CLAS Glossary

AAC: Academic Advising CenterThe Academic Advising Center serves undergraduate students who are open majors, first-year students with declared majors, pre-majors, pre-professional majors and non-degree, special students.

ASG: Administrative Support GroupAn ad hoc committee within the College that is composed of departmental administrators; its members meet with the collegiate administrative staff to discuss governance and policy issues.  

APR: Academic Professional RecordThe APR, a service of the Office of the Provost, allows faculty to collect curriculum vitae information in an online system with several standard report formats.  

APSD: Academic Programs & Student DevelopmentThe collegiate office where undergraduate students receive answers to questions about College policies, help with academic problems, and assistance in understanding graduation requirements. (Note: Now known as CLAS Undergraduate Programs.)

Adjunct:  Adjunct faculty usually are either P&S staff members within the University or professionals in the community.  They ordinarily hold the terminal degree in the field.  Adjunct faculty provide instruction for academic credit, supervise clinical or practicum experiences, or support the teaching of others.

Areas of Emphasis:  Areas of emphasis are equivalent to tracks (see below).

AHI: Arts & Humanities Initiative Grant – AHI is an internal grant program administered by the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (OVPRED) designed to provide support for faculty who are preparing a publication or other scholarly work likely to make a significant impact on scholarship in the proposed field. Support is for research in the humanities and work in the creative, visual, and performing arts.

BLS: Building and Landscape Services – The BLS team maintains all lawns, landscape, walkways, open spaces, and trees on campus and also designs and installs new campus landscapes.

Bond Fund for Interdisciplinary Interaction: A CLAS fund to promote interactions among Iowa faculty and students in areas of cross-departmental strength, and to support interdisciplinary events that draw scholars from other institutions to the UI campus. CLAS faculty may apply for funds to support events and programs that are consistent with the Bond Fund's purposes.

BTAA: Big Ten Academic Alliance - The BTAA (formerly CIC) is a consortium of fourteen Big Ten members institutions.  The goal is to advance member academic missions, generate unique opportunities, share experiences, leverage campus resources, and collaborate on innovative programs.

CCG: Collegiate Consulting GroupThe CCG, or Collegiate Committee on Faculty Promotion and Tenure, meets with the Dean and Associate Deans to review the dossiers and departmental recommendations of candidates for promotion and/or tenure.  Committee members are selected according to the college’s written procedures governing faculty promotion decision making.  

CDA: Career Development Award –  An award given to tenured faculty that releases them from classroom teaching, undergraduate advising, and administrative and service obligations for one semester at full salary or two semesters at half salary to engage in a specific scholarly, artistic, or innovative instructional project supported by the assignment.  

CGS: Council of Graduate Schools- A national organization dedicated to the advancement of graduate education and research. The CGS brings together graduate deans and other stakeholders to discuss and take action on a broad range of issues affecting graduate education.

CIC: (see BTAA)

COGS: Campaign to Organize StudentsCOGS is the University of Iowa union for graduate assistants, which governs salary conditions of employment.

Certificates: Certificates are offered on a disciplinary or interdisciplinary topic that complements other degree work or provides specialized training not available as part of one program.

CLAS: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

Clinical Faculty:  Clinical faculty are appointed as renewable-term faculty in programs subject to professional accreditation that require clinical teaching and/or clinical supervision and/or clinical direction. The professional productivity expected of clinical faculty does not include research of the sort expected of tenure-track faculty.

Cluster:  A group of faculty from different disciplines across the university who work collaboratively with communities and organizations within and outside of the university to explore the production of scholarship and creative work.  The Office of the Provost currently sponsors seven clusters.

CV: Curriculum VitaeA written description of a faculty member’s educational background, teaching experience, research, awards, and publications.

DCG: Departmental Consulting Group – The DCG consists of faculty within a specific department who participate at the departmental level in the promotion decisions.

DSAC: Dean’s Student Advisory Committee A student-led committee that assists the College in understanding and responding to the needs of undergraduates.

DEO: Departmental Executive OfficerThe DEO provides leadership, administration, guidance and supervision to faculty, administers staff, and manages the resources of a CLAS unit.  A DEO usually is a faculty member from the unit and can serve as its chair, head, or director.

