University of Iowa
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
3:30- 5:15 pm
Senate Chamber, Old Capitol

Present: D. Asprey, J. Beckman, G. Bergus, S. Birrell, L. Boyle, K. Brown, G. Bulechek, C. Catney, M. Cohen, S. Collins, J. Cox, D. D’Alessandro, M. Donovan, E. Dove, D. Drake, S. Fagan, D. Filios, R. Fumerton, T. Grabowski, V. Grassian, R. Herman, G. Hope, B. Justman, M. Karwal, J. Leddy, T. Loew, D. MacFarlane, M. Maktabi, R. Martin, K. Marra, R. Martin, S. McGuire, F. Mitros, S. Moorhead, J. Morcuende, A. Morris, M. Noonan, F. Nothwehr, T. O’Dorisio, M. O’Hara, B. Pelton, B. Plapp, L. Richman, C. Ringen, L. Robertson, G. Russell, J. Sa-Aadu, T. Schmidt, K. Schuh, K. Southard, C. Thomas, D. Thomas, J. Tomkovicz, R. Tubbs, T. Ton-That, S. Vincent, R. Wachtel, J. Westefeld, S. Wolfe, J. Woodhead, and C. Woodman.

Excused: D. Balderston, A. Boezaart, J. Carlson, J. Desmond, V. Dominquez, C. Dungy, G. El-Khoury, P. Heidger, Y. Li, S. Lutgendorf, A. Poremba, L. Snetselaar, B. Thompson, and W. Vispoel

Absent: L. Ayres, J. Campos, W. Clarke, K. Culp, J. Heggen, C. Kletzing, L. Lichtor, B. Pelton, W. Sharp, J. Specht, A. Sullivan, and M. Ward

Officers Present: S. Kurtz; President, J. Glass; Secretary, V. Sharp; Vice President

Officers Excused: R. LeBlond, Past President

Guests: David Anderson (Electrical Engineering),  Nanette Barkey (Anthropology/ Community and Behavioral Health), Joe Bolkcom (State Senator), Pamela Brande (UISG), Pat Cain (Office of Provost), Russell Ciochon (Anthropology), Gary Christensen (Electrical Engineering), Marcella David (EOD), Soura Dasgupta (Electrical Engineering), Charlie Drum (University Relations), Maureen Drum (College of Pharmacy), Bob Dvorsky (State Senator), Mary Greer (Staff Council), Nicholas Johnson (Law), Susan Johnson (Office of the Provost), Cynthia Joyce (Ombudsperson), Vicki Lensing (State Representative), Peter McElligott (President, UISG),  Paul Muhly (Mathematics), Calvin Norris (Business), Carl Orgren (Faculty Emeritus Council), Todd Pettys (Law), Craig Porter (Ombudsperson), Addison Stark (Vice President, UISG), Katherine Tachau (History), and Evalyn Van Allen-Shalash (Faculty Senate) [note: there were 3 illegible guest signatures, one from Biology]

I.  Call to Order— The meeting was called to order at 3:35 pm

II.  Approvals

  1. Meeting Agenda
    President Kurtz proposed cancelling discussion of a symposium on faculty governance.  A motion was made by Professor Cohen, seconded by Professor Ringen; the motion carried by voice vote
  2. Faculty Senate Minutes, October 17, 2006  - Professor O’Hara moved; seconded by Professor Cohen, that the minutes be approved with corrections provided to Evalyn                   

III.  New Business

   A.   Update on Presidential Search, Sheldon Kurtz,

President Kurtz introduced Mary Greer, President, Staff Council.  He then read the following statement: 

On Monday, I, Mary Greer, President of the Staff Council, and Peter McElligott, President of UISG, met with Governor Vilsack, Regents Gartner and Downer, Senator Dvorsky, President Fethke, and Gary Seamans, alumnus and supporter, to discuss a number of issues affecting governance. I want to publicly thank Governor Vilsack for initiating that meeting and for pledging to devote as much of his time as necessary to help us work through the issues.  As the Governor stated on Monday, the discussions were frank. I believe they also were fruitful.

All of us love The University of Iowa and want only what is best for it. While we may not always agree on what is best, we all want a university that continues to serve Iowa. We want a university that educates our children, provides for the health of our citizens, and does research that improves the lives of all. We want a university that our graduates will continue to be proud of and support and that all Iowans, whatever their other loyalties, claim as THE University of Iowa.

