Online leadership workshops will start this spring

Faculty Senate president Andrea Wheeler announced a series of skills-based leadership workshops for faculty that will begin during the spring semester.

The online workshops will be 90 minutes long and focus on themes like asking good questions, listening, recognizing interests and influence, said Wheeler at the senate's Dec. 14 meeting.

"They will broadly focus on creating and leading inclusive meetings, and for those interested in being chairs or in other leadership," she said. "I do not want any member of our faculty to think or feel they can't be a senator."

The first workshop is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 1 with more information to come.

Free speech training

Senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert spoke about annual free speech training the state Board of Regents approved earlier this year. Wickert said he anticipates a link for the training to be emailed to students and employees during the second week of January.

"It will be an online training covering various aspects of free expression and academic freedom," he said. 

Strategic plan

Vice president for research Peter Dorhout presented on the progress made on the next university strategic plan. The new strategic plan will be a nine-year plan instead of five years and developed as a "to be" list instead of a "to do" list. 


The senate will vote at its January meeting on an addition to the bylaws to clarify what should be included in the minutes. The proposal would establish that minutes are a concise record of what is done at a meeting, not a complete record of what is said during debate and discussion. It also would avoid attributions of statements made during debate or discussion.

Senators in favor of the change said identifying senators in the minutes may limit discussion on issues. Focusing on a vocal minority also may create a skewed historical record.

Those against the change said as a public university, detailed minutes are needed to accurately reflect why senate decisions are made. They provide a complete record as people look back years from now and give faculty who do not attend senate an opportunity to see what was discussed to ensure their concerns are voiced.

Other business

The senate approved:

  • A transdisciplinary undergraduate certificate in science communication. The 21-credit certificate focuses on science and society, and allows the practice of science and effective communication with the public around a variety of topics. An ag communications track in the agricultural and life sciences education major remains an option for students.
  • A change to the undergraduate certificate policy that allows students with an associate's degree to earn a certificate without completing a bachelor's degree. Students with an associate's degree apply as a non-degree seeking student. It remains the program's or department's decision whether an associate or bachelor's degree is needed for the certificate.
  • Amending chapter 8 of the Faculty Handbook "University Community Policies" to note the policies are in the ISU policy library, and moving the policy on educational material and intellectual property to chapter  10.
  • The October minutes, after quorum was lost during a previous discussion.