Senate considers changes to classroom disruption policy

Meeting coverage

Recommended changes for the Faculty Handbook policy regarding classroom disruptions -- an effort first introduced a year ago -- were presented at the April 9 Faculty Senate meeting.

The proposed revisions, the first since 2002, expand the policy to include all learning environments, such as studios, labs and online courses. 

Examples of disruptive conduct include persistent speaking without consent; consistent late arrival or early exit from class; cellphone, computer and other device use without instructor permission; and nonprotected malicious, harassing or bullying speech.

Senators will vote on the proposed policy changes at the April 23 meeting.

A companion document that addresses procedures for dealing with a disruption will not be voted on, but will be linked to the policy. The procedures include clear communication of student conduct expectations in each class and an escalating approach to dealing with disruptions.

Student-athlete report

Tim Day, professor of veterinary biomedical sciences and faculty athletics representative, gave his annual report on the academic performance of ISU student-athletes. The student-athlete grade point average was slightly higher than the general student body once again. Student-athletes had a 3.12-to-3.09 edge during the spring 2018 semester and a 3.08-to-3.05 margin in the fall of 2017.

Last year, the athletics department committed $1 million for Cyclone Success Grants designed to provide financial assistance to students at risk of not completing their degree because of financial difficulty. The grants, available to all students, helped 42 students continue their education.

"Mostly, it is for students who have made very good progress toward a degree, but due to debt are having issues getting their bills paid or getting registered for the next semester," Day said. "It is really about retention and eventually graduation." 

Athletic training

The academic affairs council proposed a Master of Athletic Training degree in the College of Human Sciences. The kinesiology department offers a bachelor's degree in athletic training, but the national accrediting organization mandates athletic training education programs must offer a professional master's program by fall 2022 to sustain accreditation. Iowa State was first accredited in 2001 and has been reaccredited twice.

The two-year, 58-credit master's program would begin in May 2020. Students will conduct evidence-based practice and research and will have clinical experience in multiple areas on and off campus.

Workday update

Five faculty forums on how Workday and improved service delivery will impact faculty teaching, research and extension work wrapped up in early April. A total of 428 faculty members attended the forums, about 21 percent of all faculty.

Workday is set to go live July 1, and 27 faculty are piloting the training to provide feedback on the computer-based modules. There also are 181 faculty members involved in user acceptance testing of the software system.

"Users get into the system and start playing around with the technology," said David Cantor, professor in supply chain management. "They can provide feedback as to whether the system is performing as intended in areas like the recruit-to-hire process, procurement and expenses, and travel and reimbursement."

Other business

  • Senators approved business analytics major and minor degree programs in the Ivy College of Business proposed by the academic affairs council. The additions are expected to help meet the demand for entry-level employees in the field.
  • Senators approved a name change for the Master of Science and Master of Engineering degrees in the College of Engineering's information assurance program, to cybersecurity.
  • Two faculty members were reelected to serve on the university's athletics council. Jenny Aune, senior lecturer in English, and Darren Berger, assistant professor in veterinary clinical sciences, begin three-year terms in the fall.