University of Iowa
Tuesday, February 5, 2002
Penn State Room, 337 Iowa Memorial Union
Members Present: Richard LeBlond, Patrick Lloyd, Chuck Lynch, Kim Marra, Ann Marie McCarthy, John Moyers, Paul Muhly, Gene Parkin, Craig Porter, Margaret Raymond, Hazel Seaba, Lisa Troyer, John Westefeld
Members Absent: Vicki Grassian
Members Excused: Joyce Berg, Rebecca Hegeman, David Manderscheid
Faculty Senate Officers in Attendance: Amitava Bhattacharjee, President; Jeff Cox, Vice President; Erin Irish, Secretary; Carolyn Colvin, Past President
Guests: David Ricketts (Parking and Transportation), Nancy Baker (Libraries), Edward Shreeves (Libraries), Linda Noble (Parking and Transportation), Dave Martin (Staff Council), Ed Norbeck (Physics), Jim Jacobson (Gazette), Charles Drum (University Relations), Heather Woodward (Press-Citizen), Lee Anna Clark (Office of the Provost), Jon Whitmore (Provost), Julie Thatcher (Faculty Senate Office), Raul Curto (Liberal Arts and Sciences)
I. Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 3:35.
A. Minutes: Faculty Council, January 22, 2001
The minutes were accepted by consensus.
B. Approval of February 12, 2002 Senate Agenda
The agenda was accepted by consensus.
III. Report of the Faculty Senate President
Initiative to add a faculty member to the Board of Regents (Amitava Bhattacharjee)
President Bhattacharjee introduced this topic by reporting that, with the recent budget crisis, many of us took special initiatives to invite local representatives to come visit us. He had relayed the success of the special meeting of our Faculty Senate and Johnson County legislators to Faculty Senate colleagues at ISU and UNI, who then invited their legislators in for similar meetings. One result of this is a proposal from Representative Barbara Finch of Ames to the Iowa State Legislature that a faculty member be added to the Board of Regents. President Bhattacharjee explained that the State Board of Regents governs the following institutions: SUI, ISU, UNI, the Iowa Braille and Sight-saving School, the State School for the Deaf, the Oakdale campus, and the State Hospital School. There are currently nine members of the Board of Regents. One member of the Board of Regents is a student, who has full voting membership. All terms are 6 years, even for the student (who will have graduated by the time her term is up). Rep. Finch put to her subcommittee a proposal that there be a tenth member added to the Board of Regents, who shall be a faculty member. President Bhattacharjee has talked to President Coleman and others in Jessup Hall about this proposal. He has been informed that the administration at UI is completely neutral about this. Faculty sentiment is another matter: faculty at ISU and UNI are firmly in favor of this proposal. It is not unheard of for faculty to be members of a Board of Regents. There can be certain advantages to having such a membership. This resolution would have to be passed by the state legislature, and if it passed, the Governor would ultimately appoint the new member. President Bhattacharjee reported that he has been dragging his feet on this matter. He would like to have the input of the Faculty Council.
Prof. Muhly asked President Bhattacharjee why he has been dragging his feet. The latter answered that knowing that the Faculty Council is a very thoughtful group; he wanted to find out what exactly had been proposed, but found it had not been clearly articulated. He also wanted President Coleman’s input before taking action. He wanted to know how the Board of Regents felt about this proposal. Furthermore, he didn’t know when the vote would come about. Prof. Porter suggested that before we go further, he would like to know what the charter of the Board of Regents specifies. Having anticipated such a question, President Bhattacharjee had previously examined the 32-page charter. He reported that the Board of Regents deals with everything to do with the administration of the seven institutions, including budgets, buildings, the Operations Manuals, and so on. They also generally like to formulate uniform policies across the different institutions, especially among the three universities. The Board meets monthly, for one or two days each time. The Board of Regents approves many of the resolutions passed by the Faculty Senate that are incorporated in the Operations Manual. Whereas sometimes it is simply pro forma, with other issues, such as budget, they have real input into the outcome.
