University of Iowa
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
3:30-5:00 p.m.
Penn State Room, 337 IMU

Members Present: Gloria Bulechek, Chris Catney, Michael Cohen, Virginia Dominquez, David Drake, Paul Heidger, Steve McGuire, Frank Mitros, Michael O’Hara, Catherine Ringen, Linda Snetselaar, Downing Thomas, Brad Thompson, James Tomkovicz

Members Absent: Linda Boyle, Donna D’Alessandro, Vicki Grassian, Jarjisu Sa-Aadu,

Members Excused: Jerold Woodhead

Faculty Senate Officers in Attendance: Sheldon Kurtz President; Victoria Sharp, Vice President; Richard LeBlond, Past President

Faculty Senate Officers Excused: Jennifer Glass, Secretary

Guests: Charlie Drum (University Relations), Diane Heldt (Gazette), Francois Abboud (Presidential Search Committee), Katherine Tachau (Presidential Search Committee), Susan Johnson (Office of the Provost), Gregg Hennigan (Press Citizen), Jennie Smazik (Faculty Senate Office)

I.     Call to Order

President Kurtz called the meeting to order at 3:30

II.      Approvals

     A.    Meeting Agenda

The meeting agenda was approved by consent.

     B.    Faculty Council Minutes, April 11, 2006

The meeting agenda was approved by consent with minor corrections.

III.  Reports

   A.   Faculty Senate President, Sheldon Kurtz

President Kurtz requested that Councilors meet with constituent groups on May 18 to discuss qualifications for the Athletic Director search. Professor McGuire added that NCAA faculty representative, Betsy Altmaier, values faculty guidance and concern for academics and athletics.

   B.   Presidential Search Vice Co-Chairs, Katherine Tachau and Francois Abboud

President Kurtz introduced Presidential Search and Screen Committee Vice Co-Chairs Professor Tachau and Dr. Francois Abboud. President Kurtz invited them to share with the Council the current status of the search.

Dr. Abboud expressed his commitment to finding the very best president for the job. The committee is interested in working with a wide range of faculty and students to ensure that constituencies are well represented. Dr. Abboud asserted that it is important to have a large pool of distinguished candidates that can be recruited by faculty, not solely by the search committee. Professor Tachau echoed Dr. Abboud’s comments and reported that the search committee worked well together. She added that in previous presidential searches all top candidates were generated by faculty and suggested that a good starting point would be for colleges to track alumni in academia and to suggest their names for the applicant pool. The search committee desires a long-term president.

Professor Tachau reported the committee’s starting point as meeting with various constituents to learn what they think is important during the search. They have met with the African American Council and the Council on the Status of Latinos. The committee is drafting the job description by utilizing the description from the search for the most immediate past-president and deciding on necessary changes. Professor Tachau and Dr. Abboud then queried the Council for ideas in both the job description and the search. Main points of discussion included:

  • Gender equity.  Issues of equity should be a prime focus for the candidate.  The search committee should identify the candidates’ views on the issue.
  • Search criteria. The committee is augmenting the previous search criteria. Professor Tachau stressed the importance for Councilors to mention elements that may seem self-evident, because such issues may have been overlooked or not fully discussed.
  • Academic sensibilities. To find a President with strong academic sensibilities, the committee should search amongst provosts and assistant administrators, particularly in universities with medical schools. Provosts are usually accomplished both in administration and in the academic community. Professor Tachau requested that Councilors network with colleagues at other institutions to learn how they feel about their provosts as potential presidents.
  • Role of Vice Co-Chairs. Professor McGuire stated his belief that great power had been invested in both the Co-chairs and they are able to define the mechanisms in which we screen and bring candidates into the process. Search Chair and Regent Wahlert seems to understand the importance of faculty in generating potential candidates, which suggests that Regent Wahlert has confidence in the faculty. This confidence should be maintained by utilizing the Council to remain informed and, in turn, educate the campus both horizontally and vertically. Horizontally, Council members should attend forums and bring discussion to their colleges for peer input. This may generate a level of investment. Vertically, the quality of forum discussions will inform our success. 
  • Role of Chair. Professor Tachau described the role of the chair as similar to chairing any department or group, and as yet the precise definition is evolving.  Mutual trust has been established and the committee is able to engage in frank discussion. Professor Tachau expressed optimism for mutual respect.
  • Athletics and academic health center. It is important to find a president who is experienced in dealing with athletics and academic health centers.  Additionally, the University has a strong liberal arts college alongside a strong college of medicine. This is a facet which any candidate would have to respect to lead and to understand the uniqueness of Iowa City.
  • Time frame. Dr. Abboud expressed the committee’s desire to expedite the search as quickly as possible. The search firm representative will be on campus June 1, and it is hoped that a new president will be named by the end of December. Professor Tachau added that the committee has not set any deadlines, but names may be forwarded immediately. Professor Tachau requested that names be sent to both the search committee and the vice co-chairs. A website will be available that will offer information for nominating candidates.
  • Scope of search. The scope of the search should not be limited to provosts and vice presidents nor to people who are currently university employees.  Professor Dominguez stated that first, it may be increasingly difficult to find qualified women, and second, there are a number of related institutions with potential candidates who have distinguished themselves through their management of other intellectual operations. Additionally, liberal arts college vice presidents may also be highly qualified.
  • Dual campus. Professor Kurtz encouraged the committee to find someone comfortable in both liberal arts and health sciences. He suggested pursuing a person from arts and sciences that could understand the health science side, but cautioned against the reverse. He asserted that liberal arts should remain at the core of who we are as an institution.
  • Scholar vs. administrator. Many points were discussed regarding the importance for the president to be experienced in managing complex organizations, and academic administration must be stressed. However, many felt that a background in scholarship is critical. Professor Tachau was unsure about how the Regent members felt on this issue, but the emerging search criteria should address this.
  • Compensation. Professor Kurtz requested that the searchcommittee be reminded that presidential compensation not generated by the Regents but The University of Iowa. He stressed the importance of compensating the president fairly and in relations to our peers. This has been addressed by the search committee, and the Board of Regents is aware that The University of Iowa has different peer institutions than the other state schools.
  • Faculty needs. The president should understand the needs of faculty and how to work with faculty. Not all non-academic administrators know the inner workings of academia and how to relate to faculty needs.
  • Vision. The president should set an agenda that will challenge the university and inspire faculty and students.
  • Outreach. The president should view The University of Iowa as part of the State of Iowa. The president should embrace the uniqueness of Iowa, want to remain in Iowa, and represent Iowa well.

VI.  From the floor

There was no business from the floor.

VII.  Announcements

There were no announcements.

VIII.  Adjournment

President Kurtz adjourned the meeting at 5:00.