Senators learn latest about TIER process

Senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert gave an update on the state Board of Regents' Transparent Inclusive Efficiency Review (TIER) during his comments at the Jan. 20 Faculty Senate meeting.

He told senators that two consultants were selected to help implement administrative business cases identified in the state Board of Regents' TIER study. The Huron Consulting Group, Chicago, will work on the sourcing and procurement case, and the Chazey Partners, Campbell, California, will focus on the information technology, human resources and finance cases. He said the firms were hired on three-month contracts, beginning Feb. 1, "with specific deliverables in each of the three month work periods."

Wickert said Iowa State's own implementation proposals for the IT and HR business cases were accepted by the regents.

"Chazey will be acting not as the driver behind the plans, but really to assist us as we implement them," Wickert said.

TIER academic review

The board is working to select a consultant for the TIER academic review. Wickert said the provosts and two faculty members from each of the regents universities are participating in the selection process. He said a consultant should be selected by mid-February, with review work to begin in March.

"The new consultant on the academic affairs side will really be looking at two business cases -- one is in the area of online education and the other is in the general area of time to degree," Wickert said.

Program change

It was the procedure -- not the program -- that was rejected when a proposed name change for the master's program in operations analytics was postponed indefinitely. According to Robert's Rules of Order for parliamentary procedure, a motion can be killed (without a direct vote on the contents of the motion) by a successful vote to postpone it indefinitely.

"If you actually take a look at this, it's not really a name change -- it's the establishment of a new master's," said past-president Veronica Dark.

The master's program, jointly administered by the industrial and manufacturing systems engineering (IMSE) and statistics departments, has not enrolled students or appeared in the university catalog for as many as 20 years.

Janis Terpenny, IMSE chair, argued that the program never was eliminated, and a more modern name -- operations analytics -- would revitalize it and be a "strategic advantage" for the university's priority area of big data and analytics.

"It is an existing program," Terpenny said. "We confirmed that it was still on the books before we started."

Although the name change was not approved, senators expressed support for the master's degree in operation analytics if it was introduced as a new academic program.

"This is a procedural thing and it's also a perception thing," said president-elect Rob Wallace. "It will be an issue without question when the regents see this -- to try to interpret that a 20-year-old, defunct program is simply changing its name and somehow going to reactivate automatically."

Other business

Jonathan Sturm, professor in music and theater, was voted the next president-elect of the senate, running unopposed. Sturm and current president-elect Wallace will assume their new posts at the May 5 meeting.

Senators unanimously approved two docket items, including: