Faculty Senate discusses budget resolution, creates committee

Analicia Haynes, Administration Editor

The Faculty Senate discussed a proposed budget resolution and created a committee for an edited resolution Tuesday afternoon at a special meeting.

Senator Bailey Young drafted the original resolution, which calls for the General Assembly and the governor to pass and sign an adequate budget that meets the needs of Illinois public universities.

The original draft was from the perspective of faculty and staff as well as citizens and voters in East Central Illinois.

Jemmie Robertson, the chairman for Faculty Senate, said the senate needed to discuss how they intend to distribute the resolution, the way the resolution is structured and whether it is a resolution or a petition in terms of the language used.

Robertson asked senators if they believed it was appropriate for faculty senate to adopt the resolution.

“I appreciate the language he wrote and I agree with a lot of the comments, however I’m not sure it works as a resolution,” Robertson said.

Robertson said the senate should make sure they are not passing a resolution that would speak on the behalf of individuals who do not agree with it.

Senator Amy Rosenstein said Young’s resolution would have more power if it came from the faculty and was loaded with signatures from faculty, staff and students.

Rosenstein also said if Young wanted to create a resolution that incorporates Eastern as a part of the community, it would be entirely separate from the current proposed resolution.

“As far as faculty senate is concerned this is not within our purview,” Rosenstein said.

Senator Steven Scher said the resolution should be distributed to the governor and the General Assembly since the resolution is directed toward them.

“Otherwise, send it to the DEN, the Courier, the News-Gazette and other news media outlets,” Scher said.

Senator Teshome Abebe said he prefers Young’s resolution.

“It states the facts and it is presented as a formal resolution, and we are spokespeople of the faculty,” Abebe said.

Robertson said he will contact Young, and if the senate is in agreement he will send a letter of thanks for Young’s resolution and encourage him to adopt it as a petition.

Senator Jeannie Ludlow said Young already has a letter going around that people are signing.

“It’s a bit more detailed than this one but has the same tone and scope.” Ludlow said.

Senator Charles Wharram recommended a resolution that would be specifically from the faculty senate rather than the faculty and staff.

Wharram also suggested the resolution be sent to Rep. Philips and Sen. Dale Righter.

Wharram said the Faculty Senate does not speak for staff or students rather they support them.

“We want to make a clear and uncontroversial statement regarding the gravity of the budgetary impasse and the severe impact on our fellow employees, their dependents, and the economy of our town and region,” Wharram said in an email.

Wharram said the resolution expresses the Faculty Senate’s profound disapproval of something that is out of their control.

“This budgetary freeze has left all of us out in the cold, and the least we can do is let our representatives know how frigid it’s getting,” Wharram said.

Senator Jason Waller contributed to the revised resolution, adding that the General Assembly passed a bill funding the Monetary Award Program grants, which would net Eastern $9 million.

Waller said because those funds could prevent the planned layoffs and furloughs the resolution will call on State Representative Reggie Phillips to publicly pledge to vote to override the governor’s veto if he chooses to do so.

Scher motioned for a committee to be established in order to revise Wharram’s resolution.

“Charles’ draft does a good job at saying we are the faculty senate and we are representatives of the faculty, and I think that clarifies where it’s coming from,” Scher said.

Wharram and Waller are on the committee and will have the revised draft by next week.

Waller said that when it comes to MAP grant money and the possible override of an expected veto from the governor, the situation has become critical.


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