Academic freedom, next year's budget and flu concerns were all topics of discussion at the Faculty Senate meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, in the Great Hall in the Memorial Union
The first main agenda at hand was the nominations for next year’s president elect. Solo nominee Kevin Schalinske, food science and human nutrition professor and a four-year senate participant, was unanimously voted into the title.
President Suzanne Hendrich gave her president’s report. Hendrich informed the Senate of the Wellness Committee’s presence in the Cardinal Room from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24. The committee will take health and wellness concerns.
Hendrich asked Faculty Senate members to think about the meaning of serving as a faculty member.
“What it means to you [the faculty members] for ISU to be the most student-centered research-intensive university?” Hendrich said.
Hendrich encouraged academic freedom with a focus of what the faculty’s goals are to achieve their best potential as teachers, researchers and student-helpers.
Provost Jonathan Wickert’s reported the proposed budget for the next year. The governor has approved a 2.6 percent increase in general funding for appropriation. The freeze in tuition has aided in this increase in funding. Other items considered in the budget are a new building for teaching and research and a state-funded education program to focus on scholarships.
Wickert introduced President Leath’s new program titled “Alliance for ISU” to inform legislatures about what is happening at Iowa State.
"You [the Faculty Senate] are great facilitators for that. We want to inform about the great things about ISU,” Wickert said.
A slight increase in enrollment is projected for the 2013-14 school year according to the number of applications received, according to Wickert’s report.
Private gifts for student aid are well ahead of schedule “thanks [in part] to the hard work of [interim Foundation President] Labh Hira,” said Wickert.
The goal the Foundation wished to reach by the end of Fall 2012 semester was $100 million, and the Foundation has reached a monumental $167 million. Newly selected Foundation president Roger Neuhaus will take over the position beginning next week.
Wickert took a moment to give praise to the Ames Lab, who had just received a $120 million grant.
“One hundred twenty million dollar grants don’t happen very often,” said Wickert. “This is a great milestone for the lab.”
The Senate was then informed of the minor equipment failure on Jan. 10. Both the webpage and storage service went offline for a few minutes after midnight. This caused slight disorder in some university functions, but is now functional.
Closing comments of the meeting reminded the faculty that flu season is upon us. The Senate was advised to keep attendance policies slightly more relaxed. The closing statement encouraged that the best thing for anybody, faculty, staff and students, is to stay home and do not spread the flu.