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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Faculty Senate bylaws acknowledge clinical faculty

Rachel Cormier
Faculty Senate members sit at tables and discuss the changes to faculty senate bylaws. On Wednesday at the Faculty Senate meeting in Altgeld Hall the bylaw amendments were updated to include clinical faculty distinctions and changes to NIU’s mission values. (Rachel Cormier | Northern Star)

DeKALB — Clinical faculty will have a larger presence in the senate with new amendments acknowledging members in the bylaws.

With a vote of 31-19-5, numerous amendments were approved that included updates to language in Faculty Senate bylaws and inclusion of clinical faculty within ordinances.

The revisions were recommended from a need to include clinical faculty in Faculty Senate bylaws where promotion and senate representation did not specifically include clinical faculty members. 

Other bylaw amendments required language updates and changes to aspects of the university’s tenure and promotion system that did not align with the NIU’s current mission, vision and values.

An amendment that considered removing the six-year requirement for the promotion of assistants and associate professors was not approved from the last Faculty Senate meeting and will stay in the bylaws.


Three ad hoc clinical or research faculty will now be allowed to vote in the Faculty Senate Personnel Committee for cases involving the promotion of other clinical faculty.

Decisions regarding personnel hiring and recommendations will emphasize research, inquiry and aspects like artistic production for clinical faculty. 

The language of the bylaws now states clinical and research faculty are not eligible for tenure, but are now included within personnel procedure principles that discuss salary increments.

Nontenured clinical and research faculty are now allowed to receive an annual written evaluation of their progress toward promotion where applicable.

Any decision involving faculty employment and tenure will now consider faculty collaborations with other members and employee community experiences within the decision process. 

Faculty will be judged on their scholarly performance and achievement from notable achievements in research or scholarly works. 

Work includes peer-reviewed publications, exhibitions and performances, the development of intellectual property such as patents and licenses and more. 


NIU is approaching its time to be reaccredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The HLC is an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education that validates a university’s quality and integrity of academics, research, administration, faculty, staff, resources, facilities and procedures, according to NIU’s website.

The university was last accredited by the HLC in 2014 and is reaching its 10-year deadline.

Amy Buhrow, assistant vice provost of assessment and accreditation, presented the university’s progress toward being reaccredited which included submitting evidence that the university was meeting specific regulations set by the U.S. Department of Education and the HLC.

The university’s next step is preparing for its on-site peer review visit on March 25 and 26 that will secure the accreditation.

“Their review is a broad look at the university, a broad look at how we are moving out of our policies and procedures as we operate and they want to know from you, our leaders and our faculty,” Buhrow said.


Bárbara González, vice provost for Faculty Affairs, introduced a new program that will allow faculty to sit in on other faculty members’ classes to learn new teaching strategies.

Faculty who received excellence in undergraduate teaching, undergraduate instruction and online teaching were selected to teach. As well as Association of College and University Educators Distinguished Teaching Scholars were chosen for the program. The program will go from Feb. 19 to March 1. 

Interested faculty can sign up for remaining slots on the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning’s website.


Associate Professor of the Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment Cindy York was voted to receive the Bob Lane Faculty Advocacy Award. The accolade recognizes an NIU faculty member for special service to the faculty.

York will be honored at the March 17 meeting and commemorated on a permanent plaque displayed in the Holmes Student Center.

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