The University of Iowa

FACULTY COUNCIL

Tuesday, April 16, 2001

3:30 pm-5:15 pm

Northwestern Room #345, Iowa Memorial Union 

Members Present: Joyce Berg, Rebecca Hegeman, Chuck Lynch, David Manderscheid, Kim Marra, Paul Muhly, Gene Parkin, Craig Porter, Margaret Raymond, Hazel Seaba, Lisa Troyer, John Westefeld

Members Absent: Vicki Grassian, Richard LeBlond, John Moyers 

Members Excused: Patrick Lloyd, Ann Marie McCarthy 

Faculty Senate Officers in Attendance: Amitava Bhattacharjee, President; Jeff Cox, Vice President; Erin Irish, Secretary; Carolyn Colvin, Past President 

Guests:  Charles Drum (University Relations), Jessica Brady (Daily Iowan), Bob Engels (Emeritus Faculty Council), Jim Jacobson (Gazette), Heather Woodward (Press-Citizen),  Kathryn Wynes (Provost’s Office), Lola Lopes (Office of the Provost), Michael O’Hara (CLAS), Roberta Marvin (Music; ADT Chair),  Lee Anna Clark (Office of the Provost), Jon Whitmore (Provost), Julie Thatcher (Faculty Senate Office), Derek Willard, Doug True, David Skorton, Doug Young 

I.                    Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 3:37. 

II.                 Approvals

 

A.                 Meeting Agenda

 

Prof. Muhly moved and Prof. Marra seconded the following:

MOTION:  To approve the meeting agenda.  The motion carried. 

 

B.                 Minutes, March 12 Faculty Council Meeting

 

The minutes were accepted with amendments from Prof. Raymond and Associate Provost Clark.

 

C.                 Meeting Agendas, April 30 Faculty Senate Meetings

 

Prof. Mulhy moved and Prof. Westefeld seconded the following

MOTION:  To accept the agendas.  The motion carried.

 

D.                 Committee Appointments

 

Committee appointments were accepted as distributed.

  

III.               New Business

 

A.                 Proposal for the Academy of Distinguished Teachers (Roberta Marvin) 

President Bhattacharjee introduced Prof. Roberta Marvin, who chaired the committee charged with the establishment of an Academy of Distinguished Teachers (ADT).  By way of introduction, President Bhattacharjee explained that when he and Prof. Cox visited the University of Minnesota last summer, they were inspired by U. Minnesota’s ADT and set in motion the efforts to establish one here.  The Minnesota ADT is different in important ways from what has been envisioned for an Iowa ADT. Nonetheless, we have many among us who are awarded on a yearly basis for their teaching accomplishments.  At Minnesota, there was a substantial budget that allowed a permanent salary increase for members.  Whereas that is not possible here at present, Provost Whitmore has made several modest commitments of funds to this endeavor. 

 

Prof. Marvin gave a brief summary of the committee’s activities and proposal.  The committee met twice in addition to numerous e-mail exchanges.  This academy will celebrate excellence in teaching, but also facilitate improvements in teaching, as well as provide a formal forum for encouraging excellence in teaching on a university-wide basis.  It will provide visibility both within the university as well as for the general public.  The activities and benefits available to members of the ADT, as well as funding opportunities, are outlined in the proposal.

 

Prof. Westefeld asked how this would interface with the Center for Teaching.  Prof. Marvin answered that it was expected to enhance their efforts by having a pool of resource people and thus having a greater resource for workshops, and so forth.  The committee was mindful that they should not be awarding excellence with more work.  Prof. Troyer asked whether there were any restrictions on employment: full-time only, or would half time, retired, or other classes of teachers be eligible.  Prof. Marvin answered that the committee had not considered that issue.  She added that membership is not automatic; one would have to want to participate.  Associate Provost Clark voiced her concern that with a five-year term as specified by the proposal, it would be possible that everyone on campus eligible would sign up in the first year, and then, five years later, there would be no one left to participate.  Prof. Marvin addressed that concern, explaining that there is the possibility for reelection.  Prof. Manderscheid asked whether the Council on Teaching has seen this proposal.   President Bhattacharjee answered that he had spoken to Marcy Rosenbaum about this proposal, but the Council had not yet had a chance to approve it.  He had checked with the Council on Teaching when they first contemplated establishing an ADT, and Prof. Rosenbaum had made most of the suggestions regarding committee membership.   Whereas this proposal has not yet gone back to the Council, it will soon. 

