Dear members of the faculty:
After a great deal of thought, I have decided to resign my seat on the senate. The following are some of my reasons (not necessarily in order of importance):
1) The senate has become predominantly an organ of the administration. This is something it does well, but is not what its role should be.
2) In statistics, there is a concept for testing a hypothesis: If the likelihood of an event is too small it is declared to be not true — like the first time it was declared that cigarette smoking was bad for your health. Whether by misfeasance or malfeasance, I have found that:
a) My password was no longer acceptable on many different senate list serves, all owned and operated by Jenny. For months, I had to call Jenny’s assistant Monica to fix my password — something she learned how to do from Jenny.
b) I was the only senator not informed of a meeting, in which new officers were to be elected and other important matters were to be voted on, that was to be held in a different location.
c) I have been off the senate listserv for a couple of weeks not by my own request. (By the way, in case you don’t know, the list serves have a back door which allows those with access to change passwords, status, etc.)
3) Senate committees are now formed without any input or review by the senate body. (Sometimes we are informed of on the Internet after the fact.) Agendas are no longer set at senate meetings and when I have attempted to give input on an agenda, I have been given the runaround.
4) Some chairs and faculty selected for senate committees are given stipends at the behest of the provost’s office who has increased the budget for the senate. I believe this practice interferes with the independence of the senate. By creating new committees and stipends, more chairs and more faculty are now beholden to the people selecting and paying them. Committee members should be selected by the senate members as it used to be.
5) In a grievance between the UFCT and Pratt Administration, the administration argued that the presence of a union official on the senate was tantamount to the union’s approval of certain administrative policies. Faculty senate members who remain silent or quietly acquiesce in these kinds of administrative machinations are equally at fault.
If the senate were a chairs council, I would say we are doing an excellent job as inspector generals of the administration even though I would still object to the undemocratic way in which the senate now operates.
But, we are not a chair’s council.
Maybe the senate should be reformed so only faculty could participate (as in most schools of higher education) and actually be governed by Robert’s rules?
Deciding unilaterally which of Robert’s rules are to be used — after the fact — leaves some of us at a disadvantage.