University of Iowa
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
3:30-5:00 p.m.
Penn State Room, 337 IMU

Members Present:     L. Boyle, C. Catney, M. Cohen, D. D’Alessandro, D. Drake, S. McGuire, F. Mitros, M. O’Hara, C. Ringen, J. Sa-Aadu, L. Snetselaar, D. Thomas, B. Thompson, J. Tomkovicz, and J. Woodhead

Members Excused:    G. Bulechek

Members Absent:      V. Dominguez, G. Grassian, and P. Heidger

Faculty Senate Officers in Attendance:   S. Kurtz, President, and R. LeBlond, Past President

Officers Excused:   J. Glass, Secretary, and V. Sharp, Vice President

Guests:   P. Cain (Office of the Provost), S. Collins (Faculty Policy and Compensation Committee), C. Drum (University Relations), S. Johnson (Office of the Provost), C. Joyce (Ombudsperson), P. Kelley (Emeritus Faculty Council), M. Mills (General Counsel), M. Nelson (Daily Iowan), C. Porter (Ombudsperson), T. Rocklin (Office of the Provost), S. Raheim (Office of the President), L. Troyer (Office of the Provost), and Evalyn Van Allen-Shalash (Faculty Senate Office)

I.    Call to Order

Faculty Senate President Sheldon Kurtz called the meeting to order at 3:33 pm.

II.   Approvals

   A.     Meeting Agenda

   The agenda was approved by voice vote

   B.     Faculty Council Minutes, August 22, 2006

A motion to approve the minutes was made by Professor Ringen; seconded by Professor Cohen; motion carried.

   C.     Draft Faculty Senate Agenda, October 17, 2006    

President Kurtz announced that Gary Barta, the new Athletics Director, will be a guest speaker at the upcoming Faculty Senate meeting.

He will invite Lynette Marshall, the new president of UI Foundation to attend a future meeting.

Professor Thompson moved to approve the agenda; seconded by Professor Drake; the motion carried.

   D.     Committee Replacement, Sheldon Kurtz, member, Committee on Committees

  • Human Rights Charter Committee: Astrid Oesmann, German, to replace Gerard Byrne, Prosthodontics (2006-09)

Professor O’Hara moved; seconded by Professor Woodhead, to approve this recommended replacement.  There was a unanimous voice vote.

III.    Reports

   A.   Faculty Senate President, Sheldon Kurtz

1.  Recreation Center

President Kurtz informed councilors that the Board of Regents has deferred discussion of the proposed Recreation Center in light of an alternative funding proposal.  Interim President Fethke, concerned at the size of the proposed student fee, suggested finding other means to support the project.  The Department of Athletics committed approximately $9M to the project in return for controlling some portion of the facility.

President Kurtz expressed concern over the new proposal, which he acknowledged might not be the most current information on the subject. In order to reduce the student fee, from a projected $292 down to $200, one possible means to address the shortfall was to direct Deans to seek funds for targeted amounts from their donors.  To the extent to which colleges are unable to meet those amounts, their general education funds (GEF) would be affected. Corporate sponsorships are also being considered.

Concern was expressed that if shortfalls occur down the road and donors choose to support other projects, any reductions in the GEF would affect academic programs.  While GEF funds are already tapped for student activities, this would mean additional decreases.

President Kurtz said UI student leaders are in complete accord with the Senate leadership in that they do not wish to see academic funds used to support this project.

He will meet with Interim President Fethke later this week to discuss the matter. He understood that the amount the Deans raised in the “Good, Better, Best” campaign, not their student enrollment, would determine the amount they are asked to raise. Kurtz said the College of Public Health will be exempt, instead providing “in-kind” services.  He asked for Councilors’ comments. A lengthy discussion ensued.

Professor Sa-Aadu inquired if they have weighed the consequences should Deans repeatedly ask the same donors for support.  President Kurtz was concerned that donor support might be redirected from dire needs, such as the library, to the new recreation facility.­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

Professor O’Hara commented that donors will not wish to make up for other people’s mistakes.  He thought the Regents might consider some sort of bond issue. He acknowledged the need for this new facility on campus, and said he thought students had always supported it.  Professor O’Hara did not object to some money coming from GEF funds, citing that there is often cross-subsidization on campus. He had not heard any reference to faculty or staff participation.

President Kurtz confirmed that there is a built-in fee structure for faculty and staff; fees for the outside community had not yet been finalized.

Past President Le Blond noted that the initially proposed $292 fee raises a concern for its impact on future tuition raises, though it is comparable to recreation fees at other institutions.  Also, there was practically nothing on paper on this topic. He noted that the students who agreed to the fee would no longer be at the university by the time the facility is built. 

Professor Drake asked if Deans were told to explore this with their donors.  President Kurtz thought it had been discussed informally at brainstorming sessions. He asked Councilors if they supported his idea to rigorously speak out against the forced allocation.  

Professor Ringen said his position seems rational, while Professor O’Hara thought there was precedent for using GEF funds for building projects when they were really needed.  President Kurtz felt this was a different situation as student fees clearly could provide a source of funds.

Professor McGuire was concerned about how the decision is being made; if it were a priority, it would have come from the colleges, not the inverse.  He commented that it was not well thought through.  

Professor Woodhead said the Council should seek a written proposal. He commented that the idea to make Deans fundraisers for the recreation center seems an odd approach.   

Past President LeBlond commented that how the issue is being framed concerns him. The proposed budget may be flying closer to the operating margins than any other project.   Over time, this project may run into the red in search of operating and maintenance funds. They will come out of the GEF.  Normally, he said, financing is not the concern for the Faculty Council, but as soon as GEF funds are tapped for these activities it affects academic programs and/or faculty salaries (the university’s primary strategic goal) and becomes a real concern.

President Kurtz said, at this stage, it is best for Councilors to share their concerns with their Deans.  He reiterated that it will be on next week’s BOR agenda.

   E.  Senate Replacements

  • CLAS – Group 1: Kimberley Marra, Theatre Arts, to replace Carin Green on an interim basis during her leave of absence (2006-07
  • Medicine (non-tenured):  Dr. Andre Boezaart, Anesthesiology, to replace Dr. John Sutphin, Ophthalmology         

    A motion to approve these two Senate replacements was made by Professor Cohen; seconded by Professor McGuire; with a unanimous vote in favor.

   D.   UI Engagement Corps, Steve McGuire, Downing Thomas and Jane Van Voorhis, former program consultant in the Office of the President

Professor Thomas explained the background to the UI Engagement Corps.  Several years ago, the idea was first floated in the Governmental Relations Committee, then approved with funds pledged by President Skorton.  Budget problems delayed the initiation of the program, but under “The Year of Public Engagement”, Jane Van Voorhis revived the idea. $10,000 was allocated for the “roads scholar” program which provided the opportunity for faculty to work together and to travel throughout the state and become more aware of the social and economic conditions from whence our students come.

In May 2006, participants from twelve departments in six colleges visited western Iowa, a strategic location for university involvement.  Professor Thomas noted that they did not get the best response for faculty involvement by going through Deans.  He suggested Faculty Council involvement.

Ms. Van Voorhis described the two-day visit to Storm Lake. Faculty members looked at the K-12 system which is welcoming new populations to the state, largely Hispanic and Sudanese.  Fifty-percent of the population is now international; many of the lower grades are close to 80% minority. She said faculty came away inspired by the ingenuity of the principal who has adapted to the situation with grace and creativity.

Faculty also visited Workforce Development which is funded through the legislature.  Currently, there is only one person employed there to serve 2,500 immigrant and migrant workers.  Ms. Van Voorhis thought this presented an opportunity for the UI to partner with the organization.

Storm Lake was interested in having the UI recruit their students and they welcome College of Education involvement.  President Kurtz recommended notifying Michael Barron, Director, UI Admissions.

In the evening, Professor McGuire hosted a story swap in the community. He said they were genuinely thrilled that the UI asked them to talk about themselves and how they came to be in Iowa.  He said these kinds of outreach activities are critical.

The UI group was warmly welcomed by the president of Western Iowa Tech Community College who gave them a tour of the facility and told them that western Iowa needs to retain everybody who goes to college.  They want to send students out to the University of Iowa and elsewhere and then bring them back.  Their faculty members wish to partner with UI faculty on curricular issues.  McGuire said that Professor Paul Heidger, one of the UI participants, was very impressed with their engineering facilities.

He went on to describe their tour of the historic courthouse, Orpheum theatre, Green Gables, and the UI alumni reception.  In Sioux City, they met with the mayor and city manager who said they would love to partner with the UI in any way possible. 

Discussion ensued about the future of the Engagement Corps. Councilors were told that Interim President Fethke and Provost Hogan would like to pursue a three-year trial run with an expanded mission.  A meeting with members of Humanities Iowa was thought to be a good idea.

Ms. Van Voorhis mentioned Provost Hogan’s Chautauqua suggestion. He wants to generate more publicity around the visit, to make it higher profile.  He suggested incorporating a lecture series as part of this plan.  She also mentioned that the Sioux City historic preservation representative is planning a trip to Iowa City.

Professor McGuire hopes to see this project continue.  He reiterated that it originated in the Faculty Council and Senate. He recommended hiring Ms. Van Voorhis to write a proposal for future projects.   There is $2,000 remaining from the original $10,000 allocation.   President Kurtz said he would have to speak with the Provost to discuss funding for her to continue.

Professor McGuire thanked Ms. Van Voorhis for her involvement in the program and this highly successful trip.

