Senate is considering 'clinical' faculty titles

A proposed new faculty title, which would establish non-tenure eligible clinical professorships, was introduced at the April 19 Faculty Senate meeting by the governance council. Discussion will continue prior to a May 3 vote.

As proposed, three non-tenure eligible (NTE) faculty positions would be established -- clinical professor, clinical associate professor and clinical assistant professor. In the College of Veterinary Medicine, the appointments primarily would be filled by specialists who teach students and diagnose/treat patients. The proposal also acknowledges that a clinical designation may be appropriate for some current NTE positions -- such as senior clinicians -- in other disciplines.

"This is becoming very common across the country, certainly at all of the vet schools that I looked at," said Martha Selby, chair of the governance council.

Brett Sponseller, associate professor of veterinary clinical sciences, said timely senate action on the proposal was important for Vet Med.

"The reason we really would like this to move forward is that the current situation is strongly hampering our efforts on recruitment and retention of faculty," he said.

New degree, policy changes

The College of Business received unanimous approval for a proposed entrepreneurship major. The bachelor of science program was developed to meet demand without duplicating other initiatives, including the interdisciplinary minor in entrepreneurial studies.

Senators also approved proposed Faculty Handbook changes for visiting appointments, eliminating "collaborator" titles and more clearly defining "visiting" and "affiliate" positions. Collaborator faculty will transition to affiliate appointments.

Academic performance of athletes

Faculty athletics representative Tim Day gave senators his annual report on the academic performance of Iowa State's student-athletes. The 2015 spring and fall cumulative GPAs of student-athletes (2.95/2.93) were slightly lower than the general student body (2.98/2.95).

"We like the look of the grade-point average, which is just one of the indicators of how things are going for students in our classrooms and at our university," Day said. "One of the things we always hope to see is that, in general, the student-athlete grade-point average would track along and mirror the grade-point average of the general student population. We see a continuation of that."

For the third consecutive year, Day reported that all of ISU's teams maintained good standing in the NCAA's academic progress rates, which measure retention and eligibility. He noted that several teams showed improvement. The women's golf team posted a perfect score (1,000); football ranked the lowest (958).

Election results

Four 2015-16 senate posts were filled, with each candidate running unopposed:

  • Academic affairs council chair: Tim Bigelow, electrical and computer engineering
  • Faculty development and administrative relations council chair: Tim Derrick, kinesiology
  • Governance council chair: Brett Sponseller, veterinary clinical sciences
  • Senate secretary: Annemarie Butler, philosophy and religious studies