The University of Iowa
Tuesday, March 8, 2005
3:30 pm – 5:15 pm
Terrace Room, 166 Iowa Memorial Union

Members Present: Judith Aikin, David Asprey, Garry Buettner, Gloria Bulechek, Micheline Chalhoub-Deville, Michael Cohen, Virginia Dominguez, Edwin Dove, Richard Fumerton, Jennifer Glass, Carin Green, Paul Heidger, Ronald Herman, Lance Lichtor, Philip Lutgendorf, Frank Mitros, Sue Moorhead, Harry Paarsch, Christine Pawley, Beth Pelton, Todd Pettys, Mary Hall Reno, Catherine Ringen, Thomas Schmidt, Victoria Sharp, Linda Snetselaar, Karin Southard, Janet Specht, Shelton Stromquist, Colby Swan, Downing Thomas, Steve Thunder-McGuire, Tuong Ton-That, Steve Vincent, Marcia Ward, John Westefeld, Jerold Woodhead

Members Absent: Susan Birrell, Linda Boyle, William Clarke, Steve Collins, Corey Creekmur, Michael Flanigan, Frederick Goodman, Thomas Grabowski, William Johnson, Mark Karwal, Michael Kelly, Sheldon Kurtz, Donald MacFarlane, Mazen Maktabi, Usha Mallik, Jose Morcuende, James Nepola, Andrew Nugent, Thomas O’Dorisio, Bradley Phillips, Gary Russell, William Sharp, Geb Thomas, Duane Whitaker, Catherine Woodman

Members Excused: Jay Christensen-Szalanski, David Drake, Sonya Franklin, Judith Heggen, Julie Hochstrasser, Thomas Loew, Daniel Quinn, Richard Randell, Carolyn Wanat

Faculty Senate Officers in Attendance: Katherine Tachau, President; Richard LeBlond, Vice President; Claibourne Dungy, Secretary

Faculty Senate Officers Excused: Margaret Raymond, Past President

Guests: Judith Hermsen (HR), Charles Drum (University Relations), Julie Zare (Daily Iowan), Ana M. Diaz-Arnold (Presidential Committee on Athletics), Eugene Spaziani (EFC), Lee Anna Clark (Office of the Provost), Lola Lopes (Office of the Provost), Tom Owen (Gazette), Julie Thatcher (Faculty Senate Office)

I.  Call to Order

Faculty Senate President, Katherine Tachau, called the meeting to order at 3:40pm.

II.  Approvals

   A.   Approval of Minutes

The Faculty Senate minutes of February 8, 2005 were approved with changes as noted by written submission and corrections from the floor.

III.  Reports:

   A.   Faculty Senate President, Katherine Tachau

Faculty Senate President Tachau informed the Senate that the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics (COIA) Academic Integrity in Intercollegiate Athletics: Principles, Rules and Best Practices will be distributed by e-mail to all Senate members.  COIA is seeking approval in principle from the University of Iowa and 45 other NCAA Division IA Faculty Senates.  Because of the turnaround time, adoption in principle will need to occur before the next regularly scheduled Senate meeting.  Senate members are requested to return their comments prior to the March 29, 2005 Faculty Council meeting.  The Faculty Council will discuss the COIA proposal and determine what action the University of Iowa Faculty Senate should take. 

Professor Tachau with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation updated the Senate on the University budget situation (attachment 1).  She informed the Senate that the General Education Fund (GEF) budgeted revenue is comprised of three funding streams: Tuition and fees (44%); Indirect cost recoveries and other income (9.1%); and state appropriations (46.9%).  The total GEF budgets are $468.59 million.  She then discussed the expenditures of the GEF funds, the majority of which is devoted to faculty salaries (44%); general service salaries (16.1%); and professional/scientific salaries (15.5%).  Other expenditures include library, utilities, equipment, service and supplies, building renewal and student aid (7.6%).  University-wide budget revenues for 2004-2005 are $2.93 million.  The largest single source of revenue is from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics sales and services, which counts for 29.9% of total revenues.  Tuition and fees are 11.7%; gifts, grants and contracts (17.2%); and state appropriations (14.1%).  As with GEF funds, the largest single expenditure of University-wide budget expenditures is directed to salaries (50.5%) with supplies and services (21.4%) being the next largest budget items.  Other items include library, utilities, student aid, debt service, agency accounts and capital expenses.

Professor Tachau next provided information concerning the Board of Regents website, which provides information on Board of Regents meetings, agenda items, and other items of potential interest to faculty.  She encouraged faculty to become familiar with the “Regent Partnership Plan for Transformation and Excellence”

Professor Tachau ended the presentation by informing the Senate of issues currently being addressed by the legislature, including the proposed tobacco tax increase and a funding proposal in committee, which has $6-7 million in new funds for the Regents Universities, but none for salaries.

   B.   Presidential Committee on Athletics (PCA) Chair, Ana Diaz-Arnold

Professor Ana Diaz-Arnold, Chair of the Presidential Committee on Athletics (PCA) informed the Senate of activities of the PCA for 2004-2005.  The PCA (formerly the Board in Control of Athletics) is comprised of 17 members: 11 faculty, 2 students, 2 staff and 2 alumni.  PCA has five subcommittees, which conduct the business of the committee.  PCA has been engaged in several activities during the academic year.  In October 2004 the committee sponsored a visit to campus by Myles Brand, President of the NCAA.  The PCA also reviewed the substance abuse policy and made revisions to strengthen the program.  The PCA also reviewed planned facilities upgrades. 

