculty and staff. Because P&S employees are involved in campus research, executive vice president and provost Elizabeth Hoffman solicited input from the council.

Committee members contacted leaders in the university's centers and institutes for feedback. Ten of the 24 respondents approved of the policy outright or had no P&S employees involved as principal investigators in research projects. Others submitted concerns ranging from language clarifications in the policy to infringing the academic freedom of researchers.

"We saw some things in there that were questionable as to how it got through Faculty Senate so quickly and easily," said Brian Trewyn, council representative from chemistry and ad hoc committee member.

The committee's motion recommends continued campus discussion of the policy prior to any implementation. If passed at next month's meeting, the comments, concerns and recommendations will be forwarded to Hoffman, interim vice president for research and economic development Ted Okiishi, and Faculty Senate president Clark Ford.

Other business

The final pair of motions introduced by the policies and procedures committee included:

  • Updates language in the P&S policy that governs dismissal of P&S employees by reorganization or financial conditions
  • Changes the council bylaws to designate the past president as an officer, with voting rights during council meetings


P&S Council members set this year's priorities, and jump-started their work with several docket items to consider for a vote next month.