I have had a 32 year commitment to teaching, scholarship, and service at The University of Iowa. Perhaps most relevant to this election is my service to our University through my involvement with numerous Senate and Charter committees over the last 25 years including Non-resident Tuition, Academic Computing, Budget and FRIC. In addition I have served and/or chaired numerous special committees to develop policies regarding the judicial commission, conflicts of interest and clinical track faculty. Certainly, my prior service in the early 90s as Faculty Senate President was one of the highlights of my service commitment. See generally, http://www.uiowa.edu/~sfklaw.
But, what of the future? At this time I see two broad themes that should dominate the Faculty Senate agenda. First, is faculty compensation and benefits. We frequently hear concerns about faculty retention and we have concerns here that need to be addressed. But I believe more important are the concerns we should have for initial hiring, transfers, and compression. I believe we have a major tension between the important goals of hiring new faculty, luring established faculty to our campus and equitably treating those faculty who continue their commitment to this University (often without thoughts of abandoning ship)and continue their contributions to the teaching, scholarship and service mission to which we adhere. We need to develop a compensation policy that addresses both of these issues simultaneously.
Second, is governance. Over the last few years I have sensed a disturbing tendency to distance our faculty from the development of policies that affect our work life and working conditions. In my mind it is not sufficient that the role of the Senate be limited to reacting to policies administratively created. We need to be involved in the development of those policies so that faculty concerns can be addressed at the earliest stages and before positions have hardened. Thus, we need to continuously insist upon our involvement in this effort.