Senate considers a mandatory course

A motion to adopt a required course for international undergraduate students was introduced at the March 8 Faculty Senate meeting. The seminar, aimed at helping students transition to an American university, was launched experimentally last fall and continued this spring. Senators will vote on the motion next month.

"The idea is that the international students that come in need help getting acclimated to academic life in the United States," said academic affairs council chair Tim Bigelow. "There are several best practices that have been developed and one aspect of that is to have an orientation course for them."

As proposed, the mandatory International First Year Experience Seminar (University Studies 110X) would be a one-credit, semester course coordinated jointly by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the International Students and Scholars Office. It would include a weekly large lecture section (50 minutes) and smaller recitation groups that also meet weekly.

Current students -- one American and one international, both with leadership training -- would facilitate the recitation groups. Graduate students would work with the lecture sections and guest faculty and staff lecturers would present on topics such as campus resources, academic issues, U.S. culture and immigration regulations.

Talking football

Iowa State head football coach Matt Campbell spoke to senators, giving them some insight on his education-based background and its impact on his coaching style.

"My job is to coach the student-athlete," he said. "I will put that in terms of the student-athlete piece of having success both academically and athletically once a young person comes to our institution."

He credited Iowa State's recruiting success to the academic strength of Iowa State and said faculty can expect the football players to be "ambassadors of the student-athlete experience." He said he has asked them to be 10 minutes early to class (what he called "Cyclone time") and to sit in the first two rows. He added that they will conduct "class-checking" to make sure the football players -- particularly freshmen and those struggling academically -- are attending their classes.

"I want you to know from my end how serious I take it," Campbell said. "We won't have great success on the football field until we do a great job academically, off the field."


  • Darren Berger, assistant professor in veterinary clinical sciences, was elected as a Faculty Senate representative to the athletics council, running against Al Murdoch, assistant professor in kinesiology.
  • Senate at-large elections will be conducted April 5 and the elections for council chairs and senate secretary will be held April 19. Nominations are being accepted.