The University of Iowa
FACULTY COUNCIL MINUTES 2001-2001
Tuesday, September 11, 2001
Penn State Room (335), Iowa Memorial Union
Members Present: Joyce Berg, Lois Geist, Vicki Grassian, Richard LeBlond, Chuck Lynch, David Manderscheid, Kim Marra, Ann Marie McCarthy, John Moyer, Paul Muhly, Gene Parkin, Craig Porter, Margaret Raymond, Hazel Seaba, Lisa Troyer, John Westefield
Members Absent: Rebecca Hegeman
Members Excused: Howard Cowan
Faculty Senate Officers in Attendance: Amitava Bhattacharjee, President; Jeff Cox, Vice President; Erin Irish, Secretary; Carolyn Colvin, Past President
Guests: Jean Jew, Charles Green (Director of Public Safety), Connie Tipsword (University Safety and Security Committee), Steven Hoch (Office of the Provost), Lee Anna Clark (Office of the Provost), Lola Lopez (Office of the Provost), Steve Parrott (University Relations), Vicki Hesli (Faculty Assembly), Nick Klenske (UISG), Dan Rossi (UISG), Raul Curto (CLAS), Julie Thatcher (Office of Faculty Senate), Kristin Clark (Office of Faculty Senate)
I. Call to Order
A. Meeting Agenda
President Bhattacharjee began the meeting by asking for approval of the agenda.
Prof. Colvin moved and Prof. Seaba seconded the following:
Motion: The Faculty Council approves the agenda. The motion passed.
President Bhattacharjee, mindful of the day’s events, alerted the council that the agenda may not be completed.
The minutes of April 10, 2001 were approved as amended by consensus.
C. Proposed Senate Agenda—September 25, 2001
President Bhattacharjee asked for approval of the revised agenda for the Faculty Senate meeting.
Prof. Muhly moved and Prof. Grassian seconded the following:
Motion: The Faculty council approves the agenda. The motion passed.
D. Approval of Recommended Replacements
Prof. Raymond moved and Prof. Westefield seconded the following:
Motion: The Faculty Council endorses the Council and Senate replacements as recommended by the Committee on Elections and forwards them to the Faculty Senate for approval. The motion passed.
Prof. Colvin moved and Prof. Muhly seconded the following:
Motion: The Faculty Council endorses the committee replacements as recommended by the Committee on Committees and forwards them to the Faculty Senate for approval. The motion passed.
A. Report of the Faculty Senate President (Amitava Bhattacharjee)
President Bhattacharjee revised his report in view of today’s traumatic events. He reported that an announcement has been prepared by Steve Hoch and Steve Parrot, addressing the attacks in New York and Washington. This announcement will be signed by President Coleman, the mayors of Iowa City and Coralville, and the leaders of student, faculty, and staff governments, and will be sent out to the university community. President Bhattacharjee read the announcement aloud to the Council, and also reported that the UI home page has been updated to aid students in finding counselors, if needed. Prof. Westefield reiterated that the information on the web site is very complete and useful in guiding students to help that they may need. Associate Provost Clark inquired about counseling sessions at IMU. Chuck Green replied that two rooms are open at present in IMU for use in counseling.
Additional announcements: Vice President Cox and President Bhattacharjee were invited to and visited the University of Minnesota last spring. They were very much impressed by the structure of the Faculty Senate there and hoped to implement some of the practices of that organization at our university. One such practice was the establishment of an Academy of Teaching Excellence, into which each year those who have received a teaching award would be inducted permanently. The function of the Academy is to celebrate teaching, and it does so by hosting a yearly banquet. President Bhattacharjee mentioned that such an academy had been previously proposed here by Provost Whitmore. It was not adopted at that time because it would require more work from the inductees, rather than rewarding them. President Bhattacharjee has met with the Council on Teaching to discuss this issue, and will appoint an ad hoc Committee, with the assistance of Marcy Rosenbaum (Chair of the Council on Teaching), to bring a proposal to the Faculty Council and Senate. President Bhattacharjee then briefly mentioned that the bulk of the discussions between the Faculty Senate Officers and Provost Whitmore during the summer months concerned the budget, and concluded his report by proposing that he would discuss this matters in future meetings.
B. Report of the University Safety and Security Committee (Charles Green and Connie Tipsword).
President Bhattacharjee introduced this topic by reporting that President Coleman advised the Faculty Senate Officers during their meeting with her on August 27 that she is considering a proposal to arm Division of Public Safety (DPS) officers with TASERs. Even though the implementation of the proposal is at an advanced stage, President Coleman seeks the input of the University community. To inform the decision of the Faculty Council, Chuck Green, Director of DPS, was invited to make a presentation, which he began by passing out additional handouts. Green then summarized his training and experience and stated his philosophy on law enforcement and security as Director of DPS. He then went on to outline the organization of the DPS. He emphasized that the role of DPS officers was not just security, but also law enforcement. In his seven years as Director of DPS Green has been increasingly convinced that his officers cannot perform the latter function safely and effectively without arms. The Regents and top administrators at all three Regent’s universities at present are steady in their rejection of arming DPS officers with lethal arms. As an alternative he strongly promoted the use of TASERS, as less-than-lethal weapons, and spoke eloquently to promote his case. He gave several examples of incidents on campus in the recent past in which he felt that the arming of DPS officers with such devices would have been beneficial. His second proposal is to change the name of DPS officers to police officers. He has taken these proposals to the VP group and to the campus security committee which has approved both proposals.
