The University of Iowa


Tuesday, February 6, 2001

Penn State Room, Iowa Memorial Union 337

Members Present: Steven Aquilino, Debora Liddell, Chuck Lynch, David Manderscheid, Ann Marie McCarthy, Gary Milavitz, Paul Muhly, Gene Parkin, Morton Pincus, Craig Porter, Margaret Raymond

Members Absent: John Paul Long (Emeritus Council)

Members Excused: Jeff Cox, Caroline Carney Doebbeling, Lois Geist, Vicki Grassian, Jean Jew, John Moyers

Faculty Senate Officers in Attendance: Carolyn Colvin, (President); Amitava Bhattacharjee, (Vice President; Teresa Mangum, (Secretary); Jonathan Carlson, (Ex-Officio President)

Guests: Jim Andrews (Emeritus Faculty Council Liaison), Lee Anna Clark (Office of the Provost), Charlie Drum (University Relations), Lola Lopes (Office of the Provost), Tony Robinson (Daily Iowan), Joyce Crawford (Secretary, Office of the Provost-Faculty Senate)

  1. Call to Order

President Colvin called the meeting to order at 3:35 p.m.

  1. Approvals
    1. Meeting Agenda

Prof. Milavetz moved and Prof. Lynch seconded approval of the agenda. The motion passed.

    1. Minutes

The minutes were approved as amended by consensus.

    1. Committee Replacements

Pres. Colvin has put together an ad hoc committee to work with Prof. Beth Pelton and the Committee on Faculty Welfare to consider the issue of civility discussed at our last meeting. The committee will consist of faculty, staff, students, and an administrator. Prof. Ken Mobily and Pres. Pat Kenner will be co-chairs. The faculty members will be Prof. Lon Moeller and Prof. Randy Hirokawa. John Keller of the Graduate College will be the administrator. Three staff members will be selected and four students have volunteered.

Pres. Colvin asked for volunteers to serve on the Brody Award committee. This award for outstanding service is administered by the Senate. Profs. Milavetz, Porter, McCarthy, and Liddell agreed to serve.

  1. Announcements
    1. Meetings on Tenure

Pres. Colvin announced two meetings focused on the rights and responsibilities of tenure, which she will co-host with Provost Whitmore. These meetings will provide a forum in which faculty members can express their views of the proposed Unacceptable Performance of Duty Policy, among other topics related to tenure.

Monday, February 19, 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Seebohn Conference Room, EMRB

Monday, February 26, 2:00-3:00 p.m. at W401, PBB

    1. Reception for Faculty Senate

Pres. Colvin also announced that President Mary Sue Coleman will hold a reception for Faculty Senators:

Tuesday, April 3, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at 102 Church St.

    1. Friends of the Iowa Public Television Telethon

Reminding Councilors of a tradition, Pres. Colvin asked for volunteers to attend the Public Television fund-raising telethon in Johnson, Iowa (near Des Moines) on Sunday, March 4. University of Iowa faculty, staff, and students will take pledges for Public Television from 8:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. A van will be provided for transportation.

    1. Faculty Senate Retreat

Vice-President Bhattacharjee reminded Councilors of the up-coming annual retreat for Faculty Council members, administrators, and guests. The day-long retreat will be held on Thursday, May 31 at the Oakdale Campus. He welcomes Council members to e-mail suggested topics for discussion to him as soon as possible.

  1. New Business
    1. Phillip Jones, Vice President of Student Services--Status Report on Second-hand Effects of Student Alcohol Abuse

Vice President Jones provided an overview of the problem of alcohol abuse in the university community and described a number of measures that have been taken to address the problem. He noted that the University of Iowa is part of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project, which is studying alcohol use on campuses and seeking solutions. The University has been working with the Iowa City Council to improve the quality of life in Iowa City by dealing with inappropriate use of alcohol. A number of suggestions emerged in a community survey of Iowa City and Coralville, some of which have already been implemented. For example, the University now provides alcohol-free parking areas during football games. At the same time, the government of Iowa City has established policies that make it easier for police to intercede at disorderly houses, and the Chamber of Commerce has appointed a task force to discuss the problem of underage drinking in the downtown area. Vice President Jones particularly wanted the Council to consider additional research suggesting that alcohol abuse harms the life of the mind and the quality of intellectual life in a university setting such as ours. He urged the Council and the Senate to consider whether faculty should play a role in these efforts given the negative impact of excessive alcohol use on academics.

