The University of Iowa

FACULTY SENATE

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

3:30 PM – 5:15 PM

Lucas Dodge Room, #256 Iowa Memorial Union 

Members Present:  Pedro Alvarez, Steven Armstrong, Constance Berman, Terry Boles, Phyllis Chang, John Cowdery, Corey Creekmur, Melissa Deem, Douglas DeJong, Kathleen Diffley, Edwin Dove, Claibourne Dungy, Lois Dusdieker, Sonya Franklin, Richard Fumerton, Carin Green, Ronald Herman, Julie Hochstrasser, Erin Irish, William, Johnson, Sheldon Kurtz, Richard LeBlond, Patrick Lloyd, Usha Mallik, Teresa Mangum, Kim Marra, Ann Marie McCarthy, Sue Ann Moorhead, Paul Muhly, Barbara Muller, Andrew Nugent, Thomas O’Dorisio, Lisa Oakes, Harry Paarsch, Bradley Phillips, Judy Polumbaum, Daniel Quinn, Richard Randell, Mary Reno, Jon Ringen, Peter Rubenstein, Thomas Schmidt, Leslie Schrier, Linda Snetselaar, Karin Southard, Shelton Stromquist, Katherine Tachau, Tuong Ton-That, Richard Valentine, Carolyn Wanat, Robert Weir, Paul Weller, Howard Winfield 

Members Absent:  Karim-Malek Abdel, Janet Altman, Zuhair Ballas, Bernard Fallon, Alfred Hansen, Rebecca Hegeman, Jean Jew, Mazen Maktabi, Rachel Miller, Alvin Snider, John Westefeld, Duane Whitaker 

Members Excused:  Donald Brown, Paul Heidger, Charles Lynch, John Moyers, Jerold Woodhead 

Faculty Senate Officers in Attendance:   Jeffrey Cox, President; Margaret Raymond, Vice President; Craig Porter, Secretary; Amitava Bhattacharjee, Past President 

Guests:  Phil Davidson (Daily Iowan), Tom Walsh (Iowa City Gazette), Jessica Otis (Dance Marathon), Al Hood (Emeritus Faculty Council), Anne Tanner (University Relations), Heather Woodward (Iowa City Press Citizen), Jon Whitmore (Provost), Lola Lopes (Office of the Provost), Lee Anna Clark (Office of the Provost), Kathryn Wynes (Office of the Provost), Willard Boyd (President), Julie Thatcher (Faculty Senate Office) 

I.          Call to Order 

            The University of Iowa Faculty Senate meeting was called to order by President Jeffrey Cox at 3:35 PM on October 15, 2002.            

II.         Approvals 

A.        Meeting Agenda 

The meeting agenda was approved by the Faculty Senate membership present.   

B.         Minutes – Faculty Senate, September 24, 2002  

Subject to revisions of a non-substantive and grammatical nature offered by Associate Provost Lee Anna Clark, the Faculty Senate minutes of the September 24, 2002 meeting were approved. 

C.        Approval of Recommended Replacements

The motion of the Faculty Senate to approve the replacements as recommended by the Committee on Committees and endorsed by the Faculty Council at its October 1, 2002 meeting was provided by Prof. Malik, seconded by Prof. Berman and approved unanimously by the Faculty Senate.   

III.       Reports 

Prior to the presentation of the scheduled reports, President Cox allowed undergraduate student Jessica Otis to present information regarding the upcoming dance marathon to the Faculty Senate.  Jessica identified the University of Iowa Dance Marathon as the largest student run philanthropy in the Western United States.  Monies raised by the dance marathon support activities in the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Division at the Children’s Hospital of Iowa, a part of University of Iowa Healthcare .  Included in such activities are support for tutoring of pediatric inpatients, monies to fund child-life activities and the provision of “care packages” to families of hospitalized children.  She then encouraged the Faculty Senate to support the Spirit Dancer program.  This program provides additional opportunity for members of the larger community to become involved in the Dance Marathon without committing to its full, 24-hour duration.  Spirit Dancers will participate for three hours on the Saturday afternoon of the dance marathon.  The dance marathon will occur on February 8, 2003.  Registration for the Spirit Dancer program must occur prior to December 15, 2002.   

