Faculty Senate proposes new committees on communication


Brian Achenbach/Iowa State Daily

Faculty senate member Tim Day talks to the senate about the NCAA investigation on Iowa State over improper recruiting on Sept. 10, 2013 in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union.

Danielle Ferguson

The ISU Faculty Senate plan changes and new communication procedures for this academic year, as well as resurfacing an old committee.

Even though it is in the Faculty Senate’s bylaws, A committee between the vice president of Business and Finance and the senate is currently dormant. The senate executive board discussed re-establishing the committee.

Veronica Dark, Faculty Senate president, also introduced a different committee to the senate, one intended to create communication between the faculty senate and Vice President of Student Affairs.

“I can’t believe we don’t have such a committee because faculty are so intimately involved with students,” Dark said. “Vice President [for Student Affairs Tom] Hill is very much interested in interacting with the senate.”

The executive board will establish a committee to regularly interact with the Student Affairs Office.

In another attempt to increase communication across the university, Zachary Bauer, representative for the Government of the Student Body, updated the faculty senate on GSB concerns, including the more than $100,000 debt GSB is confronting in its capital projects account.

The debt, due to wrongful enrollment projections in fiscal year 2011, is hoped to be combatted with a proposed 3.98 percent increase to student fees, which would equal an additional $1.40 per semester per student.

“This would allow us to accommodate the organizations that are coming to GSB,” Bauer said. “With enrollment increasing, new student organizations have started to be created. In turn, these student organizations are coming to GSB to request funds.”

Bauer said ISU President Steven Leath is projected to sign off on the fee increase and for the proposal to be moved to the Board of Regents.

Enrollment increase was also discussed. Dark informed the senate that Leath plans to reveal official enrollment figures at tomorrow’s Board of Regents meeting.

Dark presented two new taskforces to the Senate. A Taskforce on the Scholarship of Engagement and Outreach has been staffed. Dark did not say when the taskforce’s work would begin.

A second taskforce, to look at Position Responsibility Statements across campus, is currently under construction. The PSR lays out percentages for faculty’s responsibility distribution, such as time spent teaching or doing research. Templates differ across departments and colleges.

“Why that is such an important document, is when somebody goes up for promotion and tenure, it looks at their accomplishments,” said Kevin Schalinske, president-elect of the senate. “We can’t have a template that fits everybody, but we can have best practices. We need to make sure you’re doing what you’re hired to be doing.”

Dark informed the President’s High Impact Hires Initiative to continue to hire additional faculty as part of Leath’s goal to add 200 faculty members during a two-year period. An amount of $1.5 million will be used to support the new employees.

Tim Day, faculty athletics representative, gave an update on the academic progress of student athletes at Iowa State. Day showed the student athlete GPA is slightly higher than the rest of the student population’s GPA.

In fall 2012, average student athlete GPA was 2.94 and the rest of the student body had a 2.91.

Day also shared that academic progress standards are to increase come fall 2013. The core GPA requirement has increased from 2.0 to 2.3.

A recap of the NCAA telephone violation case was presented. Day shared what violations occurred, 1,260 improperly logged missed calls, as well as the penalties Iowa State received. The NCAA issued a final report on Friday, stating Iowa State’s self-imposed rules were satisfactory and no further action needs to be taken.

Faculty Senate’s next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 8. All meetings are in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union from 3:30 to 5 p.m.