Councilors asked a number of questions, seeking to determine what measures have been taken by units on campus to deal with alcohol abuse. Vice President Jones noted that students generally only come to the attention of his office once their drinking has led to serious failure in the class room or to self-destructive behavior which lands them in the emergency room of a hospital. He wrote 21 letters to parents of self-destructive students last fall alone. Associate Provost Lola Lopes noted that the University now holds classes for freshmen who were put on probation in the fall to teach study skills and so forth, but these classes have had very limited success. Vice President Jones then asked whether evidence that drinking is an obstacle to achieving academic excellence imposed an obligation on faculty members to intervene in this community-wide problem. He noted that student alcohol abuse is a community and commercial problem in which the larger social culture reinforces attitudes some would call anti-intellectual. Therefore, the community can address the marketing problems, but we need to help to create a culture that discourages these behaviors.

Vice President Jones also noted tactics at other universities. For example, the University of Wisconsin at Madison has placed stringent requirements on bars near the university. Once a week each bar voluntarily refrains from selling alcohol and instead serves non-drinking students. Prof. Lynch asked what other schools with fewer problems are doing differently, and Vice President Jones noted that circumstances vary a great deal by location so that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation encourages each school to design very specific policies. Associate Provost Clark pointed out that research indicates the primary source of the problem is the availability of alcohol to people under 21. Moreover, evidence exists that a second crucial aspect of the problem is the presence of bars that allow people under 21 on the premises. On the other hand, groups sometimes assumed to be the source of the problem are not in the case of the University of Iowa. Noting that we are one of the few places in the country where fraternities and sororities have created ways to monitor themselves, Vice President Jones added that there are also relatively few incidents involving athletes. The big problem is under-age drinkers.

Pres. Colvin then asked whether the Faculty Council wished to take a position on the effects of campus drinking. Vice President Bhattacharjee suggested that the cure lies in faculty members having greater sensitivity to the problem. He offered an example to show that too often the real problem is that students believe they are in control of their drinking despite evidence to the contrary. Several Councilors suggested that perhaps faculty might play an educational role along with students by leading public discussions on the issue, perhaps in collaboration with Student Government members. All agreed they would like more information in order to make decisions about the role faculty members might play in addressing the problem of students' alcohol abuse. As a beginning, Prof. Liddell offered to review and report on research addressing the problem.

    1. Update on discussions related to the University Smoking policy

Pres. Colvin met with the executive group of Student Government to discuss their impressions of the current statement on smoking policies, and President Pat Kenner met with Staff Council. Based on the information gathered, Pres. Colvin, Pres. Kenner, and Associate Provost Clark decided that the current policy is sufficiently strong. They would like to clarify the complaint procedure, using the current policy. The consensus of all the groups is that at least one entrance to every building on campus should be non-smoking. Pres. Colvin, Associate Provost Clark, and Pres. Kenner recommend that one individual in each building be asked to work with employees in that building to designate a smoke-free primary entrance. Facilities Services will coordinate with these individuals and will designate additional areas outside buildings where smoking will be allowed. Everyone agreed that signs would be needed to designate which entrance would remain smoke-free.

  1. Adjournment

Prof. Raymond moved, and Prof. Muhly seconded that the Council should adjourn. All agreed. The meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.

Next Council meeting: Tuesday, February 27, 2001 (Penn State Room, 337 IMU)

Respectfully submitted,

Teresa Mangum, Secretary