Senate approves annual review policy

Senators hustled through their Feb. 12 Faculty Senate meeting, leaving time to catch part of the U.S. Energy Secretary's lecture next door. Secretary Steven Chu's visit also postponed president Steven Leath's turn on the senate agenda.

Comments on recent events surrounding the Harkin Institute were shared as part of the update from the provost's office. Dawn Bratsch-Prince, associate provost for academic personnel, said it is "more than an academic battle, this is really a political battle," and it likely will result in a new state Board of Regents process when naming centers and institutes.

"[Sen. Tom Harkin] has stated he will not be sending his papers to Iowa State," Bratsch-Prince said. "We're frustrated and disappointed with that decision. We're also frustrated with the comments that we're reading in the media about how academic freedom is being suppressed. Faculty at Iowa State have objected to that interpretation of events."

Annual review policy

Language changes for the Faculty Handbook policy governing annual performance evaluations passed with a nearly unanimous vote. Additional revisions (PDF) were made to the original motion, following senate discussion at the Jan. 22 meeting. The changes provide more detailed guidelines for the evaluation process.

Other business

Bratsch-Prince asked faculty to participate in the biannual faculty activity survey. The results are compiled in a faculty activity report submitted to the Board of Regents in August. This year, all three regent institutions are administering the same survey for uniform results.

Three new academic programs were introduced and will be voted on at next month's meeting. The programs include:

  • A master of finance, offered by the finance department in the College of Business
  • A bachelor of science in public relations, offered by the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • A minor in landscape management, offered by the horticulture department in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences