University of Iowa Faculty Senate


Tuesday, October 26, 1999

Senate Chamber, Old Capitol 

Members Present: J. Berg, C. Berman, A. Bhattacharjee, D. Bills, F. Boos, R. Bork, J. Carlson, M. Clark, S. Collins, C. Colvin, J. Cox, H. Dettmer, G. Fischer, L. Geist, R. Hurtig, J. Jew, S. Larsen, S. Lawrence, E. Link, C. Lynch, D. Manderscheid, T. Mangum, K. Marra, J. Menninger, P. Muhly, W. Nixon, G. Parkin, C. Ringen, J. Ringen, D. Rosenthal, C. Roy, H. Seaba, C. Sponsler, A. Steinberg, M. Stone, B. Thompson, L.Troyer, B.Wiley, R. Zbick 

Members Absent: H. Adams, S. Aquilino, N.Bauman, J. Bertolatus, C. Carney Doebbeling P. Chang, R. Curto, M. David, J. Desmond, B. Doebbeling, G. El-Khoury, K. Ephgrave, V. Grassian, J. Hoballah, R. Hohl, L. Hunsicker, T. Judge, J. Kline, L. Marshall, A.M. McCarthy, J. Moyers, I. Nygaard, M. Pincus, P. Pomrehn, M. E. Rivera, M. Rizzo, S. Rynes-Weller, R. Slayton, J. Soloski, C. Stanford, W. Stanford, J. Tomkovicz, M. Vargas, S. Vincent, E. Wasserman 

Members Absent (excused): B. Levy, D. Liddell, G. Milavetz 

Guests: L.A. Clark, J. Whitmore (Office of the Provost); D. Weissbort (English/Cl, Translation Wrkshp); C. Drum (Univ. Relations); L. Zale (Student Government); H. Engle, R. Torrevillas, P. Nazareth (IWP); B. Pelton (Sport, Health, Leisure, Phys. Studies); C. Johnston, V. Lagorio 

I.          The meeting was called to order at 3:35 PM by President Carlson. 

II.                 This special meeting of the Faculty Senate was called to discuss and debate matters concerning the International Writing Program. A document entitled “Proposed Resolution on the International Writing Program” was presented to the Faculty Senate for its consideration. President Carlson requested that the meeting proceed according to Robert’s Rules of Order and that the floor would be open to senators and appropriate administrators. Questions and comments from individuals other than Faculty Senate members would be permitted if a member so moved. 

MOTION: That the proposed resolution on the International Writing Program be adopted (Professor Wiley moved, Professor Roy seconded). 

Professor Boos made a motion to amend Clause 5 of the resolution. There was no second. 

Professor Ringen moved, Professor Menninger seconded to amend the resolution by deleting all the clauses except Clause 1 (in order to enable discussion and debate on individual clauses). After discussion, the motion failed. 

MOTION: Professor Ringen moved, Professor Rosenthal seconded to amend the resolution by deleting Clause 9.

Discussion focused on the appropriateness of including Clause 9, which did not specifically address the IWP; but also that it was proper for the Senate to urge the use of civil discourse to address issues. The motion carried 17 – 14. 

MOTION: Professor Lynch moved, Professor Muhly seconded to delete Clause 8 from the resolution. After discussion about the purpose of Clause 8, the motion carried (23-10). 

Discussion re: Clause 7. Questions were raised about the accumulated deficit; the impact for other programs if this deficit is forgiven; the need for University commitment to support programs such as the IWP, Hancher, the Museum of Art, etc. which may have intermittent lapses in funding. 

Professor Muhly moved, Professor J. Ringen seconded to amend Clause 7 by inserting “current” before the word “accumulated.” In the discussion that followed, information was provided about the annual balance of funds in the IWF account from 1988-89 through 1998-99. It appeared that the accumulated deficit was carried over from year to year.  Vice President Skorton stated that there was no evidence that the accumulated deficit had ever affected the conduct of the program. Rowena Torrevillas described aspects of the program that accounted for some of the increases, but also for some of the decreases, in the budget deficit. Further discussion emphasized that Clause 7 is not intended to give the IWF a “blank check,” but to recognize that the IWF needs a stable fiscal future.

The motion to insert “current” failed. 

MOTION: Professor Muhly moved, Professor Rosenthal seconded that Clause 7 be amended to substitute “deficit of the IWP accumulated as if October 26, 1999” for “accumulated deficit of the IWP.” The motion carried 18-11. 

A motion to call the question on the resolution was seconded and passed. 

By general consent there was further discussion about the proposed Interim Director position. 

MOTION: To adopt the resolution on the International Writing Program, as amended. The motion carried. The adopted resolution reads as follows: 

Whereas, the International Writing Program (IWP) has been a valuable asset to the University of Iowa for over thirty years, has brought international attention to the University and enhanced its reputation around the world, has contributed to a culture of respect for and celebration of writing excellence, and has the respect and admiration of members of the faculty at the University, and


Whereas, the Task Force on the Future of The University of Iowa IWP has

provided an informative report containing many useful options regarding the future of the IWP, particularly with respect to administration and staffing, creation of a local advisory group, size and duration of the program, and housing,


Now, therefore, be it resolved by the University of Iowa Faculty Senate


that the Senate affirms the IWP is an important and distinctive asset to the University; and


that the Senate believes that the IWP should continue to be conducted as a residential program for writers from foreign countries to visit the University of Iowa for extended periods of time primarily as writers-in-residence; and


that the Senate endorses the Task Force Report and calls on the University administration to place administrative oversight for IWP in the Office of the Vice President for Research, to appoint an interim Director without delay, and to charge her or him to set up a local advisory committee and to develop a specific plan for the fiscal, academic, and administrative future of the IWP; and


that it is the sense of the Senate that a Director with a permanent faculty appointment should be in charge of all aspects of the IWP; and


that the Senate urges that the deficit of the IWP accumulated as of October 26, 1999, not be allowed to endanger the future health of the program and that the IWP be included in the capital campaign.


MOTION: Professor Lynch moved, Professor Steinberg seconded the adoption of Clause 8 from the original resolution on the IWP, as a separate resolution.

Professor Mangum moved, Professor Rosenthal seconded to amend Clause 8 by adding from Clause 9, the following language: “and encourages members of the community to engage in open and honest dialogue concerning this and other topics.” This amendment was amended to insert “civil” after the word ”open.”

A motion to amend the amendment, i.e., to delete the words “this and other topics” was made, seconded, and carried. After discussion, the motion was defeated.

The question was called on the motion on the floor. The motion passed. The approved resolution reads as follows:

Resolved that: the Senate, recognizing that there are many competing uses for scarce University resources, encourages administrators at all levels to engage in the fullest possible consultation with appropriate members of the faculty before engaging in fundamental reallocations of funds and staff from University programs.

MOTION: Professor Wiley moved the adoption of Clause 9 from the original resolution on the IWP, as a separate resolution. The motion was seconded.

Professor Lynch moved to amend the motion by inserting the word ”civil” after the word “open.” The motion was seconded. The motion carried.

After further discussion, the Senate approved the proposed resolution, as amended. The approved resolution reads as follows:

Resolved that: the Senate deplores the personal invective employed by some to express themselves regarding the IWP and encourages members of the community to engage in open, civil and honest dialogue concerning this and other topics.

III.               A motion to adjourn carried at 5:00 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Jean Jew, Secretary