Possible faculty senate topic of open hearings

By Katrina Kelly

Open hearings to discuss the formation of a NIU faculty senate to replace the Faculty Assembly, NIU’s current faculty body, will begin today.

Hearings will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today in room 305 of the Holmes Student Center. A second round of hearings will take place Monday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in HSC 305.

William Monat, chairman of the faculty senate task force, said a senate “would give faculty a legitimate and constitutional representative body to speak for and represent faculty … in a broader way than the Faculty Assembly” currently serves NIU.

A senate would increase faculty representation from the 30 members of the current Faculty Assembly to a body numbering more than 70 faculty members, he said.

If a faculty senate is implemented, Monat said each NIU department would elect one of its own faculty members to serve on the body. The proposed senate also would provide a committee structure “more deliberate” than that of current faculty bodies, he said.

“Whatever emerges (from the senate hearings) will be brought to the Faculty Assembly” for their consideration probably in January, Monat said. The implementation of a faculty senate also requires the approval of the Board of Regents.

Monat said that, if approved, a faculty senate probably would not be implemented until the fall of 1990. If a faculty senate is approved, “two minor amendments” will need to be made to the NIU Constitution, he said.

Monat said faculty members attending today’s hearings can comment and suggest changes to the proposed senate document. Faculty unable to attend one of the hearings should send their written comments to either Monat or Judy Bischoff, University Council executive secretary.

The Faculty Assembly originally created a senate task force in February 1988, to look into the formation of a faculty senate.