Senatorial discussions: What’s hidden in the boredom comes forth in the arguments

Story by Walker Walthall Student Reporter

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 Faculty senate does not sound fun in any way shape or form, but it is certainly an interesting thing to attend. Having representatives from every department in one room together can get pretty interesting. Tempers flare and friends are not made in these meetings. 

In the last faculty senate meeting, many issues were brought up. Poor communication with students, parking issues for faculty, and contracts were on the docket. One issue stuck out more than the rest though, the faculty handbook. 

The updating of the faculty handbook is a problem. Right now there are eight updates that have been approved by Faculty Senate and the Board of Trustees but for some reason have yet to be put in the handbook. Four of these updates are from 2014 and four are from 2016. 

The four items from 2014 may not seem like a big deal. They are all about updating language in the handbook or eliminating phrases. 

The four items from 2016 are different though. One item passed in April of 2016 is supposed to correct a discrepancy in promotion for instructors. 

Items passed in May 2016 are making a New Faculty Award, the Distinguished Professor Requirements, and the amount of years it takes to be promoted to Associate Professor. 

Many faculty were taken aback at this. The fact that this items had been passed for up to three years and not put in the handbook confused most. 

No clear reason could be given as to why these updates were never put in the handbook. Many believed that nobody had been told to put them in the handbook. 

Another problem that faculty talked about with their handbook was access to it. Many seemed to not be able to find it online, and if they did it would be an old copy that was last updated in 2015. Finding a hard copy was also an issue, because of the amount of paper that printing a hand book would use. 

As can be seen, faculty senate meetings can be more enjoyable than you may think. There’s always something that warrants heated conversation.