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Minutes of the Faculty Senate meeting                      April 14, 2010

The regular meeting of the 2009-2010 Faculty Senate was called to order at 3:30 p.m. by President Houle. The following senators were present for all or part of the meeting: Clapham, Courard-Hauri, Cramer, DeWitt, Dore, Esposito, Gilbert, Holman, Houle, Klipec, Knepper, Koch, Lyons, Mosser, Petersen, Reincke, Van Wyke, Vitha, Walker

Absent: Bartschat

Upon proper motion and vote, March 2010 minutes were accepted.

President Maxwell Report.

President Maxwell announced that just today, Forbes magazine has named Des Moines a top ranked  place-to-do-business. This is a most welcome publicity for Des Moines and Drake.

The two task forces which began last semester (CARE Team’s Alcohol Task Force and Sexual Assault and Coercion Task Force) have their recommendations due on May first to the Cabinet. These groups have met with nationally recognized individuals during this semester which President Maxwell believed helped the respective task forces. He continued that the current plan is to have the recommendations posted to the portal and as responses are prepared, they will also be posted for review.

The Board of Trustees meeting will be held next week. Major agenda items will be a discussion of the Distinctly Drake campaign’s status, tenure/promotion decisions and approval of the fiscal year 2011 budget which has been based on the ‘likely’ scenario. The Fall 2010 undergraduate tuition deposits are due May first. Although the numbers received to date are on track with last year, he cautioned, it is too early to believe any numbers at this point.

Senator Esposito offered thanks to President Maxwell for his leadership role in preparing the Drake response to an outside protest on the day of a Law School conference. He felt that the spirit of Drake was displayed beyond just Relays Week. (Secretary’s note: supportive applause for President Maxwell broke out from the Senators) President Maxwell acknowledged and appreciated the comments and stated that up to a dozen others helped put together the response. It was a Drake response not just his, stated President Maxwell.

Provost Renner Report

Provost Renner began with fulfilling a promise to report on the web site problems from last month. There was a crash from which the recovery was not smooth. A better backup and fail safe system has been authorized.

Currently three position searches are in process, Associate Provost for Curriculum and Assessment, Director of Assessment and an Academic Affairs Fellow. The Provost continued that related to Drake’s need to know its data concerning curriculum and learning outcomes is the fact that the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has begun their new accreditation process.  It will still include a ten year review but also focus on one and four year reporting needs. These are changes which will have a significant impact for institutions.

Provost Renner introduced Ann Kovalchick, Chief Information Technology Officer. She was invited to speak to the body. Ms. Kovalchick began with an invitation for anyone to get in touch with her if there are issues or concerns.  She continued that during her two months here she has embarked on trying to learn why we do what we do in a certain way. She has been meeting her staff and knowing their strengths, there has been a Board of Trustees audit and she is reviewing the Office of Information Technology (OIT) department systems, processes and budget.  Today, she wanted to articulate a couple of challenge areas.  First, as she identifies the core services and tools which exist, the level of service which can be provided by OIT will be easier to define. She said that OIT has been reactive only. Secondly, she noted the budget and staffing assignments have some good things happening but could use some realignment. She believes that she sees no clear priorities on campus to decide what we should be doing. As she learns the operational priorities and individual unit strategic plans, she will also learn where OIT can support these efforts.

Ms. Kovalchick stated several areas will receive her immediate attention: a) sharing the analysis of what was done to cluster the servers, b) the Drake email system, c) making the wireless network setup easier, d) identity management, e) data warehousing, and f) improving communication from OIT to the campus community.

Senator Gilbert asked about the new storage system. Ms. Kovalchick indicated that this shared storage environment will be rolled out to the business offices first and the implementation will then spread elsewhere on campus. It is a means of storing digital files with the content being stored physically on campus servers hence more email will be able to be stored locally.

President Houle Report

President Houle recognized Johanna Mosser, Chair of the University Curriculum Committee (UCC) for comments. Senator Mosser indicated the committee, after a very productive semester, will meet tomorrow to vote on the revisions to the Drake Curriculum. They will advance a report and supporting materials afterwards to the Senate Executive Committee.

Senator Gilbert asked if the Senate will today discuss the next steps in this process. President Houle stated that the Senate Executive Committee wanted to see the report before making a decision about how to the bring the matter forward. He welcomed opinions from the Senators.

Several senators expressed concerns about such a substantive and lengthy report being addressed at only one Senate meeting near the end of a term, even the end of an academic year. There was also interest in knowing whether or not the full faculty would receive the UCC document and the timing of such a distribution.

President Houle indicated that on May 5th there will be a reception beginning at 3:00 p.m. to acknowledge the 09-10 Senate.

Norah Carroll, Student Senate Liaison was recognized. A recent major issue for the Student Senate has been the distribution of monies from Senate to the Board of Student Communications. She indicated there is a group which is working to clarify the funding issues.  The Student Senate by-laws changes have passed with a new First Year Senator position now in place to begin with the 10-11 Student Senate.       

Old Business  

Senator Klipec and Cramer moved motion 10-07 as revised from the table. This procedural motion passed.


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Senator Dore opened with background comments. She said the ad hoc committee looked at the policy need and purpose. They then approached making revisions with a desire to make the policy simple and without articulating specifics. She indicated that the most current version of the motion, labeled version 3, was distributed at the meeting. There are only slight differences in version 3 from the recently emailed version. No objections were made to accepting version 3 as the motion.

Provost Renner indicated an interest in making the statement about resource use simpler. He reminded the body that the purpose of the policy was to provide instruction to individuals not to the institution. Also, this version has been favorably reviewed by University Counsel.  President Maxwell raised a question as to whether a friendly amendment could be accepted to add “or ballot issue” to the first sentence. Senator Dore read the IRS language confirming that phrase was not included there. The language was not added.

The motion passed on a unanimous voice vote.

New Business

Senator Courard-Hauri and Klipec moved and seconded motion 10-10:

Change the reporting line of the IRB (Institutional Review Board) and the IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) from the Faculty Senate to the Provost.  Faculty Senate will retain the role of recommending faculty members to the Provost for appointment to each of these committees.

Judy Allen, Chair of the IRB was recognized to speak to the body. She indicated that the IRB works with faculty and thus having a direct line to the Provost creates a clearer reporting structure. Senator Courard-Hauri, a member of the IACUC, indicated this change makes sense to him for financial reporting reasons. He continued that since both committees are concerned with the ethical oversight of faculty activities, it made sense to report to the position which leads the faculty.

The motion passed on a unanimous voice vote.

Senators Gilbert and Courard-Hauri moved and seconded motion 10-11

The President of the Senate shall forward to all Drake faculty via email any recommendations concerning reform of the Drake Curriculum that are passed in April 2010 by the UCC for future consideration by the Faculty Senate.

Without discussion, the motion passed on a voice vote.

With a proper motion and vote, the meeting ended 4:31 p.m.