Oct. 13, 2011

Senate urges school of education proposal forward

by Diana Pounds

A proposal to combine two departments, the teacher education program and associated centers into a school of education received endorsement from the Faculty Senate during its Oct. 10 meeting. The senate's vote constitutes a recommendation that university administrators forward the proposal to the Iowa Board of Regents for final approval.

The proposed school of education in the College of Human Sciences would combine two existing departments (curriculum and instruction, educational leadership and policy studies), associated centers and the university teacher education program.

Proponents say the school would build partnerships that enrich student education and enhance the quality of scholarship as well as make more efficient use of resources.

Streamlined research processes

A report on new, streamlined processes for research activities drew applause from senators. Sharron Quisenberry, vice president for research and economic development, said a major effort to revamp processes and procedures related to research activities has been under way for six months.

The main goal, she said, is to have a process in place that makes sense and doesn't require faculty, staff and students to spend a lot of time "going through one hoop after another and then not getting to an end that's satisfactory."

Jerry Zamzow, acting program manager in the office for responsible research, elaborated on recent changes for those seeking Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for research. Federal regulations mandate IRB approval for research involving human participants. Through changes in processes and paperwork, the average turnaround time for IRB approval has decreased from 46 days a year ago to 9 days.

"The IRB process was one of the largest complaints we had from faculty across the campus last year," senate president Steve Freeman said. "We are very pleased that changes were identified and happened so quickly."

Same acronym, new name

The senate also gave its support to a name change for the department of apparel, educational studies and hospitality management (AESHM). The new name -- the department of apparel, events and hospitality management -- reflects:

  • the addition of a new major, event management, to AESHM
  • moving one program (family and consumer sciences education and studies) from AESHM to another department

AESHM faculty liked the old acronym, pronounced "awesome," and decided to retain it.

New business: B.S. in athletic training, new award, discontinuation

The senate got its first look at several new proposals -- a B.S. in athletic training, a Morrill Professorship in teaching and learning, and discontinuation of an undergraduate major in insect science. The senate likely will vote on these proposals at its November meeting.