Final Faculty Senate discusses dead week policy, excusable absences

Iowa State’s Faculty Senate approved several changes to both the Dead Week Resolution and the Extracurricular Activities and Excusable Absences portions of the Faculty Handbook.

Language changes to the Dead Week Resolution, which is section 10.6.4 of the Faculty Handbook, were approved at the final Faculty Senate meeting of the year, which took place on Tuesday.

These changes included clarification that this policy concerned undergraduate students only.

“The dead week policy is specifically for undergraduate students,” said Rob Wallace, who was leading discussion on the agenda item.

The word “mandatory” in connection to final examinations not being given during dead week was also removed from the policy.

Changes made to the Dead Week Resolution passed unanimously.

Discussion on section 10.4.3 of the Faculty Handbook, which deals with excusable absences, focused on wording that dealt with absences in concern with court appearances.

This section,, states that, “Instructors shall excuse absences due to officially mandated court appearances including jury duty.”

Ann Smiley-Oyen, an associate professor of kinesiology, asked the senate about the “limit” of mandated court appearances. However, Veronica Dark, president elect of the Faculty Senate, said that “instructor discretion” is stated in the preamble of the section.

The senate chose to stick to the original wording of the court appearance section and passed all changes to the bill.

A report was given on promotions and tenure approvals by Provost Jonathan Wickert.

According to the report, 63 faculty members applied for a promotion or tenure, with 56 being approved and seven denied.

President of the Faculty Senate, Suzanne Hendrich, officially passed the gavel to Veronica Dark for next year’s Faculty Senate.

The next Iowa State Faculty Senate meeting will take place on Sept. 10, 2013.