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Faculty Senate Discusses Handbook Changes and the New Administration

Faculty Senate Discusses Handbook Changes and the New Administration

Merrit Drake

Friday, October 05, 2018 | Number of views (1108)

Fort Lewis College Faculty Senate met on Thursday, Sept. 20 for a question and answer session with President Tom Stritikus and to discuss changes to be made to the handbook.

Stritikus addressed progress the Board of Trustees has made in the process of creating its strategic plan.

“The strategic plan will lead with objectives and measurable results,” Stritikus said. “Metrics are being created by which I will be judged.”

During the question and answer forum Michael Valdez, associate professor of management, asked what will be done with the new budget surplus of half of a million dollars.

Allocation of that money will depend on how stable enrollment remains, Stritikus said.

The budget surplus exists because of enrollment growth, but it also follows a 4 million dollar budget cut. Because of this FLC can now look at that as a 3.5 million dollar cut, he said.

Valdez also questioned the faculty representative for the Board of Trustees, Gary Gianniny, on how the Board of Trustees is speaking about faculty’s role in the change of administration.

“They asked me if I think relationships are healed and does faculty feel like they are better heard,” said Gianniny. “I told them yes. It is a new day with how administration interacts with faculty, which is what the board wants.”

As faculty began voting on action items, a change was made to the handbook regarding section 17, which covers faculty discipline and dismissal. The changes made to this section were voted on previously, but were recently amended by the Board of Trustees’ legal team to rephrase the changes, Gianniny said.

The changes clarify the process for faculty discipline and change the process for forming a Grievance Committee. Now the faculty who is being reviewed will be able to refuse faculty selected for their grievance committee, Gianniny said.

The senate will vote on the new wording of the amendments Sept. 24.

“I think it’s cleaned up the process, and I think you’ll see it move,” said Faculty Senate president Michael Martin.

Faculty also voted on the creation of Art and Design 390, an Italian art and culture course, which would take place in Italy and be taught by art and design chair Paul Booth. The course passed unanimously.

A motion also passed to table changes being made to the wording in the handbook regarding section 11, which covers the process of promotion and tenure of professors.

An ad hoc committee was created to explore how a one-class-at-a-time system could work at FLC. This plan, which has been implemented at the University of Montana, would change the format of classes to 18-day blocks where students would take only one class but would be immersed into that one course, Gianniny said .

“If we could do this, it would be very compelling,” Gianniny said.

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