Faculty vote favors college combination

AMES, Iowa -- Faculty in the colleges of Family and Consumer Sciences and Education have voted on the proposal to combine their colleges.

Of 184 eligible voters, 122 cast ballots. The results were:

  • Recommend adoption of proposal: 96 (79 percent)
  • Do not recommend adoption: 20 (16 percent)
  • Abstain: 6 (5 percent)

The results of the vote on the two proposed names were:

  • Education, Family and Consumer Sciences: 45 (37 percent)
  • Human Sciences: 73 (60 percent)
  • No preference: 4 (3 percent)

In the last weeks before the vote:

  • Deans from both colleges met with college administrative staff members.
  • Department heads met with their faculty and staff.
  • Two open forums were held.
  • Students coordinated their own discussion.

The minutes taken at all of these sessions are part of the public record. Associate Provost Susan Carlson said she has observed a gradual change since the first open meeting to discuss the combination proposal.

"There was, understandably, tension at the first meeting. As we have gone along, there has been a steady decrease in tension and an increase in listening and problem solving," Carlson said. "Some of the most strongly expressed reservations came from alumni. I have been in awe of the tremendous loyalty these alumni have to their colleges."

Late today, the proposal, vote results and the planning committee's recommendation of the name "Human Sciences" went to Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Benjamin Allen.

The planning committee's letter to the provost stated that its task had "morphed from saving money to shaping a new college, one positioned to allow faculty, staff and students to do their best work and to enhance their central role at this university."

The letter also expressed appreciation for a one-time commitment, by the provost and president, of $425,000 to renovate the student services unit, and noted the provost's efforts to allocate another $75,000 for this purpose. The total, $500,000, would match the savings expected in the first year of the combination.

Provost Allen will forward the proposal, faculty vote and his recommendation to the Faculty Senate for its Nov. 9 meeting. The senate is expected to vote on the proposal at its Dec. 7 meeting.

The last two steps in approval would be President Gregory Geoffroy's recommendation and action by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa.