Senate to be discussed

By Chris Lind

The University Council Wednesday will discuss the proposed NIU Faculty Senate, as well as hear the first reading of additional bylaw changes to the NIU Constitution.

The meeting will begin at 3 p.m. in the Clara Sperling Skyroom in the Holmes Student Center.

A senate would increase faculty representation from the 30-member Faculty Assembly to a senate of about 75 members and allow for more diverse representation of faculty and departments, said University Council Executive Secretary Judy Bischoff.

NIU faculty will vote on a constitutional referendum concerning the proposed senate this month. If approved by the faculty, the proposal will be voted on by the Board of Regents, NIU’s governing board. Pending these approvals, the Faculty Senate could be established during the 1989-1990 academic year, Bischoff said.

The Faculty Senate would consist of the 30 current members of the Faculty Assembly and about 45 new members. It has been proposed that the 45 new members be elected by and from the faculty of each academic department and school, the College of Law and the University Libraries, Bischoff said.

At the April 4 Faculty Assembly meeting, concern was expressed about the possible size of a Faculty Senate, she said. A limit was suggested to the number of people from each academic department elected to serve on the senate, she said.

NIU Regency Professor William Monat said that “there was concern expressed over disproportionate representation of colleges,” at the Faculty Assembly meeting. Thirty faculty members currently are elected to the UC by their colleges on a proportional basis.

The additional proposal states “if two members of one department were elected, then that department will not be eligible to elect another person,” to the senate, Monat said.

“This is one way of keeping a ceiling on the number of people from each department. The initial move to have a broader base of proportional faculty will be retained,” he said.

Bischoff said faculty will be looking very closely at the size of a possible senate.

Bischoff said at Wednesday’s Faculty Assembly meeting that sociology Associate Professor Bob Suchner proposed a bylaw addition. The addition suggests that the words “at the discretion of the Faculty Senate” be placed in front of the phrase “Such consultation or advice may take the form of an advisory vote,” and the word “advisory” be deleted.