ROTC desires representation

By Dawn Panka

The University Council wants ROTC off campus, but the Faculty Senate might allow the group equal representation while they are here.

NIU’s Department of Military Service wants a seat on the newly-formed Faculty Senate, although the department does not meet the requirements, said Faculty Senate President J. Carroll Moody.

Although the senate was formed last spring, the issue of the Reserve Officer’s Training Corps representation was not scheduled to be brought up until the senate’s Wednesday meeting, Moody said. The request came from the Dean of Professional Studies last May, after the councils last meeting and before the senate’s first meeting this fall, he said.

For the ROTC to gain a seat on the senate, the senate must change its bylaws which require faculty to be tenured or working toward obtaining tenure. Currently, because many ROTC faculty are at NIU for a short time, none fit the requirement, Moody said.

However, this does not mean that the military science faculty are part-time employees.

“It was misunderstood that our faculty are part-time,” said Lt. Col. T.S. Fielden, chairman of the military science department. “This is not true,” he said.

“The bylaws say that faculty must be employed by the university. We are employed by the government and are here on invitation by the university,” Fielden said. “As long as that invitation exists we will do a professional job. And being a part of the Faculty Senate will enable us to do this.”

Last spring the University Council passed a resolution that objected to ROTC policy, which prevents homosexuals from becoming commissioned officers, and therefore eliminates their scholarship eligibility, Moody said.

The Council, going through channels like the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called on the U.S. Army to change this policy to within two years. If the policy is not changed within two years, the council recommended that NIU should break its contract with the ROTC and give them one year to leave, Moody said.

At Wednesday’s meetong the executive committee will propose that the rules and governance committee take up the ROTC representation issue. Although it can come up for debate, senate rules require that a final vote be postponed until the next senate meeting, Moody said.

“I am optimistic that the Faculty Senate will understand our stand on quality education ,” Fielden said. “We are an academic department; we give grades and lectures. We feel that we should be a part of the Faculty Senate.”