Faculty Senate Passes Resolutions on Voting Eligibility, Diversity Statement

Posted: February 18, 2010 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: February 17, 2010 at 5:01 pm

By Robin Herron

At its meeting on Feb. 17 (rescheduled from Feb. 10 because of the snow closing), the Faculty Senate revisited a motion discussed last month that would specify eligibility for voting on Faculty Senate matters.

The resolution, which will amend the Faculty Senate bylaws and limit voting to “duly elected faculty members of the Faculty Senate,” passed. As a result, ex officio members of the senate, such as the provost and deans and directors of the academic units, are now ineligible to vote.

Susan Trencher, chair of the Organization and Operations Committee, reported that the committee would undertake a study of the senate’s charter to resolve inconsistencies with the bylaws. However, she cautioned that the process would be long term and would take at least a year. Changing the charter would require a meeting of the general faculty.

The senate also endorsed a Diversity Statement for the university developed by the Minority and Diversity Issues Committee, a university standing committee. The statement defines diversity and elaborates the role that individual units throughout the university can play in promoting diversity and inclusion. The committee suggested that the Quality of Work Life survey, administered every three years, would be one tool to monitor efforts regarding diversity.

The statement is included as part of the meeting agenda.

The senate also passed a resolution of appreciation to Board of Visitors Rector Ernst Volgenau for allowing faculty input regarding a two-year extension of President Alan Merten’s contract, which is due to expire June 30, 2011.

William Reeder, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, addressed the Faculty Senate regarding the college’s recent activities.

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