President Bhattacharjee then opened the floor for discussion. Prof. Muhly inquired whether DPS was constituted just like the Iowa City Police Department (ICPD). Green replied that it was, with the same rights and responsibilities. He continued that authority is a constant concern for them, and gave the example of the recent apprehension of Memmers, a suspect in two murders, in the field house by DPS officers. The suspect assumed incorrectly that they were armed because they were in uniform. He added that another advantage of a TASER is the ability to download information after its deployment as a record of its use, something that cannot be done with a nightstick. Prof. Marra inquired whether, since they have the same training, ICPD and DPS have different philosophies with regard to law enforcement vs. security. Green answered no, and added that at present DPS is doing both but really needs to clarify and choose one or the other. He no longer feels he can expect officers to risk themselves without being armed: they are at too much of a disadvantage without proper equipment. One can’t expect a person to obey just because they see the uniform, although so far that has been the case here. He is concerned about changes in atmosphere. He pointed out that DPS officers have been carrying nightsticks for years, and that the lack of arms is unique to Iowa. Up until the 1960’s campus police here had been armed, but that changed as a result of a philosophical decision, not the response to some specific incident. He continued that he fervently hoped that there would never be an incident on this campus that would prove the need for lethal weapons. Nevertheless, his officers need to have something, especially in cases of attempted suicides. He views TASERS as less dangerous than a nightstick.
President Bhattacharjee reminded the Council as a point of information that that two years ago the Faculty Senate unanimously endorsed the decision not to arm the DPS. Green asked what the basis of that decision was. Prof. Colvin replied that it was based on the lack of evidence that a change was necessary. Furthermore, the decision against arming the DPS was made by President Coleman, and the Senate merely affirmed President Coleman’s decision. President Bhattacharjee reported that the executive committee of UISG was very concerned about the present proposals, and will cast votes on September 18.
Prof. Lynch asked what DPS officers will do, if TASERS are not effective against guns. Green replied that, as is done now, the ICPD would be called. Prof. Lynch followed up by asking whether, if armed with TASERs, DPS officers would be more likely to be sent in against guns? Green answered that no, ICPD would still be called in. He pointed out that most of the time, they don’t know ahead of time whether or not a weapon is there before they show up and engage. Prof. Lynch continued his questioning, asking if someone is attempting suicide, how much time does DPS have to respond. Green answered that it varies—sometimes you can respond in time, sometimes you can’t. Prof. Lynch then asked what happens if someone is shot in the face, especially in the eye, with a TASER. Would he be blinded? Green answered that he didn’t know, but reiterated that it would be used only in lethal force situations. It is not useful for crowd control.
President Bhattacharjee then introduced the table compiled by Prof. Irish, and asked her to explain it. Prof. Porter stated that he thought the correct designation for the TASER was less-lethal, not less-than-lethal, and added that he thought the DPS was doing a terrific job without TASERs. Green challenged him by asking why municipal forces are armed, and Prof. Porter responded by asking why we have been so successful without them? Green replied that we are successful but we still need them. He suggested we think of them as we do home insurance. Most of the time we don’t use it, but are very happy to have paid for it in that one time that we need it. Prof. Porter continued his questioning by asking how TASERs are used on other campuses. Green reminded him that on all other (except ISU and U. Del.) campuses, campus police officers are armed. Prof. Porter asked about the frequency of review boards on other campuses finding appropriate vs. inappropriate uses of TASERs. Green replied that he didn’t know.
Prof. Grassian inquired whether the two proposals were in order and dependent. Green answered that they were. Prof. Grassian then asked how often you might need such a device. Green replied that it is variable, and often incidents come in waves. Prof. Grassian suggested 0-5 times per year, which Green confirmed. Prof. Grassian continued that it is important to be able to identify police officers. Green agreed, stating that he doesn’t like the term security, as it means something different from what his officers are doing. He continued that he is especially concerned about his young officers, that it is an officer safety issue. Community policing is a relationship. His officers have an emotional bond with this campus. If they are not safe, Green cannot get what he wants from them.
Ms. Tipsword spoke on behalf of the Safety and Security Committee. She said that her committee has had these kinds of discussions every meeting for the past two years. The vote in June was unanimous, save one. She pointed out that it is we and the students who the officers are trying to protect. She brought up the fact that once ICPD has been called in, DPS loses control of the situation and any university philosophy is out the window. Also, ICPD response time can be long, as they don’t know the campus as well and do have other responsibilities. She cited a serious example in which ICPD was called in but never came, ending that there have been no problems so far because we have been really, really lucky. Green added that incidents can be so unpredictable, and that they are called on to act in potentially deadly situations.
