Wickert summarizes pay equity study for senate

Senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert presented some of the results of the pay equity study at the Nov. 10 Faculty Senate meeting.

The study, at the university and college level, was conducted by Aon, a human resources consulting firm, and focused on pay equity in 2017-18 of 1,912 faculty members according to gender, race and ethnicity.

"This study was commenced in 2018 and used an external organization because the previous study -- eight or 10 years ago -- was done internally," Wickert said.

It concluded there was no evidence of systemic bias in faculty base pay by gender or ethnicity, but two areas of concern were identified. The College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and the College of Design were recommended for further review because of pay gaps.

The study found female faculty in CVM were paid 7.8% less than men. Non-white faculty were paid 6.6% less in the College of Design than their white counterparts.

"The deans of those two colleges did their own study and the College of Veterinary Medicine ended up making 15 adjustments," Wickert said. "The College of Design made 17 adjustments that were completed last year."

Term faculty

Senators approved a Faculty Handbook revision to clarify term faculty ranks to ensure teaching faculty are treated fairly with multiyear contracts and notice of non-renewal.

Lecturers are appointed for up to one year, but after three consecutive years become a term assistant teaching professor. Assistant professors are appointed from one to three years, and after completing three straight years the length adjusts to two to three years. Associate term faculty are hired for three to five years, while term professor contacts are for three to seven years.

Practice-track faculty can be hired regardless of previous employment at the university. Assistant professors of practice can be hired for up to three years, associate professors of practice up to five years and professors of practice up to seven years.

All appointments require a one-year notice of intent not to renew. Appointments of a year or less require three months' notice.

The senate also passed a resolution in support of faculty who were not credited with prior time served at a rank because of a misinterpretation in chapter 3 of the Faculty Handbook ( The resolution asks administrators to rectify the misinterpretations as quickly as possible.

Graduating with distinction

The senate will vote at its December meeting on changes to the graduation with distinction policy in the university catalog. As proposed, undergraduates can graduate with distinction if they have at least a 3.50 cumulative GPA after meeting all degree requirements. Most bachelor degree candidates must complete 60 credits at Iowa State with a minimum of 50 graded credits. Bachelor of liberal studies degree graduates must complete 45 credits at state Board of Regents universities and have at least a 3.50 GPA at ISU, but the distinction is based on a combined GPA at the regent universities. Bachelor of science in nursing grads must complete 32 credits at Iowa State.


Finance service delivery will begin implementing the new financial report workbooks for primary investigators and faculty. In a memo to the senate, associate vice president for finance and support services Heather Paris said the goal is to complete implementation by the end of the fall semester.

Financial report workbooks can be customized to faculty preferences in Workday and scheduled to refresh monthly with live data. Cost center managers will assist in developing a template of worktags and provide final review of workbooks before they are distributed. Primary investigators or faculty members can contact their finance service delivery team member to learn more about workbooks.

 Other business

Senators voted to approve:

  • Faculty Handbook changes that replaced some gender-based pronouns to they/their.
  • A master's in artificial intelligence offered by the computer science department. The 31-credit program will allow students to compete for national positions in a high-demand field. No other state Board of Regents university offers this graduate program.
  • Discontinuation of the Graduate College's master's and doctoral interdisciplinary programs in biorenewable resources and technology. Enrollment is down 90% since 2002 and no new students have been admitted in the past three years. 

The senate will vote next month on:

  • A beverage management minor in the apparel, events and hospitality management department. The minor, requiring 15 credits, will prepare students to understand the intricacies of the development of beverages, their use and the operation of a beverage establishment. No other regent university has a beverage management major or minor.
  • A name change for the child, adult and family services major and minor to human development and family studies. It brings the university into alignment with peer institutions and helps students better identify the program.
  • A minor in ethics in the philosophy and religious studies department. The 15-credit minor will explore theories and applied topics in ethics and provide background for students in business, law, agriculture, medicine, psychology, education and other fields.