The University of Iowa  

FACULTY SENATE

March 20, 2007

3:30 – 5:15 pm

Senate Chamber, Old Capitol

 

MINUTES

 

Present:                        D. Asprey; J. Beckman; G. Bergus; C. Catney; M. Cohen; S. Collins; J. Cox; K. Culp; E. Dove; S. Fagan; D. Filios; R. Fumerton; T. Grabowski; P. Heidger; R. Herman; C. Kletzing; J. Leddy; T. Loew; K. Marra; S. McGuire; F. Mitros; S. Moorhead; A. Morris; F. Nothwehr; M. O’Hara; B. Plapp; A. Poremba; L. Richman; C. Ringen; T. Schmidt; K. Schuh; K. Southard; A. Sullivan; B. Thompson; J. Tomkovicz; R. Tubbs; T. Ton-That; S. Vincent; R. Wachtel; J. Westefeld; W. Vispoel, S. Wolfe; J. Woodhead; C. Woodman

                       

Absent:                         L. Ayres; D. Balderston; A. Boezaart; A. Borreca; J. Carlson; G. El-Khoury; V. Grassian; G. Hope; M. Karwal; L. Lichtor; S. Lutgendorf; M. Maktabi; M. Noonan; L. Robertson; G. Russell; J. Sa-Aadu; W. Sharp; L. Snetselaar; C. Thomas; D. Thomas

                       

Excused:                       S. Birrell; L. Boyle; K. Brown; G. Bulechek; D. D’Alessandro; V. Dominguez; M. Donovan; D. Drake; C. Green; J. Heggen; B. Justman; Y. Li; R. Martin;

 

Officers Present:           S. Kurtz (President), J. Glass (Secretary), V. Sharp (Vice President) and R. LeBlond (Past President)

 

Guests:                         P. Cain (Vice Provost); A. Cannon (SHAC); C. Drum (University Relations); M. Hogan (Provost), S. Johnson (AP,  Faculty), P. Jones (VP Student Services), M. Khowassah (Director, Student Health), R. Saunders (Director, University Benefits), J. Spratt (Emeritus Pharmacology)

 

I.                    The meeting opened at 3:35 pm

 

II.                 Approvals

 

a.       Meeting agenda—will cover the items on the agenda, but not in this order. 

 

b.      Faculty Senate Minutes Feb 6, 2007— a correction needs to be made under Reports, section c on page 5.   The word “service” needs to be changed to “research”.  With the approved change, Professor Ringen moved to accept the minutes; this was seconded by Professor Cox, the motion carried.  


 

III.               Reports

 

                 

      A.        UI Budget- Doug True, Vice President and University Treasurer

 

President Kurtz introduced guest Doug True. 

           

VP True discussed his close working relationship with Provost Hogan on the Joint Faculty Senate/Staff Council Budget committee and FRIC, among others.  He addressed the overall university budget, nearly $2.3 billion which is made up of many parts.  The part we generally speak about is the General Education Fund (GEF), but this represents only one-quarter of the budget, or about $515 million. The area of patient care accounts for about $900 million of the total $2.3 billion, including medicine and dentistry faculty practice plans.  Other significant parts of the budget are covered by Athletics, residence systems, and contracts and grants – which alone is in the $370 million/year range.  For the University as a whole, 14% of our support comes from state appropriations yet 45% of the GEF is state appropriations.  The state is a very important partner for the GEF. 

 

The UI has a very high bond rating because of strong budget discipline. This is evaluated by outside companies (Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s) and provides a great benchmark.

 

VP True commented that looking on the revenue side (appropriations, tuition, and indirect cost recoveries) of the current fiscal year, the University is on budget.  

 

The process for the next fiscal year begins with what we request of the Regents and the governor.  The concluding part is when we go to the Regents and ask for their preliminary, then final approval for each and every budget and salary at the university. This process is just beginning.  Faculty and staff will speak about their salaries at the next meeting of the Board of Regents in Iowa City.  The President, Provost and VP True will speak about more general issues, including benefits expense[SMC1]  structures, etc.  True said he would report to the faculty budget committee to keep them informed in greater detail.

 

The Regents asked for capital to complete the construction of a new College of Public Health academic building and for the Old Music Building to be restored. The governor recommended the College of Public Health building and deferred maintenance money, and for the UI to receive $12.5 million (non-recurring) for regenerative medicine.  This is also being considered actively in the General Assembly.  It’s looking good for UI to get this money.  On the operating side, this is a good picture.

