The University of Iowa
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
3:30 – 4:45 PM
Lucas Dodge Room, 256 IMU

 Members Present:  P. Alvarez, S. Armstrong, Z. Ballas, C. Berman, J. Cowdery, M. Deem, D. DeJong, K. Diffley, C. Dungy, S. Franklin, C. Green, G. Hamot, R. Herman, J. Hochstrasser, E. Irish, J. Jew, W. Johnson, R. LeBlond, P. Lloyd, C. Lynch, M. Maktabi, U. Mallik, T. Mangum, K. Marra, R. Miller, S. Moorhead, J. Moyers, P. Muhly, B. Muller, T. O’Dorisio, L. Oakes, H. Paarsch, J. Polumbaum, R. Randell, M. Reno, J. Ringen, P. Rubenstein, T. Schmidt, K. Southard, K. Tachau, T. Ton-That, R. Valentine, C. Wanat, R. Weir, J. Westefeld, D. Whitaker, J. Woodhead

Members Absent:  K. Abdel, J. Altman, D. Brown, P. Chang, E. Dove, B. Fallon, A. Hansen, R. Hegeman, S. Kurtz, A. McCarthy, B. Phillips, D. Quinn, R. Slayton, L. Snetselaar, P. Weller, H. Winfield 

Members Excused:  T. Boles, C. Creekmur, L. Dusdieker, P. Heidger, S. Stromquist

Faculty Senate Officers in Attendance:  J. Cox, President; M. Raymond, Vice President; C. Porter, Secretary; Amitava Bhattacharjee, Past President 

Guests:  Willard Boyd (President), Phil Davidson (Daily Iowan), Tom Walsh (Iowa City Gazette), Sam Becker (Campus Campaign), Heather Woodward (Press Citizen), Jon Whitmore (Office of the Provost), Chris Squier (Office of the Provost), Irwin Levin (ADT Committee), Della McGrath (UI Foundation), Lola Lopes (Office of the Provost), Alvin Snider (English), Lee Anna Clark (Office of the Provost), Charlie Drum (University Relations), Julie Thatcher (Faculty Senate Office) 

I.  Call to Order           

The meeting was called to order by University of Iowa Faculty Senate President Jeff Cox at 3:32 PM. 

II.  Approvals 

   A.   Minutes – Faculty Senate, April 30, 2002 (Attachment 1)                       

Prof. Maktabi moved the following, which was seconded.

MOTION:  To approve the minutes.  Passed by unanimous vote.   

   B.    Approval of Recommended Replacements (Attachment 2) 

Prof. Mangum moved and the motion was seconded to approve the Senate and Council replacements as proposed by the Elections Committee in Attachment 2.  Prof. Raymond moved and Prof. Tachau seconded the recommendations of the Committee on Committees for committee replacements as recommended in Attachment 2.  The vote for both sets of replacements was unanimous.   

III.  Reports 

   A.   Report of the Capital Campaign (Sam Becker) 

Sam Becker, Emeritus Professor of Communication Studies, reported to the Senate on the largest capital campaign in the history of the University of Iowa.  He identified the campaign as being the largest not only in the amount of money that is intended to be raised but also in the breadth of activities that will be funded by participant giving.  Such activities will include a specific endowment for staff development; monies intended for restoration of the Old Capital and also for campus beautification projects as three examples.  By meeting with the Senate, Emeritus Prof. Becker is continuing his attempt to speak to every leadership group on the University of Iowa campus.  It is his intent that these discussions serve to encourage all campus constituents to contribute to this important campaign.  The campaign has identified a $25 million fund raising goal for contributions from faculty and staff.  One hundred percent participation is his goal in order to show our deep and abiding commitment to our great university to our external constituencies.  All pledges, no matter how large or small, will help contribute to this 100% goal.  Three ways of giving were highlighted:  1) contributions to one’s own unit; 2) contributions to university programs as exemplified by support for KSUI, Hancher Auditorium and its programs or the campus beautification project; 3) contributions to the staff development campaign that might be made by either faculty or staff in the name of particular staff members.  The campaign began in 1999 and will continue to 2005.  On October 9, 2002 between the hours of 4:00 and 6:00 PM there will be a kickoff for the Campus Campaign for Good.  Better.  Best.  IOWA!  The Campaign to Advance Our Great University.  Attendees will have the opportunity to sign up to win various door prizes which will include, among others, one year of free on-campus parking, tickets for two to the madrigal dinner and seats for two in Bump Elliott’s Kinnick Stadium press box for the Iowa vs. Northwestern football game.   