Prof. Porter asked how much the Board of Regents is like a business. How much input do they have in academic matters? President Bhattacharjee answered that the gamut of business that they consider is fairly broad. The student member has been able to make valuable contributions in many matters?. For example, when communication technology was presented to the Board of Regents, the student was able give good advice on how helpful various options would be. A second example of when additional input to the Board would have been valuable is when the issue came up regarding how much time a faculty member spends at work. Associate Provost Clark was able to tell them that on average we spend 58 hours per week. The Board members asked lots of probing questions. A faculty member could explain why it takes so much more than 40 hours a week, dividing our efforts among teaching, research, and service. Or, on the issue of developmental assignments, what they do for faculty and how they invigorate our research programs: a faculty member can provide a perspective that is missing from the Board of Regents, as many of its members, although having many advanced degrees, do not come from a background of academia. President Bhattacharjee was ambivalent about the proposal: maybe it would be a good thing. But, if we add a faculty member, then perhaps staff would also like a member, with the net result that the Board could get so large as to be unwieldy. It would then be able to work only in subcommittees, which defeats the purpose of having a unified Board. So, there could be advantages and disadvantages to adding a faculty member to the Board.
Prof. Troyer asked about Rep. Finch’s motivation, wondering what is broken. President Bhattacharjee answered that it was more that Iowa State colleagues feel that this would be beneficial for having the faculty voice heard. Prof. Westefeld asked whether this type of arrangement exists for other Boards. President Bhattacharjee answered that he did not have precise statistics, except that President Coleman reported that she had served on Kentucky’s Board of Regents when she was a faculty member there, and that this arrangement was not unique. He added that this proposal is loosely defined, and is being left to the legislature and to the Governor to define. Prof. LeBlond said that it seemed to him that this issue is one of communication, and that he would support any initiative that would enhance communication among the Board of Regents and its constituent faculties. He asked how often do Faculty Senate Presidents attend Board of Regents meetings. President Bhattacharjee answered that he has gone to most of them but has missed a few because of research responsibilities that have taken him elsewhere. He has made presentations twice, at the invitation of the Board of Regents. He added that no doubt it would expand their understanding of what faculty do. Prof. Porter asked who does show up from this university regularly at their meetings. President Bhattacharjee listed President Coleman, Provost Whitmore, and Vice President True as always attending. Other regular attendees include Associate Provost Lee Anna Clark, as well as others from the Office of the Provost and some Deans as well, depending on what is being discussed.
Prof. Porter thought that whoever is appointed as a faculty member to the Board of Regents should be able to represent the faulty adequately. Could a clinical track faculty from here or a professor from UNI do the job? He could see having a representative from each university. Prof. Marra noted that the governor would choose this person and thus it would be a political appointment. A result of that could be that it would change the nature of the faculty member’s participation. President Bhattacharjee responded that the guidelines for determining membership to the Board of Regents specify only that no more than five members are to be of the same political party. Prof. LeBlond thought that it would be difficult for one person to represent all seven institutions, with the undesirable consequence that we could wind up losing representation. Prof. Moyers asked whether the faculty member of the Board would vote. If so, that would enforce the political aspect. One could pressure the member to vote a certain way. Would the member be tenured? He needed to know more what the position would be, while he is in favor of considering it: a student plus a faculty member would constitute 20% of the Board. President Bhattacharjee answered that the details have not been worked out, adding that the problems that Prof. Moyers raised are already problems for the student member. Prof. Moyers asked if the student and faculty member should be from the same school. Prof. Troyer saw conflict of interest issues that are serious, and real. She asked how a single individual could do this effectively, and represent all seven institutions fairly. Prof. Moyers replied that they would have to be serving as a member of the Board of Regents, and not be acting as a representative to the Board of Regents; otherwise we would need representatives from all the various factions of each institution. Prof. Parkin explained that ISU wants faculty representation: isn’t that their motivation? He asked whether other constituents are represented by various members of the Board of Regents.
Prof. LeBlond thought this change would be a mistake. Having a faculty member on the Board of Regents is not the same as having a student member. He would rather keep representation as it is, with the Faculty Senate President attending regularly with members of the central administration. Prof. Porter agreed that there is a lot more homogeneity among the student experiences than there is for faculty. And Faculty Senate Presidents receive counsel from lots of groups. Prof. Lloyd was concerned that there would be confusion about whether a statement was a personal opinion vs. a considered representation. Prof. Lynch admitted that he would be reluctant to serve as a representative himself. It would be very hard to represent the interests of your own institution if you were member of the Board of Regents. Also, it would be very hard to represent faculty at institutions we know little about. Prof. Muhly asked how much the Board of Regents meets outside of the public meetings. President Bhattacharjee responded that they meet a fair amount. Prof. Muhly concluded that we would gain representation there. Prof. Lynch added that they also know where they can go for information.
