The University of Iowa
January 28, 2003
PM – 5:15 PM
State Room, 337 Iowa Memorial Union
Aikin, Edwin Dove, Ronald Herman, Richard LeBlond, Patrick Lloyd, Chuck Lynch,
Teresa Mangum, Kim Marra, Katherine Tachau, Paul Weller, John Westefeld, Jerold
Rebecca Hegeman, Mazen Maktabi, Sue Moorhead, Shelton Stromquist
Senate Officers in Attendance: Jeffrey Cox, President; Margaret Raymond, Vice President;
Amitava Bhattacharjee, Past President
Tom Walsh (Gazette), Lea Fitzgerald (Daily Iowan), Charlie
Drum (University Relations), Jim Andrews (Emeritus Faculty Council), Raul Curto
(Liberal Arts & Sciences), Kathryn Wynes (Office of the Provost), Heather
Woodward (Press-Citizen), Lee Anna Clark (Office of the Provost), Paul
Muhly (Budget Committee), Buzz Orr (Gazette), Jon Whitmore (Office of the
Provost), Shelly Kurtz (FRIC Committee), Julie Thatcher (Faculty Senate Office)
I. Call to Order
Cox called the meeting to order at 3:34 p.m.
agenda, the minutes of the Faculty Council meeting of Dec. 10, 2002, and the
proposed agenda for the Faculty Senate meeting Tuesday, February 11, 2003 were
approved by acclamation, no objections, changes or additions being raised from
the floor. President Cox announced
that President-elect Skorton will address the Senate at its March 4, 2003
FRIC Committee, Shelly Kurtz
Sheldon Kurtz attended the meeting on behalf of the FRIC committee to discuss
how the University should deal with escalating health care costs and decreasing
contributions of the University towards those health care costs for faculty and
P&S staff. Materials were
distributed to the Council demonstrating the cost of various categories of
health care benefits, the existing flex credits that are available to pay for
the benefits, and how the University compares with other Big Ten institutions,
with the other Regents institutions, and with the state.
FRIC is of the view that the University should pay for 100% of a CHIP III
single person’s policy, and 75% of a CHIP III family policy, in health care
flex credits. Such a proposal would
cost approximately $27 million. Prof.
Kurtz stated that FRIC believed that this was important and in addition would
help the University compete in hiring.
made this proposal to the Administration, which did not adopt it.
For calendar year 2003 (health care benefits operate on a calendar, not
academic year, basis), the University maintained the percentage that it had
contributed to health insurance in the prior year, and will consider proposals
to increase the university’s percentage of the cost of health insurance.
Kurtz noted that this is an ongoing problem, since health care costs will
continue to increase. While FRIC
and the Budget Committee both believe this to be important, those views are not
universally held. He noted that at
a meeting of the deans, there were a variety of opinions about the desirability
of increasing the percentage of health care costs covered by the university,
since such costs would compete with other needs of colleges.
Kurtz further noted that merit employees have 100% of their health care
insurance plans paid for as an employee benefit, and that it was an odd feature
of the University that faculty and P&S staff have a smaller percentage paid
for than merit employees do. He
also noted that FRIC is working to decrease the cost of health care through plan
ensued. Several council members
asked informational questions about the function of the plans, the ways in which
health care flex credits are determined, and how to evaluate the comparative
Kurtz pointed out that the legislature rarely provides additional dollars to
support benefits costs, so that any funds for benefits must come from the salary
pool. Pres. Coleman rejected the
idea of maintaining the percentage of health care benefits paid by the
University, preferring to put dollars into salaries.
He also noted that health care costs disproportionately affect
lower-earning employees because the cost is a higher percentage of their salary.
In some departments, a faculty member who receives a raise does not
receive a sufficient increase in salary to offset the increase in health care
cost. He noted that economic
disparity between colleges may affect the discussion.
Pres. Cox agreed with this concern, noting that increasing health care
costs created a significant morale problem for lower-paid faculty, and that pay
levels of faculty members tended to reflect their area of expertise and their
seniority rather than their importance. That
faculty members are lower-paid doesn’t mean they aren’t talented or being
recruited by other institutions.
Kurtz ended by making clear that this a national problem, and one that will
continue, and by urging the Council to continue to consider this issue.
Elections Committee, Julie Thatcher
Cox announced that a search has been conducted for a permanent administrative
assistant for the Senate and that Julie Thatcher has been hired to fill the
permanent position. He invited her
to address the Council about new election procedures.
Julie Thatcher described the new voting system, which has been developed
through her work along with Connie Berman, chair of the Elections Committee, and
with the help of ITS. Under the new
three-stage system, lists of faculty eligible for election to the Senate are
posted on-line and the faculty is invited to review and correct the lists for
their colleges. Once the Senate
approves the up-to-date list, an on-line nominations process will begin.
