The University of Iowa
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Iowa Room, #335 Iowa Memorial Union

Members Present: Gloria Bulechek, Christine Catney, Viriginia Dominquez, David Drake, Vicki Grassian, Paul Heidger, Sheldon Kurtz, Steve McGuire, Michael O’Hara, Catherine Ringen, Linda Snetselaar, Downing Thomas, Brad Thompson

Members Absent: Linda Boyle, Claibourne Dungy, James Nepola, Jarjisu Sa-Aadu

Members Excused: Frank Mitros

Faculty Senate Officers in Attendance: Richard LeBlond, President; Michael Cohen, Secretary; Katherine Tachau, Past President

Guests: Charlie Drum (University Relations), Tom Rocklin (Office of the Provost), Susan Johnson (Office of the Provost), Judie Hermsen (Human Resources), Jennie Smazik (Faculty Senate Office)

I.  Call to Order

Faculty Senate President LeBlond called the meeting to order at 3:36 p.m.  The Faculty Council members introduced themselves.

II.  Approvals

   A.   Meeting Agenda

Professor LeBlond requested approval of the meeting agenda with minor modifications.                 

The revised meeting agenda was approved by voice vote after a motion by Professor Thomas and a second by Professor McGuire.

   B.   Faculty Council minutes of April 12, 2005 (Attachment 1)

Professor Ringen moved, second by Professor Tachau, to approve the minutes of April 12, 2005, with minor modifications.  The motion was unanimously approved by voice vote.

   C.  Senate Agenda, September 6, 2005 (Attachment 2)

The Senate agenda for September 6, 2005 was unanimously approved by voice vote after a motion from Professor Kurtz and a second by Professor Tachau with one modification.  The Provost’s Address to the Faculty Senate will be in October, not in September.

   D.  Recommended Committee Replacements

Senate President LeBlond made the following recommendations for Committee replacements:

President’s Committee on Athletics: Michael Cohen (Pathology), 5-year term
President’s Committee on Athletics: John Solow  (Economics), 1-year term
University Diversity Committee: Tarrell Portman (Education); Salome Raheim (Social Work) chair; Victor Rodgers (Engineering); Rachel Williams (Art Education)
Financial Aid Advisory Committee: Mark Young (Chemistry)
Government Relations: Art Bettis (Geosciences); Richard Hichwa (Radiology)
Professor Ringen made a motion for approval, seconded by Professor Drake, which was unanimously approved by voice vote.

A couple of vacancies remain: one each on the Council on Teaching and FRIC.  Several names of potential committee members were suggested to Faculty Senate President LeBlond.

III.  Reports

   A.   Faculty Senate President LeBlond gave updates to the Council on several issues.

1. Action of the US House of Representatives RE: Professor Wasserman
President LeBlond reported that a letter in support of Professor Wasserman from the Faculty Senate Officers was sent to Iowa Congressional representatives.  Professors Tachau and McGuire provided background information to the issue, and Professor O’Hara updated the Council about Professor Wasserman’s potential “defunding.”  It is highly unlikely that Congress will approve this.

2. Work Plan for Review of University and Faculty Policies
President LeBlond indicated that the Council and to some extent the Senate as well spent too much time wordsmithing policies and procedures, and not enough time deliberating substantive issues.  He recommended that committees charged with specific policies and procedures attend to the details, in conjunction with the Committee on Policies and Compensation, and that the Council focus on the spirit and intent of policies.  In addition, President LeBlond suggested that chairs of committees come largely from the Council in order to improve bi-directional communication and feedback. 

3. Rules & Bylaws Committee Plans
President LeBlond indicated that revisions, amendments, and updates were necessary in the Senate bylaws so that they were consistent with current practice, and that these would need to be approved by the Board of Regents.  Further, he indicated that a manual of procedure would help with the workflow of the Council and the Senate but that this would not require Board of Regents approval.  Councilors were strongly urged to carefully review the current version of the Rules & Bylaws.

4. Iowa City Human Rights Commission: Nominations for Human Rights Awards
President LeBlond solicited names for this citywide award. 

5. Summary of the August 16 Retreat
The conclusion that President LeBlond conveyed to the Council was that the faculty was very much on the right track and that they should adhere to what they were doing, including their involvement in faculty governance.  That said, he also indicated that enhancement of relationships with internal constituencies, e.g. Staff Council, Student Government, UI Central Administration, and other committees, should be actively pursued.

