Faculty Senate touches on tenure program and potential scholarship opportunities

By Fathima Siddiqui

The Faculty Senate met Wednesday to discuss issues concerning professors on track to tenure and proposed future scholarships, as well as approving other items on the agenda.

Wendell Johnson, social sciences librarian, spoke on behalf of the United Faculty Alliance. The United Faculty Alliance is meant to allow tenure-track professors to voice their opinions and practice their rights, according to their website.

In his presentation, Johnson said there have been issues with the tenure program that need to be clarified. He said the main issues concern faculty reprimands being too strong and vague.

To prove his point, Johnson said a speeding ticket is also considered a violation, but a ticket is not serious enough to fire faculty over.

Members of the Faculty Senate had questions for Johnson, but Johnson offered to answer them at a later time. Johnson said he could be found in the library for further questions.

The Faculty Senate also discussed the potential creation of additional scholarships for handicapped students. Linda Saborio, Faculty Senate president and executive secretary of University Council, led the Senate in the discussion.

Saborio said the Faculty Advisory Council is trying to create scholarships that would aid students with physical disabilities. The Council is an advisory group to the Illinois Board of Higher Education and Saborio said they have been pushing new scholarships. Saborio said Governor Bruce Rauner, who approves or rejects the proposals, has vetoed them several times. The Council said they will continue to push their efforts.

The Faculty Senate also approved to fill positions for the Campus Parking Committee, Student Conduct Board and the University Benefits Committee.