President Bhattacharjee asked Prof. Colvin what she thought about this resolution, with her experience working with the Board of Regents. She answered that she is not in favor of it. She pointed out that these are six-year terms, which could be an onerous burden on top of our regular responsibilities as faculty members. If a faculty member were a member of the Board of Regents, (s)he might be put on the spot to come up with information that the Provost, or others, would be better able to provide. There wouldn’t be much opportunity to speak at length about issues of concern. Regarding a term of six years: we would have to be content if a professor from UNI was representing us. Prof. Lynch asked whether we should have representatives from UNI and ISU come tell us why they were so strongly in favor of the resolution. President Bhattacharjee replied that he would be glad to do so, but we have to do something today. Prof. Marra would prefer that the tenor of the report be that we have serious reservations and need more information, without which we were unlikely to be in favor of the proposal. Prof. LeBlond presented a competing resolution that he later withdrew.
Prof. Moyers suggested that President Bhattacharjee instead of reporting yes/no, just list our concerns. Prof. Seaba inquired if the student member is the only Regent with a constituency. President Bhattacharjee answered that the student Regent is not chosen to represent a constituency per se but rather is there to give a student’s viewpoint. Prof. Seaba followed up by asking what the faculty representative would add. Prof. Porter asked what additional information would help us come to a decision. President Bhattacharjee answered that the information is such that no one can give it to us now. He could go back and say that the discussion was inconclusive, based on our desire for additional information. Prof. Cox was reluctant to proceed on this, and was very curious why there had been unanimity on the other campuses. He pointed out that the Board of Regents approves our Operations Manuals, grants tenure, etc. Prof. Westefeld agreed with him, wondering what was the rationale for supporting this so strongly at other universities. President Bhattacharjee agreed to go back to those Faculty Senates, to learn their reasons. Prof. LeBlond asked President Bhattacharjee what he planned to do with respect to the answer he had to give in the next few hours. The latter responded that he would report that there had been some positive responses to the proposal, but also some questions. Prof. LeBlond voiced his concern that by not favoring this, we will come off looking like we don’t want representation, when in fact we are concerned that our perspectives be heard.
IV. Other Reports
A. Report of the Parking and Transportation Committee (David Ricketts)
Mr. Ricketts presented a proposal for increases in parking rates. The last time there was a proposal for increases was in the spring of 1997. That had been presented as a four-year plan; now five years later, they have a plan for the next three years. There will be a final vote on February 14, so that they can take the proposal to the March Board of Regents meeting. The proposal covers increased parking and ticket rates. It will also address the problem that at the hospital about 500 hospital employees use the ramp that is designated for patients. To discourage this practice, an increasing rate of penalties has been proposed.
Prof. Lynch asked what the rationale is for the $6 increase. Ricketts replied that it is a compromise. If you charge what it actually costs, that would drive most people away. All the fees they collect go back to Parking. Prof. Raymond was concerned that these rates will drive away staff in particular, and wondered if they ever have considered charging different rates to faculty and staff. Ricketts replied that they had considered that, but each time have ultimately come to the conclusion that it isn’t fair to do so. Prof. Porter was confused with their claims that they are self-supporting but need more money. Ricketts replies that expansion is one reason. The university needs more parking for patients, at a cost of $7.5 million. He also reported that Athletics will move their practice facility, and that Parking will expand into their old space. Prof. LeBlond asked whether Parking oversees parking for athletic events. Ricketts replied that they do: they collect the money, pay the bills, and pass the excess to athletics. Prof. LeBlond followed that by asking whether Parking really isn’t independent. Ricketts replied that although athletic event parking is under their purview, he would be happier without it: They work a lot of overtime, and it generates more trouble than revenue. President Bhattacharjee was curious about the four-year plan in the context of a longer-term plan, adding that there seemed to be a certain ad hoc-ness to this. Ricketts responded that they are very dependent on decisions made across a decentralized campus. A lot of times a new building is planned, and there goes a parking lot. It is hard to have a grand plan, but they try. He predicted that the real growth would be in peripheral parking, with maybe a monorail down the line. They also have good commuter plans, vanpools or bus passes, for people who don’t drive. Prof. Cox asked whether the city’s free shuttle has helped. Ricketts responded that it has, and that they work closely with the city on this. The city is very supportive. He also pointed out that mass transit has not faired well in the past 20 years in Iowa City.