DGS: Director of Graduate StudiesThe DGS is a faculty member who advises and mentors graduate students in a graduate program.  The DGS often plays a key role in the recruitment and retention of students and is responsible for the enforcement of existing policies as well as the formulation of new ones.

DOE: Distance & Online EducationThe DOE increases access to the services and resources of the University of Iowa. In partnership with the University's colleges and departments, DOE provides credit and noncredit courses, workshops, and programs to traditional and nontraditional learners both online and beyond the physical borders of campus.

DPA: Division of Performing ArtsThe DPA is composed of the School of Music and the departments of Theatre Arts and Dance. It is the home of the Performing Arts Production Unit, which produces public events, and ArtsShare, which brings artists to schools and communities across Iowa. It also sponsors the Performing Arts Entrepreneurship Program, which involves students from all three arts disciplines, and the Arts Living and Learning Community, which offers seminars to first year students.  

DSP: Division of Sponsored ProgramsThe DSP assists members of the UI community seeking external funding for research, training, service, and other scholarly and creative endeavors.

DUS/DUGS:  Director of Undergraduate Studies – The DUS/DUGS is a faculty member who advises and mentors undergraduate students in the faculty member’s department. The DUS/DUGS is often responsible for curriculum planning as well as enforcing existing policies and formulating new ones.

DWLLC: Division of World Languages, Literatures, and CulturesDWLLC fosters interdisciplinary interactions among its associated programs: American Sign Language, the Language Media Center; and the departments of Asian and Slavic Languages, French and Italian, German and Spanish & Portuguese.

Data Digest: The Data Digest provides comprehensive quantitative information about various aspects of the university, including students, faculty, and budget.

DeLTA Center: The DeLTA Center is an interdisciplinary research community that addresses key challenges facing health and education in society through the discovery and communication of the fundamental principles of development and learning.

Department:  A unit within the College made up of one discipline.

Director:  A director is the DEO of a department or division within the College.

Division: A unit within the College made up of departments that work together to advance interdisciplinary teaching, research and programs.

EC: Executive CommitteeThe EC is composed of the Dean, Associate Deans and nine elected members from the faculty within the College. The Committee meets regularly during the academic year.  Duties are outlined in the CLAS procedural manual.

E & I Funds: Excellence and Innovation Fund Nonrenewable collegiate awards to help academic units that aspire to distinction and visibility in research and graduate training.

EAD: Executive Associate Dean – The EAD directs faculty recruitment, appointment, and review processes. The EAD also administers University personnel policies for faculty in the College.

EHS: Environmental Health and SafetyEHS offers services intended to promote university health and safety, and consults on issues regarding regulatory compliance with OSHA and EPA- related responsibilities within health care, research, academic, facility, and service environments.

EOD: Office of Equal Opportunity and DiversityEOD implements and enforces equal opportunity, affirmative action, and diversity policies. EOD assures UI compliance with federal and state laws and regulations, university policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and sexual harassment by or toward any UI community member. 

FA: Faculty AssemblyThe Faculty Assembly is an elected representative body of the College that meets regularly during the academic year to deliberate and act on policy questions.

FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy ActA U.S. law that protects the privacy of student education records. 

FLARE: Foreign Language Acquisition Research and EducationFLARE is an interdisciplinary program at The University of Iowa that sponsors the PhD in Second Language Acquisition.  FLARE is a part of the Division of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures. 

FLIP: Furthering Language Incentive ProgramFLIP allows degree-seeking undergraduate students to earn up to eight additional semester hours of credit (beyond the GE requirement) while studying a foreign language or languages.

FM: Facilities ManagementFM maintains and coordinates the buildings and grounds as well as provides utilities & energy management for buildings on The University of Iowa campus.

FMLA: Family and Medical Leave ActFMLA covers eligible employees for up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave according to U.S. Department of Labor policy.

FREC: Facilities Renewal and Equipment CommitteeA committee that grants funds used to transform classroom instructional equipment to improve or enhance the delivery of instruction.

FTE: Full-time equivalent – A quantity that indicates the workload of an employed person (faculty, staff or student). An FTE of 1.0 is equivalent to a full-time worker, while an FTE of 0.5 signals fifty percent of a full workload.

GA: Graduate Assistant – A graduate student who is either a research assistant or teaching assistant.

GAC: General Assignment Classroom – GAC classrooms are rooms that are reserved through the Registrar.  A team of service providers committed to offering high quality learning environments supports the classrooms.  

