Iowa City Press Citizen, IA 10-18-06 UI faculty to take new approach By Brian Morelli Iowa City Press-Citizen The University of Iowa Faculty Senate voted Tuesday in support of a six-person strategic change process but would like to see its scope broadened and become more inclusive at its meeting in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber. The Faculty Senate plans to bring the proposal to the Iowa state Board of Regents at its November meeting. The strategic process involves Regents president Michael Gartner and president pro-tem Teresa Wahlert, Regents director Gary Steinke and the presidents of UI, Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa. "This is a good time, but we need to engage citizens of the state," said Ken Brown, a senator and an associate professor of management and organization. "We highly encourage the strategic planning process." Brown was, in part, referencing a previous proposal that called for the process to be halted until a permanent UI president takes over. This proposal next goes to the Shared Governance Council, which includes representatives from student, faculty and staff councils. Faculty Senate president Sheldon Kurtz, who is on that council, said he would then reach out to faculty at UNI and ISU in hopes they may organize support. Regardless of other schools' progress, he expects to bring a proposal to the next regents meeting, which is Nov. 8 and 9 in Ames. Faculty have been concerned this process could lead to fundamental changes with limited input. Gartner has said the group is collecting information that would be reviewed and analyzed collectively between the six people and then with the regents. The goal is to have a comprehensive strategy for the universities through which other strategies and decisions would flow. UI interim president Gary Fethke has voiced support for the process and strategic planning in general and recently told a faculty assembly that changes would not be made without their input. In other news: • In a memo sent to Kurtz, Fethke rejected a proposal to change the default settings of a campus directory so that UI employees would have to "opt in" rather than "opt out" when including their home contact information. Fethke noted that openness is important at a public institution and that the current system allows employees to withhold their information. • In an address to faculty, UI athletic director Gary Barta vowed to seek integrity in recruiting athletes and coaches. In addition, he said the athletic department will be self-sustaining and shine a positive light on UI. "While (athletics) is not the most important part of the university, it is the most visible," Barta said. "We want to make sure the visibility we are receiving is positive. Make it more like (the) Ohio State (game) visibility, not like Pierre Pierce visibility." To athletics detractors, he asked that they recognize his department is running the program the right way. Barta also said he is working on a three- to five-year strategic planning process that he hopes to make public next summer.