As already noted, the Governor intends to spend as much time as necessary to work through these issues and intends to report back to us soon what progress has been made. But working through the issues will take some time and we need to provide the Governor with that time. I have confidence that we will be able to resolve the issues. Therefore, I have decided not to put forth the two resolutions.  

I remain hopeful that working together we will, in short order and with the help of all concerned, restore an effective governance structure and find a great president for our The University of Iowa.

There are so many people I could thank for their support over the last few weeks but, in particular, I want to thank the members of the search and campus advisory committees for all of their hard work on the presidential search, and especially Dr. Frank Abboud and Professor Katherine Tachau. Also, I would like to thank the Faculty Senate Officers, Dr. Victoria Sharp, Dr. Richard LeBlond, and Professor Jennifer Glass, Mary Greer, President of the UI Staff Council, Peter McElligott, President of the UISG, and the entire Johnson County delegation to the state legislature for their full support.  Special thanks also to Professors Steven McGuire and Steven Collins for taking on “special projects.”

Following the meeting with the Governor, President Kurtz and several others had phoned as many senators as possible to update them on the situation.  He encouraged all faculty members to call him if they have any questions.

Professor MacFarlane thanked President Kurtz for his efforts, but asked for assurances that he had seen a plan that was going to be put into effect, that the leadership is going to change. President Kurtz responded that he could not comment.

Professor Tachau wanted to thank everyone who had been so helpful and supportive throughout this process, in particular the local delegation, including Representatives Bob Dvorsky, Vicki Lensing, Mary Mascher, Joe Bolcom and Dave Jacoby. President Kurtz commented that the recent situation had given many people the opportunity to get to know the delegation much better.

He returned to Professor MacFarlane’s comment and apologized for a quick response. He asked for patience.

Professor Thomas made a motion, on behalf of the Faculty Senate, to thank Dr. Francois Abboud, and Professor Tachau for their hard work, integrity and tact throughout the presidential search. The motion was seconded by unanimous voice vote.  The question was called by Professor Loew; there was a unanimous voice vote in favor.

   B.   Student Resolution to Support Early Textbook Adoption Proposal, Addison Stark  

(Vice President, UISG), and Pamela Brande (Academic Affairs Committee, Student Services Committee, UISG)

Addison Stark said this resolution was passed by the UISG a few months ago.  He introduced Pamela Brand, the student disabilities senator who was appointed in September to UISG. 

Ms. Brand explained that one of their foremost concerns involve the need for  alternative media services, textbook modification, enlarged print, audio, and Braille, so that students with disabilities may access the same classroom materials that are available to general student population.

She said it takes eight weeks to complete the conversion process from regular text; six weeks of this are solely to get publishers’ permission, and another few weeks to actually get the books.  In the past, students have not gotten books in a timely manner; some not even before October midterms.  She called for Faculty Senate support for their resolution to institute deadlines for textbook submission requests for the following semester.  She feels it is a reasonable request to ensure equal opportunity for students who qualified for entrance to the UI along with their peers to gain the education they are here for.   The deadlines are as follows:

  • Fall deadlines for Spring courses: October
  • Spring deadlines for Summer courses: April
  • Summer deadlines for Fall courses: May or early June

Professor O’Hara commented that there had been a very thorough discussion of this resolution at the last Faculty Council meeting where it enjoyed strong support. He urged senators to support the students’ request.  President Kurtz said he thought the appropriate place for it in the Operations Manual is the section which lists responsibilities to students.  In due course, it will be Faculty Senate that forwards it for submission. He ascertained that graduate students have approved the resolution as well.

Questions from the floor included whether a faculty member is obligated to submit textbooks according to these deadlines if they do not have students in their classes who were referred by Special Support Services and if they would be in violation of a university policy.  Ms. Brand responded that, at present, colleges have coordinators who deal with Special Support Services and provide the students’ names to the faculty members concerned. She said this policy would relate only to professors who have students in their classes needing modification of texts. Professor O’Hara noted that these specific questions will be considered as the policy is crafted.

Professor Cohen moved; seconded by Professor Maktabi, to adopt the resolution.  There was a unanimous voce vote.

   C.   Violence Policy Update, Craig Porter, Ombudsperson                

Professor Porter described the background to the revisions of the Violence Policy.  In mid-January 2006, President Skorton charged a variety of individuals from Human Resources, Office of the Provost, Office of the General Counsel, Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity; Staff Council and the Office of the Ombudsperson, to review the current violence policy, originally written in 1974, revised in l997. The committee agreed to follow the format of similar recently-revised policies (i.e., Harassment).  Professor Porter had not distributed a tracked version of the changes as they were too untidy.

