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Members of Faculty Senate vote on a issue during their Jan. 9, 2017 meeting. 

Faculty Senate: Administrators want a free speech policy by the end of the semester

The Executive Staff Policy Committee met Monday afternoon after the Presidential Policy Committee released its final report on the interim “Freedom of Expression” policy.

The executive committee is working to release a draft April 11 for university senates to review. It is working on a draft and will meet again in a week. The committee wants to finish the policy before Spring Semester ends.

“(The final report is) a really clear document,” interim Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs said. "I also want to thank all of you who came to the open forum on free speech that the committee held. I think it’s really important for faculty, staff and students to really share their feedback."

Faculty Senate will meet April 16 at 7:10 p.m. in Walter Hall to discuss the policy. 

"We don’t need a policy. All a policy is going to do is restrict civil liberties,” Faculty Senator Gary Holcomb said. “I am against Faculty Senate participating in any way.”

Also in the meeting, Associate Provost for Academic Budget and Planning John Day presented updates on the budget, and Greg Fialko, senior director of benefits, presented updates on benefits. Budget cuts have decreased to 3.4 percent over two years rather than 7 percent in one year for each college.

“The resolution that we passed in this body in December (really) drove the calculations and the modelings that they did,” Faculty Senate Chair Joe McLaughlin said. 

The resolution encourages proportionality in budget cuts across the university. 

New faculty senators joined the meeting and helped elect next year’s Faculty Senate executive committee. There were no nominees from the floor.

McLaughlin was re-elected to serve as chair; Beth Quitslund, an associate professor of English, will serve as vice chair; and Robin Muhammad, chair and associate professor of African-American studies, will continue as secretary. 

The Educational Policy and Student Affairs committee unanimously passed a resolution to make what is known as Reading Day always be on a Friday and be called Fall Break.

The committee also presented first reading resolutions on establishing graduate faculty qualifications and allowing honors students to enroll in graduate-level courses. 

The Professional Relations Committee unanimously passed three resolutions related to allegations of research misconduct and sexual misconduct. 

Those changes to the faculty handbook spell out the disciplinary actions for when a faculty member is found to have committed either types of misconduct. 

One first reading resolution was a resolution to standardize language for cases of discrimination. 


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