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Ohio University's Faculty Senate gathers in Walter Hall to discuss concerns on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. 

Faculty Senate: Lack of faculty purchasing card privileges is an example of lack of shared governance

Members of Faculty Senate discussed the need to reinstate faculty purchasing card privileges to allow faculty to buy new materials during the body’s meeting on Monday. 

Currently, faculty run across issues with trying to purchase new classroom equipment, conduct study abroad trips and renew professional memberships. Members read a resolution pertaining to reinstating faculty purchasing cards, or PCard, privileges for the second time during the meeting on Monday.

“So basically, the key points (are) that the faculty should have their key core (PCard) privileges immediately reinstated for essential university business purposes, which should not in the future be revoked or taken away,” Gang Chen, College of Arts and Sciences senator, said. 

Several senators strongly support this resolution. Bill Reader, a Scripps College of Communication senator, said that it’s currently difficult to buy new materials, such as computers for class. 

“That should just be an easy thing to do … this is not just me, this is many other faculty in my department and other departments,” Reader said. “The financial people are starting from the position of no; they should be starting from the position of yes. Let's see if we can make that happen. And until they start doing that, then I think resolutions like this are inevitable, and we absolutely have to push for them.”

The resolution to reinstate PCard privileges must be read a third time at a later meeting before senators may vote on it.

The State-of-the-Senate resolution was also introduced during the meeting. This resolution seeks to make faculty voices matter in decision-making processes that pertain to the university. 

Members of Faculty Senate said that the PCard situation is an example of how the university is not respecting the principle of shared governance.

“And as we've had seen in our dialogues with the administration tonight, and over the last couple meetings, as we were seeing in this P card resolution, and in other places, shared governance is really not a respected principal at many of our public universities in Ohio,” Ben Bates, Faculty Senate Vice Chair, said. “They should really be following principles of shared governance, that academic decisions should begin with the faculty. And that it's done in an open, consultative way where faculty voices really matter. And that's what inspires this … Senate resolution that we have here.”

A resolution to modify language in the Ohio Transfer Module in the Undergraduate Catalog was passed at the meeting. The modification of this language means that courses from other schools will transfer to Ohio University based on the PILLARS model of general education requirements. 

OU President Duane Nellis made remarks at the beginning of the meeting about how impressed he was with students’ behavior during Halloween and their decision to not pack the bars or have out-of-control parties. 

Additionally, Nellis discussed the university’s plans to invite many students back to campus for the Spring semester. Nellis said that Spring semester will begin after Martin Luther King Jr. weekend and students living on and off-campus will be tested on a bi-weekly basis. Dr. Gillian Ice, special assistant to the president for public health operations, further clarified that students who live off campus and do not utilize Ohio University facilities, such as Ping Recreation Center or Alden Library, will not be required to get tested. 


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