Funding, campus climate and educator salaries discussed at Faculty Senate


Jordyn DuBois/Iowa State Daily

Iowa States President Wendy Wintersteen addresses the Faculty Senate at Tuesday night’s first meeting of the year in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union.

Tyrus Pavicich

President Wendy Wintersteen praised Iowa State’s achievements while touching on issues such as the decline in international student enrollment during the first Faculty Senate meeting of the year Tuesday afternoon.

This fall U.S. multicultural and international student enrollment broke records with a total of 8,554 students, which is nearly 25 percent of total enrollment. Additionally, this year’s record-breaking U.S. multicultural enrollment saw an increase in undergraduate and freshman students.

Wintersteen addressed results of the Campus Climate Response Survey, which collected data on how various groups have been treated at Iowa State.

“We were so proud of the increase in students from a diverse background, but we hadn’t stopped, until several years ago, to really ask those students how well they were being received at Iowa State,” Wintersteen said. “And when you have these stories of [people] being mistreated, in some cases inappropriate things being said by faculty and staff, in some cases another student, then you start understanding that you have to do something different.”

This topic was brought up by nearly every other speaker at the event, from the Graduate and Professional Student Senate representative to the Faculty Senate president. 

Wintersteen also addressed university funding and related concerns. She said they would be requesting an additional $7 million for the university’s general funds at the Board of Regents meeting Wednesday and Thursday.

This is due to back-to-back mid-year budget cuts to all three regent universities by the Iowa Legislature. In total, the regents will consider requesting a funding increase of more than $20 million.

Wintersteen also acknowledged that Iowa State’s educator salaries are not competitive to that of other institutions. She said Iowa State is looking to establish a more regular, transparent and progressive system for faculty pay increases.

Career progression was also key issue addressed by the Senate.

Dawn Bratsch-Prince, associate provost for faculty at Iowa State, presented on the implementation of a term faculty system that would allow for educators’ titles to change based on criteria, such as the amount of time they’ve been in their current position.

This system would allow for those already qualified for a position to automatically switch over, although Bratsch-Prince emphasized the title change is not equatable to a promotion.

Concerns were raised, however, specfically about how senior lecturers moving to full professorship would receive no pay advancement under the new system. That means newly named professors looking to be paid at a professor level would need to apply for an equity pay increase.

Another option would be for the college to instead transfer senior lecturers to an associate professor position before promoting them. This would make them eligible for salary advancement under the new system.

“The transfer of term faculty titles is an administrative action and doesn’t change the faculty member’s job duties, doesn’t change their contract dates, and will not change their salary,” Bratsch-Prince said. “The process we’re talking about is simply the people who are eligible for the new titles move over to those new titles and that is not a review or an advancement promotional process.”