 

Recommendation for the Regents salary pool is $40m with another $25 million for strategic initiatives.  $25 million of that will offset past appropriations and energy tuition surcharges. VP True said this was very positive on the whole. 

 

In FY08, tuition increases will be 5.2% in-state and 7% non-resident. VP True commented that we are dependent on non-resident students for 58% of undergraduate tuition.  It is a very important group.  Those students make the choice to attend the UI.

 

VP True briefly discussed the results of bargaining unit contracts.

 

Another positive feature next year is that we will eliminate GEF support for intercollegiate athletics, which is approximately $772,000.  It’s a positive thing; it’s taken four years, said VP True, who wished to thank Gary Barta for his cooperation as the new athletic director.

 

VP True referred to the increase in benefit costs. Despite innovative programs, like the generic drug program, the university has to go deeper into fringe benefits and their costs to be sure we can adequately afford them. This is being discussed with the faculty/staff budget committee; more information will be forthcoming in the Fall.

 

Questions were taken from the floor.

 

Professor O’Hara asked about priorities for capital projects. VP True said there was a very aggressive capital program.  The governor’s recommendations are projects on the Pentacrest, the Old Music Building, and the large complex project Seashore Hall.  The Library needs substantial work; they are very high priorities. We have receptive people in the legislature and the governor’s office. 

 

Professor O’Hara asked about funding for Building C in the new CCOM complex.  VP True said it is important to know what you have now and what your future revenues are going to be when planning. Commitments for Building C are coming from the federal government, state and private gifts- the risks are thus mitigated for the university.

 

Professor Cox asked to what extent it is a priority to keep the Pentacrest for academic purposes and if there is any relief coming for library acquisitions.

 

VP True said the Pentacrest is home to some administration, but remains predominantly academic.  He said Jessup Hall and McBride Hall need a lot of work.  The Regents, he said, still have a propensity to fund fixing buildings rather than build new ones.  Some academic programs may be moved out of Jessup Hall, but Pat Cain should be consulted about details for that. No final decisions have been taken. Regardless of what is in the buildings, they need to be fixed.

 

He added that library acquisitions are going forward this year.  There is no money earmarked from the governor for this particular purpose, but even in years with reversions, the Provost’s Office often allocated 5% for acquisitions.  The dynamic for that, even if it is not earmarked, it will work within the allocation we are given.

 

Professor Kletzing asked about externally funded research. 

 

VP True said research is a basic mission of the university.  We’re not fully recovering all costs from the government.  It’s part of our mission to the degree that state and the federal government support it.  Grants and contracts are at the core of this mission.

 

Professor Ringen raised the issue of the research track discussions out of the College of Medicine and whether the idea of bringing in more research dollars means funds will be redirected from other units.

 

VP True did not address the research track directly, but said the core of the question is about space and buildings. Biomedical research is expensive.  It is increasingly important to go to the state, federal government and interested donors. You have to have partners, he said. Combining private, state, and federal funds makes all the difference in swaying the equation.

 

Professor Collins asked about the Regents’ revised policy manual making permanent the reallocation programs that were previously part of the now defunct transformation plan.  Have they set reallocation targets this year and, if so, what is the target?

 

VP True said the Regents have not done that this year. Last year the requirement was $2 on appropriation, $1 on reallocation. That required us to reallocate $2.25 million; we actually reallocated $8.5m.  The reason we did that was dictated by goals the Deans and Provost had, that is, faculty salary.  As we go ahead and work on the budget and work with the budget committee, even if there were no guidelines, it is critical that we talk about reallocation; it can make all the difference in the world in accomplishing goals.  It has to be part of the discussions.  He said he did not know if the BOR has specific guidelines for this.  Re-allocation has been going on for a long time. It has become more focused institution-wide.

 

Provost Hogan wished to address salaries.  He said there are no specific numbers yet, but he wants to be very aggressive on faculty salaries this year.  He said over the last two years there was a little more than 11% gain, which pushed us from 11 in our peer group to number 8.  We’re going to get some salary money from the state this year; it will not have to be done all the way through re-allocation, like we did last year.  Hopefully we’ll have another year of at least 5% or as high as 6+%, that may push us up to number 5 in our peer group, a good place to be.  That remains the principal goal of the Strategic Plan.  We’ve been complaining for three years about not getting enough funding from the state; this year it’s worth celebrating the fact that the governor and legislature are stepping up on the operating and salary sides.  That’s a big step forward as far as the Provost is concerned.  It makes our own decisions a lot easier, he added.

