Minutes - Sep 29, 2011

Date of Meeting: 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

1:30pm – 201 Gilmore Hall

Council Members present:

Manar Al-Ghabeish, Carolyn Colvin, John Doershuk, Edward Gillan, Jane Gilotti, Robert Kirby, Kevin Kopelson, Yasar Onel, Cheryl Reardon, Alberto Segre and Paul Soderdahl


Rich Hichwa and Tom Rice

Agenda Item 1: Approval of minutes from September 15th meeting

It was noted that Ed Gillan’s name on the second page of the minutes was misspelled.  The corrected minutes were approved.

Agenda Item 2: Guest Associate Provost Rice to speak about cluster hires and CDAs

Associate Provost Rice said that there are currently five cluster hire initiatives in process.

  • Water Sustainability
  • Digital Public Humanities
  • Aging Mind and Brain
  • Obesity
  • Genetics

President Mason has approved 100 cluster hire lines; fifty will be funded by the Office of the Provost and fifty will be funded by colleges. 

Most clusters have ten faculty lines.  The lines have been filling slowly, but the intent is to fill the positions with the best people possible for the job and not rush or make-do with those less qualified.

Cluster hires are faculty driven:

proposals come from the faculty; searches are run by academic departments; and promotions and tenure decisions will originate within departments.  The Executive Vice President and Provost is the final authority on all cluster matters and will be advised by the deans, the OVPR and the Associate Provost for Faculty.  Each cluster will have a single faculty director or co-directors.  Each cluster also has a steering committee of faculty members that will provide guidance to the cluster directors, with a member of the steering committee serving on department hiring committees and P&T committees. 

Four of the seven lines in the Digital Public Humanities cluster have been filled.  Seven lines of the Water Sustainability cluster’s ten have been filled, with an offer out for another.  Three of fourteen lines in the Aging cluster have been filled, with six or seven searches ongoing this year.  Only one line has been filled in the Obesity cluster so far, but that cluster is new.  The Genetics cluster is also new and just starting to search for faculty.

The cluster process has evolved over the first few years and will continue to evolve as we learn from experience.  Clusters will be evaluated yearly by the deans, OVPR and the Provost Office, and will also submit five year plans to this group.  When thinking about submitting ideas for a new cluster, Rice recommended that faculty vet their ideas with their deans.  Fifty-one lines have been allocated: seventeen are in CLAS; every cluster has at least one line in CLAS; the Digital Public Humanities cluster lines are entirely in CLAS.

There was concern that cluster hires may be robbing lines for other hires.  Rice said that the hope is that the clusters at least in part fill existing needs.   With the obesity and genetics clusters some deans commented that they had planned to hire in the areas anyway.   

There was concern that cluster hires will be brought in with education funds but are research driven, so the cluster faculty will not contribute a great deal to undergraduate education.  Having a structure in place that will enable a cluster hire with an undergrad teaching load to maintain the responsibilities of the cluster was recommended.

The Cluster Hire Initiative Guidelines include sunsetting.  If a member of the cluster is lost (leaves, etc.) the Dean and Provost/Associate Provost will determine if the line should be refilled.  Complete cluster hire guidelines can be found at: http://provost.uiowa.edu/clusters/docs/ClusterHireInitiativeGuidelines.pdf

Associate Provost Rice spoke briefly about Career Development Assignments (CDAs).  UI usually gives from 95-110 CDAs a year.  This year the state legislature capped the number of CDAs at 66. 

Associate Provost Rice also talked about a new electronic CV project.  This will allow faculty to enter their CVs through an electronic software system and it will provide many benefits to faculty, departments, colleges, and the university.  For example, it will allow the university to inform the Regents and the legislature about faculty productivity.   Particularly valuable will be the ability to show UI’s impact on the people, cities, counties of Iowa and Iowa overall in various ways.

The meeting adjourned at 2:37 p.m