The University of Iowa
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
3:30 pm – 5:15 pm
Lucas-Dodge Room, 256 Iowa Memorial Union

Members Present: Judith Aikin, David Asprey, Linda Boyle, Gloria Bulechek, Micheline Chalhoub-Deville, Jay Christensen-Szalanski, Steve Collins, Edwin Dove, Richard Fumerton, Paul Heidger, Ronald Herman, Mark Karwal, Michael Kelly, Sheldon Kurtz, Thomas Loew, Philip Lutgendorf, Usha Mallik, Teresa Magnum, Frank Mitros, Sue Moorhead, Jose Morcuende, James Nepola, Christine Pawley, Todd Pettys, Bradley Phillips, Richard Randell, Mary Hall Reno, Catherine Ringen, Thomas Schmidt, Victoria Sharp, William Sharp, Linda Snetselaar, Janet Specht, Downing Thomas, Geb Thomas, Steve Thunder-McGuire, Tuong Ton-That, Carolyn Wanat, John Westefeld, Jerold Woodhead

Members Absent: Susan Birrell, Garry Buettner, Michael Cohen, Corey Creekmur, David Drake, Michael Flanigan, Sonya Franklin, Jennifer Glass, Frederick Goodman, Thomas Grabowski, Carin Green, Julie Hochstrasser, William Johnson, Donald MacFarlane, Mazen Maktabi, Thomas O’Dorisio, Harry Paarsch, Stephen Rayhill, Gary Russell, Shelton Stromquist, Marcia Ward, Paul Weller, Duane Whitaker, Catherine Woodman

Members Excused: Jane Desmond, Andrew Nugent, Lisa Oakes, Craig Porter, Daniel Quinn, Karin Southard, Steve Vincent.

Faculty Senate Officers in Attendance: Richard LeBlond, Vice President; Margaret Raymond, Past President

Faculty Senate Officers Excused: Katherine Tachau, President; Claibourne Dungy, Secretary 

Guests: Drew Kerr (Daily Iowan), Kevin Leicht (Sociology), Eugene Spaziani (EFC), Charlie Drum (University Relations), Kristen Schorsch (Press-Citizen), Kathryn Wynes (Office of the Provost), William Clarke (Biostatistics), Michael Hogan (Provost), Colby Swan (Civil-Environmental Engineering), Jim Andrews (AAUP), Beth Pelton (Health & Sport Studies), Tom Rocklin (Office of the Provost), Lee Anna Clark (Office of the Provost), Julie Thatcher (Faculty Senate Office)

I.  Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 3:35 pm.

II.  Approvals

   A.   Meeting Agenda

The Agenda for the meeting was approved, with the change that Prof. LeBlond would be giving the President’s report in place of President Tachau who was excused for personal reasons.

   B.   Faculty Senate Minutes, September 7, 2004

It was moved and seconded to approve the minutes of the Faculty Senate meeting of September 7, 2004.  In discussion several corrections to the minutes were recommended and approved:

1. Section V: GEF Task Force, Benefits, Recommendations:

  • Under item (3) the fourth sentence should read “….approximately 1,000 faculty individuals or 500 couples….”
  • Also under item (3) the fourth sentence should read “….a loss of approximately $700 $368,000 per year….”
  • The third sentence of the last paragraph should read “….The FRIC committee felt the $175 $38,000 savings target ….”
  • The last sentence should read “….Professor Thunder-McCloud Thunder-McGuire and others….”

2. Professor Collins moved that the last sentence on page 4 be clarified to read: Professor Collins recommended that the paragraph viii.c under General Principles be revised to read “the other materials related to the candidate’s teaching specified in I.B. (3) (c) …”. This was approved by the Senate.

   C.    Faculty Senate Replacements

The following Faculty Senate Replacements were moved and approved:

  • William Clarke (Biostatistics) will replace Thomas Cook (Occupational and Environmental Health), 2004-2006
  • Judith Heggen (Pediatrics) will replace Howard Winfield (Urology), 2004-2005
  • Kevin Leicht (Sociology) will replace Virginia Dominguez (Anthropology), Fall 2004
  • Lance Lichtor (Anesthesia) will replace Andrew Robertson (Biochemistry), 2004-2007
  • Beth Pelton (Health and Sports Medicine) will replace Gary Segura (Political Science), 2004-5
  • Colby Swan (Civil-Environmental Engineering) will replace Keri Hornbuckle (Civil and Environmental Engineering), 2004-2005