In the fall of 2004 there were 620 student athletes competing at the University of Iowa, 271 women and 349 men.  Forty-five percent (45%) of the athletes have a GPA of 3.0 or greater; 15% are on the Dean’s Lists; 3% have a GPA of 4.0; and 2 female athletes are on the President’s List.  Among all athletes there is no clustering of majors.  University of Iowa athletes are required to take 14 semester hours as compared to the NCAA standard of 12 semester hours per semester.  Over the last six years, the graduation rate for student athletes has been constantly above the overall university graduation rate.  The NCAA has recently announced its academic progress rate (APR).  Teams will be rated individually and must obtain a APR score of 925 to be on track to graduate 50% of student athletes.  For the first year scores were available, University of Iowa had an overall rate of 972, which places it in the top third of all NCAA Division I schools.  Rankings for the current year place men’s basketball 8th in the Big Ten and football #1 in the Big Ten.  In closing, Professor Diaz-Arnold informed the committee that the student athlete code of conduct has been forwarded to the Office of the General Counsel for review.  The code of conduct has been under review for the last two years and at no time has the Department of Athletics operated without a student code of conduct.  During the review process, the code of conduct of all Big Ten schools were reviewed and the previous code of conduct strengthened.  Professor Tachau thanked PCA Chair, Professor Diaz-Arnold for her report.

IV.  New Business 

Background Check Policy, Judie Hermsen (Attachment 2)

Ms. Hermsen presented the Background Check Policy to the Senate.  She stated that the proposed background check is a point-of-hire policy.  The policy is designed to balance the rights of the applicants at the time of any vacancy.  A determination will be made if a position is security-sensitive and, if so, which domains apply.  The background check will only be enforced for successful candidates.  Ms. Hermsen stated the hospital currently is required to do background checks for all positions.  Any offer letter relative to the background check will be kept in an electronic form.  Because of low yield and increased costs, the current University of Iowa vendor for background checks recommends that federal background checks not be done on a routine basis.  Professor Tachau thanked Ms. Hermsen for her report.  She highlighted three features of the current proposal that restricts the scope of positions for automatic check, restricts the flow of information to protect privacy, and it strikes a balance between increased safety and privacy.  A lengthy discussion of the background policy ensured.  Professor Speck questioned whether the University of Iowa must do their own checks since background checks are done in many places and Professor LeBlond responded that the University has a fiduciary responsibility to do its own background checks.  Professor Stromquist questioned whether results would include misdemeanors.  He felt more comfortable with a conviction for matters of conscience that include non-violent activity.  Associate Provost Clark said the decision-makers could take this into account.  The key issue would be is there a connection between the conviction and the requirements for the position.  There was concern expressed that the College of Nursing has had a considerable number of false “hits” when conducting their background checks and how much additional time would these background checks add to the recruitment process.  It was stated that a background check would be completed within 15 days of employment.  Professor Lichtor inquired about the cost of performing the criminal background check.  Ms. Hermsen stated the current cost for the background check is $40 for county and state and $51 if a federal check is added.  The hiring department pays for the checks.  In response to a questions concerning an appeal process, Associate Provost Clark stated that the decision was written as a final determination of opportunities for appeal.  Professor Stromquist moved to table the discussion, second by Professor Westerfield.  Motion passed by voice vote. 

V.  From the Floor

Professor Ringen moved, second by Professor Glass, to send a resolution to the University of Colorado encouraging them to desist in any actions which may adversely affect Professor Ward Churchill’s tenured status on the basis of his critique.  It is hereby RESOLVED that, academic freedom being a core value of higher education, particularly public higher education, that freedom of inquiry and open critique of the events of September 11, 2001 fall within the scope of academic freedom, and that the ongoing investigation into Professor Churchill’s scholarship and credentials, as well as the personal vilification of him and death threats made against him and his family, were prompted by his voicing that radical critique, the FACULTY SENATE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA urges the University of Colorado to desist from any actions which may adversely affect Professor Churchill’s tenured status on the basis of his critique, to refrain from scrutinizing his employment in any ways different from those applied to other tenure faculty members, and to re-affirm its commitment to academic freedom, tenure, shared governance and due process.

Professor Lichtor asked if the resolution should be tabled until the next meeting so additional information could be obtained.  Professor Tachau responded that the issue needed to be decided at this meeting to be timely.  After a lengthy discussion, a motion was passed by a show of hands – 17 voting for it, 9 against and 3 abstentions.

VI.  Announcements

  • League of Women’s Voters Legislative Forum, March 26, 2005, 9:00-11:00am, Iowa City Civic Center
  • Faculty Council, March 29, 3:30-5:15, Penn State Room, 337 IMU
  • Provost Address, April 14, 2005, 4:00, Shambaugh Auditorium, reception following.
  • Faculty Senate, April 26, 2005, Terrace Room, 166 IMU
  • Faculty Council/Administrative Retreat, May 24, 2005, Gold Room, Oakdale Hall

VII.  Adjournment

Meeting was adjourned at 5:12pm.


Respectfully submitted,

Claibourne I. Dungy, MD, MPH
Secretary, Faculty Senate