Regents president talks to senate

State Board of Regents president Bruce Rastetter spoke to members of the Faculty Senate at their Jan. 21 meeting, taking questions after his opening remarks.

"One of the missions of the regents is to make sure we're fair about all three of the universities, because clearly we're the governing body of all three," Rastetter said. "I think meetings like this, and making sure we hear from you ... is really important to make sure we take that into context."

Regents system by the numbers

  • $5 billion enterprise
  • 76,000 students
  • 46,000 employees (26,000 full-time)
  • 1.2 million visitors/patients per year (University of Iowa hospitals)

Among his comments:

  • (Distribution of appropriations) "One of the things that hasn't happened in 70 years, regents have not looked at our appropriations and how they're distributed amongst the three universities. We have not looked at performance funding tied to that, and in particular, to resident students. I think it's incumbent that we do that. A lot of things have changed over 70 years and I think as an interest of being fair, that we should look at that."
  • (Efficiency study) "One of our perspectives and goals is to make sure that our strategic mission stays in line. Our strategic mission at the board of regents is accessibility, affordability, and how do we improve the quality of education at the public universities. We are going to look at everything, including athletics."
  • (Budget lobbying) "We have asked [the three presidents] to step up their advocacy in the last few years and we think that's important. We've also asked the universities -- the alumni associations, the faculties, all of the constituency groups -- to lobby on behalf of the regents budget."
  • (Collaboration vs. competition among the institutions) "The reality of it is that we have limited resources in the state and we have three large universities. It is critically important we maintain that [AAU] status, and the way we do it is focus on the strengths of each university, rather than establish duplication that takes resources that are precious and limited."
  • (Community college relationships) "One of the initiatives that the regents system has had for some time is the 26 different articulation agreements between the three public universities and the community college system. That's been important, so if students expect that the credits they're taking in a community college will transfer to the public -- that they actually do. One of the challenges with that is to make sure that the quality of those credits is equivalent or close to the quality that those students would receive [at a university]."

Election results

Rob Wallace, associate professor in ecology, evolution and organismal biology, was voted the next president-elect in a two-person race. Wallace and current president-elect Kevin Schalinske (food science and human nutrition) will assume their new posts at the May 6 meeting.

Other business

Senators worked through a lengthy list of motions introduced in December, including a unanimous decision to discontinue the master of public administration degree program. The request was submitted by the political science department.

A host of Faculty Handbook revisions also were approved without objections, including changes that will:

  • Ensure diversity when appointing ad hoc investigative committees working on faculty grievance cases (section 9.3.3)
  • Clarify procedures for faculty misconduct proceedings (chapter 7)
  • Provide guidelines to handle cases of abandonment of position (section
  • Outline eligibility criteria for the advancement of non-tenure eligible faculty (section 5.4.1)
  • Provide language consistent with information in the university’s policy library (chapters 7 and 8)