UNIVERSITY OF IOWA FACULTY COUNCIL

Minutes

Tuesday, September 7, 1999

Room 335, Iowa Memorial Union 

Members Present:   S. Aquilino, J. Carlson, C. Colvin, J. Cox, R. Curto, L. Geist, V. Grassian, J. Jew, J.Kline, G. Milavetz, G. Parkin, M. Pincus, M. Stone, B. Wiley 

Members Absent: A. Bhattacharjee, K. Clark 

Guests: L. A. Clark, J. Folkins, W.H. Knight, Jr., J. Whitmore (Office of the Provost); C. Drum (University Relations); D. Rosenthal (Family Medicine); D. Baldus, Ruth Wachtel (AAUP); M. Schantz (General Counsel); L Reed; J. Troester; C. Tebockhorst (Senate Staff Secretary)

I.        The meeting was called to order at 3:37 PM.

II.     Approvals

A.     The agenda for the meeting was approved by unanimous consent.

B.   The Faculty Council Meeting minutes of August 24, 1999 were approved by unanimous consent.

C.     The proposed agenda for the Faculty Senate Meeting of September 21, 1999 was approved by unanimous consent.

D.     Approval of recommended replacements.

      The motion was made, seconded, and unanimously approved to forward the following recommendations for Senate replacements to the Faculty Senate for approval: College of Engineering: Steve Collins to replace Jim Andrews for the term 1999-2001; College of Liberal Arts, Group II: Allen Steinberg (History) to replace Tachau for the term 1999-2001.

      The motion was made, seconded, and unanimously approved to forward the following recommendations for Council replacements and additions to the Faculty Senate for approval: College of Liberal Arts: David Mandersheid to replace Katherine Tachau for the term 1999-2001; College of Education: Debora Liddell to fill the seat made vacant by the election of Carolyn Colvin to Vice President of Faculty Council/Senate. The Committee on Elections has not yet provided recommendations for a Council replacement from the College of Medicine for Nancy Bauman for the term 1999-2002, and for an addition from the College of Public Health to serve 1999-2000. Professor Carlson will forward these to Council members via e-mail for their approval when he receives them.

      The motion was made, seconded, and unanimously approved to forward the following recommendations for committee replacements to the Faculty Senate for approval:

 Council on Teaching (3 Vacancies)

1.      Kathy Heilenman, French and Italian, to replace Russell Valentino - fall

2.      Sue Lafky, Journalism and Mass Communications, to replace Russell Valentino – spring

3.      Jack Barnette, Preventive Medicine, to replace Asghar Bhatti – spring

4.      Armando Duarte, Dance, to replace Susan Lawrence – spring 

Hancher Advisory Committee (1 Vacancy)

1.      Penelope Hall, Speech Pathology and Audiology, to replace Helen Chadima 

Budget Planning (1 Vacancy)

1.      William Miller, Pharmacy, to replace Cheryl Contant

Judicial Commission (1 additional clinical faculty member needed)

1.      Steve Stefanac, Dentistry

 Board in Control of Athletics (1 Vacancy)

                  1.   Cheryl Baldwin, Sport, Health, and Leisure, to replace Henrietta Logan

III.   Reports

A.     Health Promotion: UI Wellness. David Rosenthal, Laura Reed and Joni Troester made a presentation on the UI Wellness Program, a staff and faculty wellness program at the University of Iowa. They distributed copies of their “UI Wellness Annual Report, FYE June 30, 1999”, which includes descriptions of the program, its mission, strategic plan, accomplishments, and immediate future plans. The program is particularly interested in ways to increase faculty interest and participation in program activities. There was discussion about the benefits of faculty involvement, including the long-term goal of reduced health care costs. A number of suggestions were offered for enhancing the chances of faculty participation: e.g., FRIC input, walking tours to view campus art, sculpture, architecture; smoking and alcohol cessation programs; stress counseling; creating wellness sites on the web, etc. Members of the University community can find information about the Program at its website: uiwellness@uiowa.edu.

      B.   Faculty Senate Research and Service Questionnaire. Jon Carlson led discussion of the “Report on Results of Faculty Senate Research and Service Questionnaire”, copies of which had been distributed to Council members prior to this meeting. This was a survey carried out by the Faculty Senate to obtain data on faculty productivity in response to initiatives by the Regents to measure faculty productivity (a survey on teaching productivity had been carried out in 1997). A preliminary report was presented to the Regents in May. Jon indicated that the major conclusions to be drawn from the survey (1) faculty at the University are actively (and nearly universally) involved in scholarly research and creative production; (2) as carried out, the survey did not produce reliable data regarding faculty hours spent in specific activities. In response to questions from Council members on definitions of categories of specific activities and the resulting data, Jon suggested that much of the flawed data probably resulted from flaws in the design of the questionnaire.

                  This Report will now be presented to the Faculty Senate and to the Regents. The hours data will not be presented to the Regents because of flawed data. The Report will also be used in discussions with Provost Whitmore on how to generate indicators of faculty productivity.

IV.  Unfinished business

A.     “Termination for cause” standards. Discussion was continued about the University’s proposal to develop and clarify standards and procedures for determining that faculty members were “unfit.” Council members received copies of the following documents: (1) From Mark Schantz - Draft of possible provision on dismissal for cause, Sample dismissal for cause policies from other universities, Excerpts from the AAUP Redbook; (2) From David Baldus, representing Committee A, Iowa Chapter AAUP – Letter of September 4, 1999 re: suggestions for Council consideration on the unfitness issue.

            In response to questions, Mark Schantz provided the background for the current University initiative on the unfitness issue, including the University’s concerns about the loss of a mandatory retirement policy and the need to implement mechanisms to insure faculty vitality. He stated that the current unfitness definition and procedure are too vague and therefore fair to neither employer nor employee. The provision on dismissal for cause that his office has drafted addresses 2 general categories: inadequate performance and misconduct. Mark stated his preference that the faculty “take ownership” for developing an “unfitness” policy, and that his office is prepared to do support work.

            David Baldus was asked to comment on the unfitness issue. David referred Council members to the suggestions in his letter. He stated AAUP’s position that there should be standards and procedures dealing with the unfitness issue and that substantial faculty input should be sought early on. He expressed AAUP’s concerns that the University should justify the need for this endeavor and be asked to define the unfitness problem with considerable specificity, e.g., by providing examples of patterns of unfitness as defined by the University. Based on the model used in the PTEAC regulations, sketches of the records of hypothetical faculty members could be presented that demonstrate various categories of unfitness.

            Council members raised questions about the numbers of faculty who have been dismissed for unfitness (rare) or who currently face charges (none); whether any particular cases had triggered this initiative (no). They expressed the need to provide adequate protection for faculty.

            Professor Cox moved, Professor Milavetz seconded, and the Council unanimously approved the appointment of an ad hoc committee to Faculty Council to study the unfitness issue and make recommendations regarding procedures, substantive standards, and remedies that address the unfitness issue.

            The Council expressed appreciation to AAUP for its valuable and thoughtful input on this matter, including seeking advice from emeritus faculty.

  1. Recognition for outstanding teachers. Discussion was deferred till the next meeting.

V.                 New Business – none

VI.              Announcements

                  University Convocation is October 5 at 7:30 PM in MacBride Hall.

                  The Faculty Senate meeting is scheduled for September 21.

                  The next Council meeting is scheduled for October 12.

Information about participation in the United Way campaign may be obtained from Jon Carlson.

VII.            The meeting was adjourned at 5:15 PM.

                                                                                    Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                    Jean Jew, Secretary