 

Professor LeBlond said there is the assumption that the BOR will maintain the traditional distribution of funding amongst the regent universities.  The Provost added that the money will actually go into the salary bill and may not be distributed by the regents. He reiterated that we have been more aggressive about salaries than the other regent institutions, but he wouldn’t want that to be held against us.  We want to be sure our internal success doesn’t put us at a disadvantage.

 

President Kurtz added when the money is appropriated, it is important to be allocated though the University of Iowa.

 

He thanked Doug True for attending today’s session. The Provost took the first part of his report to say that we should all be appreciative of the fact that we are getting major support from the Governor.  This is important progress.  He wanted to personally thank Governor Culver.

 

There are four new regents. President Kurtz said he wanted to publicly state that he is looking forward to meeting with them as well as the remaining five. Vickie Sharp and I will meet with them in the next two weeks.

 

Professor Collins asked if President Kurtz could discuss whether Interim President Fethke has plans to reorganize central administration. 

 

President Kurtz said he had heard the same rumblings. He asked the Provost if he could address the issue.  He said there has been some talk several months ago about a Vice President for University Relations and also new arrangements for coordinating and organizing governmental relations. Quite a while went by and it came up again last week. Provost Hogan cited a meeting he attended on Thursday with Doug True, Interim President Fethke, Susan Shullaw, and Meredith Hay.  Provost Hogan said any questions should be directed to Interim President Fethke who seemed to want to move faster on the governmental relations.  He had asked all at the meeting for their input via email.

 

President Kurtz said he had heard there was a consideration of combining governmental relations and the VP for research office.  When he first heard about this, he sent an email to Interim President Fethke to point out the important role of the Committee on the Selection of Central Academic Officials, and received a response.

 

Professor McGuire asked about a new president coming into the university; wouldn’t he/she want to have an opportunity to participate in the restructuring of the university?  Why now?  Kurtz had raised the issue of timing with the Interim President.  We may have a new president by July 1.

 

Professor Collins cited the challenges involved in presidential searches.  In our current environment with an abysmal failure of the first phase of the search, we’re in a hole.  He commented he did know how it made sense to even think about reorganizing central administration at this time.  A senator wondered if there has been any consultation with individual regents[SMC2] .  Professor Westefeld, Chair of the Committee on the Selection of Central Academic Officials said Faculty Senate Officers had not been consulted. Kurtz said there is not much he can say at this point.

 

Professor O’Hara said he was concerned that nothing be done to reduce the freedom of the next president.  He asked if the Faculty Senate could make some formal move.

 

Professor Collins said the Faculty Senate had not heard from the president this year and wanted to raise the possibility for him to speak to the Senate to discuss prospective changes to central administration. At times of transition, this would be helpful.

 

President Kurtz clarified that Interim President Fethke has been invited to come, but we have been unable to pin down a schedule.

 

Professor Collins made a motion to invite Interim President Fethke to discuss the issue of the potential reorganization of central administration, the rationale for it,  and other issues. It was seconded by Professor McGuire.  There was no discussion.  The motion carried by unanimous voice vote.  President Kurtz will contact him immediately to extend the invitation.

 

B.        Mandatory Student Insurance  -  A.J. Cannon, Chair, Student Health Advisory

Committee

 

Student A.J. Cannon was introduced. He thanked the Faculty Senate for allowing him to speak on behalf of the Student Health Advisory Committee.  He explained that for several years medical and international students have been required to have health insurance. 

 

Mr. Cannon provided a brief background to this issue.  He said it provided obvious benefits to the UI, its students and faculty.  Health science students have been required to have health insurance since l996; international students since 1980.

     

The policy would cover any student enrolled at UI for 5 credit hours or more who does not have any form of health insurance. The UI would incur no cost for implementation—we already have a way to track and enforce the policy.  He cited several Big Ten and other institutions that already have this policy in place.

 

At the UI, 10% of students do not have health care (15% is the national average). Due to health care expenses, there is the potential for students to end their education.  It has happened at UI for one who declared bankruptcy.  He cited his own appendectomy. Had he not been insured, it would have cut off his education by one year.   It could potentially happen to anyone.

                       

The only way to pursue education without the possibility of ending it because of medical expenses is to buy insurance.  If students know that they have health insurance, they are more likely to be treated and can achieve a greater degree of health.

