From the Editor: Our Attendence Problem
—David Waldstreicher, Faculty Herald Editor
No, I don’t mean the students. I mean the faculty, and in particular those who have volunteered to serve as members of the Faculty Senate.
We now have an administration that expresses a belief in shared governance and has been taking concrete steps to demonstrate a commitment to its practice. But how can we hold up our end, much less voice faculty concerns with authority, when attendance at the monthly Representative Senate meetings and the semester-end University senate meetings (to which all faculty are invited), is so consistently low?
During the fall of 2009, we had 120 sitting senators, including officers. Attendance at meetings was recorded at 41 (September), 33 (October), 38 (November), 36 (December) and 34 (special December meeting). I’m embarrassed to have to note that my own College of Liberal Arts, by far the largest contingent with thirty senators, has one of the lowest attendance rates, sinking from eleven at the year’s first meeting down to five in October, eight in November, and a pathetic two in December. Of schools actually based on main campus, none did quite so badly – except for the School of Education, which actually houses the meetings in its Kiva Auditorium!
It is true that the difficulty of scheduling meetings means that, like any faculty meeting in any department, a fraction will always be unable to attend. (Provost Lisa has offered to investigate the possibility of setting aside a separate time for meetings – no classes – in the new scheduling matrix.)
All the more reason, then, that senators appear when they can, and that all faculty attend the semester-end meeting. Those who cannot should step aside in favor of those who can commit to doing so regularly.
If the Herald was a newspaper from the time period I study, we would actually print the names of absentees (shame! Shame!). Let’s hope that won’t be necessary!
Letters to the Editor
3/1/2010—Sandy M. Sorkin, Faculty Chair CIS Advisory Board
"...[the] desire to become known as a research institution is compromising the mission of undergraduate instruction."
2/17/2010—Steve Zelnick, Professor of English Literature, College of Liberal Arts
"The reports of increases in the numbers of large lecture classes, of increased course loads for tenured and tenure track faculty, and of the increase of adjuncts and decrease of NTT faculty -- all this tells us where we are and what is coming."