   B.   Report of the Faculty Senate President (Jeff Cox) 

President Cox began his remarks with an announcement that the proceeds from the faculty bake sale of last spring were able to support two $410 scholarships for two students.  Prof. Maktabi asked whether the bake sale is intended to be a yearly event.  President Cox responded that it certainly could be but at present there were no plans for a second bake sale.   

Following these opening comments the President gave his report to the Senate.  He recounted for the committee the many activities in which he and the Faculty Senate officers, Profs. Bhattacharjee, Raymond and Porter, have participated since the last meeting of the Faculty Senate and Faculty Council in the spring semester of 2002.  He then paused to introduce University of Iowa Interim President Willard “Sandy” Boyd.  Professor Cox reminded the Senate that it was Professor Boyd who made the original suggestion to then President. Bowen that the faculty should create a Senate body whose core values would be exemplified by shared governance and a commitment to due process and to tenure.   

He reviewed for the Faculty Senate that the Manual of Procedure mandates that a presidential search shall involve faculty consultation.  Over the course of the summer of 2002 the President of the Board of Regents, Owen Newlin was in close consultation with Pat Cane, former chair of the Committee on the Selection of Central Academic Officials, and Senate President Jeff Cox regarding the selection of the chair of the Search Committee.  Jonathan Carlson, Professor of Law was selected for this duty.  Regent Newlin consulted extensively with the Senate leadership in addition to the chair of the Search Committee and the Committee for the Selection of Central Academic Officials on the composition of the rest of the committee.  At present the committee is on target for its intended goal of recommending a handful of candidates that might be brought to the University of Iowa campus for an onsite interview process to the Board of Regents by the end of January 2003.   

During the interval between this and the last Senate and Council meetings the Senate leadership has continued to have ongoing meetings with the president and the provost as well as various vice presidents.  Items discussed during the meetings with the president have included:  1) ever increasing amounts of dollars being directed toward the athletic program; 2) faculty concern over the welfare of our student body with respect to the campus-wide problem of alcohol abuse and the secondary problem of the highest arrest rates of our sister institutions for problems related to alcohol and other drug consumption; 3) a discussion in conjunction with the Chief of the Campus Police, Chuck Green, regarding alcohol-related arrest rates on our campus and the relationship between the number of bars available to our student body (52 in Iowa City) as compared to Iowa State University (14 in Ames); 4) the intent of the interim university president to expand greatly visible university outreach activities to let the citizens of Iowa know how important higher education is to the welfare of this state.  In meetings with the provost, the Faculty Senate leadership discussion covered less broad issues and focused on deliberations over more specific proposals.  Examples of such deliberations included: 1) the proposal for the Academy of Distinguished Teachers; 2) the research-track faculty proposal which is currently receiving much attention; 3) and the proposal to abolish the Senate Budget Committee in order to create a university-wide committee composed of faculty and staff with the chair appointed by the president of the university.  In addition, the Senate leadership has discussed proposals coming forward for wider discussion at the Council and the Senate with the provost.  Examples of these discussions including the Dispute Resolution Committee revision of the policy on harassment, revisions of policies suggested by the Office of the Vice President for Research including conflict of commitment and intellectual property and patents.   

One of the more important roles of the Faculty Senate is its participation in the ongoing review of central academic officials.  Last year the offices of the Vice President for Finance and the Vice President for Student Services were reviewed.  Those reports have previously been posted on the university web site however they are difficult to find.  As such the Senate will be posting them on its own web site.  The review of the Office of the Provost has been completed but the distribution of the report has been held up for technical reasons.  It, too, will soon be posted on the university web site with the intent to post it on the Faculty Senate web page as well.  The review of the Office of the Vice President for Research has been postponed and there is ongoing discussion with the Faculty Senate leadership regarding its timing.  For the first time in the history of the university, there is an intent to review the Office of the General Council.  The self-study of this vice presidential position is in progress and should be followed within another academic year by the posting of a committee review report.   

At the conclusion of these remarks President Cox entertained questions from the floor of the Senate.  Prof. Westefeld inquired whether there was an intent to funnel the discussions on the athletic budget and student substance abuse and its attendant problems back to the senate for additional open discussion.  President Cox indicated that there was strong sentiment among some senators to recommend action on these issues.  At present there is no intent to add these topics as specific agenda items.  It is possible that they may be introduced from the Senate floor.  In his remarks regarding the “arms race” in collegiate athletics, President Cox identified nationwide concern over the escalating costs associated with these programs as well as their commercialization.  There is ongoing Senate leadership participation in the CIC (Committee on Institutional Cooperation), consisting of the Big 10 universities as well as the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois at Chicago in discussions on these very topics.  The next forum for discussion at the level of the CIC for the Faculty Senate leadership will be in November of 2002.   

Prof. Rubenstein questioned the lack of consistent information regarding the research-track faculty proposal.  Information promulgated within his own College of Medicine, a principal in discussion of the need for such a track, has suggested to the collegiate faculty that this proposal has been shelved.  Subsequent to this recent discussion at the College of Medicine Executive Committee, the proposal was reviewed in the Iowa City press.  In the absence of distribution of this proposal directly to the faculty of the university, Prof. Rubenstein wondered how the Council could adequately debate its merits or lack thereof.  President Cox responded that the proposal was given to the university provost last year and that it is, indeed, a public document, which will be openly discussed at the Council and Senate.  Prof. Rubenstein continued his questioning in regard to the wisdom of discussing such a proposal with the press before the faculty of the university had an opportunity to do likewise.  President Cox reiterated that the proposal is not a secret in its nature nor is it confidential.  Continuing a similar line of questioning Prof. Tachau wondered about the propriety of discussing the report at Council since a large proportion of the faculty that would be directly affected by this proposal (College of Medicine faculty) had not been made aware of any of its details.  President Cox reminded the Senate that the proposal was a university-wide policy and therefore needed full Council discussion, which would be forthcoming.  Immediate Past President Bhattacharjee reminded the Senate of the historic-based need for the Faculty Council and Senate to proceed with discussion as a matter of protocol.  In responding to a question by Prof. LeBlond about whether the actual research faculty document is a report or a specific proposal, President Cox identified its nature as more of the former rather than the latter.  It is a broad attempt to explain how it is the research-track faculty might function.  He reiterated that it is not a College of Medicine-specific proposal.  President Cox further indicated that a campus-wide e-mail distribution will be forthcoming to alert the university faculty of the existence of this report and to direct them to a university web page where it might be found.  Provost Whitmore responded to a question from Prof. Berman who wished to know who appointed the committee that wrote the research-track faculty report.  While the concept primarily derived from the Colleges of Medicine and Engineering, the committee itself was appointed by joint efforts of Vice President Skorton and Provost Whitmore and had campus-wide membership.  The charge to the committee was to look at the concept of having such positions and to make recommendations about whether or not the proposal should be discussed more broadly.  The recommendation of the report is, indeed, to further consider this proposal with additional, university-wide, study.  President Cox reminded the Senate, again, that the report is a public document that directly affects faculty of the university and therefore needs deliberation by the Faculty Senate officers, the Council of Deans and that it needs discussion, by protocol, by the Faculty Council and subsequently by the Faculty Senate.  Prof. Tachau endorsed this proposal but wondered whether the Council and Senate should seek broader input from constituent groups prior to further discussion at its meetings.  In his concluding remarks on this topic, President Cox reminded the senators that the Faculty Council meetings are open to the public and should provide a forum for expanded faculty input as Prof. Tachau wishes.   

   C.   Report of the Presidential Search Committee (Jonathan Carlson) 

Because of an unintended and unavoidable conflict, Prof. Carlson was unable to attend the Senate meeting as he intended.  He provided a brief statement, which was read by President Cox.  The statement is provided as Attachment 3.  President Cox indicated that Prof. Carlson is more than willing to attend future meetings as desired and as necessary.   

   D.   Provost’s Annual Report to the Senate (Jon Whitmore) 

The Annual Report of the Provost is included as Attachment 4.  Following the delivery of his report, Provost Whitmore responded to a series of questions.  A senator asked for information regarding the positions of the candidates for governor on increased funding for higher education as a priority item.  Provost Whitmore responded that the university did not have specific information that would help to answer this question.  It is the position of the Provost that the central university administration will work any governor through the Board of Regents to push our local agenda in concert with the collective agenda of the Regents.   

Prof. Berman asked for an update on the Old Capital restoration.  The Provost responded that an agreement has been reached with a contracting firm and that the campus should begin to see evidence of the reconstruction of the dome in the near future. 

IV.  Unfinished Business 

   A.   Proposal for the Academy of Distinguished Teachers (Attachment 5) 

Prof. Irwin Levin reported for Prof. Roberta Marvin, who was unable to attend the Senate meeting.  He briefly identified the two components of the proposal as institutional recognition for teaching and activities that will promote the dedication of financial resources to support teaching activities.  A motion was made and seconded to approve the proposal, which received a unanimous vote.  Following this rapid approval a series of modifications were proposed from the floor.  Prof. Polumbaum expressed her displeasure with the proposal for three significant reasons.  She believed that the title sounded pompous and that its pomposity may not play well to outside constituents.  Furthermore she believed that the current celebration of teaching on campus is more than adequate and does not require the creation of an Academy of Distinguished Teachers.  In elaborating on this concept she suggested that selection to such a body may provide potential for division amongst the faculty, some of whom will not be elected to the academy, but all of whom are engaged in significant teaching activities.  Furthermore because of the presence of a Center for Teaching and established support of the Office of the Provost for teaching activities, the goals of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers are currently being met.  In his response, Prof. Levin recognized that teaching is an integral part of faculty life.  He further indicated that the Academy of Distinguished Teachers wished to create a cross-campus forum for celebration of teaching in the form of an annual awards dinner.  Immediate Past President Bhattacharjee identified the source of the name that has been proposed as having been a meeting between the University of Iowa and University of Minnesota Faculty Senate officers with the University of Minnesota provost and president.  An Academy of Distinguished Teachers had been established at the University of Minnesota and the University of Iowa proposal was created using the name they had chosen for their own academy.  Prof. Maktabi expressed his support for the proposal.  In his opinion it is based on a need for ongoing recognition of an integral part of faculty life at a time when there is a significantly enhanced emphasis on grant dollar generation.  He believes that the proposal clearly shows that University of Iowa faculty leadership values teaching and that it also sends a clear message of the value we place on this activity to the state of Iowa.  Prof. Randell asked about the funding source and amount of monies to be committed to the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.  Provost Whitmore indicated that he intended to invest up to $50,000 in activities supporting the activities of the academy.  He envisioned incremental contributions over some time to achieve this final goal.  While Prof. Berman agreed with the title she suggested that many of the needs for teaching activities are more basic and include such mundane items as functional blackboards and adequate erasers and chalk.  Prof. Tachau agreed that the title was appropriate and sees it as a direct link to one of times greatest teachers, Aristotle and his academy.  She expressed concern that a negative faculty vote in support of the creation of such an academy would send the wrong message to the state of Iowa.  Prof. Jew concurred and further elaborated that the importance of recognition of our commitment to teaching could additionally be reflected in the creation of a vice president for teaching.  Such an office could be a source of resources and could also advocate for the kinds of needs that Prof. Berman indicated.  Prof. Mangum reminded the Senate that Lola Lopes currently holds the office of associate provost for undergraduate education and as such oversees the Council on Teaching as well as the nTitle and Twist programs and, as such, serves the purpose proposed by Prof. Jew.  Profs. Lynch and LeBlond both supported the proposal.  Although they identified a lack of detail in its substance, they both expressed great faith in the ability of a distinguished and creative group of people to develop an academy that would be an important resource for the university.  Prof. Whitaker provided a motion to reaffirm support of the prior vote.  Only three negative votes were identified and so the proposal to create an Academy of Distinguished Teachers passed.   

