University Council may amend sabbatical leave rules

By Melissa Mastrogiovanni

Rules for providing reports on sabbatical leaves may be amended at the next university council meeting, said Faculty Senate President Alan Rosenbaum at the Faculty Senate meeting Wednesday.

“Sabbatical leaves at many universities are an endangered species,” Rosenbaum said. “Given the tough economic climate that universities face, it’s not that easy for them to support sabbatical leaves. Our Board and our president have been very supportive of sabbatical leaves … they have asked in return that faculty report on the results of the sabbatical leave and, for the most part, faculty have been very conscientious of including that.”

Last semester 50 faculty members took sabbatical leaves, Rosenbaum said.

The University Council Personnel Committee made a recommendation that the bylaws concerning sabbatical leave be changed to include two new provisions. At the conclusion of the sabbatical, faculty members will provide a brief report of the scholarly purpose of the sabbatical and faculty will file a report on the outcome two years later.

The senate also discussed a position opening for a mediator between administration and faculty.

David Wade, Faculty and SPS Personnel advisor, is completing his term and is not eligible for re-election. There will be an opening for his position in July.

According to the University Council’s website, “the faculty and SPS personnel advisor is a resource person whose services are available to any faculty member (ranked or no-rank faculty), administrator, or personnel body in the university.”

Wade said he advises faculty on personnel policies, decisions and difficulties.

“Of all the things I’ve done and all the years I’ve been at NIU, this is as fulfilled and satisfied as I’ve ever been,” Wade said.

The senate also clarified rumors on salary increments for NIU personnel.

Salary increases for faculty and staff are currently waiting on approval from the Board of Trustees.

“What I have been told most recently by President [John] Peters is that nothing is official until the Board of Trustees approves it, but he is optimistic that the Board will be supportive of it,” Rosenbaum said.