A.        Outreach to the State of Iowa, Interim University of Iowa President Willard “Sandy” Boyd 

As part of the selection process for his interim presidency, President Boyd was asked by the Board of Regents State of Iowa to provide them with objectives of his administration.  Two items that were not on his regential agenda included the athletics program and a discussion of a research faculty track.  In light of their importance to the Faculty Senate he opened his remarks by commenting on these two items.  With respect to athletic and other auxiliary enterprises, President Boyd identified them as existing “on their own bottom and subject to decreasing expenditure as necessary”.  President Boyd actually began the tradition of general funds support to the athletic programs during his prior tenancy in the position of president and specifically identified that support as necessary for the development of women’s athletic programs.  At present more than $2,300,000 in general fund monies has been allocated for the athletic programs.  This figure includes reversions back to the general fund that had been administratively requested.  In thinking about this commitment President Boyd recognizes that having a winning group of sports teams is important to the university but also recognizes that we have to consider the current financial exigencies of the university.  In an attempt to do so he is actively working with such individuals as the head of BiCOA, our university athletic directors and our representative to the NCAA to identify ways to decrease general fund expenditures dedicated to the athletic programs.   

President Boyd then clarified his desire to defer the discussion of the research track in the Senate.  He did not do so because of a personal opinion on this subject.  Rather he did so because he wanted to allow adequate time for collegiate discussion of this proposal to inform future Senate and Council discussion.  The need for this local discussion is predicated on the reality that faculty rank is ultimately determined at the collegiate level.  Subsequent to his request for deferral of this discussion, he has charged the Provost, Vice Presidents Skorton and Kelch and Associate Provost Lee Anna Clark to add detail that will be helpful to this process.   

He then commented upon discussions that have been occurring about whether or not the governance structure of the regents institutions should change to become broader.  In his opinion the governance of our university through the Board of Regents is adequate.  Furthermore he believes that there is more than enough administrative structure in place to govern all institutions of higher learning throughout the state.  The Iowa Post-Secondary Coordinating Council is a voluntary program that is capable of addressing issues concerning higher education in the State of Iowa without necessitating the creation of another administrative body to so do.  President Boyd then explained his commitment to ethics education, identif ethics as a part of a public agenda to which the university was first tied by formal statement in the 1970’s.  That statement of commitment to an ethical public agenda requires revision and he intends to see that such a revision comes about.  Additionally he intends that ethics offerings be increased in the undergraduate curriculum, in particular.  He reaffirmed his longstanding support for a diverse community and was laudatory of the Human Rights Council adaptation of an affirmative policy to inclusiveness and diversity.  He then invited the Faculty Senate membership to encourage attendance at the fence painting to be held Saturday and Sunday, October 19 and 20.  The paintings are intended to illustrate the diverse and inclusive nature of our community.   

The remainder of President Boyd’s comments were directed to two primary issues.  The first of these was increased funding while the second was strengthening statewide connections.  In discussing funding issues, President Boyd reminded the Senators that 18% of the university-consolidated budget comes directly from state support.  Thus, the largest unrestricted donor to the university is the General Assembly of the State of Iowa.  Of restricted commitments the so-called research institute (more commonly referred to as the research enterprise) of the university has grown from a $20 million activity in 1966-67 to a $340 million enterprise as of last year.  President Boyd then commended the historic leadership of the university hospital for having never allowed it to become a drain on the university budget, a position that is virtually unique in university hospitals across the country.  Nonetheless, he reminded the Senators that there is a $30 million state appropriation directly to the hospital to support the indigent care program and maintenance of this commitment is, and will continue to be, critical to the financial solvency of the university.  Other budgetary “silos” include the athletics program, briefly discussed above, and auxiliary enterprises that are self-supporting including the dormitories and parking, among others.  Of great financial concern to the president is the general education fund.  Twenty years ago the state appropriations constituted 70% of the general education fund with tuition accounting for 18%.  Today there has been a 20% decrease (to 50%) in state appropriations funding the general education fund with an increase in tuition percent to 38.  The president identified this as a national trend but at the same time suggested that it was a trend that we needed to “buck” by going to our constituents in the state and to have them make the case for the regents institutions.  One way to do so is through a regential program which enlists alumni, patients and parents of students to meet with legislators at their home base to discuss these issues directly and publicly at breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings.  Such discussions should serve to elevate the priority of the regents institutions in the eyes of our legislators.   

In recognizing that the principal activities of our faculty are service, education and research that primarily occur on this campus, the president also identified individuals in our midst who are “roadrunners” and who are already out making a case for the university.  His administration hopes to find ways to make these individuals much more effective.  It is his desire to assure that every time our faculty leave this campus that they be provided opportunities to speak at Rotary Clubs and Kiwanis meetings and to local press and media outlets.  At the same time that our speakers program budget has been slashed, President Boyd remains cognizant of the fact that our colleges remain supportive of ways to make a case for what we do for the rest of the state of Iowa.  A cost-effective way to assure that this continues to happen is to create affinity groups that can work together to make our case to the citizens and legislators of Iowa.  Such groups might include the Iowa Non-Profit Research Center, the Institute for Public Affairs, the Labor Center and the Entrepreneurial Centers.  The President is also hopeful that the health sciences campus members will find ways to collectively leverage their individual efforts in promotion of how important their activities are to the citizens of the entire State of Iowa.  He also hopes to see the arrival of school buses filled with the young citizenry of the state who are coming to learn in our museums but also benefit in their own communities from our contributions to the primary and secondary education systems in the state.  President Boyd is looking to help from the Provost and Vice President Skorton in coordinating the activities of academic units to achieve these goals.   

