February 12, 2002
Aikin, J. Berg, C. Berman, D. Bills, P. Chang, B. Fallon, V. Grassian, J.
Gramata, R. Hamot, R. Hurtig, S. Kurtz, S. Larsen, R. LeBlond, P. Lloyd, C.
Lynch, K. Marra, J. Menninger, P. Muhly, W. Nixon, T. O’Dorisio,
G. Parkin, J. Polumbaum, M. Raymond, C. Ringen, J. Ringen, H. Seaba, L.
Snetselaar, C. Sponsler, S. Stromquist, K. Tachau, L. Troyer, R. Valentine, E.
Wasserman, R. Weir, P. Weller, J. Westefeld
Abdel-Malek, J. Altman, Z. Ballas, N. Bauman, T. Boles, R. Bork, H. Cowen, C.
Dungy, L. Dusdieker, R. Hegeman, , P. Heidger, L. Hunsinger, J. Jew, P. Kutzko,
J. P. Long, A. McCarthy, R. Miller, S. Moorhead, J. Moyers, B. Muller, I.
Nygaard, A. Qualls, P. Rubenstein, R. Slayton,
Armstrong, D. Brown, J. Cowdery, D. DeJong, K. Diffley, V. Kumar, D.
Manderscheid, T. Mangum, C. Porter, W. Stanford
Senate Officers in Attendance: Amitava
Bhattacharjee, President; Jeff Cox, Vice President; Carolyn Colvin, Past
President; Erin Irish, Secretary
Woodward (Press-Citizen), Jim Jacobson
(Gazette), Jessica Brady (Daily
Iowan), Mary Sue Coleman (President), Downing Thomas (Government Relations),
Jon Whitmore (Provost Office), Kathryn Wynes (Provost Office), Tom Dean
(President’s Office), Colleen Krantz (Des
Moines Register), Lee Anna Clark (Provost Office), Elaine Farley-Zoucha
(Public Health), Julie Thatcher (Faculty Senate Office)
meeting was called to order at 3:35
Menninger moved and Prof. Muhly seconded the following:
To accept the agenda. The
Minutes: Faculty Senate, January 29, 2001
Tachau proposed amending the minutes and distributed copies of a page specifying
her changes, which were designed to get the correct financial data and what she
actually said into the record.
Berman moved and Prof. Aikin seconded the following:
To accept the minutes as amended. The
Report of the University President (Mary Sue Coleman)
Bhattacharjee welcomed President Coleman to the Senate, noting that in this
difficult year for the university, President Coleman has provided considerable
leadership on the issue of threats to higher education.
addressed the Senate on the theme of the threat to public higher education.
This threat is not only here, but also across the country.
This year has brought difficulties and tragedies to us:
terrorist attacks, anthrax scares, a waning economy, the war.
On this campus we lost our dome; the Executive Dean of the College of
Medicine, Dean Nelson; and Phil Hubbard. Nevertheless she is proud of how
university has pulled together, how the university community has supported each
other and the university with considerable grace, compassion, and unity.
Our bonds give us the strength to pull ahead--we need to be open to the
optimism of new possibilities. One
of these challenges is maintaining the public character of the University of
Coleman spoke of Iowa’s greatest point of pride: its staunch support of public
education. She made the point that
public universities are foundational to a democratic society, precisely because
they are public. Public
institutions are expressions of our collective will, what we hold in common for
the greater good. There is a reciprocal relationship between a public university
and its citizenry, who trusts that education will lead to a greater society. The
citizenry is responsible to provide resources for the university to accomplish
the missions with which it has been charged.
To illustrate the public good done by the university for the citizens,
she gave the example related by Frank Conroy about the Writer’s Workshop,
which receives a constant stream of inquiries from ordinary Iowans who send in
their writing requesting feedback. The faculty and staff are happy to oblige.
In Conroy’s words, “The Workshop …belongs to the people of Iowa.”
President Coleman expanded this view to, “This University belongs to
the people of Iowa.” Its history has been of staunch support, yet recently we
are seeing a widening gap between funding from the state and funding we raise
ourselves. Research dollars and
private gifts are welcome, but state support is at the core of our mission.
Public institutions can meet the needs of a populace of a just society.
In Iowa, about 80% of high school graduates go on to college. In a recent
survey, 77% of respondents said that a college education is more important than
it was 10 years ago. More than 80%
believe that public universities bring economic benefits to their home states.
Some 69% nationwide said that if their governor were looking to save money, they
would oppose cuts to their state university.
