The University of Iowa

FACULTY COUNCIL

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

3:30 pm – 5:15 pm

Michigan Room, #351 IMU

 

Members Present: Gloria Bulechek, Virginia Dominquez, David Drake, Claibourne Dungy, Paul Heidger, Steve McGuire, Frank Mitros, Michael O’Hara, Linda Snetselaar, Downing Thomas, Brad Thompson

 

Members Absent: Christine Catney, Vicki Grassian, James Nepola, Jarjisu Sa-Aadu,

 

Members Excused: Linda Boyle, Catherine Ringen

 

Faculty Senate Officers in Attendance: Richard LeBlond, President; Sheldon Kurtz, Vice President; Katherine Tachau, Past President

 

Faculty Senate Officers Excused: Michael Cohen, Secretary

 

Guests: Emileigh Barnes (Daily Iowan), Charlie Drum (University Relations), Eugene Spaziani (EFC), Steve Collins (Engineering), Lola Lopes (Office of the Provost),  Pat Cain (Office of the Provost), Jim Andrews (EFC), Gregg Hennigan (Press Citizen), Julie Thatcher (Faculty Senate Office)

 

I.       Call to Order

 

President LeBlond called the meeting to order at 3:30.

 

II.      Approvals

 

A.           Meeting Agenda

 

The meeting agenda was approved by consent.

 

B.           Faculty Council Minutes, March 28, 2006

 

The minutes were approved by consent.

 

C.           Committee Replacements, Sheldon Kurtz

 

Shelly Kurtz motioned, Katherine Tachau 2nd, to appoint Jonathan Doorn to the Family Issues Committee to replace Tom Branson (2006-07) and Katherine Tachau to FRIC to replace Steve Flach (2006-08).  The motion passed unanimously.

 

III.         Reports

 

A.     University of Iowa President David Skorton

 

President LeBlond introduced University of Iowa President David Skorton.  In his final address to faculty governance, Pres. Skorton acknowledged his appreciation for his time spent working with the leadership of faculty, staff and students and his overall belief in shared governance.  He is actively working with Dean Fethke to transition him into his role as interim president July 1.  Pres. Skorton expressed confidence in Dean Fethke’s ability to act as interim president, due to Dean Fethke’s extensive institutional knowledge and experience.  Pres. Skorton then offered his appreciation to Pres. LeBlond for a good and productive year. 

 

Prof. O’Hara requested a budgetary update.  Pres. Skorton was unable to offer final details, as the legislature was still in session.  He reported that Governor Vilsack remained strongly supportive of the Transformation Plan, and assured Councilors that salaries continue to be the highest priority.  Pres. Skorton will continue to communicate more information as it becomes available. 

 

Prof. Kurtz asked Pres. Skorton to share his thoughts about the public’s overall support for public education.  Pres. Skorton acknowledged his concern about waning support for federal science agencies.  He informed Councilors that despite the decrease in the proportion of public funding, there has been an increase in funding from other sources, due largely to faculty and staff efforts. Likewise, tuition has increased.  Pres. Skorton plans to monitor what happens as more revenue becomes available at the state level.  It stands to reason that when state funding increases, funding for higher education should increase. 

 

Prof. McGuire remarked on Pres. Skorton’s very unique perspective on The University of Iowa and the University community and asked for advice on moving forward with the search for new leadership.  Pres. Skorton described how curriculum and discovery have to do with faculty creativity and expressed the importance of leaders to allow faculty and staff to engage creatively.  He asserted that all units within the institution must be deemed important.  He cautioned against selecting leaders who classify disciplines based on the levels of funding rather than ideas that are generated.

 

Pres. LeBlond commented on how unique our institution is in valuing shared governance.  He asked Pres. Skorton’s advice on imparting this value to future leaders.  Pres. Skorton expressed confidence that shared governance is important and would continue, particularly through the interim period. The best argument for shared governance is that it works.  Pres. Skorton acknowledged the Shared Governance Task Force and its work to ensure that shared governance becomes further embedded in University policy. 

 

Pres. LeBlond offered his sincere appreciation for all that President Skorton has done for the University of Iowa.

 

B.      Faculty Senate President, Richard LeBlond

 

1.   Tenure Workshop, April 19, 6:30-9:00, W401 PBB.  Please encourage junior faculty members to attend in order that they may learn tenure requirements.

