Annual Report to the Faculty Senate

Council on Teaching



Executive Summary

The Council on Teaching (COT) met 10 times during the course of the 2005-2006 academic year. Meeting agenda are included as an appendix to the report. COT activities over the year can be divided into three general categories; actions and advice, as a consequence of discussion and investigation of various matters related to teaching and learning at the University, and the administration of the teaching awards for which COT is responsible.

COT actions:

§         Updated COT charter

The Council worked to update its charter and successfully shepherded the revised version through the approval process. The updated charter is included as an appendix to this report.

§         Lane Davis Award for Team-Teaching

COT was presented with a new award for team teaching at Iowa initiated by Prof. John Nelson, Honors Program director and COT member, and Associate Provost William Reisinger. The Council strongly approved of the award and its intent.

§         Handbook for Teaching Assistants

COT discussed the future of the “Handbook for Teaching Assistants”, concluding that the handbook was quite useful and urging that a print copy continue to be produced. It was noted that the handbook contains a “Code of Teaching Responsibilities” which has its origins in the efforts of past Councils. The discussion of responsibilities is necessarily abbreviated and, so, should contain a pointer (i.e. a URL) to the more detailed description in the University operations manual. COT expressed a desire that funding for the project, now partially supported through the COT budget, be solidified.

§         Plagiarism case studies

The Council reviewed materials on various forms of plagiarism that are to be used for tutorials for University students to help make them more aware of academic misconduct. The Center for Teaching has assumed responsibility for preparing the tutorial content. COT provided feedback and direction as to the format and structure of the tutorials and supported an implementation plan that has an on-line version available starting this summer.


COT advice:

§         Reporting of the ACE student core

COT confirmed that a past agreement to make the responses from the student core section of the ACE forms available to the University of Iowa Student Government (UISG) was still in place. COT met with Mark Kresowik, UISG president, and also spoke with Joyce Moore, head of Evaluation and Exam Services. While University officials are aware of the agreement, UISG officers were not as well informed. There are problems related to a lack of communication between successive UISG administrations and a lack of resources to effectively publish the ACE results, currently only available as a paper copy. Ms. Moore indicated that her office, in conjunction with Joel Wilcox from the Provost’s office, is working to implement a web based publication system, protected by HawkID authentication, as part of the new student information system. Ms. Moore also offered expertise to help the UISG formulate the student core questions so that they are more appropriate. However, the project currently has a low priority and the time line for implementation is not clear. UISG stated their interest in the project and a desire to be informed concerning progress. COT urges that the project be completed as soon as possible with the full knowledge of UISG.

§         Incorporation of service learning into the curriculum

COT listened to a presentation by Jean Florman about University efforts to introduce a greater service learning component into the current curriculum. A major component of these efforts has been the service learning workshops sponsored by the Center for Teaching. COT was unanimous in expressing support for the workshops and urged that funding be secured for future events. COT was especially interested in expanding the participation of faculty in diverse disciplines, such as the physical sciences, where the concept of a service component is not as well established or obvious. The strong sentiment of the Council was that the goal of having some form of service learning in the curricula of all departments at the University was highly desirable.

§         Interaction with the Center for Teaching

COT welcomed the director of the Center for Teaching, Prof. Norb Pienta, as an ex officio member of the Council. Prof. Pienta outlined his vision for the Center and initiatives he is putting in place to further these goals. COT is supportive of Prof. Pienta’s efforts and hope to be able to provide future assistance and guidance facilitated by a closer working relationship between the Center and the Council.

§         Conflict of interest policy

The Council discussed a draft conflict of interest policy for members of award-making committees sponsored by the Provost’s office, such as COT. The draft policy was prepared by Associate Provost Tom Rocklin. COT offered several suggestions for refining the final policy.


COT award administration:

§         Instructional Improvement Award (IIA)

The Council was able to fund all nine of the applications received for this program for a total amount of $30,000. COT also clarified and strengthened reporting requirements for award recipients with enforcement tied to eligibility for future awards and monitoring by the Provost’s office. These reports will be examined next year to help in deciding the future shape of the IIA program.

§         President and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence

The Council considered nominations from seven units for ten faculty members, eventually making three awards. Each award has an associated $3,000 honorarium. The recipients were Prof. Karen Heimer in the Department of Sociology, Prof. Er-Wei Bai in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Prof. Leslie Marshall from the College of Nursing. COT also discussed changes in the nomination procedure, to be implemented next year, to help broaden the pool of nominees and encourage greater student participation in the nomination process.


§         Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

The Council reviewed the nominations of 60 teaching assistants, finally making the difficult decisions necessary to identify 25 award winners. Each award carries a prize of $1,000. The winners and their friends and family were feted at an awards ceremony sponsored by COT and the Provost’s office. The call for proposals has been edited for clarity and to ensure that complete reporting of ACE responses are included in the nominating materials.

§         CASE U.S. Professor of the Year Program

The Council sent out a call for nominees to the U.S. Professor of the Year Program, sponsored by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and The Carnegie Foundation. Prof. Teresa Mangum, from the Department of English and a past President and Provost Award winner, was identified. Her nomination materials were collected and forwarded to the Professor of the Year award committee with a nomination from COT.

§         Other awards

COT outlined a procedure to be employed for nominations to the biannual Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, sponsored by Baylor University. The Council also has made preparations to review nominations for the Hubbard Award for Outstanding Education, should support for the award be forthcoming from the donor.