 

Prof. Manderscheid inquired about funding, wanting to know whether it is envisioned that this is new funding, or will other awards be diminished.  Prof. Marvin answered that, as she understood from Provost Whitmore, this would be new funding.  Prof. Manderscheid then asked whether there would be limits on who could apply for these funds.  Prof. Marvin answered that this would be one of the perks of membership: members only could apply for travel funds for attending teaching conferences, etc. President Bhattacharjee added that this issue of establishing an ADT had come up before, but the proposal had not progressed past the Senate, as there was the reluctance to burden our best teachers with additional work. 

 

Prof. Porter asked how many members the ADT would have. Prof. Marvin answered that 100-150 would currently be eligible.  Prof. Porter pointed out that as there are many departments on campus, for example, 25 in the College of Medicine, the membership could be quite large.  Prof. Marvin responded that the good thing about that would be that we could demonstrate having a large pool of resource people with excellence in teaching.

 

Prof. Cox observed, looking at this proposal in comparison to Minnesota’s ADT and their substantial budget, that this proposal has not avoided the problems that killed the previous proposal.  He suggested that we just have a really nice banquet, honor good teachers, and that’s it.  Then, when we get some serious money, we can ask people whether they would like to do something more.  Prof. Marvin explained that the latter is the reasoning behind membership being voluntary.  Also, it was her opinion that if you are given something, you should have to do something in return.  Prof. Cox pointed out that the members would have already done something: they taught well.  President Bhattacharjee clarified that a good banquet would happen independently of the $25,000 allocated to the ADT from the Provost.  Also, whereas a particular activity might be viewed by some as more work, others may regard the same activity as a benefit.  He pointed out what he regarded as a crucial phrase, starting with, “Depending on the availability of resources…” He also reported that President Coleman had thought an ADT might provide a mechanism to raise money for teaching chairs.  Prof. Troyer agreed that it could be part of a long-term strategy to improving teaching, by increasing its visibility.  A strong symbolic commitment to teaching would help with popular perceptions. 

 

Prof. Lynch had some problems with eligibility and the terms outlined in the proposal.  He did not like the implication that at the end of one’s term, one is no longer regarded a distinguished teacher.  He thought that this academy is something we would want to build over time.  Also, having a term limit emphasizes the service aspect.  Prof. Marvin saw the term limit as a mechanism to ensure that all members are committed to participation.  Lynch asked whether there are mechanisms to identify members of the ADT or would established mechanisms be employed.  Prof. Marvin answered that at present they would be using the latter, although down the road they would want to refine the mechanisms.  Prof. Marra liked the idea of consolidating resources and personnel.  She had always thought that a good way to learn to teach is to watch good teachers, but often it’s the luck of the draw.  Prof. Marvin agreed, and added that the issue of rotation should be considered some more.  President Bhattacharjee raised the comparison to honors societies, such as the National Academy of Sciences.  Once one is elected a member, the status is permanent, regardless of the quality of achievement of a member over time. 

 

Prof. Colvin asked Prof. Marvin to characterize any dissenting opinions heard in her committee’s meetings.  Prof. Marvin replied that the biggest concern was that they not create more work for faculty.  Any dissent went back to that concern.  Whereas the committee did not wish to push for more work, they did hope to provide opportunities to contribute to efforts that would increase teaching excellent.  Prof. Colvin inquired whether the committee agreed that the resources, such as for stipends, were sufficient for appropriate recognition of teaching excellence.  Prof. Marvin acknowledged that whereas as other universities, such as Minnesota and Texas, awarded substantial salary increases to their ADT members, if that model were to be followed here, we would have a much smaller academy, with a resultingly different function.  President Bhattacharjee cautioned that whereas the issue of having additional resources seems like a good thing, one ought not to see the academy as a privileged place.  He raised the question of whether there really should be a permanent increase in salary for professors who are supposed to be excellent teachers in the first place. 

