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Graduate Council could move out of isolation, into Faculty Senate

Beardshear+Hall+was+constructed+in+1906+and+serves+as+the+administration+building+at+Iowa+State+University.
Photo by Katherine Kealey
Beardshear Hall was constructed in 1906 and serves as the administration building at Iowa State University.

The Faculty Senate will vote on the future of the Graduate Council, the body that represents graduate faculty and serves as an advisory body to the Graduate College dean. 

The body is currently independent of the Faculty Senate and will receive a vote cast by faculty senators on whether the council will become a structure of the Faculty Senate. 

The move would rename the Graduate Council and make it a standing committee under the Faculty Senate Academic Affairs Council. 

According to the proposal for restructuring, there have been “consistent complaints and concerns across campus that the Graduate Council operates in isolation and that only the 15 members of the Council are engaged in decision-making that impacts all graduate faculty and graduate and professional students and postdoctoral associates.”

The complaints arise from a lack of a direct line of communication, especially in recent years, to constituents and other decision-makers when gathering input and when the council makes decisions, according to the proposal. 

The change would also shift postdoctoral employment policies to the office of the vice president for research, rather than where it currently lies, within the Graduate Council. 

Under the change, if made, the Graduate Council would be renamed to the Graduate Faculty Cabinet. The body would have the role of reviewing graduate faculty membership-related requests and would make recommendations to the Graduate College dean. 

“We spent all fall having conversations, meeting with a lot of different groups and held a couple of open houses for everyone on campus to attend and discuss this,” Steve Freeman, Faculty Senate judiciary and appeals council chair, said in an Inside Iowa State post. “We ended the fall semester with a vote of all graduate faculty and they were overwhelmingly supportive of it.”

The body currently known as the Graduate Council is the executive committee of the graduate faculty. 

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