Members of Faculty Senate give input on new Dead Week policy


Alex Connor/Iowa State Daily

A Faculty Senate member talks with another member before the monthly meeting Tuesday. The senate motioned for the removal of the botany major and the addition of the geographic information major.

Robert Roberson

The week before finals, commonly known as Dead Week, has seen changes over the past decade. 

The Faculty Senate recently passed a new Dead Week policy that will change it once again. The president of Faculty Senate, Jonathan Sturm, along with a few of his colleagues in Faculty Senate gave input on how Dead Week has changed over time. 

Steven Freeman, professor of agricultural engineering, was an advocate for the policy change. Freeman explained that Student Government managed to show abuse by some faculty members he referred to as “violators.”

Freeman also expressed that it doesn’t seem fair that students should take an exam and then not have enough time to receive feedback that they would be able to implement into their studies for finals.

Yet, Veronica Dark, professor of psychology, said the information that Student Government found was never presented to Faculty Senate. Dark voted no on the policy because she wasn’t convinced it would be helpful. She believes it could cause problems for some professors.

“I don’t know what this notion of fairness is,” Dark said. “So is it fair for one student to have an exam on Monday and another Friday? I don’t understand appealing to fairness.”

The policy was resolved between the Faculty Senate Executive Board and the Student Government Executive Board, Freeman said. 

“It was a compromise, so the students did not get everything that they wanted,” Freeman said. “And I don’t think that everything that they wanted would have made it past Faculty Senate.”

Sturm shared a similar sentiment, mentioning that this is a victory for students, but that shouldn’t mean that will be the case every time.

“This policy is good evidence that the faculty are willing to listen to the students and their concerns and act on behalf of the students and in their favor,” Sturm said. “It will not happen every time, it can’t.”

The implementation of the policy will work similarly to other faculty policies. Faculty members will self-police and if students see violation of the policy, they should politely educate faculty on the policy, Dark said.  

Sturm and Freeman don’t believe it will have too much class structure, but Dark disagrees. Dark said she and probably other professors will have to find out what to do with this extra day at the end of the semester.

Even though Dark isn’t a fan of the change, she said she is satisfied. Dark believes that future students will see this policy as beneficial and the new norm. 

The new Dead Week policy can be viewed here.