UNIVERSITY OF IOWA FACULTY COUNCIL
Tuesday, February 15, 2000
Penn State Room (#337), Iowa Memorial Union
Members Present: C. Berman, A. Bhattacharjee, J. Carlson, C. Carney-Doebbeling, C. Colvin, R. Curto, V. Grassian, J. Jew, J. Kline, D. Liddell, D. Manderscheid, G. Milavetz, G. Parkin, M. Pincus, R. Slayton, M. Stone, B. Wiley
Members Absent (excused): K. Clark L. Geist, P. Pomrehn
Guests: K. Buckwalter, L.A. Clark, J. Whitmore (Office of the Provost); A. Rhodes (University Relations); J. Cox (History); M. Chapman (Daily Iowan); J. Buck, H. Sabers (UI Students Against Sweatshops); Carol Tebockhorst (Senate Staff Secretary)
I. President Carlson called the meeting to order at 3:38 PM.
II. There being no objections, the Faculty Council minutes of January 18, 2000 were approved as distributed.
III. Old business
A. Developmental leaves.
Professor Curto reported discussion by the Faculty Assembly in a meeting of February 14 regarding Council's recent recommendation to extend the opportunity for two semester leaves to both 9-month and 12-month appointment faculty. The Faculty Assembly noted a number of concerns about the two-semester leave: (1) difficulty in meeting the College's educational mission, e.g., maintaining courses and mentoring graduate students; (2) lack of funding; (3) that the length of time required for a faculty member to be eligible for a two-semester leave is not conducive to most faculty needs for more frequent revitalization.
After discussion, there was agreement that it is desirable for the University to have a developmental leave policy that is equitable for 9-month and 12-month faculty, but that this policy also permit individual colleges to apply more restrictive criteria, according to their specific needs and circumstances.
Professor Colvin moved, Professor Stone seconded, and the motion unanimously passed that:
MOTION: Regarding the previously approved Faculty Senate and Faculty Council recommendation that faculty with 9-month and with 12-month appointments have the opportunity to be awarded 2-semester developmental leaves, Faculty Council requests that the Provost includes wording in the policy that permits individual colleges to apply conditions and restrictions to the policy, according to their specific needs and circumstances.
The Council received copies of a letter from Professor Gregg C. Oden, Chair, Liberal Arts Faculty Assembly, reporting that the Liberal Arts Faculty Assembly had passed two resolutions in its February 2, 2000 meeting. The first resolution opposed making clinical-track faculty eligible to receive Old Gold Summer Fellowships and the second resolution endorsed the principle that the number of clinical-track faculty in the College should remain very (italics theirs) small and that the number of tenure-track faculty in the College should be increased.
B. Report on inquiries re: the impact of the educational/fiscal needs provision in tenure standards. A question was posed at a previous Council meeting about whether and how often faculty members had been denied reappointment or tenure on the basis that they failed to meet departmental, collegiate, and University educational goals and needs. President Carlson reported that his inquiries suggested that this provision had been seldom, if ever used. However, there have been cases in which tenure has been denied to a faculty member based on a lack of need in that faculty member's research area. The latter is a different issue and raises serious concerns, including those related to academic freedom.
IV. New Business
A. Clinical Track Expansion/Clinical Track Review
Provost Whitmore reported that reviews are in from all the colleges that have clinical track faculty. He is in the process of appointing the University faculty committee that will review the clinical faculty track: Professor Shelly Kurtz will chair this committee.
President Carlson commented on the important role that Faculty Council members will have to advise and educate during the discussion and debate in the Faculty Senate of the clinical faculty track and the request by the Health Sciences Colleges to increase the cap on proportion of clinical track faculty from 20% to 30%.
Associate Provost for Health Sciences Kitty Buckwalter presented a document describing two options: "Option A: Proposal to Increase Cap on Clinical Track Faculty From 20% to 30% for the Health Sciences Colleges, " and "Option B: Proposal to Increase Cap on Clinical Track Faculty From 20% to 30% for the University." The Health Sciences Colleges prefer Option A. The document outlines the background and rationale for increasing the cap. She indicated that the deans of the health sciences colleges wanted no caps on the proportion of clinical track faculty, but realized that approval of this would be unlikely. Currently, the College of Pharmacy has already exceeded the 20% cap: 27% of its faculty are on the clinical track.
Discussion followed regarding the purpose of tenure, the purpose of the clinical track, the impact and problems of the clinical track for faculty since its implementation, the advantages of and concerns about this track, and options.
B. Termination for Cause Standards. Professor Cox distributed documents proposing revisions and clarifications of the University Operations Manual policies re: faculty "unfitness" and termination of tenured faculty. Council members were requested to review this proposal and be prepared to discuss and advise at a future meeting.
C. University participation in Fair Labor Association. Representing UI Students Against Sweatshops, Joshua Buck and Heidi Sabers described the purpose of their organization and their reasons for lobbying the University to terminate its current licensing agreement with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) to oversee the production of clothing for the UI. UI Students Against Sweatshops supports switching the licensing agreement to the Workers Rights Consortium, because this organization requires full public disclosure of factories, all contractors and sub-contractors, and the use of independent (noncorporate) monitors.
Vice President Rhodes stated that the University does not approve of sweatshop conditions and explained the University's position for its agreement with the FLA. She also reported some changes that had occurred recently in FLA's organization that were intended to make it more effective.
V. The meeting adjourned at 5:15 PM.
Jean Jew, Secretary