 

Prof. Westefeld returned to the term issue, stating that, whereas he could go either way on it, his preference was that membership be permanent.  Prof. Colvin asked whether there could be a designation as past or emeritus member.  Prof. Manderscheid spoke against term limits, pointing out how that might look to someone from the outside, that after the term was up, one is kicked out of the academy.  If a period of membership were to be listed on a CV, the fact that it ended might imply that one had done something wrong.  Prof. Porter thought that it was important to have mechanisms that continually select those who are actually active members.  (President Bhattacharjee interjected the clarification that all of these comments should be taken as friendly amendments.)  Prof. Marra stated that if one of the main functions is to provide mentors, it would be beneficial to have a membership that is as wide as possible.  One might be called on only occasionally.  This would be the rationale for once you are in, you’re in.  Prof. Cox thought that it still tilts in the direction of service if the question of what one has done recently comes up.  He thought the focus should be on the honor, but with the current proposal we are trying to go two things at once.  It may be fine, but let’s make sure that this is what we want to do.  Prof. Manderscheid encouraged the committee to conduct a survey to find out how many departments have teaching awards.  Associate Provost Clark added that dentistry, for example, has a lot of different teaching awards, such as best first year teacher, best second year teacher, and so on.

 

 Prof. Lynch felt that we still need to decide whether this is honorary or service, a question that he regarded as fundamental.  Prof. Colvin, recalling the previous discussions when the idea of an ADT came up in the past, urged that the mission be clearly defined.  President Bhattacharjee responded that the mission is to recognize and celebrate teaching excellence.  On the other hand, to define the adt purely as that and only that would limit what the adt could do, especially in times when the budget is more bountiful. Prof. Lynch saw that in the proposal, but noted that the discussion hasn’t gone that way.  No one would turn down membership to the National Academy of Science. He conceded that once a member, one probably would be willing to engage in extra activities.  Prof. Troyer suggested that the list of activities be shortened.  Prof. Marvin saw the value of that.  

 

President Bhattacharjee asked the Council whether the proposal was ready to be forwarded to the Faculty Senate.  Prof. Colvin suggested that the committee have opportunity to incorporate the changes discussed at this meeting, and have the Faculty Council discuss the revised proposal in the fall.  Prof. Lynch agreed, and urged the committee to seek out teaching awardees to get their input.  He thought that the proposal would probably have a better fate with the Senate in a more mature form.  Prof. Porter agreed, and thought that this is an important enough issue that it would be most unfortunate if it went to the Senate prematurely and got killed. Prof. Manderscheid concurred, adding that it would be helpful if it went to the Senate with the endorsement of Council on Teaching. Prof. Marvin agreed and promised that the revised version would emphasize the honorary aspect and that the committee would get input from recent awardees.  Prof. Marra suggested that the proposal be framed as an opportunity to have more influence on improving teaching here.  President Bhattacharjee concluded that this proposal will come back in the fall.  On behalf of the Faculty Council, he thanked Prof. Marvin for her and the committee’s efforts. 

 

B.       Research Incentive Program (David Skorton and Lisa Troyer) 

 

Prof. Troyer introduced the topic of research incentives by reminding the Council that she had e-mailed a summary of the funding used as incentives last year.  The Research Council has been discussing this issue.  As a preface to the rest of the presentation, she stated to the Faculty Council that the Research Council likes things the way they are now.  What they would like to see is how the funds are going back into research.  They are satisfied with the levels of indirect cost return. The rationale of indirect cost return is to motivate research. 

 

Vice President Skorton began with a little history, which he had extracted from the minutes of the meetings of the Research Council ten and eight years ago, when this program was started.  In 1992, the year he became a vice president, Greg Carmichael created cifre.  Many other similar programs have been built up since then. Initially, it was regarded as an investment to increase the ability of faculty to attract external funds.  Now that has changed in, one way.  There are some areas of activity on campus that will not attract external funding, regardless of their quality, because of the dearth of funding opportunities.  A sizable minority of their funding went to those types of activities.  It turned out to be quite valuable when neh and nea were cut by about 40%.  In 1994, a fund was established, in which specific general fund moneys were allocated to units as incentives for increasing external funds.

 

Beginning in 1995, the goal of his office was to reach $1 million per year, independent of what else was going on.  Now, $1.2 million is returned to the colleges.  In addition, the ra block, faculty development, the Obermann center, a physics research center, equipment matching, startup costs, the biosciences initiative, and some capital projects are all supported by F and A funds (see handouts).  His office gives out awards in addition to the incentive program.  Last year they made 430 awards, of which 80% were assessed on a competitive basis.  Regarding the FY02 plan, they went forward with the research initiative and ahi, but the rest were suspended in November with the budget cut.  With respect to bridging funds, they find that about 2/3 of those who have been awarded bridging funds have regained funding in the next application cycle.  From that success rate he concluded that much of the sifting of bridging requests goes on at the departmental level. The DEOs forward only the promising proposals. He summarized by stating that this is the hybrid program that was created 10 years ago.  Some support goes to the units that bring in the funds; the rest goes to support good quality scholarly activity.

