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Faculty forms ad hoc committee

October 8th, 2009

Several faculty members have formed an ad hoc committee, designed to determine if there is a need for collective negotiations among faculty members. This temporary group will decide if a permanent committee is necessary for dealing with salaries and benefits among administration.

Dianna Taylor, professor and chair of the philosophy department, is the chairperson of the ad hoc committee. She is also part of the Faculty Council. The idea for the committee originated last year during a faculty meeting.

Taylor said, “During a discussion on budget cuts, some faculty members felt it would be beneficial to have structure in place to deal with salaries and benefits.”

There have not been any meetings or findings yet, but this motion stimulated a lot of interest among faculty members.

“This committee would be a liaison group between the administration and the faculty as a whole,” said Taylor. “We’re just seeing how, if the Faculty Council wants a collective negotiations committee.”

The Faculty Council ensures that the faculty shall have primary responsibility for recommendations on policy in areas such as curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, research, faculty status, faculty development and those aspects of student life which relate to the educational process. 

Right now, the members of the ad hoc committee are looking into ways that collective negotiations will take place. They will explore the role of the territory, the format of the committee and the members of the committee.

“There was some pretty strong interest in how this might be done,” said Taylor.

In order for the permanent collective negotiations committee to be put into place, the Faculty Council has to approve of its necessity. 

Matt Berg, history professor, is the chair of the Faculty Council.

“I’d venture to say that every member of the faculty is interested in possibilities that help us represent, preserve or advance our collective interests,” said Berg.

To Berg, it is too soon to determine if the collective negotiations committee will be adopted, but he does see the possibility of its positive outcomes.

However, since the ad hoc committee has not had any meetings or had any deliberations yet, it is difficult for Taylor and Berg to say whether the permanent committee will be formed.

Currently, the ad hoc committee consists of Taylor, Sheila McGinn, Katherine Miller and Dwight Hahn. The committee also includes at large members Jen McWeeny, Maria Marsilli, Helene Sanko and Doris Donnelly.

Taylor said there could be more faculty members in the committee, but that is not finalized.