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UI faculty leaders want lottery ties cut

Diane Heldt

The Gazette

March 7, 2007

[Note: This material is copyright by The Gazette, and is reproduced here as a matter of "fair use" for non-commercial, educational purposes only. Any other use may require the prior approval of The Gazette.]

  IOWA CITY — University of Iowa faculty leaders urge the Athletics Department and the university to cut ties with the Iowa Lottery.

  The UI Faculty Council, a leadership group of the Faculty Senate, on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a motion urging the end of the UI’s association with the lottery.

  ‘‘Gambling, the lottery — we’ve kind of made the devil’s bargain here,’’ Professor Michael O’Hara said in proposing the motion.

  The UI’s relationship with the lottery has come under fire after a recent lottery ad that featured UI logos, footage from Carver- Hawkeye Arena and changed lyrics to the UI fight song drew criticism. Athletics Director Gary Barta has said the ad crossed the line, but the relationship with the lottery should continue.

  The UI Presidential Committee on Athletics will likely vote in April to either support Barta’s position or recommend that ties to the lottery be cut, Professor Charles Lynch, chairman of that group, told the Faculty Council on Tuesday. There are varying opinions on the committee regarding the issue, he said. The committee meets Thursday but won’t vote on it at that meeting because Barta is unable to attend.

  Several Faculty Council members, in arguing for ties to be cut, noted that a relationship with the state lottery is considered not permissible under NCAA advertising guidelines.

 Research track discussed

  The council also had a lengthy discussion, but took no action, on a UI proposal to establish a non-tenure research track on the faculty.

  The proposal would give each college the option of developing a research track for faculty, in addition to the tenure track and clinical track now available.

  The track would allow colleges and departments to hire research-specific faculty for research-team positions that have no teaching component, Susan Johnson, associate provost for faculty, said. The salary costs of research track faculty would largely be paid from grants generated by those faculty members.

  Faculty in the Carver College of Medicine are very supportive of the proposal, Provost Mike Hogan said.

  The proposal is still in the committee stage but will eventually need Faculty Senate approval.