6. Communication and Coordination with Charter and Faculty Senate Committees
Some of the issues were presented previously (III. A. 2., above).  In addition, President LeBlond indicated that he would like regular feedback from Committees to the Council, with assigned due dates, in addition to the current practice of annual reports.

   B.  Other Issues—President LeBlond

1. Research Track Discussions
President LeBlond indicated that the Carver College of Medicine was preparing a proposal for the establishment of a research track.  Although no draft document currently exists it was the expectation of President LeBlond that the Council will review such a document early in the process for its intent and that the Policy and Compensation Committee, chaired by Professor Collins, would also review it.  Subsequently, there was a lively discussion about the history of a previous university discussion about the research track and some of the salient issues that would need to be addressed in a new proposal.  Amongst the issues brought forth during this discussion were: the need to understand the Provost’s perspective, the need to have strong support from faculty within the College of Medicine and broad support across the campus, a possible need for a campus wide survey on this topic, what role the Research Council and the Vice President of Research would play, the need for input from the Council on Teaching as well as the AAUP, and the need to minimize anxiety that this issue may engender.

2. Annual Report of the Office of the Ombudsperson: Professional Ethics and Academic Responsibility, Section 15.4. Report due October 4, 2005
Faculty councilors were urged to review this part of the policy and refer comments to Professor Collins who would communicate back to the Council.  In part this focused on having consistent similar policies that were already in place for Staff Council and Student Government. The Annual Report of the Office of the Ombudsperson to the Council will be on October 4th and to the Senate on October 18th. 

   C.  Faculty Awards and Recognition Committee

President LeBlond reported that the Provost is interested in establishing a centralized mechanism for conferring honorary degrees.  Professor John Scott (Art & Art History) has been asked to develop an Honorary Degrees Policy, with a report due November 15, 2005.

   D.  Elections Committee, Katherine Tachau: Faculty Senate Vice President Election

Professor Tachau indicated that two candidates for the vice presidential election had been identified and that the election would take place at the next Faculty Senate meeting on September 6th.  The Council indicated its thanks to Professor McGuire.

IV.  Unfinished Business: Criminal Background Checks (Attachment 3)

President LeBlond summarized the policy and the discussion that had arisen at the last Faculty Senate meeting in April, 2005, as well as the incorporation of minor revisions in language.  A discussion amongst the Council ensued that included dialogue on what positions were considered at risk, how potential individuals who were coming from abroad could be effectively screened, and how it would be implemented.  A motion for approval was put forth by Professor Tachau, and seconded by Professor Kurtz.  The motion carried 10-0-4 (for-against-abstain).  Professor Ringen, seconded by Professor Tachau, proposed a follow-up motion that the Faculty Council and Senate receive annual follow-up, in person, about the number, types, cost, and implementation of the policy.  The motion carried by voice vote.

V.  New Business: Communication with Faculty and Organization of Senate and Council Representation

President LeBlond led a discussion about enhancing communication between the Faculty Council and Senate and how they interact with college specific governance mechanisms.  One mechanism that was discussed was establishing a closer, more formal link between University and college elected faculty.  Other potential avenues that were brought forth included: reports at college faculty meetings by Councilors/Senators, e-mail correspondence from the Senate President, and the use of the anticipated on line version of FYI.  There was a consensus that Councilors and Senators should communicate with their respective faculty constituents.

VI.  From the floor                   

Professor O’Hara raised two issues that he would like discussed by the Council at future meetings that focused on what he termed “institutional excellence”.  The first was the level at which endowed professorships and chairs was determined.  He further expressed a concern that the level may be too high.  The second issue was the mechanism by which university resources were undergoing reallocation to support what he termed “the best”.  After some discussion, President LeBlond indicated that he would bring these two issues to the attention of the Provost and add them to the working list of agenda items.

VII.  Announcements

  1. University of Iowa Volunteer Fair, August 31, 12:30-5:30, Main Lounge
  2. Faculty Senate, September 6, 3:30-5:15, Iowa Room 335 IMU
  3. Faculty Council, October 4, 3:30-5:15, Penn State Room, 337 IMU

VIII.  Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 5:15 pm


Respectfully submitted,

Michael B. Cohen
Secretary, Faculty Council

Richard F. LeBlond
President, Faculty Senate