 

The insurance for a single student would cost about $85/month.  Richard Saunders, UI Benefits, noted this covers individuals up to $200,000 with a low deductible; $50 outpatient services; low prescription fees, provides worldwide coverage; and it does not discriminate by age or disability. There is $10 co-payment for mental health and substance abuse treatment. Students who are covered by their parents’ insurance are waived, but must be prepared to show proof of coverage by a random audit. Since it would be mandatory, students would be allowed to factor it in their financial aid. There are provisions for dependents. Although mandated for students with 5 credit hours and above, it would also be available to all students, no matter how few hours they are registered for.

 

It was noted that this was tabled by the BOR a few years ago and that ISU and UNI do not have similar policies in place. Mr. Cannon said this is why it is especially important to show consensus of opinion from students, staff and faculty. It is also important to speak with legislators.

 

Professor O’Hara told senators that this was unanimously supported at Faculty Council. It was also presented to the Shared Governance Council. Student government had not yet voted on it, to his knowledge.

 

Asked if it would reduce the cost of the Student Health Fee, Director Mary Khowassah said no. When students go to Student Health, there is no charge for office visits. Insurance is a separate issue; it helps cover the costs of emergency room visits or surgery.

 

In response to survey results that showed 95% of students felt they could still afford to attend the UI if the mandatory insurance was charged, Vice President Phil Jones said 95% of students represents a statistical notion; but not necessarily an actual reality.  Students who are not covered will become known when they come out in the audit, or if they have an issue to be addressed.

 

Professor Collins commented that 5% of 35,000 students is a lot of students.

 

Richard Saunders, Director of Benefits, talked about the random audit. If they say they do have health insurance, a certain number will be asked to produce evidence/validation.  He added that a minimal level of coverage is need in case of medical emergency.  At $85 policy, it is similar to the one that costs $500+ for faculty members.  Saunders admitted it did not cover all contingencies. He described some of the coverage: the hospitalization component covers at least $200,000 medical care, specialist care; physician care; hospital care; but it does not have to cover pharmacy expenses.  Basically this policy is already in place; there is a deductible of no more than $2,000.  He said it would be defined as we do now for students in the health sciences.  Asked if it could be specified in the resolution, Saunders offered a ‘quick fix’, by saying “it is no less than provided under the student’s current health insurance plan.”

 

The question was called. A motion was made by Professor Cohen, seconded by Professor McGuire to accept the resolution on mandatory health insurance.  President Kurtz read the resolution aloud.  The resolution was amended to include the word “unanimous[SMC3] .”

 

Be it resolved The Faculty Council and Senate of The University of Iowa, issues their unanimous support for mandatory student insurance to promote a healthy standard of living for the University community and recommend that The Board of Regents, State of Iowa enact this proposal based on its benefits of making health care accessible and affordable for all students.

 

President Kurtz asked Evalyn to send a copy of the amended motion to Mary Greer, President, Staff Council.

 

C.   Tenure Clock update – Susan Johnson, Associate Provost for Faculty

 

President Kurtz briefly described what he saw as a two-fold issue related to the tenure clock discussions:  Medicine would have trouble doing their work and the Gender Task Force raised the issue of the appropriateness of the current tenure clock for men and women who have children.

 

The committee has been working on and off this academic year.  The first issue is extending the tenure clock. He said Faculty Senate could adopt the policy to allow each college to set their own tenure policy of no later than 8 years; the standard around the country has been 6 years. Each college would do their own thing;

 

The second point would be that the tenure clock would automatically be extended for each child brought into the home, not to extend more than 2 years.  Under current rules, they have to come in and make a request.  This would be an automatic extension. There would also be discretionary extensions, where the university was unable to live up to their commitment to set up shop for the faculty, or a death in the family, etc. In no event would tenure be extended 2 years beyond the collegiate norm.

 

AP Johnson added that the last issue to discuss is the application of the norm within the probationary period.  Each current probationary candidate would stay as is or choose to change if the college did elect to have a longer norm. If the college elects to extend the norm, it will extend the expectations of what has to be produced. She said the other key for senators’ consideration is that for the college to change the norm, it has to be done by a vote of the tenured faculty. It is not the dean’s decision.

 

The floor was open for comment.

 

Asked why each college, rather than department, has to choose one tenure clock norm, especially when in CLAS there are such a variety of disciplines, AP Johnson said this had not been discussed in the committee and that it would be awfully complex. Professor O’Hara said there would be nothing to prevent the department from asking the college to do this.

 

Professor Cox cited the local chapter of the AAUP.  He distributed copies of a paper they had previously sent to members of the Tenure Clock Task Force.  It is an anti-change paper. Cox said it should be taken very seriously.  It can also be accessed on the AAUP website.

