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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.

Gretchen Link
Senior counselor, UW-River Falls
Chair, Academic Staff Council