   E.      Violence Policy update, Professor Craig Porter, Ombudsperson

Professor Porter reported that the Dispute Resolution Committee undertook a comprehensive look at the current University Violence Policy to bring it in line, in format and procedurally, with recently revised University policies. Today he presented revisions to the UI Violence Policy; this is still a work in progress.

At the outset, these changes involved providing links to related policies, two- and three-word changes in the rational, and the addition of some definitions.  He believes that the committee simplified and clarified the language that indicates that members of the university are covered by the policy if they are off-campus but participating in university related activities.  This was an important point, he said.

In the section on prohibitive behavior, they contemplated the imposition of interim sanctions during an investigation.

Section 10.7 has some significant changes, Porter said, including:

  • Section A includes the possibility of a third party complaint.
  • In Section C, the UI counseling Service, WRAC and RVAP were added to the list of resources available for discussing possible violations of the policy.  All of these offices are confidential resources.  Discussions held there would not automatically trigger a report.  It is cross-referenced in the report that these are confidential offices.
  • It was suggested that Professor Porter might wish to change this section to say that in these offices, the content of discussions would not be disclosed; that they are prohibited from releasing this information without the victim’s consent.  Cynthia Joyce, the other UI Ombudsperson said that she would not wish to use the word “prohibit,” but that the committee would consider other language.  
  • In sections 10.8 and 10.9, all of the details are new to the policy.  They discuss informal resolution of complaints. The primary distinction in 10.8.d indicates if a complaint is filed informally, then there is no discipline, and no notice against the individual who violated the policy.
  • In section A.2.b, there is an important procedural change involving the investigation of staff members.  These will now be conducted by senior HR representatives for the unit.  In the following Subsection C, under the Student heading, the committee agreed to delete the last sentence.  The Vice President for Student Services is involved, not Residence Services.
  • In Section 10.9.d, there is no annual audit from the Committee on Human Rights. 
  • Section 10.10.d contemplates the possibility of individuals making restitution; this was not in the earlier version. For property damage or personal injury, the university can enforce payment by deducting the amount from a student’s U-bill, for example.  It might be a different scenario for staff members.  Problems will arise if the person is no longer in town.
  • Sections on protection and confidentiality are all additions to this policy. 
  • There is no change under “notification.”  This section refers to how individuals will be made aware of the policy.  Language about supervisors has been changed in Paragraph C. This section has not yet been finalized.

Cynthia Joyce commented that the committee took time to look very carefully at the policy and discussed whether or not the scope should be broadened.   She added that they are looking for input from all constituent groups.

Professor Catney asked if the scope of the policy includes situations that involve students who are participating in course assignments off-campus who experience harassment or violence from a non-UI community member. Ms. Joyce said it is the intent of the policy to protect university community members from the outside, but there are no mechanisms in place at the moment.  The crux of the matter is enforcement.  The important thing is to protect the student, if not punish the individual.

If an incident occurs on university property, but by a non-university person, for example at an athletic event, the UI can utilize a criminal trespass order, if indicated

Professor Catney asked what the minimal steps faculty members can take to assist in these situations and she expressed concern about the lack of reporting channels.  Professor Porter said directing students to pre-existing facilities (e.g., Counseling Services, RVAP etc.) is indicated.  At present, there is a gap as concerns people outside the university community.  Associate Provost Johnson said there is no central place for all violence issues; some are within the scope of Public Safety, some with the Ombudsperson or Residence Hall, etc.  She said it is their intention to have the Human Rights Committee channel all reports of violence.

Professor Tomkovicz commented that the policy applies only to university perpetrators; that we cannot do anything with visitors.  He cited Section 10.4 of the policy when describes “an act on university property”.  This does not refer to who is perpetrating the act.  He recommended changing the phrase to “acts by perpetrators.”

Professor Porter said that, in the final analysis, in Section 10.4.a-e, the committee was trying to draw a line around domestic violence, recognizing that some incidents might be so egregious as to come under Section e, where it might be more appropriate to evoke community or state law.

He pointed out a correction under 2.d.  It should read “UI students, faculty, or staff members.”

Professor Porter will forward a cleaner version to be distributed in advance of the October 17 Faculty Senate meeting.

VI.  Other Business

  1. President Kurtz announced that he has replaced Professor Collins as Chair of the Faculty Policies and Compensation Committee to provide him necessary recovery time. President Kurtz wished to publicly thank him for all the work he has done on the committee.  He was replaced by Professor O’Hara. 

VII.  Announcements

  1. The next Faculty Council meeting will be Tuesday, October 3, 3:30-5:15 pm, Penn State Room (337 IMU)
  2. The next Faculty Senate meeting will be Tuesday, October 17, 3:30 – 5:15 pm, Senate Chambers, Old Capitol

VIII.  Adjournment

Professor Cohen moved that the meeting be adjourned.  The motion passed by unanimous consent.