Five of 15 faculty reinstated within College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Five faculty, including three instructors within the Department of Rhetoric, will be reinstated in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences following a cut that formerly dismissed 15 faculty within the college.


Katie Goodale

Schaeffer Hall as seen on Oct. 9, 2018.

Josie Fischels, Summer Editor

Five of the 15 faculty whose contracts were not renewed by the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will be reinstated, including all three faculty within the Department of Rhetoric whose contracts were initially selected for non-renewal.

“Following further review, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has renewed the contracts of five of the 15 instructional track faculty whose appointments had not been renewed due to budget constraints. These positions reflect student enrollment demands and will allow CLAS to offer a robust curriculum this fall,” said UI Assistant Vice President for External Relations Jeneane Beck in an email to The Daily Iowan.

The reinstatements, issued by liberal-arts college Interim Dean Sara Sanders, follow the replacement of former dean Steve Goddard, who was responsible for identifying up to $25 million in cuts within the college due to financial losses the UI faces due to the coronavirus pandemic. The initial faculty cuts in June came as the first part of a three-tiered plan, which asked the liberal-arts college to make $15 million in cuts.

Goddard was removed from his position following an undisclosed investigation that found he had violated the Policy on Ethics and Responsibilities for UI Staff.

UI Rhetoric Chair Steve Duck said receiving the information from Sanders was “wonderful news.”

“They shouldn’t have been terminated in the first place, and it’s good to see a new dean recognizing the quality of the faculty,” he said.

Duck said Sanders’ decision has allowed Rhetoric to open an additional 150 seats for students to enroll in for the fall 2020 semester.

“The Rhetoric Department has a very long and strong record of prizes and recognition for teaching excellence,” Duck said in an email to the DI. “When the UI wants to maintain enrollments and the revenue stream that comes with it, it makes best sense for UI to retain, reward and advertise such excellence to parents and prospective students rather than to cut good instructors.”

Elke Heckner, a lecturer in the German department, said she was ecstatic to hear that she had been reinstated, although she hopes the reinstatement of lecturers means regaining their regular contract length as well, rather than short-term appointments.

“The reversal of the decision to dismiss the lecturers renews my confidence in the values the University of Iowa wants to be known for as a public university. That is, a recognition and appreciation of the long-term contributions that lecturers in the humanities continue to make to the educational mission of UI,” Heckner wrote in an email to the DI.  “The decision reinforces UI’s commitment to teaching and research in the humanities.”

This is a developing story. Check back with The Daily Iowan for updates.