V.  Announcements 

   A.   The University of Iowa Convocation will occur on October 1, 2002.  

At that time the Senate will be able to celebrate the results of their deliberations in the presentation of the Awards for Faculty Excellence and the Brody Award.   

   B.   The next University of Iowa Faculty Council meeting will be held on October 1, 2002 at 3:30 PM in the Penn State Room at the IMU.  The next University of Iowa Faculty Senate meeting will be held on October 15, in the Lucas Dodge Room at the IMU.   

VI.  From the Floor          

No additional items were identified by the Senate for discussion. 

VII.  Following a motion by Prof. Whitaker and unanimous approval from the floor, the University of Iowa Faculty Senate adjourned at 4:58 PM.   


Respectfully submitted,
Craig C. Porter
Secretary, University of Iowa Faculty Senate

Report of Presidential Search Committee Chair

 This summer the Board of Regents appointed a 26-member Presidential Search and Screen Advisory Committee.  The Board also contracted with Korn/Ferry International, an executive search firm with extensive experience in higher education, to provide assistance to the Committee and the Board throughout the search process. 

The Committee has three main tasks: First, to develop as large and strong a pool of candidates as possible, by conducting a broadly-based and wide-ranging search.  Second, to screen the applicant pool and identify a handful of the strongest candidates for the position.  Third, to recommend at lest four finalists to the Board of Regents and to provide the Board with a written evaluation of each finalist. 

To this point, the Committee has begun the process of assembling a candidate pool and has developed criteria for evaluating the candidates.  The evaluative criteria proposed by the committee were approved by the Board of Regents on September 19.  We are now turning our attention to the candidate pool.  Over the next 6-8 weeks we will be focused on expanding that pool and evaluating the candidates.

 Jon Carlson

Jon Whitmore
Annual Address to the
Faculty Senate
September 24, 2002 

We are living in transitional times. 

We are living in devastatingly difficult financial times.

The University of Iowa lost $65 million in state appropriations in the past eighteen months. 

The very quality of the University of Iowa, which has been built up over more than 150 years, is being threatened by unprecedented financial hardships. 

And yet, because of the collective goodwill and extraordinary hard work of its faculty and staff, the University of Iowa has much to be proud of.   

You, the faculty, have found ways to shine a light through the dark budget clouds that hang over our heads. 

Even though our enrollments have increased by nearly 600 students, and even though we have 100 less faculty and 215 less staff, this fall semester has gotten off to a strong start. 

I will not pretend that the quality of learning is as healthy as it was two years ago. 

It is not. 

But because of your sacrifices, our students have full course schedules, and you are engaging them in vivid experiences in your classrooms on a daily basis. 

Faculty are teaching more students.  

Classes are larger. 

The number of papers to grade and the number of students to advise have increased. 

Existing classrooms are bulging with students—overflowing, in some cases. 

Yet, in the short run, through heroic effort, the University has found a way to cope.


What I worry about, now, is the long run. 

Next year and beyond. 

This overcrowding is eroding the quality of education.   

Of that I have no doubt. 

