Senate closes out year with P&T report, research update

In the Faculty Senate's final meeting of the academic year, senior vice president and provost Jonathan Wickert gave senators his annual report on promotion and tenure awards. He reviewed 75 cases this year.

"I thought the process worked very well this year, and it really reflects hard work by everybody," Wickert said. "It starts with the search committees who recruit outstanding faculty to campus and set them up for success."

Next meeting

Tuesday, Sept. 15
MU Great Hall
3:30-5 p.m.

Seventy of this year's 75 promotion and tenure cases were approved, plus one tenure-clock extension. Wickert said 163 faculty (89 women, 74 men) have used a tenure clock extension since 2003, of which about 71 percent are tenured or are pending tenure decisions. Common extension requests include family needs (birth, adoption, elder care, etc.) and lab delays (such as equipment and personnel).

Among the 70 successful candidates, there were:

  • 45 men
  • 25 women
  • 52 white/Caucasians
  • 1 black/African-American
  • 13 Asian-Americans
  • 2 Latinos/Latinas/Hispanics
  • 0 American Indians/Alaskan natives/Native Hawaiians/ Pacific islanders

Wickert also showed the status of the FY09 cohort of 71 tenure-eligible faculty hires. Seventeen (24 percent) resigned prior to tenure, while 37 (52 percent) earned tenure as of this spring. Another 16 have pending P&T reviews and one moved from a faculty appointment to a non-tenure eligible faculty or professional and scientific position.

"What it really means is that 76 percent of the 2009 cohort are still here at Iowa State some six years later," Wickert said.

Research update

Vice president for research Sarah Nusser provided an update on her office. She said the last year has been spent "laying the groundwork" for the future.

"We are trying to place a stronger emphasis on the faculty as the engine of research, broadly defined," Nusser said.

She said three ways her office is changing to address ISU's research mission are:

  • Providing support for proposal development
  • Using new methods to develop interdisciplinary groups
  • Integrating arts and humanities into the research portfolio

"We're just at the beginning of our odyssey to reshape how our office supports and advances research on campus," Nusser said.

Other business

Senators unanimously approved Faculty Handbook changes that update procedures for student outcomes assessments (section 10.7.2). Tim Bigelow, chair of the academic affairs council, said the policy hasn't been updated since 1991.

A requested name change for the culinary science program -- to culinary food science -- was introduced and will be voted on when the senate reconvenes in the fall. Bigelow said the one-word tweak was necessary to help students who have been overlooked during job application screenings that search for "food science."

Also on next fall's docket are requested catalog changes that make it easier for students to change majors when they are on academic probation.

"We want students to be successful at Iowa State University, and that may mean changing majors they may be struggling in," Bigelow said. "The goal here was to remove or reduce barriers for students who might be on academic probation."