Faculty Senate to discuss demands for faculty input in “financial crises”

Hayden Olberding, Digital Editor

The Faculty Senate will discuss a proposal to demand faculty input into university decisions related to the “financial crises.”

The Faculty Senate will be meeting Friday to discuss multiple proposals, also known as charges, and hear reports from the Chair of Senate and Provost Mohammed Khayum. The senate will discuss a charge called “Shared Governance in retrenchment/financial exigency priorities” during this meeting. 

The charge’s main goal is to create a committee composed of members of university colleges, academic units and the library. 

The charge said the committee will develop a list of priorities, keeping in mind faculty and their programs while the Board of Trustees are making decisions in “this time of exigency.”

Financial exigency is a term used by the charge. According to an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education, financial exigency allows a university to save costs by firing tenured faculty members. Universities are discussing the outlook of this as COVID-19 impacts their funding.

“I have spoken with numerous faculty in my college and beyond,” Brent Summers, an associate professor of biology, wrote. “And we are all apprehensive of what happens next in a time of financial crises.” 

Summers said faculty are key stakeholders, and play a key role in the governance of universities. He also said faculty need to be a part of every step of the process of university decision making.

“We know there are going to be decisions made that will impact faculty and students and staff, and faculty, I believe, need to play a role in these decisions,” Summers said. 

The charge said, to be addressed fully, it will need time, sweat and equity.

The Faculty Senate will discuss this charge Friday at 2:30 p.m.