The Bloomington Faculty Council focused on three main areas at the Tuesday meeting: a resolution about Woodburn 100, a new policy about instructor-developed classroom materials and sustainability initiatives.
Resolution about Woodburn 100
Parliamentarian Elizabeth Housworth presented a resolution supporting Provost Lauren Robel’s plan to repurpose Woodburn 100 from a classroom to a gallery or public lecture space.
Housworth said many students had expressed discomfort because of the Benton Murals, and the resolution is acknowledging the concerns. The mural, "Parks, the Circus, the Klan, the Press," depicts Indiana history which includes a small portion with members of the Ku Klux Klan.
“The Bloomington Faculty resolves to be mindful of creating inclusive learning environments for all Indiana University students,” the policy said.
Kelley School of Business Professor Eric Rasmusen was dissatisfied with the resolution, saying discomfort should not be legitimized.
“Part of our job is to teach students to deal with discomfort,” Rasmusen said.
The resolution was approved after a majority voted in its favor. Rasmusen was the only faculty member to raise his hand in opposition.
Proposed policy on professor profit
Faculty Affairs Committee Chair Alan Dennis proposed a new policy prohibiting professors from profiting off materials they created that they require students to buy for their classes.
These materials include course packs, notes, PowerPoints and practice problems. But textbooks do not apply under this policy.
The policy would only apply if instructors are charging more for their materials than it costs to make them.
Current law requires that if professors are profiting more than $250 on their materials, it's reported to the state, Dennis said.
The Hinkle Garton Farmstead will be delivering real food to IU’s campus next year and encouraging sustainability in dining areas as well, said Andrew Predmore, IU-Bloomington director of sustainability.
Sustainability is a large focus of the Bicentennial Strategic Plan, and because of this, the Office of Sustainability is working to create sustainable opportunities around campus.
Other areas that are being focused on are increasing bike use and looking at transportation plans, as well as certifying all major campus buildings with a LEED Green building certification, said Bill Brown, the University-wide director of sustainability.
“We like to use the campus as a living lab,” Predmore said.
Predmore said IU offers a summer internship program completing sustainability projects on campus, such as monitoring energy use, electricity and water around campus.