GC: Graduate CouncilThe Graduate Council serves as the executive committee of the graduate faculty, assisting and advising the graduate dean in the conduct of college business.  Membership consists of the deans of the Graduate College, thirteen faculty (eleven collegiate representatives and two-at large representatives) and four graduate students chosen by the Graduate Student Senate.

GEP/CLAS Core: General Education ProgramOne of the three main components for an undergraduate degree program.  In conjunction with courses for the major and electives, general education courses provide the broad foundation of basic knowledge associated with a four-year college degree.

GEPC: Graduate Educational Policy CommitteeCLAS governance body composed of elected faculty and the dean or one associate dean.  The GEPC assists the Dean in formulating policies and procedures related to graduate programs in the College.

GIS: Guided Independent StudyGuided Independent Study (GIS) are online student-paced courses (no longer offered after summer 2017).

HTE: Half-time equivalent – A part-time appointment that is equal to 20 hours of work per week.

Honors Program:  The Honors Program enriches the Iowa undergraduate experience by cultivating intellectual curiosity and practical skills through challenging coursework, creative engagement, and experiential learning to nurture a deeper understanding of one’s discipline and self.

  1. University Honors
    1. Students must maintain a minimum  cumulative GPA of 3.33
    2. Students must complete a minimum of 12 s.h. of Honors coursework & 12 s.h. of Honors experiences.
  2. CLAS Departmental Honors
    1. CLAS departments set their own requirements for honors in the major.
    2. Students do not need to be a member of the University Honors Program.
    3. Students do not need to earn University Honors to complete honors in the major.

HRIS: Human Resources Information System – The online Human Resources information management system for university employees, which includes web applications such as Self Service, Workflow, and PCard.

Hybrid – Courses that utilize both on-line and in-classroom components.

ICON: Iowa Courses OnlineThe University of Iowa’s Course Management System: Course materials can be posted by the instructor including documents, images, media files, CaptureCast presentations, URL links, and course activities.

Instructional Faculty - Instructional faculty are non-tenure track appointments at the ranks of Lecturer, Associate Professor of Instruction, Associate Professor of Practice, Professor of Instruction, and Professor of Practice.

IOWA: Improving Our Workplace Award An award given to an individual or team whose efforts demonstrate initiative, innovation, measurable results, and a sustaining impact on the workplace.  

IRB:  Institutional Review BoardIRBs at the UI review and approve research relating to human subjects in accordance with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

ITC: Instructional Technology Center An ITC is a computer lab designed to provide students with campus-wide access to University academic computing resources. There are 26 ITC locations on campus, and they comprise a network of over 1000 workstations available to students.

ITS: Information Technology ServicesITS provides technical support, resources, and services to support the university’s primary mission of teaching, research, and service. 

LMC: Language Media CenterThe LMC is a resource unit within the Division of World Languages, Literatures & Cultures for faculty and students in language courses. The LMC offers facilities for traditional language laboratory work as well as for foreign language video and computer based activities.

MAUI: Made At the University of IowaAdministrative online access to federally protected student records information.

MFK: Master File Key – An MFK is an accounting mechanism used to identify different cost centers in which to charge purchases, services, personnel costs, overhead, etc.

MOP(P): Manual of Procedure – A MOP explains the procedures of a department, the College, or the University.

MOU: Memorandum of Understanding – An MOU is a written agreement between two or more parties that defines the roles and responsibilities of each party with respect to the collaborative efforts of a particular program/project.

Major: A subject of academic study chosen as a field of specialization.

Minor: Optional addition to degree requirements determined by the academic unit.

MyUI:  MyUI is the University of Iowa’s student web portal for the management of student academic records, courses, and financial aid and billing. The website also provides access to information regarding learning, tools, student involvement and support.

OG: Old Gold FellowshipThe OG is a developmental program for probationary tenure-track faculty with nine-month appointments. The program provides recipients with summer funding as part of CLAS faculty development activity.

OSTC: Optical Science Technology CenterCross-disciplinary research facility devoted primarily to research in the areas of optical science and technology.

Online:  Online courses offered via the internet that are either instructor or self-paced. Online courses may have a virtual classroom component, regular online meetings, or may not require any interaction with other students.

