April 22, 2010

Elimination policies still on the table

by Erin Rosacker

The Faculty Senate has just one meeting left this academic year to make a decision about Faculty Handbook changes to policies governing the termination of academic programs and faculty positions. Senators again postponed a vote at their April 20 meeting.

Faculty Spring Conference

"Refocusing the Academy in Light of the Current Budget Constraints"
April 30, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Great Hall, Memorial Union

All faculty are invited to attend. Register by e-mail: sangstro@iastate.edu

Three more amendments were addressed, but none of them made it into the proposed revisions to section 3.4 of the handbook, which would outline the procedures for nonrenewal and termination of faculty appointments. One amendment was defeated, one was ruled out of order and the last was sent back to the senate's governance council for more work. It should be reintroduced at the May 4 meeting. An updated version (PDF) of the proposed changes, including all of the approved amendments, is available on the Faculty Senate website.

A vote on changes to section 10.8 of the handbook also was postponed. The proposed revisions better define the voting requirements for adding or discontinuing academic programs.

Promotion and tenure report

Executive vice president and provost Elizabeth Hoffman presented her annual report on promotion and tenure recommendations that will be put before the state Board of Regents next week. This year, 65 cases were considered with the following outcomes:

  • 26 tenured faculty promoted to professor; one denied
  • 33 faculty promoted to associate professor with tenure; two denied
  • 2 associate professors granted tenure

Four cases were withdrawn from consideration and one was given an extension to his tenure clock. The breakdown by gender and ethnicity showed:

  • 16 of 17 female and 45 of 48 male applicants were approved
  • Two Caucasian males and one Caucasian female were denied
  • One Native American (male) was approved
  • One Hispanic American (female) was approved and one (male) was denied
  • All 13 Asian American applicants (12 male, one female) were approved
  • There were no African-American applicants

Student-athletes in the classroom

In her annual presentation, faculty athletics representative Paula Morrow reported on the academic status of Iowa State's student-athletes. After narrowly trailing the overall student body in cumulative grade-point average in the fall 2008 and spring 2009 semesters, the Cyclone student-athletes (2.88) out-performed the general student body (2.86) in the fall of 2009. The gymnastics and tennis squads each posted a 3.28 GPA to top the team list last fall, while the football (2.32) and men's basketball (2.30) squads posted the lowest averages.

At least 25 percent of ISU's student-athletes made the dean's list in each of the last two semesters, while 46 and 48 percent achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in the spring and fall, respectively. The 15 special-admit student-athletes had a combined 1.90 GPA last fall, continuing an upward trend over the last six years. (Select students and student-athletes who do not meet ISU's normal enrollment standards are accepted with special-admit status.)

Student-athletes topped the overall student body on graduation day as well. Given six years, 78 percent of the student-athletes who arrived in 2002-03 graduated, while 67 percent of ISU students received a diploma in the same time period. Additionally, 71 percent of minority student-athletes graduated.

The NCAA academic progress rate, which measures academic eligibility and retention, sets a minimum benchmark of 925 for teams to avoid penalties. Because the men's basketball team showed continued improvement, climbing 30 points to 907, no additional penalties will be levied. The rest of ISU's teams rank above the minimum.

Other business

Senators approved three new degrees, including:

  • A master of science in architecture
  • A master of science in landscape architecture (a new name for the current MLA academic degree)
  • A master of landscape architecture (a new accredited professional degree)

A proposed bachelor of industrial design degree was introduced. The interdisciplinary program would involve the College of Business and the departments of art and design, and mechanical engineering. Senators will vote on the proposal May 4.