 

2.   Faculty Senate Reception, April 20, 5:00-6:30, 102 Church Street.

 

3.   Ethics Education Roundtable, May 9, 8:30-4:00, W401 PBB.  Speakers from wide variety of disciplines will engage in a general discussion on ethical issues facing universities.

 

C.      Faculty Senate Elections Results, Katherine Tachau

 

Prof. Tachau reported success in the elections with the exception of one oversight.  We elected over the 20% allotment of clinical track faculty in the Carver College of Medicine and will rectify the situation in time for the final Senate meeting.  Councilors were provided with an attachment of the 2006-07 Faculty Senate roster which still reflected the error in Medicine.  Prof. Tachau reported an increase in overall participation in the election process.

 

D.     2006-07 Committee Recommendations, Shelly Kurtz

 

Prof. Kurtz referred Councilors to the attachment that outlined all of the Committee on Committees recommendations for 2006-07 committee appointments.  He reported the addition of Prof. O’Hara to the Faculty Policies and Compensation Committee, which was not included in the handout.  Prof. Kurtz reported that the number of volunteers increased this year, most likely due to the combination of paper and electronic solicitation of volunteers rather than sole electronic solicitation.

 

E.      Faculty Council/Administration Retreat

 

Prof. Kurtz reminded Councilors to attend the retreat on August 11 in the Gold Room of Oakdale Hall.  The theme of this year’s retreat will be compensation and will explore how faculty compensation is determined from year to year.  In general, compensation for unionized employees is determined first, the remainder of staff second, and finally faculty.  The retreat discussion will focus on whether or not faculty should create an overall blueprint for compensation.

 

IV.        Unfinished Business

 

A.     COIA Recommendations, Claibourne Dungy

 

Pres. LeBlond referred to Prof. Dungy’s presentation of the COIA recommendations to the Council on February 21 and asked the Council to approve and forward to the Senate.  The recommendations were not presented for revision, rather acceptance or rejection.  If approved, our decision will be reported to COIA and we will be added to their list of institutional support of the overall principles.

 

MOTION: Prof. O’Hara moved, Prof. Heidger 2nd, to approve the COIA document and forward to the Faculty Senate for its approval.  The motion passed unanimously.

 

B.   Presidential Search Update, Richard LeBlond

 

Pres. LeBlond reported that overall communication with the regents continues.  Faculty, staff and student leaders will travel to Des Moines in the upcoming week to meet with Search Committee Chair Teresa Wahlert.  Regent Wahlert plans to visit UI campus at the end of April to meet with various constituents.  We are yet unclear on the size and composition of the committee.  Many UI constituents have been solicited for input on the committee and its membership.  Dean Fethke was appointed interim president and as President Skorton reported, the transition is going well.

 

Various Councilors expressed concern for the lack of information from the Regents as to the size, composition, and process by which the search committee will be determined.  Faculty leaders expressed cautious optimism that the search committee will bear some resemblance to the committee that selected President Skorton.

 

V.     New Business: Commercialization and Intellectual Freedom, Steve Collins

 

Prof. Collins presented this topic, which was initially introduced from the floor of the March 28 Council meeting.  Prof. Collins reiterated the delicate balance between granting students instructional intellectual freedom while remaining responsible for maintaining an appropriate educational environment.  There is yet incomplete knowledge of policy and limitations, if any, regarding UI sponsored student entrepreneurship.  He requested a mechanism for discussing such issues rather than a discussion of the issues.

 

MOTION: Prof. Tachau moved, Prof. O’Hara 2nd, to establish a working group to create a plan for how to engage such questions with administrators.  The motion passed unanimously.

 

Faculty leaders will establish such a group that will include representatives from Faculty Council, Council on Teaching, Research Council, Office of the VP for Research, and the Provost’s Office.

 

VI.    From the floor

 

There was no business from the floor.

 

VII.   Announcements

 

A.  Faculty Council, April 11, 3:30, Michigan Room, 351 IMU

B.   Faculty Senate, April 25, 3:30, Old Capitol, Senate Chambers

 

VIII.  Executive Session

 

The Faculty Councilors adjourned into executive session to discuss the proposed recipients of the Regents Awards for Faculty Excellence and the Michael J. Brody Award for Faculty Excellence in Service.

 

XIX.  Adjournment

 

The meeting adjourned at 5:15.