Faculty eyes establishment of senate

By Stephanie Bradley

The NIU Faculty Senate Task Force approved changes made to Article 12 of the NIU constitution and bylaws at a meeting Wednesday.

William Monat, task force chairman and NIU regency professor, said the purpose of the changes was to prepare the document for consideration by the Faculty Assembly, which will meet next on Oct. 5.

Judy Bischoff, task force member and University Council executive secretary, said the document is being revised because a faculty senate might replace the faculty assembly, and the bylaws would have to be changed to accommodate the new senate.

One member asked if the job of the 12-member task force is to recommend that the senate should be established.

Monat said the task force is to recommend that the Faculty Assembly consider the document. The assembly might decide to adopt the faculty senate, or it might choose to change some of the language in the revised bylaws, Monat said.

He said that if the faculty senate is adopted, it will have about 75 members, 40 more members than are in the assembly. This should ensure more faculty representation.

The senate would face issues such as compensation and benefits, facilities and faculty budget. No committees at this time deal with these issues.

Monat said the senate will represent faculty from every college and department at NIU, including the College of Law. It also will have faculty representatives from other groups such as the Academic Affairs Office, he said.

In September 1987, Gordon Dorn, NIU chapter president of the American Association of University Professors and an NIU art professor, sent a questionnaire to more than 200 faculty asking them if they would be interested in establishing a faculty senate.

The results indicated 90 percent were interested.

The task force had its first meeting in February 1988. Its members were chosen on the basis of tenure and knowledge of NIU.

The members represent each of the colleges at NIU.

Monat and Dorn researched faculty senates at other universities to make recommendations for NIU’s proposed senate.