"If you're thinking of what the university's role is in it, it's a faculty issue," Geoffroy said Friday.
In a letter to ISU faculty Thursday, Geoffroy also welcomed the debate and stressed the importance of academic freedom at ISU.
Intelligent design is a claim that certain features found in the universe and within living things exhibit characteristics of being created by an intelligent cause or agent.
Following a statement signed by 120 ISU faculty rejecting intelligent design as a scientific endeavor, Geoffroy asked the Faculty Senate if it would be willing to take on the responsibility of identifying a forum for this topic to be discussed.
The leadership of the governing body decided the issue was not a broad faculty issue and thus did not fall into its area of governance.
"This really is an issue that is beyond the realm of what the Faculty Senate should engage in," said Claudia Baldwin, ISU Faculty Senate president. "This is not one of our stated duties."
The ISU Faculty Senate is charged with legislative responsibility for general academic and educational policy, conducting studies, advising the faculty, staff, students and the Iowa Board of Regents on faculty issues and facilitating communication and assisting in the resolution of conflicts.
Baldwin said she believes the current discussion of intelligent design does not fall into the "resolution of conflicts" category.
"This is really an academic question," she said. "A question such as this - whether a topic is a scientific theory or not - really needs to be considered by the relevant academic departments."
It is now up to the individual departments to plan forums and discussions, if desired, through avenues such as the university lecture series or self-sponsored events.
Hector Avalos, who co-authored the recent statement signed by 120 faculty members, said he has definite interest in organizing forums and lectures on intelligent design in the future.
"Our thought has always been for discussion of it, not for silencing discussion of it," said Avalos, an ISU associate professor of religious studies. "Basically, you will then get two sides if the other side is willing to do their side."
Guillermo Gonzalez, the most open proponent of intelligent design at ISU, said he felt the decision seems like a good idea, but he is unsure of how it will play out.
Gonzalez has said he will not participate in a debate or forum on intelligent design if it involved Avalos or John Patterson - a retired ISU professor and verbal critic of intelligent design.
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