And, the time for faculty to make new discoveries in the laboratory, the library, and the rehearsal halls is being squeezed in harmful ways.

While the quick fixes the deans and department heads have

been asked to put into place this year will get us by in the short run…..  

…these fixes will not sustain the excellence of educational quality, research outcomes, and service provision that have been hallmarks of Iowa’s educational reputation throughout the nation. 

We are known inside the state and outside for having faculty who care deeply about quality teaching. 

We are know as an institution that has done everything it can to have our best faculty teaching undergraduates in the smallest classroom groupings possible.   

We value discussion over lecturing to the masses.   

We value active student learning over passive note taking.   

We value sharing cutting-edge research with our undergraduate students. 

These things we value, however, are in great jeopardy.



This is why the centerpiece of the University’s request for new funding from the state for the 2003-04 budget emphasizes two things--salaries and faculty positions: 



Because the only real competitive advantage any truly great University ever has is the quality of its people—the quality of its faculty, its staff, and ultimately the students they attract. 

Why salaries first? 

Because the University of Iowa must compete for faculty in a national and international marketplace.   

Our faculty salaries rank 7th out of 10 Big Ten public universities. 

And we rank 9th out of 11 in our Board-approved comparison group of peer institutions. 

Neither 7th place or 9th place is acceptable. 

We must hire and retain the best faculty, graduate assistants, and support staff.   

We simply must. 

People come first.

So, we put salary support first. 



Our #2 budget request from additional state support is RESTORING FACULTY POSITIONS lost in four budget cuts over the past eighteen months. 

Simply put, we cannot sustain the quality of undergraduate and graduate education--the centerpieces of this great University--without more faculty than we have now.

Budget reductions have sliced through the University’s skin and bone and have reached our vital organs.

We cannot sustain the historical quality of education that Iowa’s students demand and deserve without additional faculty in our classrooms. 

Therefore, RESTORING LOST FACULTY LINES is the university’s second priority.

When we receive additional money from the state, these two items—faculty and staff salaries and restoring faculty lines—will get our focused attention.


 Let me add one more ominous note about faculty salaries.   

We have had to make a double request for salary funding for next year. 

The university raised salaries on a merit basis approximately 3.76% this current year.   

But the partial funding that the state provided for our current raises (2.2%) was provided on a one-year-only basis.

This has required the University and the Regents to ask for two doses of salary increase for the coming year.

First we must get the 2.2% provided by the state for this year’s salaries restored on an ongoing basis.

This restoration would amount to $12 million.

The second part of the salary request, then, is for the state to provide new, ongoing funding so that we can provide merit raises for next year—2003-04.

A double hit of salary funding in a single year is formidable, but it must be done if Iowa is to maintain the quality of its higher education institutions.


 In reading David McCollough’s book, JOHN ADAMS, this summer, I was, time and time again, struck by the clarity and depth of insight the founding fathers of this nation had concerning the value of education and the long-term role it would play in building a vibrant and free nation, and, by implication, healthy and productive states.

John Adams was an advocate for public access to education, not just for the rich, but for all classes of citizens.

 In 1776 he wrote:

 “Laws for the liberal education of youth, especially for the lower classes of people, are so extremely wise and useful that to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant (pg. 103).

Let me repeat that last phrase: “…no expense for [education] would be thought extravagant."

 Iowa and its government officials must realize that public support for higher education is not an expense, nor is it an extravagance; it is a necessary investment in the future well-being of this state.

In the information age, economic development, will hinge on having a growing portion of Iowa’s citizenry educated at the baccalaureate level and well beyond.

The state of Iowa must reverse the trend of pushing more and more of the cost of education onto the shoulders of the students themselves and onto their parents. 

Access to all is one of the enduring values of public higher education in Iowa, and we must do all that we can to maintain that access without destroying quality.


 Despite all that I have said so far, I remain optimistic about the future.

It was Alfred North Whitehead who wrote, “The task of the university is the creation of the future….”