 

 Prof. Troyer reiterated that the research council feels strongly that the balance that they have now should be maintained.  Their funding covers the wide range of activities on campus.  Associate Provost Clark asked for clarification regarding whether FY01 recovery is what is available for FY02 expenditures.  Vice President Skorton answered that it is.    Doug Young had worked out a formula that, regardless of what else happened here, a percentage of the indirect recovered goes back to the unit that raised it. There is also a base level, and colleges always get that.  They can receive more if there is a greater income. Their practice is to pass any growth along.  Associate Provost Clark asked whether that accounted for the uneven percentages.  Vice President Skorton replied that that was true.  Doug Young had started expenditures out at 2%, but now the amount is directly indexed to indirect cost recovery.  This year is the percentage is 3.8%.  The “delta” goes to the units who generated them. 

 

President Bhattacharjee brought up that when he surveyed faculty last summer regarding issues of concern that he might address, one that came up was research incentives.  The question that he hears is how transparent is it that those faculty who are successful in funding receive the return of indirect costs.  People see that money is returned to the colleges, but they can’t track where it goes from there.  Also, many thought that 4% is quite low, compared to many other comparable institutions.   Vice President Skorton responded that at the other end of spectrum, some universities, such as Indiana University, return all indirect costs.  He cautioned that the more one does that, the fewer programs like cifre can exist.  His goal was to make return amounts as large as possible without passing on facilities costs to units.  He clarified that it was not that they came up with a percentage first; rather, they had an initial goal of $1 million, and after that was reached they then established the base year amount.  The percentage resulted from that determination.  His office would be willing to change how they operate, but wanted faculty to understand the ramifications of such changes.  Initially, there had been a push that bridging be a major portion, but since then it has evolved. 

 

Prof. Lynch asked whether it is 4% of 47%, or 4% of total costs.  Vice President Skorton answered that it is 4% of recovered indirect costs, which are not uniformly 47%.  Prof. Lynch asked whether the 4% return is working as an incentive.  Vice President Skorton answered carefully that whereas he has not performed a scientific study, he has observed that before the program started, the university brought in $1.7 billion.  This year the amount is $3 billion.  Of course that increase cannot be attributed solely to the incentive program, but in his assessment it was likely to have contributed.  He also pointed out that a faculty member can’t apply for money if there aren’t facilities for the research.  

President Bhattacharjee stated that there is no question that cifre is important.  He felt that what the return program is doing for individual faculty is far less clear.  Whereas 10% return is not practicable at this time, he proposed launching a pilot program, in which the returns are targeted to the PI’s rather than to deans or deos.  Prof. Troyer replied that the Research Council has discussed this possibility.  One of the reasons that they like the current practice is that the pooling of resources for several members of a department has been useful, and they don’t want to see that go away.  How the funds are distributed differs a lot with units.  It was the opinion of the Research Council that whereas researcher should definitely be involved in decisions, they should not have full control of the moneys. 

 

Vice President Skorton raised the point that, as described in Prof. Troyer’s report, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, for example, gives 85% of the research incentive funds back to the departments.  He thought that a questionnaire sent out to PI’s in Medicine, Public Health, and Liberal Arts and Sciences, asking how much they received individually, could be useful.  Associate Provost Clark suggested that if that were to be done, a quasi control could be built in by also asking those who did not generate indirect costs but nonetheless received some incentive funding what they were able to do.  Prof. Porter was in strong support of that idea, but President Bhattacharjee warned that this issue will not go away, regardless of the results of such a study.  It was his impression that faculty having a lot of money feel that they shouldn’t apply for cifre.  He felt there was a need for a clear stream of money back to the pi’s who bring in the funds. It was Vice President Skorton’s sense that because the indirect cost return is only 4% at present, the amount going back to individual pi’s would quite modest.  He also pointed out that a lot of units are relying on distributions from his office along the line of what had been done in the past.  He would not want to ask deos at this point to deal with not getting that as the indirect costs would be going back to the pi’s instead.  He offered to go back to figure out where the indirect costs accrued. 