At the conclusion of these remarks President Boyd was asked if the problem with grass roots recognition of the importance of the regents institutions reflects neglect on our faculty members.  In brief, the President answered yes to this question.  He opined that the citizens of Iowa are glad and honored to see members of our faculty in their community and that simple faculty outreach activities have the added potential to provide a great sense of satisfaction to the participating faculty.  Another senator queried whether or not these activities would require substantial step-by-step planning.  President Boyd answered in the affirmative and expressed the desire that the central administration serve the role of coordinator of these activities.  One way of doing so would be for faculty members to go to the University of Iowa web site and click on the various counties listed to see what activities are ongoing and therefore in what ways they might be able to contribute to them.  Prof. Kurtz, a guest of the senate, suggested that to effectively increase faculty participation in activities around the state there must be clear collegiate and departmental respect for and endorsement of these substantial time commitments.  President Boyd responded by reflecting on the need for the promotions process to value outreach activities to the state as well as campus service.   

B.         Health Insurance Costs, Sheldon Kurtz, FRIC (Attachment 3) 

In his capacity as chair of the FRIC committee, Sheldon Kurtz began his presentation with the announcement that our benefits packages (cost sharing agreements) will be delivered later this week.  In general, the employee consumers of our healthcare plans are generating increasing health care costs that have, for example, resulted in a loss of $1,067,342.84 in our CHIP plans between July 2001 and June 2002.  The aggregate premium increase for our health insurance costs will be approximately 25% and it is likely that the next academic year will see a similar increase in premium costs.  Prof. Kurtz identified the three required components of our benefits package to which our flex credits are expected to be applied.  The first of these is our health care costs, the second is life insurance premiums and the third is disability insurance premiums.  Over the course of time the University of Iowa central administration has tried to give employees additional money for their flexible credit packages.  Indeed, this year the university increased its contribution by approximately 10%.  Nonetheless, Prof. Kurtz pointed out that we are now at a point where the university contribution to our flex credit program no longer can buy just the required health insurance for any given employee.  Because this basic benefit is provided by most of our peer institutions, including other regents institutions, Prof. Kurtz, in association with his other FRIC colleagues, is mounting a campaign to address this budgetary problem.  The reasons that the FRIC committee feels that this campaign is necessary derives from problems with recruitment and retention as well as a moral obligation that is not being fulfilled.  FRIC is attempting to find ways for the university to provide more money for health care costs at the same time that it recognizes that any plan the university might have to increase the amount of its contributions to the health care costs of its employees will also have an opportunity cost elsewhere.  The committee is trying to develop neutral principals to move it toward this goal over a period of approximately three academic years.  

The reasons for the increases in health care costs among university employees are multifactorial.  They include the fact that we have an older work force in addition to a dramatic (40%) increase in pharmaceutical costs.  In addition to increased premiums for the university health plans, in many circumstances employees will be expected to contribute to their health care costs in other ways.  For example members in the UI Care plan will pay $75 per day for hospitalization costs.  In the CHIP II plan the deductible has been increased to $1,200.  The CHIP I plan was completely eliminated this year because its premium would have exceeded $11,000.  In thinking about these substantial fiscal changes, Prof. Kurtz reflected that the health care costs for some faculty will be larger than their actual raise.  Prof. Kurtz then opened the floor for discussion.  

The first question asked was why UI Care had a loss of $2,120,016.24 when the number of employees covered by this plan was 3,205 but that the parallel numbers for the CHIP II plan are $662,027.72 for 2,281 employees.  The apparent discrepancy in these numbers is reflected in the statistic that while we insure 8,617 employees, the lives that are covered under these policies are approximately 22,000.  Another question was asked as to why it is that the premium cost for the employee and spouse is not simply double that of the employee.  The history-based reason is that there is more health care spending for couples than individuals.  Another senator brought up the fact that the University of Northern Iowa faculty employees pay no health care premiums for their individual coverage.  Prof. Kurtz pointed out that health care coverage is a bargaining issue and that it is through collective bargaining that such programs are created.  For example he showed the statistics that the General Motors Corporation requires the profits from the first three months of auto sales every year to simply pay for their employee’s health care.  However, careful comparison of our health plan with that of Iowa State identifies that we have more products from which to choose in our cafeteria plan, thatwe have much more liberal reproductive assistive technology coverage and that unlike most health plans our employees have no cap on lifetime claims.  

