I have been on the SJU faculty since the fall of 1986 and there have been a lot of changes in that time. In all the cases I can think of, those changes have resulted from careful and collaborative work with the affected sectors of the community. Until now.
At the end of March, the faculty learned of a proposal to remove faculty and students from voting positions on the Boards and key Board Committees. The reasons given by the presidents appealed to Board concerns about conflict of interest.
It has become clear that this proposal dates back to the fall of 2016, if not earlier. However, only in early March were the full Boards informed. And only in late March were the faculty Trustees allowed to inform the rest of the faculty. This breach of collaborative process rips the fabric that otherwise holds us together as a community.
I have, publicly and privately, and to no avail, implored the presidents to ask the Boards to delay the implementation of this policy, recognizing that the timeline has allowed no time for reasoned discussion that could be informed by the perspectives of all concerned. I believe that if there were a delay, we could use that time to create a plan for shared governance that appropriately recognizes the gifts of all stakeholders–faculty, students, Boards and administration.
CSB/SJU mathematics professor