Prof. Lynch asked for clarification of the rationale for how increases are done. Ricketts responded that with regard to violations, meter violation fees have no effect any more. Parking doesn’t tow offenders, so people build up fines of $500 or even $1000. The new fines will make it worth our while to feed the meter. Prof. Lynch asked why hourly rates are being changed. Ricketts replied that it was because they hadn’t changed it in a long time. They are moving away from hourly fees that support permit parking. Prof. Moyerss asked if one rate doesn’t go up, then would another have to go up more? Ricketts answered that they are trying to influence how we use the parking facilities. Prof. LeBlond asked how we compare to other institutions. Ricketts replied that it is difficult to make a perfect comparison, but roughly we are average to low. Prof. Lloyd asked when the new athletics lot would open. Ricketts answered that it would be open in late August. This will be the first new ramp in three years. Prof. Porter, coming from the College of Medicine, said that he hears many complaints there about parking, but nonetheless suggested that Parking be much more punitive regarding employees using patient parking. Ricketts was sympathetic to that idea, pointing out that the fees will go from $10 to $25, but added that it is hard to confirm that someone is an employee. Prof. Porter reported that he used to pay ten times more to park at another university, and sees room for bigger increases here. Prof. Lloyd asked if the graduated rate is being considered for dental school, to which Ricketts replied that it is not, at the school’s request.
B. Report on Library Acquisitions (Nancy Baker and Edward Shreeves)
President Bhattacharjee introduced this topic by reporting that when we went through the most recent budget crisis, Provost Whitmore did not cut the library acquisitions budget at all. Recently we all received an e-mail message from Nancy Baker reporting a $300,000 cut to that budget. This cut is really the result of a flat budget in face of increasing costs. Ms. Baker confirmed this: their budget has increased, but not at a sufficiently high rate. Whereas they don’t know what the budget in ’03 will be, the real problem is that it takes so long to work with departments to find out what can be eliminated so that, if cuts come, they can respond in a timely fashion. She agreed that Provost Whitmore is committed to the library and had told them not to plan for a cut of any more than $300,000. Mr. Shreeves agreed that it is a loss in purchasing power, not a loss in actual dollars. Their budget is $8 million. If they get anything more, it will have to be reallocated from elsewhere in the university. Prof. Lynch asked whether the inflation rate is still so bad. Shreeves answered that it is not as bad as it has been. Inflation is a small part of it, there is publisher greed, and then there is the strong dollar vs. the cost of foreign journals. Also, as some universities have cut subscriptions, publishers pass on costs to the rest of us. And, electronic journals also cost more. There is more material to buy, even publications in print: despite predictions that the book will become extinct, there are more of them.
Prof. Colvin asked if the library budget is a separate line. Shreeves answered that it is, and that the legislature previously, and this year the governor, zeroed this out. Prof. Cox agreed that this is the governor’s action. Prof. Colvin thought that this is an area that the Senate should take up and call attention to it. Baker pointed out that is an issue for Senates of all three institutions. Prof. LeBlond suggested that we need more faculty members on legislature, not on the Board of Regents. Prof. Cox stated that previously, the monograph budget went down as result of the escalation of serials costs. Shreeves agreed, adding that Iowa has done better than most in protecting serial acquisitions. Prof. Cox concurred: our administration has been great in protecting our library acquisitions. Baker remarked that there was not much low-hanging fruit left with regard to responding to budget cuts. A lot of e-journals come as packages within the CIC, so that they get a slightly better deal. The library needs to consider whether we will keep both paper and electronic versions. In some cases we don’t have much choice as they come in packages. E-journals are favored by a lot of faculty. Prof. Lynch asked whether they are considering electronic instead of or in addition to hard copies. Shreeves answered that it is usually both. Each publisher offers a different deal.