Faculty will be able to log on using their HawkID and nominate faculty
for the Senate. The nominations
process is tentatively scheduled for February 14-21.
There will then be a similar process for voting for Senate.
This process will mirror that currently being used in the College of
Liberal Arts to elect members of the Faculty Assembly.
It is hoped that this process will increase participation in the election
process, currently at about 20%, and will significantly decrease wasted paper.
Ms. Thatcher urged Councilors to encourage their colleagues to
participate in the nomination and election processes.
Pres. Cox thanked Ms. Thatcher for her extensive work on this project and
noted his expectation that in the future the process of committee volunteering
will also move on-line.
Budget Committee, Paul Muhly
Cox invited Prof. Paul Muhly, chair of the Faculty Senate Budget Planning
Committee, to update the Council on the current budget situation.
Prof. Muhly informed the Council that the good news is that unless the
situation changes, there is unlikely to be a midyear reversion this fiscal year.
For the next fiscal year, however, the state is facing a “$450 million
problem”-- that is the difference between what the state needs to spend and
what it anticipates will come in. Last
year $250 million of that amount was paid in non-recurring funds, and there is
no place else to get that money in 2004.
Muhly explained the several components that make up the university’s general
fund. The state contributes
approximately 52% of that fund and makes additional contributions to capital
expenditures, which come from other funds rather than tax revenue.
Tuition makes up 38-39% of the general education fund, and indirect costs
account for 8.8% of the general education fund.
are also some existing commitments, including an increase in fringe benefits.
Prof. Muhly also noted that salaries are unknown, though a few collective
bargaining units have settled for 2% increases.
The good news, Prof. Muhly noted, is that it isn’t zero.
Muhly emphasized the importance of pointing out the effects that the budget
situation is having on the University, recognizing at the same time the need to
sustain services to students in order to protect tuition income.
Whitmore added that the Governor’s budget was scheduled to come out on Friday,
Faculty Senate President, Jeff Cox
Cox announced that he had attended a meeting of BiCOA in December.
There is a perception that the faculty is “picking on” athletics.
His discussion there was productive.
The Faculty Senate has set aside $5000 from its budget to support
outreach efforts. Pres. Cox
attended the annual banquet of the Iowa Federation of Labor, where he won the
Cox announced that the Senate is co-sponsoring, with the Governmental Relations
Committee, a forum with local legislators on Saturday, February 22, at 10:00
a.m. in Room A of the Iowa City Public Library.
He pointed out that these forums are a regular event but that the faculty
has never participated before. He
encouraged Council members to attend and let legislators hear from them. He also noted that the Chamber of Commerce has included
general support for the University of Iowa in its legislative agenda.
Pres. Cox urged all councilors to vote in the local bond issue election.
Cox also announced that several committees were in process.
The review of the Office of the President was underway when the new
president was appointed. Pres. Cox reported that Pres.-elect Skorton would like the
committee to continue its work and will consult with the committee.
Two additional ad hoc committees are being formed, one to review policies
on decanal reviews, and one to conduct a review of the new promotion and tenure
guidelines, now in their fourth year of operation. The latter committee will be
chaired by Prof. Betsy Altmaier. He
also announced that the review of the Office of the Provost would be available
IV. Unfinished Business
Athletic resolutions currently under consideration by the Faculty Senate
item was a series of resolutions, all tabled, that had come before the Faculty
Senate at its Dec. 3 meeting. The
resolutions proposed public statements on behalf of the Senate with regard to
the Pierre Pierce matter. Prof. Cox
solicited the Council’s views as to how the Senate might best proceed as a
faculty governance body on this issue. Prof.
LeBlond’s view was that it would be best to take the resolutions off the table
and await the reports of the various committees considering the matter.
Prof. Lynch suggested that comments on such reports, once they are
released, would be appropriate. Prof.
Mangum commented that she regretted that the Senate did not take an earlier
position but is of the view that these motions are now belated and should not be
acted upon. Prof. Dove wondered whether the reports of the various
committees would be available to the Senate.
Prof. Lynch said that any report delivered at a meeting of BiCOA would be
public. There was a consensus that
such reports should be public, and should be made available to, and reviewed and
considered by, the Senate.
was moved by Prof. LeBlond and seconded by Prof. Mangum that the Council
respectfully request that, at a minimum, officers of the Faculty Senate be
involved in addressing these committee reports and that to the extent possible,
recognizing issues of privacy, such committee reports be made available for
motion passed, with one abstention.
were encouraged to volunteer for committee service and to encourage their
colleagues to do so; to reserve May 29, 2003, the date of the annual faculty and
administrative retreat; and to propose nominations for the Brody award.
meeting adjourned at 4:56 p.m.
Pro Tem (in absence of Craig Porter)