Friday, February 25, 2011

Bye-bye Faculty Senate

The Faculty Senate at Idaho State had the nerve to pass a no-confidence resolution in the president. Their reward? At the urging of the prez, the Idaho State Board of Education voted to suspend the Faculty Senate. The U's prez has been ordered to replace the Faculty Senate with an interim faculty advisory structure. (Hopefully Idaho State faculty will boycott this new advisory body.) Faculty at Idaho State were considered to be obstructing progress because they refused to rubber stamp the administration's reorganization plan and raised doubts about President Vailas's honesty. So instead of firing the prez, the Board of Education fired the Faculty Senate. The AAUP has threatened to investigate. Unfortunately what has happened at Idaho State is yet another illustration of the weaknesses of shared governance in higher education today. Administrator's will consult with faculty, but if faculty are too vocal in their opposition to administrators' plans, these bodies are ignored or disbanded with a stroke of the pen.

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