OVPR: Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development – The UI office that assists university researchers to navigate the complex research environment at the University.

PAPU: Performing Arts Production Unit – PAPU serves the production needs of the Dance, Opera, and Theatre departments.  The staff consists of highly trained professionals including costume and scenery designers, costume tailors, electricians, carpenters, sound engineers, props masters, and much more. 

PDA: Professional Development Award – The term used by the Board of Regents for Career Development Awards (CDAs).  This term should be used in applications and reports.

P & T: Promotion and Tenure

Candidate's written response -- A first person letter to the DEO, Dean, or Provost responding to the DCG report, DEO letter, CCG report, Dean's letter, or Provost's decision. 

P & S: Professional and Scientific – All non-organized university staff members.

PD&C: Planning, Design & ConstructionThe PD&C team leads a comprehensive, sustainable and cooperative approach to planning, design, and construction of University of Iowa facilities and to the maintenance of historic resources.  

PTEA: Post-Tenure Effort AllocationPart of the review and promotion procedures for post-tenure faculty members.  Post-tenure faculty efforts progress at different rates: the review of teaching, research, scholarship, creative work, administrative service and outreach allow faculty to compile a professional portfolio to assist DEO’s in assessing the promotion readiness of faculty members within the department.  These assessments are included in promotion recommendations to the dean. 


  1. Departments/divisions house undergraduate, graduate, research and clinical programs.
  2. Stand-alone programs offer undergraduate students an interdisciplinary approach to their studies.

QTE: Quarter-time equivalent – A part-time appointment that is equal to 10 hours of work per week.

RA: Research Assistant – A graduate assistant who performs research under the supervision of a faculty member.

SCH: Semester Credit Hour – Semester credit hours are the number of hours assessed to each course and are correlated with time in class. The standard undergraduate and graduate courses on campus are offered for three or four SCH.   

SDS: Student Disability Services – SDS works with students, faculty, and other university resources to coordinate accommodations for entitled students under federal legislation.  

SIMS: Space Information Management System:  SIMS is a web-based facility information system, which allows authorized users to access University facility floor plans, tabular data, and inventory reports.

Start-Up Budget:  A start-up budget consists of funds requested by a department to assist a new faculty member with the development of a scholarly research program and the generation of external research funding. 

Student Exchange Agreement:  A specific agreement to develop a reciprocal exchange program between the UI and a foreign institution.

SITA: Student Instructional Technology Assistant:  SITAs guide instructors through planning for enhanced instruction using technology, production assistance, and training sessions on instructional software.

TA: Teaching Assistant:  A graduate assistant who is responsible for performing teaching or teaching-related duties.

TILE: Transform, Interact, Learn, EngageThe TILE program trains instructors to use student-centered, active learning for a classroom built around the issues of pedagogy, practice, and technology. The spaces are equipped with circular tables, laptops, flat screen monitors, multiple projectors, and whiteboards to encourage and support collaborative and engaged active learning. 

TTD:  Time to Degree – The time it takes students to reach their degree goals and graduate.

Tracks: Tracks allow departments to group classes together that have the same or similar areas of emphasis.  For example, in Environmental Science there are four tracks (Biosciences, Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Hydrosciences).  Each track focuses on one aspect of environmental sciences with the aim of preparing scientists to address problems that require particular areas of expertise, as well as developing the skills needed for future employment or graduate study.

UEPCC: Undergraduate Educational Policy and Curriculum CommitteeA CLAS governance body composed of elected faculty and the dean or one associate dean.  UEPCC advises and assists the Dean and associate deans with curriculum and in formulating policies and procedures related to undergraduate programs in the College.

VAP:  Visiting Assistant/Associate Professor


  1. Independent Visiting Scholars are accorded UI faculty library privileges, may apply for access to the computer center, recreation services, and parking privileges.
  2. Visiting Faculty are appointed at the request of a department if a salary line has been vacated because of externally funded leaves, unpaid leaves, resignations, retirements, or other reasons.  Visiting faculty are not given research support and are expected to have a heavier teaching load than tenure track faculty.

UEHC: University Employee Health ClinicUEHC is a University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics employee health clinic that serves all University of Iowa employees.  

UIRIS: UI Research Information SystemUIRIS is a web-based system supporting the research enterprise. The system provides services in the areas of research funding, compliance, and administrative support.