Revisions include:

Section 10.3—definitions have been added.

Section 10.3.c—language has been added that complaints could be filed by a third party on behalf of another individual.

Section 10.4.a - clarifies the places where policy can be brought forward; all of those do not have to be met because they are at end of 10.4.2b

Section 10.5.b  — The section regarding criminal charges is new.

Section 10.6     — Bringing a complaint under sections c (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) are places/offices people can go to have a confidential hearing under this policy.  (4) and (5) were specifically added. That these offices are exempt from reporting requirements is new.

Section 10.7—New language about formal and informal complaints has been added.

Section 10.8 – Investigation of formal complaints will be conducted by collegiate deans, Vice Presidents, or the Provost.

Section 10.9—New language has been added regarding restitution.

Sections 10.12.-13—New sections about confidentiality have been added.

Professor Porter noted that the Faculty Council voted to send this forward to the President and Vice Presidents. He seeks Faculty Senate support.

In response to questions from the floor, Professor Porter pointed out that confidentiality requirements of other resources offices (i.e., RVAP) are spelled out in the Operations Manual.  The Violence Policy simply points out which other resources are available.

He agreed that Student Health is a pertinent resource and that it will be added.

He was asked if the Violence Policy is analogous to sexual harassment in that, if a supervisor is aware of the problem that he/she is obliged to report it. Professor Porter responded that the supervisor does not have an obligation to report an incident under this policy, however another colleague could.  The typical avenue for a complaint is from the person involved. He added that this is not a protected class issue, per se. 

Ombudsperson Cynthia Joyce added that Sexual Harassment involves legal issues which the violence policy does not address. There might be might be criminal charges filed, but this is outside this purview of this policy.

Professor Loew made a motion, seconded by Professor Richman, to express appreciation to the review committee and to approve the policy with suggested changes.   The motion passed with a unanimous voice vote.

   D.   Office of the Ombudsperson Annual Report, Craig Porter and Cynthia Joyce              

Professor Porter and Ms. Joyce offered comments about the annual report of the Office of the Ombudsperson. In 2005-06, there were 250 visitors to the office; 17% (or 40 individuals) were faculty members, the remainder were students and staff.  In addition to face-to-face visits, they had about 225 phone and email contacts, probably a low estimate. They were involved in about 500 individual interactions.  They provide presentations and workshops on various topics, approximately one every 4 days.

Ms Joyce reported on the kinds of concerns brought to them:  60% were job conflicts; 60% from students were academic concerns; 38% of the cases involving faculty involved job conflicts.  There was a 27% decrease in complaints about promotion & tenure.  This is likely due to the tightening up of rules.  14% of visitors were racial or ethnic minorities; 61% were female; 16% involved possible harassment; and 25 of their cases involved uncivil behavior.                       

Bullying behavior with faculty and staff is an increasing concern.  In many cases, this has been going on for quite a long time and they find that it just gets worse.  In particular, there was a problem surrounding performance reviews.  Ms. Joyce said they do not see much progress being made around sexual harassment, gender or diversity issues. Also, they do not see much progress surrounding mental illness.  The office is beginning to address how this is more easily talked about.

She reported a concern about summer programs, with junior high and high school students coming to campus.  There is no mechanism in place to deal with conflict resolution with these groups. 

Professor Porter said that the office surveys its clients.  Approximately 50% say the visit was helpful or that they learned something that will help them in the future.

Porter also made three unrelated points, including that Professor Randall Ney has relinquished his position as Director of Mediation Services; Susan Beckett is currently serving in that capacity.  He and Ms. Joyce are looking at ways to integrate systems across campus.  He also said that they are interesting in hearing from the Faculty Council and Senate on the Faculty Ethics Policy.

IV.  Announcements

  • Faculty Senate/Iowa City Chamber of Commerce Reception for Legislators, Wednesday, December 6, 4:30 – 6:00 pm, Old Capitol
  • Faculty Senate Meeting: February 6, 2007, Senate Chambers, Old Capitol, Scheduled guest:  Lynette Marshall, President, UI Foundation
  • It is conceivable that another Faculty Senate meeting will be called in January.
  • Interim President Fethke will be rescheduled for a future meeting.

VI.  Adjournment

Professor Cohen moved; seconded by Professor Loew, that the meeting be adjourned.  The meeting closed at 4:49 pm.