III.  Reports

   A.   Faculty Senate President, Richard LeBlond, FS Vice-President.

  1. The Strategic Planning Process is underway with a due date to the Regents of early March 2005. All faculty members are urged to participate in the process. The activities of the Strategic Planning Committee and its six subcommittees can be viewed at Two public forums have been held in the last few days for input from members of the University community.
  2. The Ohio State University Faculty Senate is soliciting input from other CIC institutions regarding innovative faculty development initiatives underway on their campuses. Senators are encouraged to email Prof. Tachau or LeBlond if there are programs in any of the Colleges that should be brought to the attention of our Ohio State colleagues.
  3. Prof. LeBlond indicated that Myles Brand, head of the NCAA, had spoken on campus last week, and in response to a question from the audience, indicated that he felt that public higher education was no longer being viewed by the public or legislators as a public good, but as a private good. He mentioned that the same sentiment was expressed by the UI’s legislative liaisons at the Government Relations Committee meeting last week. In the context of President Skorton’s commitment to make the 2005-2006 academic year the “Year of Engagement”, the Faculty Senate should consider how it can better understand the views of public higher education held by the Iowa public and legislature and better promote the importance of public higher education as a public good worthy of continued and enhanced public support.
  4. Prof. LeBlond solicited input from the Faculty Senate for replacements on a number of faculty committees, especially for mediators on the Judicial Commission. The Committee on Committees will be meeting later in the week to make nominations for existing vacancies. In response to a question from the floor, it was clarified that faculty holding administrative positions are not eligible to serve on the Judicial Commission. Also, training will be arranged for mediators prior to their serving in that position; Julie Thatcher will investigate this with the University Counsel.

   B.   FRIC: GEF Task Force Recommendations and 2005 Benefits, Sheldon Kurtz

Professor LeBlond called upon Prof. Kurtz to review the FRIC committee and Council discussions regarding the GEF Task Force recommendations for changes in 2005 benefits and other issues.

Prof. Kurtz announced that there will be significant changes in the cost of several of the University’s health plan options, especially increases in UI Care for the 2005 academic year (25% increase, which is not a negotiable rate, unlike the other plans).

Prof. Kurtz announced that the University contribution to employee Flex credits will be increased to cover the entire cost of the health care premium for a single employee (calculated by a weighted average over all the plans). This represents an approximate 12% increase in the University contribution. In response to a question, he indicated that the FRIC committee only has targets for the single and family plans, not for employee-spouse plans. In response to a question from Prof. Collins, Prof. Kurtz indicated that the costs of employee benefits other than health care have remained essentially stable.

Prof. Kurtz introduced the GEF Task Force proposal to change the vesting period for the University’s contribution to TIAA-CREF from the current immediate vesting to a 3-year vesting schedule. This would result in a GEF savings of approximately $360,000 per year which could be directed to other activities. It was noted that this had been approved by the FRIC committee, and that Council discussion had identified several concerns including:

  • A potential major impact on hiring visiting faculty since they would lose the University contribution to TIAA-CREF;
  • A significant impediment to competitive hiring with institutions having immediate vesting;
  • Opposition by Staff Council as the proposal has a larger impact on staff than faculty. It was noted that a review of the last two years of data indicated that approximately 470 staff members as opposed to 38 faculty members would have been affected if this policy was in place (those who terminated employment prior to three years of service);
  • An unfair impact upon staff whose positions are eliminated through no fault of their own (such as loss of grant support for a research position);
  • The issue of whether 9 month faculty would be credited with an entire year of service for each of their three 9-month periods of service. Prof. Lee Anna Clark indicated that this was the intention of the Provost’s office;
  • An undesired effect leading to retention of faculty and staff whom we may not wish to retain, just to qualify for vesting a 3 years.

A lively discussion followed. Several senators voiced opposition to the recommendation citing the issues above. Prof. Randolf indicated that the FRIC committee had supported the proposal as least painful of the options available, a position supported by several comments. Prof. LeBlond reminded the Senate that the Senate’s recommendations are advisory to President Skorton, who will ultimately make the decision. The GEF Task Force was instructed to find $12,500,000 of saving from non-academic programs, but, if the saving are not forthcoming from these sources there is no guarantee that academic programs could not be affected. It was also pointed out from the floor that another unintended consequence could be for administration to encourage higher staff and faculty turnover. Following discussion an informal poll was taken of the Senate indicating majority support for the proposal with due attention to implementation that would address the concerns enumerated above.

Prof. Kurtz raised the remaining GEF recommendation to reduce vacation days that could be accrued by non-bargaining-unit staff from the current 400 days to 200 days. The proposed savings is $38,000 annually. Several objections were raised including loss of good will, inability of staff (particularly in UIHC) to take all of their accrued vacation in the given calendar year, and loss of the sharing of vacation with colleagues with extended illnesses. Prof. Kurtz noted that this issue had received the most feedback, all of which was negative. No one spoke in favor the recommendation and the Senate counsels President Skorton not to implement this recommendation. 

Prof Kurtz mentioned that a proposal will be before the Regents at their December meeting to allow faculty to draw down on TIAA-CREF benefits during phased retirement.

V.  Announcement

The next Faculty Senate meeting will be November 30, 2004 in the Terrace Room, 166 IMU.

VI.  The meeting was adjourned at 4:45 pm.


Respectfully Submitted:

Richard F. LeBlond, M.D.
Vice-President, Faculty Senate