Despite our current difficulties, we cannot let this sacred trust,  CREATING THE FUTURE, go by the wayside.

Despite diminishing state support, the University of Iowa cannot and will not stand still.


 The University provided well-deserved salary raises this year.

 We opened a stunning new Biomedical Research and Education building.

 A new Honors building is rising out of the ground.

 We dug the first symbolic footings for a new Journalism and classroom building just last week.

 And a groundbreaking ceremony for the much anticipated Art and Art History building is scheduled for the very near future. 


 All is not bleak.

 The University celebrated the acquisition of the 4 millionth volume by our libraries this past spring.

 And, nearly $500 thousand was added to the library acquisitions budget—keeping alive our shared belief that our knowledge infrastructure must be nurtured, even in hard times.

 The University Foundation’s aggressive campaign to raise $850 million has already realized $545 million in contributions and pledges.

 Our alumni and friends are doing their part to advance the University.

 And, through the work of Vice President Skorton and his staff and you the faculty, the University saw a breathtaking gain in sponsored research awards for 2002—an astonishing 23% increase for a total of $341 million. 


 All is not bleak.

Six new faculty lines were made available to support new faculty hires for interdisciplinary research and teaching and for diversifying the faculty with international expertise.

 Six more lines are planned for next year.

 Increased tuition dollars provided 10 new faculty positions to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences this year.

 Applications to the University were up 10.5% for freshman and 15% for graduate students.

 Enrollments are up on campus by nearly 600 students.

 Diversity of the student body and the faculty ranks has also made modest, but positive, gains. 


All is not bleak for the University of Iowa’s future.

 Two of the bright spots for this current year are our interim president Willard (Sandy) Boyd and his wonderful wife, Susan.

 We could not ask for two more skillful and experienced advocates for the University of Iowa.

 President Boyd knows only too well how important state funding is to the health and well being of this University.

 He has plans, already underway, to develop stronger outreach efforts to the citizens of the state. 

You will hear more about these plans directly from President Boyd.


One of the traditional strengths of the University of Iowa has been the humanities.  Nationally, there exists a concern that the humanities have been relegated to a back burner in higher education’s institutional priorities, pushed aside by a massive infusion of grant funding for the life and health sciences and for digital technology. 

A similar concern for the wellbeing of the humanities exists on this campus, especially in light of the recent budget cuts and loss of faculty lines. 

I plan to host a series of discussions on the future of the humanities at Iowa throughout the year (two discussions already took place this summer).  

Hopefully, the outcome of these discussions will be a blueprint for reinvigorating the humanities at Iowa.   

I would like Iowa’s discussions to be informed by a series of recommendations on the humanities that will be promulgated by the Association of American Universities (the AAU) this fall.    

A year ago, the AAU appointed an ad hoc task force to study the state of the humanities and to make recommendations about how this core discipline might be advanced at AAU’s 63 elite research universities over the coming years.   

I serve on AAU’s humanities task force and I plan to use its recommendations as a touchstone for discussions on this campus concerning how a brighter future might be fashioned. 

Excellence in the humanities is a core element of this University’s past and of it future.   

The timing is right. 

With the help of the faculty, we will draft a blueprint, which can then be considered early in the tenure of our new president.


I would like to close by thanking you, the faculty, for allowing me the privilege of serving as your provost for the past six years. 

It has been a daily learning experience, and an invigorating one. 

This is a first class university, and you are a dedicated faculty—
    -strong, committed teachers,
    -infinitely inquisitive researchers, scholars, and artists, and
    -generous providers of service to the people of Iowa, the nation, and around the globe. 

(Parenthetically, a few of your colleagues are even reaching into far outer space.)


 I would like to take this opportunity to thank personally Amitava Bhattacharjee for the quality of his service as president of the senate last year. 

It was top notch in my book. 

And I look forward to working with your talented new Senate President, Jeff Cox, as we continue the tradition of shared governance that has made this University everything that it is today--

--a very distinctive place to teach and learn.

Thank you.