Faculty Senate reviews tenures

Kevin Schalinske is the Faculty Senate president.

Courtesy of Iowa State University

Kevin Schalinske is the Faculty Senate president.

Danielle Ferguson

The ISU Faculty Senate will begin the academic year focusing on post-tenure review, standards for faculty performance and the academic portion of the Board of Regents efficiency review.

The Senate will meet for the first time Sept. 9 in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union from 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Kevin Schalinske, Faculty Senate president, said the Senate hopes to focus on revising the post-tenure review policy and faculty members’ position responsibility statement. The position responsibility statement sets a framework for the faculty’s responsibilities, such as time spent on research, teaching or service.

Each faculty member’s position responsibility statement is part of the review when faculty applies for tenure.

For example, Schalinske’s appointment includes 55 percent research, 35 percent teaching and 10 percent of his time doing service.

Each college or department has different guidelines on how faculty should describe their responsibilities, Schalinske said. Some departments don’t assign numbers, so it is not clear how much time faculty are to devote to each element.

“We’re always looking for consistency,” Schalinske said. “A lot of times, there will be a situation that comes up. We’re always tweaking it to be effective for any situation that may occur.”

Schalinske said consistency is important when it comes to tenure review.

“If they don’t have numbers put to that [and] if you don’t know how those responsibilities are proportioned out, it makes it difficult,” Schalinske said. “We want position responsibility statements to be as helpful as possible.”

Reviewing a faculty member once he or she has achieved tenure status is also of concern, Schalinske said.

The post-tenure review also takes into consideration the position responsibility statement to ensure that faculty continue to work toward full professor status.

“I think the idea that you get tenure is time to sit in the office and take naps is gone,” Schalinske said. “That’s why we have the post-tenure review. We want to encourage faculty that once they get tenure, that they should at some point try to continue to professionally develop to get professor.”

The Senate will also consider a new minor in leadership studies.

The Senate will also be involved with the Board of Regents’ Transparent, Inclusive, Efficiency Review. Schalinske said members of the Senate sat in on conversations during the academic portion of the three regent university-wide efficiency review.

The academic programs portion of the review has been put on hold because Deloitte Consulting, the firm hired to conduct the efficiency review study, needs to find a replacement consulting firm to conduct the study.

“The review is still out there,” Schalinske said. “We just don’t know when we’re going to be involved again.”

Schalinske said he and a few other senators will attend parts of the Board of Regents meeting Sept. 9 and 10.

Schalinske said he collaborates with other university groups to discuss what’s happening in the Faculty Senate.

“These are all the faculty issues, but the issues pertain to other people,” Schalinske said. “I’ll go sit in on university budget, [professional and scientific] council, etc. It sounds like a lot, but making sure everybody’s aware what’s going on. We have [Government of Student Body] and [Graduate and Professional Student Senate] come to Faculty Senate meetings now.”

With the new academic year, the Faculty Senate also will have new members.

Tim Day, professor of biomedical sciences, was a senator from 2005 to 2011. He took a break for a few years and is now returning to the Senate.

“I like being on Faculty Senate,” Day said. “I think shared governance is important. I find it rewarding. I think it’s important for us to be an active part of the university.”

This year, there are 22 completely new senators or senators who are starting a new three-year term after taking a break from the Senate.

The Faculty Senate will meet Sept. 9 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union.