Faculty Senate passes draft resolution

Cassie Buchman, Administration Edtior

The Faculty Senate passed a draft resolution for the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics and voted to create an ad-hoc committee on athletics at their meeting Tuesday.

The resolution states that faculty senate will go on record in support of H.R. 275, which is a bill being considered by Congress creating a presidential commission about concerns on intercollegiate athletics.

Jemmie Robertson, the faculty senate chair, wrote the resolution.

Robertson said he has not made any changes since he first drafted the resolution Aug. 31.,which was passed unanimously.

“My initial idea here was to simply evaluate issues on campus, to develop a more specific list of unanswered questions and things we would like addressed,” Robertson said. “And hopefully just foster a positive dialogue.”

Amy Rosenstein, a professor in the special education department, said she thought it was important for the athletes to be involved in these conversations and suggested that there be a student athlete on the committee.

“Having a child who is an athlete and who does quite well in her sport, it’s sort of a very scary prospect to think they could be offered a scholarship, they come to a school, they get an injury, then lose their scholarship,” she said.

Rosenstein also brought up an issue that occurs when students are pressured to play with injuries or risk losing money.

“I think it’s important for us because we’re seeing it, but I think there are athletes in it at the moment, who may be vulnerable because they feel like their college education is dependent on that program, who need to know that there are other support mechanisms for them,” she said.

Jon Oliver, a professor in the kinesiology and sports studies department, said there is already an intercollegiate athletic board that has two subcommittees, one for institutional control and the other for student athlete health and wellness.
“My concern would be is if we create this additional subcommittee are we not basically overriding or becoming redundant in the structures that already exist?” Oliver asked. “At a time when our service plates are already quite full, could we not just put more effort into collaboration with this pre-existing advisory body?”

Oliver also mentioned anecdotal evidence he heard that suggests some faculty members are developing a negative feeling toward student athletes.

“Like they represent a bigger problem, athletics versus academics,” he said.

Robertson said as a former student musician, he would never want a student athlete to feel targeted.

“I would like to say in my classes I can’t think of an example where I’ve had a negative interaction with a student athlete,” Robertson said. “I’ve found them to be great contributors to class discussions, they do well, attend regularly, let me know in advance when they’re not going to be here.”

Other faculty senate members agreed with Robertson, adding their own positive interactions with student athletes.

Other communications discussed at the meeting was about the CATs department and the ideas for a Research, Education and Applied learning center.

Pete Grant, the director of digital and multimedia services for CATS, said he sent out the email three weeks ago.

“I know multimedia services have to continue on campus,” Grant said. “That’s one of my concerns I addressed in the email.”

Grant said he is also concerned about student applied learning opportunities.

“I took the idea of the REAL (Research, Education and Applied Learning) center and applied that to the CATS multimedia team,” Grant said.

Grant said the CATS digital and multimedia services has been one of the many applied learning opportunies for students on campus.

“My suggestion would be for some sort of bigger partnership or bigger vision for the multimedia group to continue after Aug. 31, 2016,” Grant said.

Another email mentioned was from Renee King, an instructor in the school of business about faculty support positions.

“I am gravely concerned about the faculty support positions that have been eliminated on campus,” she said. “And I would like to see faculty senate engaging with our leaders to find a way to maintain or bring back the faculty support positions that we need in order to do our job for our students.”

King said she is concerned about what will happen a year or two from now when the positions are gone.

“It’s sad because it appears to me that we are going backwards,” she said. “I don’t want to be the only one going around campus flailing my arms going ‘listen, don’t do this don’t do this.’”

King said without technology support, faculty will have to go back to the chalkboards.


Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]