 

Prof. Troyer emphasized that the research Council is 100% behind pi voice.  Prof. Lynch followed up by observing that if he brought in $500,000, he would get $20,000 back.  He was confident that he could account for that.  He found it much harder to determine where the rest of the $480,000 goes. Vice President Skorton reminded him that capital projects take a lot of that money.  He also raised the point that the 47% indirect cost rate is determined retrospectively, when the question, what was actually spent, is asked.  The rate is negotiated with the federal government.  The largest component of those costs is departmental and collegiate administration, as well as depreciation and the retiring of debts.  Associate Provost Clark asked whether there is a way that that could be generalized and presented to the Faculty Council.  Vice President True responded that he was more than happy to give presentations and to clarify where the funds go.  Vice President Skorton suggested that they update an older report they already have that shows where funds go. 

 

Prof. Cox found it important to remember that whereas the Faculty Council is good for representation, it is less so for information.   deos are the real conduit of information. Vice President Skorton conveyed his willingness to speak at the next deo meeting in Liberal Arts and Sciences. President Bhattacharjee concluded with his view that in order to encourage great research, the system must have rewards build into it.  The net outcome will be growth in indirect costs recovery.  The present system may not be the best way to encourage externally funded research.

 

C.                  University Smoking Policy Amendment (Carolyn Colvin)

 

Prof. Colvin introduced the proposed amendment by explaining that a year ago, the Faculty Council had discussed the smoking policy.  She, Associate Provost Clark, and Pat Kenner had gone to work on the policy as described in the Operations Manual.  They found that there was the need for one additional sentence, specifying that one entrance of each campus building, preferably the main entrance, be nonsmoking.  Prof. Troyer suggested that users of building be surveyed to determine the consensus as to which is the main entrance. 

 

Prof. Lynch moved and Prof. Westefeld seconded the following:

 

MOTION:  To approve this policy amendment.

 

Prof. Seaba pointed out that Oakdale Hall has been locked down for a while, and at present has only one entrance.  It seemed to her that a reasonable solution could be worked out.  Prof. Colvin stated that that entrance would be designated as nonsmoking.  The idea is that there be one nonsmoking entrance.  Prof. Marra suggested designating a single smoking entrance.  Prof. Lynch wondered why a building couldn’t have more than one nonsmoking entrance. He suggested as a friendly amendment the insertion of the phrase,  “at least” before “one nonsmoking entrance,” which was acceptable to Prof. Colvin.

 

MOTION (from above):  To approve the amended policy amendment.  The motion passed. 

 

D.                  Regents Awards for Faculty Excellence and Brody Awards

 

Prof. Colvin moved and Prof. Porter seconded the following:

 

MOTION:  To move to executive session. The motion carried.

 

President Bhattacharjee reported on the make up and deliberations of the committees that chose awardees for Teaching Excellent and the Brody award, and announced the results.  Whereas the awardees were most deserving of these awards, President Bhattacharjee expressed his disappointment that there were not as many nominations as he had expected to find, especially among women and faculty in the humanities.  Prof. Troyer asked how deans and DEOs might be sensitized to the need to urge faculty to nominate their colleagues, especially women and those in the humanities.  Prof. Cox hypothesized that people who are in practice of applying for things, apply here, too, whereas in departments without some many external funding opportunities, inertia may prevent those nominations.  President Bhattacharjee promised that he would be discussing this with the deans.  Prof. Manderscheid reemphasized that in some departments, a template probably exist, which would make nominating much easier.  Prof. Parkin agreed that it is a culture thing. Prof. Colvin thought it was also an issue of communication. She pointed out that Senators are a good source of nominees.  Prof. Raymond thought that many of us may have adopted the Iowa tradition of hiding our lights behind a bushel.  We need to encourage self-nomination.  Prof. Porter would like to see excellence in clinical faculty recognized.  President Bhattacharjee answered that the criteria were set by the regents, not the university.  Nonetheless he intended to pass this concern on to President Coleman, so she can discuss this with the Regents, so that clinical faculty can be included. 

Prof. Colvin moved and Prof. Lynch seconded the following: 

MOTION:  To forward the names of awardees of the Regents Awards for Faculty Excellence to the Senate.  The motion passed with three abstentions.

 

MOTION:  To forward the names of awardees of the Brody Award to the Senate.  The motion passed with one abstention

Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 5:38. 

Respectfully submitted,

Erin Irish, Secretary