Coleman thanked the faculty and staff for their efforts to make the University
of Iowa a beacon of excellence. She
has tried to protect the academic core as much as possible but warned that the
outlook is not good. The state
legislature won’t take up the budget for a while, but the numbers don’t bode
well. Some see another shortfall
for this year. More cuts would be
chaotic for the university, as we have nothing left to cut. The legislature is considering alternatives for funding.
Regarding what we can do as faculty of the university during these
troubled times, she urged us to perform our jobs with excellence, and to stand
with the university for the long haul. Secondly,
we can reinvigorate ourselves as intellectuals.
We can give public lectures and provide service to the citizenry, and
make our efforts concrete to the public. She
urged us to start if we don’t do these already, and suggested we contact the
Speaker’s Bureau, or volunteer to speak at the public schools.
President Coleman thought we would be amazed by how receptive citizens
are to faculty input. We might
address an Iowa community, or even make a presentation at the State Fair. Face
to face, human contact goes the farthest. Finally,
we should step up our engagement with our legislators, both state and federal,
and get to know them, such as by taking Joe Bolcolm up on his invitation to
shadow him for a day. She spoke of
the success of last week’s presentation by Profs. Kate Gfeller and Don Gurnett
to the Education Subcommittee. Predicting
that we may have bottomed out for state support, she thought that we could
enhance our public character by being engaged with the public that supports us.
Lynch asked President Coleman what her view was regarding a faculty
representative on the Board of Regents. She
responded that whereas she had served in such a role when a faculty member at
the University of Kentucky, it was quite different from here.
At Kentucky, there was a big Board of Regents, with 22 members, including
alumni as well as faculty, and it served a single institution. Prof. Lynch
continued that newspaper comments from the Board of Regents didn’t seem
supportive of this proposal. President
Coleman answered that she didn’t know the current Board members’ views, as
she has never discussed it with them. President
Bhattacharjee added that the comments from the various Regents came after a
reporter, Heather Woodward, sought out individual Regents for their opinions.
Addressing what effect the state budget might have on the university, she
reported that what the Revenue Estimating Conference is observing right now, as
was reported yesterday, is revenue running 1% less compared to last year’s
revenues, yet budgets were built on the assumption of 1.5% growth, which is what
they thought they would have last November.
This leaves a 2.5% gap that has to be filled.
The State, by its own constitution, cannot end the year with a deficit.
Maybe there will be another across the board cut, which would amount to
another $6 million from the University of Iowa.
Or there may be some other solution.
She was told yesterday that the REC, which normally meets in March, might
meet next week. The legislature and
the Governor rely on their analysis to build budgets.
senator inquired about the 19% of the budget that comes from the state,
wondering whether there is a formula such that if we get more grant money, the
state would match it. President
Coleman answered that there is no such formula for funding here; rather, we have
a flexible budget, and historically have been treated well by the state. There is no formula for how many students we enroll, etc.
We present a budget, and the state funds us based on what we say we need.
We are lowest among the three state universities with regard to
percentage of our budget that comes from the state, but that is because we are
more complicated than the others. We
have a bigger research operation, a big hospital and athletics program.
Income from those makes our total budget much bigger.
What she is worried about is an inexorable decline in funding.
In this legislative session the highest budget priority for our
university is full funding of salaries because it is understood that to remain
competitive, we must make investments in the people who are here. Prof. Aikin asked President Coleman to comment on the reports
of increases in applications despite the increased tuition each student will be
charged next year. She responded
that it is very hard to predict enrollment from application rates, yet we have
to prepare ourselves for the possibility that more students will come.
Provost Whitmore has an active committee that is managing enrollment.
The worst thing would be to get a flood of students to whom we can’t
deliver a good educational experience. She
has not abandoned her revitalization program for the CLAS that she brought forth
last fall. Prof. Menninger brought
up the statistics showing that a college education is correlated with higher
incomes for graduates, and asked why shouldn’t students pay more.
President Coleman responded that this is a public university that serves
not just the students but also the people of Iowa. Here is a case of a private
good that is a far greater public good.
Tachau thought it was important that when we talk about full funding of salaries
we mean not only that we get paid, but also that faculty lines need to be
maintained or restored. President
Coleman agreed with her absolutely, and added that for the first time in the six
years she has been here, she has been hearing from students about the sizes of
classes. Prof. Tachau asked whether
the line that is called “faculty salaries” include support for TA’s,
thinking that it is important to couple them.
Provost Whitmore explained the complication that they can’t be coupled
simply because graduate student raises are negotiated, but nonetheless, graduate
students who are TA’s are counted as faculty.
President Bhattacharjee added that Vice President True had reported at
the last Senate Budget Committee meeting that we have met budget cuts with
attrition; that is, we are losing lines, which will be bad in the long run.