 

Tenure standards are in place by the AAUP to protect the professional integrity of faculty. It’s not there to guarantee a “job for life”, the reason it is there is to protect intellectual independence.  A deadline is set so this intellectual autonomy is reached before retirement.  The problem in extending is that they are more and more spending their professional life where their independent judgment is subject to other people. 

 

The advantage of having a shorter time is that you focus your scholarly work earlier in your professional life.  It’s not clear that there is major malfunction.   The AAUP believes the system is not broken.  Whoever wants to extend it needs to make a case about what is lost as well as what is gained.

 

The College of Medicine is driving this issue.  Six years is too short.  Part of the genesis of this is to let each college makes rules about making their profession successful.

 

Professor McGuire encouraged senators to read the AAUP statement.  It raises many issues that came up during Task Force discussions.  Some members (Professors Kurtz, Tachau, Schnoor and McGuire) saw the possibility of tenure being damaged in some colleges.  Other members from Medicine provided statistics showing that 50% of tenure track faculty leave. “Indentured servitude” was a point well taken, he said, and one that many members saw as a truism.  That said, McGuire came away thinking the tenure process in the College of Medicine would be enhanced by this.  He called for being respectful of the circumstances that circumscribe particular colleges’ needs to attract successful tenured faculty.

 

Professor Plapp recognized that some tenure track faculty with clinical care responsibilities may be having difficulties, but it is not altogether clear that changes need to be made to the basic sciences.  He also thought different tenure clocks for different departments should be reflected in the policy.

 

President Kurtz said he consider this to be one of the most important topics all the year.  It is very significant for faculty senate to be acting on.  It will be first on the agenda at the next faculty council meeting.

 

Professor Kletzing called to separate gender equity issues.  He thought discussion in the college about a long tenure clock may work against it.

 

Professor Glass commented that a faculty member can always come up early for tenure with a longer tenure clock.  She spoke against removing gender equity considerations from the proposal.  It was not clear to her that women have their most productive and creative years early in their career when the tenure clock competes with childbearing and childrearing.

 

Professor Westefeld asked what the process is by which they decide when to vote.   AP Johnson said it would be supervised by the Provost’s Office.

 

D.      UI Athletics and the Lottery – Michael O’Hara, Chair, Policies and Compensation

   Committee

 

O’Hara cited separate presentations to the Faculty Council by Professor Betsy Altmaier, Big 10 Representative, and Professor Charles Lynch, Chair, PCA concerned with the connection of UI Athletics and the Iowa Lottery.  Vigorous discussion followed each. At the March 6th Council meeting, Professor O’Hara moved that the Faculty Council go on record to urge the Athletics Department and the PCA to drop the Athletics Department’s association with the Lottery.  The motion was seconded by Professor Thomas.  There was a unanimous voice vote in favor, with one abstention for conflict of interest; the motion carried.

 

There will be a similar motion at at the next PCA meeting.  He sought a similar motion from the Senate to endorse the same perspective that any gaming activities be terminated.  This is made in support of NCAA standards and best practices.  Any link between the NCAA and gaming is inadmissible.  He said that compulsive gambling is becoming a big problem and that the UI Department of Athletics should responsibly refrain from working with the Lottery.   

 

Professor O’Hara moved that the Faculty Senate endorse the motion going forward to terminate UI Athletics’ relationship with the Iowa State Lottery.  It was seconded by Professor Loew.

 

President Kurtz opened the floor to discussion.

 

Professor McGuire noted that the UI is the only university within the Big Ten who is not upholding the best practices of the NCAA.  He said the Councilors felt it was absolutely essential. The argument that the General Fund has money coming via the State Lottery is a non-starter.  The issue is that the Athletics Department would be identified with gambling.

 

O’Hara said his original motion was focused specifically on the Lottery.  How an organization portrays itself is not considered here.

 

Professor Cohen said it is important for the faculty to let the Athletics Department know where they stand. The PCA is also an advisory body, he noted. A strong sentiment from faculty would send a strong message.

 

The question was called by Professor Kletzing; seconded by Professor Woodhead.  There was a unanimous voice vote, the motion carried.

 

IV.              Adjournment – A motion was made to adjourn; it was seconded; the meeting closed at 5:18 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 [SMC1]This comma changes the meaning

 [SMC2]Somebody asked this (maybe McGuire) but it wasn’t me.

 [SMC3]Seems to suggest we amended the resolution to include the word unanimous and then voted.