Prof. Jew inquired about who has jurisdiction on campus, DPS or ICPD, if they both have the same training. Green replied that once ICPD has been invited on campus, his office can’t tell them what to do: ICPD becomes responsible for dealing with an incident. Prof. Jew followed up by asking about liability, and how it would change for the university if DPS officers were armed with TASERs? Does liability transfer to ICPD when they come in and take over? Green answered that it did. Prof. Seaba noted that the TASER has been on the market for over 27 years, yet from the material presented she cannot determine how much safer an officer is when armed with one. She agreed that its utility in cases of attemped suicide was obvious, but thought that if someone had a weapon, an officer would not feel safe with just a TASER. How would protocols be written for officers to allow them to determine when they are safe enough with a TASER to proceed alone vs. when they should call in ICPD? Ms. Tipsword replied that protocols are already in place for deadly force. If there is advance warning of deadly force, ICPD is brought in; however, so often one has no knowledge of what weapons are involved. With a TASER one has the opportunity to drop an assailant long enough to cuff them. Without the TASER, the only alternative is the ICPD dropping them with a bullet, as it would be used only if deadly force is the threat. Prof. Troyer noted that while she can see that many campuses are using TASERs, she didn’t know the actual frequency of their use. Green replied that every organization that uses TASERs reports back to the manufacturer. Prof. Troyer continued that of course we are all concerned for DPS officers, but it just seemed to her that it wouldn’t work with guns, to which Green responded by pointing out that there are a lot of knives, too.
After Green and Tipsword departed the discussion of the proposals continued. Prof. Cox began by reminding the Council that the University has a 35-year history as an unarmed campus, and said that he would hate to give it up without a more compelling case. Putting this issue in the context of the broader community, he reviewed an attempt six years ago to put armed officers in the public junior highs schools, which was abandoned as a result of community outcry. Similarly, the DARE officers in the public schools were pitched out last year. He stated that the values of the police conflict with those of the community. We live in a low crime community yet the relationship between the ICPD and the community is raw. This is in stark contrast to the relationship with DPS. He predicted that if you give them (DPS) something that looks like guns, the relationship will change.
Prof. LeBlond responded that we do in fact already have armed officers on campus. The real decision is whether they should be ICPD or our own. He maintained that we should have our own, who can be trained with our philosophy. Prof. Troyer worried that there was no evidence presented that TASERs actually work, as such data should be available. Prof. Raymond added her concern that in incidents were TASERs would be used, ICPD would still be called in, too. Prof. LeBlond stated his concern that Green won’t send his people into dangerous situations, resulting in his calling in ICPD more often and earlier, with the outcome that we will have more control by ICPD instead.
Prof. Lynch brought up the frequency of incidents in the past six years, seeing that the data supported an increase in incidents. Profs. Troyer and Irish countered by stating that it is not known whether the level of vigilance has remained constant, and the latter added that she suspected, based on Green’s presentation, that vigilance has increased. Prof. Muhly confessed that he was conflicted. On one hand, he is attracted by the idea of extending the 35 unarmed years. On the other hand, he recognizes that we are now a community of 32,000 people, and wondered how many communities of that size have unarmed police. He fears that TASERs may invite trouble. Prof. Moyer countered that we are living in an ever increasingly violent society. He felt that he had to trust the training of the officers, especially if they are all like Chuck Green.
Prof. Seaba stated that she sees no evidence in the big packet that was prepared for Faculty Council members that convinces her that DPS officers will be safer with TASERS. Prof. Colvin added that she sees no evidence that this campus is becoming more dangerous. While we can be scared by some of the stories about recent incidents, her bigger concern was the chance that we will lose our good DPS officers if we deny them TASERs. Prof. LeBlond, addressing Prof. Seaba’s point, replied that there would be no data. He felt that we should give DPS officers the tools to do their jobs, jobs that are nothing like what any faculty member has to do, let alone do it every day. His question was who was going to control the people with the deadly force. Prof. Westefield offered that having TASERs seems like a morale issue for the DPS, and this decision could have a dramatic effect. Vice President Cox added that it’s a standard of professionalism, but one which could threaten the admirable state we have here. The DPS is trusted, unlike the ICPD which is not trusted by many Iowa City community members. He feared that arming DPS officers will cause a deterioration of the relationship.
Prof. Lynch moved and Prof. Manderscheid seconded the following:
Motion: The Faculty Council endorses Proposal 1. The motion failed (9 in favor, 10 opposed, 1 abstained).
Vice President Cox proposed and Prof. Colvin seconded the following:
Motion. The Faculty Council passes on Proposal 1 to Faculty Senate with a report on our vote, that we were divided 10-9. The motion carried.
Prof. LeBlond inquired whether the two proposals were linked. Vice President Cox responded that his motion was to report specifically the action on proposal 1 (adoption of TASERs) to Senate, as he assumed that the second proposal was moot. Further discussion indicated that the Council wished to vote on the second proposal.
Prof. Colvin moved and Prof. Porter seconded the following:
Motion: The Faculty Council endorses Proposal 2. The motion passed (11 in favor, no opposed, 7 abstaining).
IV. Unfinished Business, New Business, and Announcements
In view of the lateness of the hour, President Bhattacharjee suggested that any further business and announcements be postponed to the next council meeting.