Faculty Senate members discussed five resolutions and heard from Ohio University President Duane Nellis about the removal of LGBT Center director delfin bautista at Monday night’s meeting. 

At the meeting, the LGBT Center’s restructuring and the removal of bautista was addressed. bautista uses they/them pronouns and the lowercase spelling of their name.

Julie White expressed her frustrations regarding bautista’s firing. She said she has not yet seen the 2017 audit and 2018 diversity climate survey results, despite asking for them. 

“Any decision as significant as the firing of people should be informed by the kind of information we would expect to get from something, like the diversity climate survey,” White, Diversity and Inclusion committee chair, said.

Despite White’s role in the committee, she remains unsure what the Diversity and Inclusion vision for the future is. She also questioned why people are not being renewed in a context where that vision has not been publicly articulated.

“We really have to think hard about how the public image of Diversity and Inclusion is being managed going forward,” White said. 

Nellis did not make any public comments regarding the decision to not renew bautista’s contract. Given that the case is still under review and he is the next level of appeal, it would be inappropriate for Nellis to make comments on the context of that decision at this time, he said.

However, Nellis has met with students from the LGBT Center and plans to continue engagement with the center in the spirit of collaboration and constructive dialogue, he said.

The Professional Relations Committee presented four resolutions on clarified processes and classifications in the Faculty Handbook.

The resolutions covered complaints involving sexual misconduct, recusal processes for the college Professional Ethics Committees, faculty classifications and processes for general complaints. 

The resolution to correct the process for complaints involving sexual misconduct includes that the final report should include sufficient detail of the review processes. That permits an assessment of the reasons for determining any recommendations. 

The recommendation does not include initiating loss of tenure or dismissal proceedings, which is referred back to the department or school. 

The resolution to clarify the process for investigation and review of misconduct not involving sexual misconduct, discrimination, or research misconduct was voted on and passed. 

According to the resolution, the investigation at the department level will include, minimally, interviews with the accused and complainant. It may also include, but is not limited to, written statements or other documentation provided by the accused regarding the activities in question, and interviews or statements from possible witnesses.

For the first reading, the Educational Policy and Student Affairs Committee brought forward a resolution on graduate retakes to make the policy more precise. In the resolution, students may not retake a graduate-level course if the prior attempt has met degree requirements and retaking a graduate-level course will not remove or replace a grade from a previous attempt.

“A student can retake a class already getting an A to get a second A,  just to boost up GPA and graduate,” Allison White, a regional campus senator, said.

The next meeting will be held in Walter Hall 235 on March 4 at 7:10 p.m.



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