President Coleman confirmed this, reporting that we have lost 3% of our FTE’s,
or 130 positions this year. This
number will be 260 by end of the year, which had started with our being pretty
thinly staffed. Prof. Lynch asked
how effective she judges her efforts to be in talking to communities, urging
people to go to their state representatives to push for continued support for
the university. President Coleman responded that they are effective.
Report of the Senate Governmental Relations Committee (Downing Thomas)
Thomas reported that, with a lot of support and direction from President
Bhattacharjee and from Jim Torner, who was the chair of this committee last
year, he has sought to improve communication with Des Moines.
This is a tough year, but he thought it was just as important that we
think of five or ten years from now. He
reported on some of the initiatives from his committee this year.
They have established ties with the Staff Council Governmental Relations
Committee. He has also stirred up
faculty participation in outreach programs, including a recent meeting between a
few faculty and Representative Mary Kramer and her colleagues.
His committee has held discussions on the possibility of a faculty PAC to
support candidates for election, like a trade group would.
CLAS Faculty Assembly has been discussing that proposal. His committee
will cosponsor a forum with the Johnson County legislators on the last Saturday
of April. Whereas this will be
after the end of the legislative session, this will give us the opportunity to
confront actual voting records instead of promises.
So, there are a couple of major directions that the committee is looking
at, the fac-PAC and working more closely with the Office of Government Relations
in Jessup Hall, working on outreach through that office.
Tachau, realizing that most of our attention is paid to the state legislature,
asked about outreach to our federal representatives. Prof. Thomas answered that there is not much done there, but
President Coleman added that her office does have some connections to federal
representatives, handled by Derek Willard.
Bhattacharjee filled the Senate in on the meeting of January 28 when a few
faculty went to the Iowa state legislature.
Iowa Senator Mary Kramer had met with a number of faculty last fall, and
had at that time invited us back to visit her, to meet with the education
subcommittee. A small group of
faculty went to talk about the value of research to the university.
Don Gurnett (Physics and Astronomy) and Kate Gfeller (Speech Pathology
and Audiology) gave presentations on their research, and Ed Wasserman
(Psychology) made concluding remarks. The presentations were very well
received--there was not a single sleepy face in a full room. It was a really
good affair; maybe if we do this enough times we will convince the legislature
that research is central to the university.
Bhattacharjee then brought up the proposal that a faculty member be added to the
Board of Regents, first giving a little history. When the budget crises came, the UI Faculty Senate had met
with local legislators. After this
meeting, similar meetings were held at ISU and UNI.
As a result of the ISU meeting, Representative Barbara Finch from Ames
made the proposal that a faculty member be added to the Board of Regents, in a
manner parallel to the current student member.
Since then, both UNI and ISU faculty senates met and quickly passed this
resolution. Our Faculty Council was
more hesitant about this proposal. He reported back to Rep. Finch that we had a
list of concerns and questions. As a result, Rep. Finch has made a number of
changes to her proposal that might address the concerns of the council. At
present, a three-person subcommittee is considering the proposal.
Rep. Finch expects it to pass either 3-0 or 2-1.
The Regents have come out against proposal.
President Bhattacharjee has not brought it to the Senate because the
Council has not completed its deliberations.
to the initiative for a faculty PAC, he reported that there have been some
interesting discussions. He felt
that the idea is not so clear-cut that we will jump and say, “let’s do
this.” There are both pluses and
minuses. Nonetheless he had a
vision statement drawn up, which was distributed. Seeds of this idea were
planted during the special meeting of the Senate last fall.
Both this and the proposal to add a faculty member to the Board of
Regents are manifestations of the urge to have faculty voices heard.
He will set up a committee that will seek input from the whole faculty.
Prof. Tachau suggested that a mailing go out to DEO’s to ask them to
discuss this proposal in a faculty meeting.
President Bhattacharjee thought that was a great idea.
Prof. Hurtig brought up the fact that we actually had a similar proposal
in the past, called “PROPS,” and suggested that we take a look at what was
behind that, which had very quickly withered on the vine.
Before we invest time and money, we should appreciate the dynamics of
PROPS. Prof. Menninger suggested
that before a questionnaire goes out, a committee should give advice on its
format. Prof. Kurtz added that we
should find out whether it is legal. President
Bhattacharjee said that he checked with General Counsel Schantz, who said it is
okay. Prof Raymond couldn’t
believe that it would be appropriate for a fac-PAC to be run by Faculty Senate.
President Bhattacharjee agreed that that would be wrong, but a PAC need
not be run by the Senate to represent faculty.