                                                                        Respectfully submitted,


                                                                        Mark A. Young, Chair



i) Updated COT charter/charge

ii) COT membership

iii) COT meeting agenda


Appendix i

2.8(9) Council on Teaching Charter.
(President 5/76; amended 9/93; 3/97; 3/06)

a. Membership. Confirmed by the President of the University:

(1) Eight members appointed by the governing body of the faculty, currently the Faculty Senate;

(2) Four members appointed by the governing body of the students, currently for the purposes of this Council, the UISG;

(3) One member appointed by the governing body of the staff, currently the Staff Council.

(4) Director of the Center for Teaching (ex-officio).

b. Charge to the Council.

(1) The Council shall be governed by the terms of the General Charter.

(2) In addition, the Council shall:

(a) Provide a forum for discussion of present and future needs in the area of teaching and recommend programs for meeting these needs;

(b) Seek, evaluate, select candidates, and establish guidelines for University-wide teaching awards, including but not limited to: Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards, The President and Provost Award for Teaching Excellence, Instructional Improvement Awards.  Similarly, seek, evaluate and select candidates for extra-University teaching awards, including U.S. Professor of the Year.

(c) Advise on development of proposals for outside funding to support curricular development, equipment for teaching, and any other proposals related to the teaching and learning effort of the University;

(d) Advise with respect to the policies, priorities, and procedures on:

(i) evaluation of teaching and learning; including codes of teaching responsibilities.

(ii) University-wide experimental or nontraditional education programs;

(iii) the method, time, and efficiency of registration;

(iv) the conduct of convocations and commencements;

(v) the University calendar; and

(e) Serve in an advisory and oversight capacity for the Center for Teaching.

c. Guidelines. In selecting and appointing members, it is advisable to choose those who have demonstrated an interest and proficiency in the teaching function of the University. Faculty members should be appointed in such a manner that at all times four shall be from the various professional colleges of the University, and four shall be from Liberal Arts and Sciences. The four from Liberal Arts and Sciences shall be appointed in such a manner that at all times one shall be related to the disciplines in Group I, one in Group II, one in Group III, and one at large. These are the groupings used for voting purposes in the College.

Appendix ii

Council on Teaching



                                                                                                       Term Expires             First Appt.


Liberal Arts


Group I

1.   Denise Filios, Spanish & Portuguese, 418 PH                                2006                          2003


Group II

2.   John Nelson, Political Science, 331 SH                                         2007                          2004


Group III

3.   Oguz Durumeric, Mathematics, B20F MLH                                  2006                          2003


At Large

4.   Mark Young, Chemistry, 229 CB (reappt)                                    2007                          2005


Professional Colleges


5.   John-Mark Stensvaag, Law, 462 BLB                                          2007                          2005


6.   Paula Mobily, Nursing, 388 NB                                                    2006                          2003


7.   Vacant


8.   David R Drake, Dows Institute for Research, N408 DSB              2008                          2005



1.      Chad Aldeman(reappt)                                                                  2006                          2003


2.      Chloe Mellecker, 100 Slater #214                                                 2006                          2005


3.      Tim Lavenz, 100 Currier #N228                                                   2006                          2005


4.      David Brauer, Daum #5407                                                          2006                          2005




1.   Gerald Wickham, Upward Bound, 315 CALH                              2008                          2005


Administrative Liaison:  Thomas Rocklin

Member Ex-officio: Norbert Pienta, Center for Teaching

2005-2006 Chair:  Mark Young

Appendix iii

Council on Teaching Meeting Agendas – 2005-2006



September 2, 2005

1.   Introductions

2.   Overview of the Council's responsibilities

3.   Possible topics of interest

            a.     Faculty training in instructional technology

            b.     Use of ACE data for student information

            c.     Incorporation of service learning into the curriculum

4.   Conflict of Interest Policy

5.      Potential charter revision to add Director, Center for Teaching



September 16, 2005

1.   Welcome to new ex-officio COT member

2.   Status of COT charter revisions

3.   Feedback from UISG on publication of ACE scores (Chad)

4.   Presentation on service learning curriculum component (Jean Florman)

5.   Report from the Director of the Center for Teaching (Norb Pienta)



October 7, 2005

1.   UISG perspective on publication of the ACE student core results (Mark Kresowick, UISG president)

2.   Status of COT charter revisions and COT membership

3.   Redesigning the Center for Teaching into the Iowa Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching; mission and names (Norb Pienta)

4.   Teaching Assistant Handbook (Norb Pienta)

5.   IIA reporting; accountability and eligibility

6.      COT influence



October 21, 2005

1.   Status of COT charter revisions

a.          Role of COT in “Codes of Teaching Responsibility”

2.   IIA reporting; accountability and eligibility

3.   Update on publication of the student ACE core

4.   Discuss the President and Provost Award program and announcement



November 18, 2005

1.   Council on Teaching charter status

2.   Proposal for a new team teaching award (John Nelson)

3.   Process and timeline for Instructional Improvement Award reviews (distribution of applications)



December 9, 2005

1.   Old/new business

·     Charter

·     Student Disability Services inquiry

·     Future COT schedule

2.   Review of Instructional Improvement Award proposals



January 30, 2006

1.      Introductions and semester agenda discussion

2.      Distribution of President & Provost Award nominations and discussion of evaluation form

3.      Discuss call for TA awards

4.      Nomination process for the Robert Foster Cherry Award



February 14, 2006

1.      Discussion and decision on President & Provost Awards



April 11, 2006

1.      Discussion and decision on Outstanding Teaching Assistant Awards



May 10, 2006

1.      Plagiarism documents for the Provost’s Office (Norb Pienta)

2.      Nomination procedures for the P&P, Hubbard, and Cherry Awards

3.      Future COT calendar

4.      COT final report