C.        Report of the Faculty Senate President, Jeff Cox 

President Cox took the opportunity provided by this agenda item to describe recent activities of the Senate leadership.  Through the actions of the senate secretary, Julie Thatcher, and past University of Iowa Senate president, Carolyn Colvin,  the original artwork that accompanied the Michael Brody Award was selected from works contributed by three graduate student artists.  Wanda Ewing had a woodcut selected, Jason Urban had an intaglio selected and Amze Emmons had a lithograph selected for presentation to the Brody awardees Susan Burell, Jonathon Carlson and Warren Piette.  (President Cox also commented upon the poor attendance at the convocation ceremony at which the Regents Award for Faculty Excellence and Michael Brody Awards were presented and encouraged the senators to promote attendance at this important event.)  Both senate and staff leadership recently met with the governor.  The important message he provided to these leaders was a promise that if and when the economy turned around higher education will be high on the governor’s agenda for restoration of funding.  At the same time that he voiced this support, he also maintained that speaking to Iowans regarding higher education and its support is difficult in view of the statistic that only 20% of Iowans have degrees from institutions of higher learning.  The Senate leadership pointed out that this statistic should not be used to soften the message because most Iowans express keen desire for their children and grandchildren to attend institutions of higher education.  The Senate leadership hopes to meet with the newly elected governor quickly and also plans to cosponsor a legislative forum with our local delegates in the spring.  

Discussions regarding athletics will be postponed until the senate leadership will have had the opportunity to attend a CIC meeting on November 22nd and 23rd in Bloomington, IN.  The meeting will sharply focus on the subjects of athletics and escalation in the athletics “arms” race.  Depending upon the outcome of this discussion the topic may be brought forward quickly for additional discussion.  The topic will also likely resurface at the time of the annual BiCOA report planned for presentation to the Faculty Council and Senate in the spring of 2003.  

A new button has been added to the Senate web site for updates on the review of central academic officials.  The Office of the General Counsel and Vice President is currently undergoing its self-study.  The review of the Office of the Vice President for Research has been postponed until the next academic year.  At a recent meeting with the Senate leadership and Provost, Interim President Sandy Boyd indicated a desire to have the Office of the President reviewed.  This will happen in advance of the appointment of the next University of Iowa president and will be facilitated by the self-study that was prepared, completed and submitted to the Provost by past university President Mary Sue Coleman.

President Cox reminded the Senators of the meeting of the state chapter of the AAUP on Saturday, October 19 in the Ohio State Room at the IMU.  Jim Perly will be providing the keynote address at that meeting. 

IV.       Announcements 

A.        Next Council and Senate meeting. 

The next meeting of the University of Iowa Faculty Council will occur November 12, 2002.  It is anticipated that the meeting agenda will include deliberation on the merits of the joint budget proposal, revisions of the conflict of interest and commitment policies and changes in the charter for the Family Issues Committee.  The next University of Iowa Faculty Senate meeting will occur on December 3, 2002. 

V.        From the Floor 

Immediate Past President Bhattacharjee questioned whether the concerns over health care costs could become a regential issue either through the activities of the University of Iowa Faculty Senate or through the offices of the President.  In response President Cox reminded the senators that the access the University of Iowa Faculty Senate has to the Board of Regents is as a courtesy and that substantive issues should and must be brought up by members of the central administration.  Prof. Kurtz added that the resolution of these problems is a local issue.  Prof. Berman provided an update on the activities of the Elections Committee.  She informed the senators that the Elections Committee is making progress on the creation of an electronic ballot and that she anticipates that the next senate election should be able to be run without paper.  She then reviewed a widely held concern that certain units have more success than others by virtue of size in soliciting nominations for election to the Senate and Council.  She encouraged wider participation in the nomination process.  She then reviewed the suggestion that she had received that the solution to the difficulty in getting nominations for elective positions from certain departments could be solved by meeting with the dean who might provide the Election Committee with names.  The senators seemed to agree with Prof. Berman that this solution was an anathema to faculty representation in the governance of the university.  Her closing comment was a suggestion that we consider a change in election bylaws to identify alternative representatives.  This would help in circumstances where individuals cannot serve their elected term.  

VI.       Adjournment 

President Cox adjourned the meeting at 4:55 PM in the absence of additional comments from the Senate floor. 

Respectfully submitted,

________________________________________

Craig C. Porter, MD

Secretary, University of Iowa Faculty Senate