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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

October 18, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Opinion

Letter to the Editor: Faculty Council will still hold open meetings

In response to Ithacan article entitled “Faculty Council Planning Closed Meetings” published on October 4, 2017.

The Faculty Council historically has had, and will continue to have, regular monthly meetings that are open to all faculty and to the student media.

In recent years, the Faculty Council has begun to take a more active role in college governance, and concomitant with that has seen an increase in its workload. In Fall 2015, for instance, the Faculty Council began holding special sessions between its regular meetings to deal with the increased work occasioned by the campus events of the AY ’15-’16.

As we move into the term of President Collado, and the president has shown an active desire to work with the faculty, Faculty Council Executive Committee anticipates that the Faculty Council will be involved in college governance and policy consultation in substantive and unprecedented (for IC) ways. To deal with these possibilities, the Faculty Council Executive Committee suggested, and President Collado agreed, that additional working sessions for the Faculty Council, sometimes with the president and sometimes open to the entire faculty, would be necessary.

These possible working sessions were announced to the Faculty Council in our first meeting of the year, and they were included in our first Faculty Council Notes newsletter. The first of these working sessions, a structured conversation held on October 3 that was meant to explore our needs in a newly structured division of Academic Affairs and define our desires for a Provost, was open to the entire faculty, and every full and part time faculty member received an invitation to the event. An open invitation to participate in a survey that followed this session has also been sent to all full and part time faculty. This working session, like the vast majority of faculty meetings on the campus, did not include members of the student media.

The Faculty Council Executive Committee believes that we are engaging a process that is deeply inclusive, has been transparently presented to the Faculty Council and the faculty as a whole, and aligns with standard practice across the campus.

Tom Swensen, Faculty Council Chair

on behalf of the Faculty Council Executive Committee