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UI Faculty Senate members concerned about safety of online CV fe

BY JORDYN REILAND | DECEMBER 07, 2011 7:20 AM

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Despite University of Iowa officials optimism about a new online curriculum vitae database, faculty remain skeptical about the program's value.

UI Associate Provost Tom Rice told a Faculty Senate meeting Tuesday the electronic database will make accessing information faster.

"We currently don't have info in one place," he said. "[Therefore] we are unable to quickly pull together information."

The electronic curriculum vitae will serve as a central database for information on faculty and staff research. Officials said they hope to use the database when presenting information on the university.

But many Faculty Senate members expressed concern.

UI biostatistics Professor Jane Pendergast said she was concerned that the information would not be specific enough describing the varied fields of study among faculty. If the information isn't specific enough, she said, some faculty might create separate CVs.

"If [faculty] feel they need to do it at a dual level, one is going to be up-to-date, and it's not going to be the one that needs to be," she said.

Other members said they were worried about the security of the information.

However, Rice said he discussed the contract and server capabilities with Digital Measures, which will provide the CV software, and UI Information Technology Services officials.

"[Digital Measures] protects our data and honors our contract," he said.

Despite the concerns, Faculty Senate President Richard Fumerton said faculty discussion about the database would continue.

"Philosophy professors hate change even more than historians, but based on the [CV's] advantages, it's really convincing," said Fumerton, a philosophy professor. "I am encouraging a positive attitude."

The UI is one of the first universities in the nation to consider housing a university-wide CV database.

"Most of the schools aren't using it university-wide, but college/department-wide," Rice said. "We're on the cutting edge."

Local legislators said the database would be helpful if the information is well-balanced.

Rep. Dave Jacoby, D-Coralville, said having a CV system would help Iowa legislators communicate effectively.

"I think anytime you can get information to legislators it's a good idea," Jacoby said. "The biggest hurdles are letting people know and the 98 other counties what a great system we have."

Rep. Chip Baltimore, R-Boone, said the information is beneficial for both legislators and students.

"It's helpful to know exactly what they are doing," he said. "People can look and say, 'Is the university allocating the funds in a proven manner?' "

Rice said the CV will be helpful, but its success will depend on faculty filling it out.

"Staff have to update their résumé every year anyway," he said. "This way, we will ask them to use the online version."


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