University of Iowa
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
3:30 p.m.
Penn State Room, 337 IMU

Members Present: Linda Boyle, Gloria Bulechek, Christine Catney, Virginia Dominquez, David Drake, Claibourne Dungy, Paul Heidger, Steve McGuire, Frank Mitros, Catherine Ringen, Linda Snetselaar, Downing Thomas, Brad Thompson

Members Absent: James Nepola, Jarjisu Sa-Aadu,

Members Excused: Vicki Grassian, Michael O’Hara

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

Faculty Senate Officers Excused: Sheldon Kurtz, Vice President

Guests: Emileigh Barnes (Daily Iowan), Diane Heldt (Cedar Rapids Gazette), Charlie Drum (University Relations), Betsy Altmaier (NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative), Pat Cain (Office of the Provost), Susan Johnson (Office of the Provost), Eugene Spaziani (EFC), Laura Sinnwell (DITV), Julie Thatcher (Faculty Senate Office)

I.  Call to Order

President LeBlond called the meeting to order at 3:30 pm.

II.  Approvals

   A.   Meeting Agenda

The agenda was approved by consent.

   B.   Faculty Council Minutes, February 21, 2006

The minutes were approved by consent.

III.  Reports

   A.     NCAA Faculty Representative, Betsy Altmaier

After asking for any preliminary questions, Professor Altmaier briefly described her activities as the NCAA faculty representative.  Professor Altmaier serves as a liaison between the University of Iowa, the Big 10 Conference, and the NCAA.  Duties at the University level include overseeing compliance with NCAA and Conference regulations, team certification, and student certification, including academic eligibility.  She serves as a member of the Presidential Committee on Athletics and last year chaired the Merger Review Committee that addresses outstanding issues from the merger ten years ago of men’s and women’s athletics.  At the Conference level, Professor Altmaier serves on the Academic Eligibility Committee that reviews the cases of students who, for some legitimate reason, may not meet the participation requirements.  At the NCAA level, she serves on the Academics Eligibility and Compliance Cabinet’s Subcommittee on Agents and Amateurism.  This cabinet addresses issues of professionalism within collegiate athletics such as “Lebron James” situations.  The committee is currently dealing with the Pontiac Game Changing Performance, which violates current NCAA policy by displaying players’ names and/or likenesses in association with a product. 

Professor Altmaier then discussed various issues of interest.  She reported that the NCAA Conference representatives are currently discussing the issue of student attendance of classes in relation to playoffs.  There currently exists no guideline regarding playoff or championship games in conjunction with the academic calendar.  For example, student athletes may miss several days of classes during finals week.  In response to queries, she then described the history of the University of Iowa’s institutional contributions to women’s athletics.  Men’s and women’s athletics used to be separate entities, and to bring the athletics department into compliance with Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex two teams were added to women’s sports to increase the sports opportunities for women.  These teams were supported by our General Expense Fund.  When men’s and women’s athletics were merged, adequate attention was not given to the perception that the General Expense Fund contributions were to support “women’s” programs rather than “non-revenue earning” programs more generally.  Professor Altmaier additionally discussed the complex issue of the University’s lack of compliance with student participation opportunities and offered to return to address this issue in more depth.  She reported that she requested the athletics department consider floors and caps for team participation.  Professor Altmaier described the Academic Progress Rate (APR) and the University’s rating.  The certification website offers more detailed information on some of these issues and can be viewed at:

   B.   Faculty Senate President, Richard LeBlond

1.   Faculty Council Election, March 24-31

President LeBlond encouraged Faculty Councilors to participate in the election.

2.   Faculty Senate Reception, April 20, 5:00-6:30, 102 Church Street

President LeBlond encouraged Faculty Councilors to attend.

3.   Shared Governance Task Force

President Skorton and Provost Hogan have initially approved the concept of the Shared Governance Council.  The task force will soon meet again to complete its official report for submission in May.

4.   Road Scholars

There has been difficulty in receiving nominations of faculty participants from certain deans.  President LeBlond requested assistance from President Skorton and Provost Hogan and hopes soon to complete the list of participants.

IV.  Unfinished Business

   A.   Honorary Degree Policy, Cathie Ringen

The Council reviewed the revised proposal forwarded from the Faculty Senate’s Awards and Recognition Committee.  Professor Ringen briefly described the changes to the earlier draft, namely the elimination of controversial language and an alteration in the composition of the committee.

MOTION: Professor Ringen moved to accept the proposal and forward to the Faculty Senate for approval.  Professor Tachau seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.

Professor Tachau thanked the committee for providing more complete information on peer institutions’ honorary degree programs.  Vice Provost Cain stated that the new degree program may alter the way the University approaches graduations, as there is currently no appropriate ceremony to confer such a degree.  The offices of the President and Provost will address issues of implementation.

   B.   Presidential Search Update, Richard LeBlond

At the March 20 Regents Meeting, the Board of Regents appointed Regent Wahlert as the chair of the presidential search and screen committee.  She indicated her desire to appoint a vice-chair, the role of which is yet to be clarified.  She likewise indicated a strong desire to visit campus within the next four weeks to meet with various constituencies and gain input on the search committee process.  President LeBlond learned from the press that the Regents plan to appoint an interim president.  President LeBlond has not been consulted by the Board in any way regarding any part of this process.  Professor Boyle inquired as to the status of the proposed search committee structure forwarded to the Regents.  President LeBlond has received no official response regarding this proposal.  Professor Tachau pointed out that at no point has there been any open discussion of the search committee structure or formation.  President LeBlond additionally reported that he forwarded to the Regents names of faculty recommended by the Faculty Senate Officers for service on the search committee.  Receipt of this document has not been acknowledged or, discussed, nor has it been forwarded to all Board members.  In the absence of any communication from the Board or its office, President LeBlond pointed out that he could not answer questions regarding the timeframe of the search or whether the board will at any point discuss the search openly.  Various Councilors expressed discouragement at the lack of communication.  President LeBlond expressed his optimism and desire to work within the system.  Professor Tachau indicated to the Council the faculty leaders of ISU would like to meet with our Council and, receiving nods of agreement, announced that we would proceed with preliminary plans for doing so.

V.  New Business: Smoking Policy, Susan Johnson

Associate Provost Johnson informed the Council that UIHC is transitioning to a completely non-smoking campus effective July 1.  The health sciences deans are moving forward with a similar plan.  President Skorton formed a committee to review the smoking policies for the rest of the campus.  Currently, no smoking is allowed inside University buildings with the exception of smoking by an artist in an artistic performance, University family housing, and in two rooms of the Iowa House Hotel.  Smoking is not restricted outside.  The committee is planning two open forums for community input on this issue, and Associate Provost Johnson requested feedback and advice from Councilors.  Several Councilors expressed dissatisfaction with their daily contact with second-hand smoke at building entrances and in rooms near air-intake vents.  Suggestions included restricting smoking to certain entrances, imposing a non-smoking perimeter around buildings, building physical barriers in front of air-intake areas to prohibit congregation in such areas, and prohibiting smoking on University property (thus moving smokers to city sidewalks).  Concern was expressed that, if we are to prohibit smoking, we must also offer information and assistance for smoking addiction.  There was a consensus that if Councilors could ban outdoor smoking they would, but understand that such a ban is unrealistic and unenforceable.  In terms of the indoor smoking policy, the suggestion was made to restrict smoking only to designated performance stages.  Concern was additionally expressed regarding smoking in University family housing, as many children are at risk from second-hand smoke.  However, many international families reside in this type of housing and smoking then becomes a cultural issue that should be approached respectfully.  The suggestion was made to designate certain blocks of family housing as non-smoking.

VI.    From the floor

Professor Collins distributed recent articles regarding an undergraduate, student-run business sponsored by the Tippie College of Business. This business involves forwarding text messages of alcohol and food specials to students.  Support for the project was cut after the printing of the initial Des Moines Register article.  Criticism of this decision followed in an opinion piece in the Daily Iowan claiming that the students and the center’s academic freedoms had been jeopardized.  Professor Collins pointed out the delicate balance between granting instructional intellectual freedom while remaining responsible for maintaining an appropriate educational environment.  There seems to be incomplete knowledge of policy and limitations, if any, regarding UI sponsored student entrepreneurship.  Faculty Councilors shared Professor Collins’s concern, and this item will be discussed as new business at the April 11 Faculty Council meeting.

VII.  Announcements

  1. Faculty Council, April 11, 3:30, Michigan Room, 351 IMU
  2. Faculty Senate, April 25, 3:30, Old Capitol, Senate Chambers

VIII.  Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 5:15.