Letter to the editor
Keep faculty status intact
October 30, 2009
Thank you for this opportunity to update the University community on a recent petition that is proposing to remove faculty status for governance purposes from the non-teaching academic staff. Since the position was signed by the needed 10 percent, the proposal will now go to a referendum vote, which all academic staff—teaching and non-teaching—and faculty are eligible to vote. Because the petition addresses two distinctly different issues, hopefully there will be two referenda upon which to vote.
There are a variety of potential consequences that may result from this vote. If the referenda pass, non-teach- ing academic staff will no longer have any voice in the governance process of UWRF. There appears to be a misperception that the Academic Staff Council is more comparable to the Faculty Welfare Committee. To vote to remove faculty status for governance purposes from the non-teaching academic staff, a number of your colleagues will become disenfranchised from the governance process.
Prior to any vote on these referenda, I am asking that we have several listen- ing and discussion sessions in order that we may discuss people’s thoughts on issues of governance and perhaps, if this structure is not working, consider a new governance structure.
We have an opportunity before us to truly “Work Together and Stand Apart” and in the end, have a stronger, healthier campus.
Senior counselor, UW-River Falls
Chair, Academic Staff Council