Prof. Menninger pointed out that the questionnaire refers to the PAC of
Faculty Senate, which does not exist. Prof.
Hurtig thought that with strong faculty governance, we are devoting a lot of
energy already. By creating a new
body, there may be confusion in Des Moines regarding input from the Faculty
Senate vs. President Coleman vs. a putative PAC.
We may create more ambiguity. Prof. Menninger clarified that the essence
of this proposal is to speak to legislators with hard cash.
President Bhattacharjee thought that a pac
may be a double-edged sword, as faculty are already too often perceived as paid
too much for doing too little. Prof.
Berman was concerned that both proposals are presented as ways for forestalling
unionizing the faculty, which might not be such a bad thing.
President Bhattacharjee made sure that we knew he did not wish to propose
the establishment of a fac-PAC. Prof. Kurtz suggested that he have a committee
look at this questionnaire.
Report of the Faculty Senate President (Amitava Bhattacharjee)
Bhattacharjee reported on the budget. Very
little is known firmly: the Governor did recommend full funding of salaries and
a flat budget for the university, but nothing is certain yet, which is the
nature of the process at these early stages.
Vice President True and Provost Whitmore are meeting to build the budget,
but have to proceed on the basis of certain assumptions.
Unfinished Business: Creation of a University Flag
reported that last summer Prof. Kurtz had sent President Coleman a proposal to
establish a flag. Faculty Council
has endorsed this proposal. Prof.
Kurtz explained that he thought it would be a very nice idea if we had a flag.
Why should we have one? We
could bring it out for ceremonial occasions, such as graduation or convocations,
and it could be lowered when a faculty or student passed away.
It might be more appropriate to have university flag rather than US flag
for those occasions, as it would be more connected to life at the university.
Also, having these kinds of events with a juried competition is a happy event,
which can give us an opportunity to come together.
Prof. Aikin commented, as someone having an office that overlooks the
flag, that she had trouble imaging two poles as described in the proposal.
President Bhattacharjee suggested we separate the ideas of having two
poles vs. having a flag. Prof.
Kurtz explained that his proposal is really for having a flag, and that he
hadn’t thought too much about how it would be displayed.
Prof. Seaba humorously suggested having a Flag Etiquette and Protocol
Committee, and then asked whether there is evidence of an old flag? President Coleman answered that no one could find any.
Prof. Hurtig brought up two issues. First, the Old Capitol is an historic
building, so we can’t change its design.
If the Senate is to consider this, we should separate the idea of a flag
from how it’s displayed. President Coleman reported what is happening now, when we
would like to fly the US and state flags but the dome and its flagpole are gone.
She had asked FSG to find a new place for a flagpole.
They will put one someplace on the Pentacrest for the interim.
Prof. K. Ringen asked how much a university flag would cost.
She would be absolutely opposed to this proposal if it prevents a faculty
member from going to a conference or supporting a graduate student.
Prof. Kurtz anticipated that we could find some alumnus who might support
this. Prof. Ringen also feared that
this might turn out to be a PR issue at a time when we under siege:
it might seem frivolous. Prof.
Kurtz responded that this is a perfect time: symbols are important.
Prof. Hurtig thought we could turn this into a fund-raising opportunity.
When times are tough, there is not a better time to do something positive.
This could help boost morale. Prof.
Nixon appreciated the idea but suggested that a flag as an icon might be looking
backward, as we have had flags for thousands of years.
He suggested an alternative, such as a 3D hologram, which would set us
apart. Prof. LeBlond humorously added that since universities are feudal
organizations, a flag would be most appropriate! He believes in the symbolism of a flag, and felt that they
can have tremendous value. Prof.
Westefeld liked the idea of the outcome of the proposal.
If it’s a competition, the process can include people from outside the
university, and bring them in. Prof.
Tachau had agreed with Prof. Ringen, but the idea of inclusion swayed her
opinion. Associate Provost Clark
reported that the Emeritus Faculty Council voted strongly against the proposal.
They thought it was unnecessary. Prof.
Berman responded that she likes to get up in a cap and gown and read the names
of students who are graduating. It
is one of our responsibilities to the state to provide a symbol of the
importance of higher education. President
Bhattacharjee reported that he had gotten a suggestion from a design colleague
to keep the design of a flag out of the hands of amateurs.
Prof. Gratama volunteered to be on committee if the idea is accepted.
Prof. Raymond called the
question to vote on the amended proposal. The
Prof. Kurtz moved and
Prof. Tachau seconded the following:
MOTION: To accept the amended proposal. The motion carried.
meeting was adjourned at 5:08.
Erin Irish, Secretary