By Laken Franchetti, Editor-in-Chief
President Bob Iuliano Began Thursday’s faculty meeting stating that the administration will continue to seek effective and timely input on future decisions made to address the continuing financial enrollment stresses.
Iuliano then gave shout-outs to numerous members of faculty. Iuliano thanked Director of the Sunderman Conservatory James Day and Associate Professor for the Sunderman Conservatory of Music Robert Natter for their work in honoring a donor that had given $2.5 million dollars to support the financial aid of Conservatory students, in addition to half a million dollars for Conservator renovations.
Sunderman Conservatory of Music Professor Jocelyn Swigger was then recognized for her feature on a podcast called Classical Sprouts. Provost Jamila Bookwala was congratulated for the adoption of her work on the American Psychosocial Association task force on promotion, tenure and retention of faculty of color in psychology. Iuliano then recognized Chief Diversity Officer Eloísa Gordan-Mora for her work in securing a ten thousand dollar grant focused on mentoring practices for under-represented faculty.
Bookwala thanked the department chairs who had already submitted the curriculum worksheets given to them by the Provost Office. Bookwala acknowledged that some faculty members feel unheard in the administration’s decision-making processes. Three additional discussions will be held for faculty who wish to share significant issues and concerns that they believe the office is overlooking.
Bookwala reiterated that no decisions have been made and that the office is still workshopping decisions. She urged the faculty to work together for the future and to help dispel rumors.
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Associate Professor of Anthropology Amy Evrard and Professor of Management Christopher Zappe are co-chairs of the self-study steering committee for accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. They informed the faculty that they have drafted a 120-page report about the College and how it meets the Standards of Accreditation. This report draft will be made available to the campus community sometime within the coming week and they encouraged feedback from anyone who would give it.
To give a preview of the report, Evrard and Zappe discussed the seven standards for accreditation: mission and goals, ethics and integrity, student learning, student experience, the educational effectiveness assessment, planning and resources and governance, leadership and administration.
Voting Privileges for Adjunct Faculty
Chairperson of the Physics Department Bret Crawford discussed the motion to adjust the voting status for adjunct faculty. The decision to change adjunct faculty appointments to semester-by-semester instead of year-long appointments put the faculty handbook into question. This motion would allow adjunct faculty that have taught at least six courses over any four semesters, and who are teaching in the current semester, the ability to vote. Time for discussion was allowed before the motion was voted upon.
Assistant Professor of Political Science Lindsay Reid expressed her concern over why this vote had to occur and she shared her opposition to the semester-by-semester contracts for adjunct faculty. Reid believed that the change was short-sighted and that it hurt departments’ abilities to staff key courses and also hurt adjunct faculty’s commitment to teach at the College.
Laboratory Instructor II in the Physics Department and Director of Hatter Planetarium Ian Clarke shared his support for the motion yet was sorry that it was necessary. Clarke explained that he has spent more than 30 years at the College and was surprised by the change to semester-by-semester appointments. As an adjunct faculty member, Clarke said he did not know if he would be working at the College after this semester’s contract has ended, yet he shared that he has already begun scheduling events at and trips to Hatter Planetarium.
The motion was voted on and passed. Iuliano then adjourned the meeting.