Faculty Senate to hear budget crisis, offer suggestions

Analicia Haynes, Administration Editor

President David Glassman and Blair Lord, vice president for academic affairs will address the ongoing budget crisis and answer questions 2 p.m. Tuesday in room 4440 of Booth Library at the Faculty Senate meeting.

President Glassman said he will be discussing the possible layoffs and furlough days as well.

Charles Wharram said the Faculty Senate will listen to what the president would like to suggest and offer feedback.

Wharram said there is a binding contract between the union and the administration with regard to faculty and staff.

Though he cannot speak for the civil service, Wharram said there cannot be furlough days that are individually demanded without a certain number of things happening first.

“Basically, what it all amounts to in the end is that unless the union agrees to have furlough days, there can’t be any,” Wharram said.  “So there would be a vote of the collective bargaining unit to decide whether or not we will do furlough days.”

The Faculty Senate would have no say in the vote but if members wanted to offer suggestions to President Glassman they could if they wanted, Wharram said.

“Our job is to listen to what the president would like to suggest and give him feedback,” Wharram said.

Possible questions that the President will address include the logistics on how the situation will be figured out and what the “domino effect” would be if the faculty decides to take furlough days.

“How much revenue would that put back into the presidents’ budget so that he doesn’t have to lay off people?” Wharram said.  “Because really at the end of the day that would be why faculty would be taking furlough days, so that other people wouldn’t be laid off.”

Other possible questions include how furlough days would work for faculty who are teaching five days a week and what would the result would be of giving up one furlough day in terms of how many days it would be per month, Wharram said.

“Do you just furlough times of the day when you’re not working or do you just have to say a class is given up?,” Wharram said. “How does that work out?”

Wharram said the furlough days would amount to a voluntary pay cut.

“We don’t want other people to get laid off, we don’t want the services of the university to suffer and we don’t want to see our classes diminished,” Wharram said.

Wharram said President Glassman’s hand is forced and what he is doing is emergency planning.

“I don’t think the president wanted to do any of this stuff,” Wharram said.

English professor Jeannie Ludlow said the situation at hand was bad to begin with.

“My bottom line is there is one bad guy in this story and it is our governor,” Ludlow said. “I believe that he is trying to starve Illinois students of higher education.”

Wharram said the strategy being used is cutting off the universities’ money so it will force the union to do things they do not want to do.

“That’s called blackmail,” Wharram said. “What really gets under my skin is those kinds of questions (of collective bargaining and rights) are going to be negotiated using this kind of hostage taking method.”

 

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]