Prof. Norbeck (Physics) was invited to provide some information. He explained that the use of journals is essential to PhD students. The University of Iowa ranks 96 out of 110 universities with regard to number of journals per graduate student. Undergrads need books. The University of Iowa pays $102 per year per student. He suggested we compare that number to what each student pays for textbooks each year. President Bhattacharjee added that in his discussions with Provost Whitmore he finds that this is a gloomy topic, but nothing new. It is a problem at the governor’s level. Prof. Muhly pointed out that this is a state resource, and asked if there was any information for outside-of-university service. Baker answered that she has the data showing that we lent to more than 500 libraries, in all counties of the state, last year. We are a resource for the state. Prof. Seaba, asking about the state medical library, wondered whether that library has been cut back so much that now ours is de facto the state medical library. Baker agreed that that was likely, and added that last year the VA hospital got rid of its library and now uses ours instead.
V. Unfinished Business: Policy on Sexual Harassment (Lee Anna Clark)
President Bhattacharjee reminded the Council that we had considered this policy previously. The committee drafting the policy has acted on the comments inspired by our previous discussions. Associate Provost Clark confirmed this, stating that the comments made in the last meeting were very helpful and had resulted in a much-improved document. Lacking the time to go through the whole document, Associate Provost Clark identified the three biggest changes. One, throughout the document it is clarified that complaints would not be acted upon unless they were “specific and credible”. A second change addressed the concern that one’s name might be out there yet one wouldn’t know that allegations had been made. They made the decision to tie completely together the requirement for notification that an allegation had been made with the use of names. The third big change is that they have identified places on campus where you can go with concerns about sexual harassment. These will be completely confidential; exempt from the reporting requirement. As she understood it, if the university knows about it but doesn’t act, the university can be liable. As they have constituted this policy, these people will not be considered “University.” There are enough different people to go to with complaints. The last issue of who is considered an academic officer for the purposes of this policy is spelled out (p.3). This section clarified who is and who is not a mandatory reporter.
Prof. Seaba agreed that this version was much better, but was concerned that she didn’t see anything about a time limit. Associate Provost Clark said that the committee had thought that it fell under “specific and credible.” Prof. Seaba suggested that this would be good to go out in educational material. She thought highly of the part on education, and asked if there was any way to make it stronger, wanting to see some real requirements, just like there are for safety and fire training. As each year the ombudspersons’ office sends out an annual report, her last point was that she would like to see similar reporting from Affirmative Action. Associate Provost Clark thought that maybe this is already being done. There are annual reports, but perhaps they don’t go out widely. President Bhattacharjee asked Prof. Seaba whether she wanted wider distribution, which she did. Prof. Raymond agreed that the policy was much improved, and asked if there was room for tinkering. President Bhattacharjee suggested since time was short, that we endorse the policy in principle and forward it to the Senate. Prof. Colvin preferred not taking it up right away, feeling that we need more time to consider it. She suggested that we reexamine it during the February 26 Council meeting.
Prof. Marra still had a grave, substantive concern regarding when third party complaints are allowed. She agreed that this document is much better, but would like to know who determines “credible and specific.” She was especially concerned about members of sexual minorities. In a phobic environment, the system is there for orchestrating repeated complaints: will one individual decide? Associate Provost Clark answered that the person to whom the complaint is brought is the one who first makes that judgment. That person could contact the Office of Affirmative Action for guidance in making that judgment. So, at minimum that person plus the Office of Affirmative Action, who has a lot of experience judging, would decide. Referring to the section on page 4, Prof. Marra asked what if a person calls Affirmative Action and reports a rumor, giving a name. Then, if someone else mentions the same name, the first report will add weight to the report, even if the first report had been unfounded. Associate Provost Clark expected this to be part of the education process: what is the policy and how to be extraordinarily careful when it comes to confidentiality. We can’t write a policy that will cover all possible events. However carefully we write the policy it wouldn’t be perfect, but it should cover the vast majority of cases. Prof. Marra asked whether any member of the community could contact the Office of Affirmative Action, to which Associate Provost Clark answered that anyone could. Prof. LeBlond thought it sounded like mandatory education for those who would make reports is important. Associate Provost Clark agreed, but pointed out that mandatory training for DEOs is hard to enforce. Prof. Porter asked if the university had a policy requiring DEO training, a DEO refused to take part, then a complaint comes from that department, would university be any more liable? Would this concern be a way to make training more mandatory? Associate Provost Clark saw his point but was concerned if you put too many demands on DEOs, you drive away the people you want.
The Faculty Council/Administration Retreat will be Thursday, May 23, 2002 in the Gold Room of Oakdale Hall, Oakdale Campus.
The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 5:28.