Faculty Senate staffs committee, discusses impasse


Brooke Schwartz | Daily Eastern News Faculty Senate chair Jemmie Robertson explains his meeting with Illinois Board of Higher Education to the rest of the senate. At the meeting, they had discussed Eastern’s future, especially where it concered the budget and the past budget impasse.

Brooke Schwartz, Administration Reporter

The Faculty Senate met on Tuesday to staff a committee that will review vitalization project Workgroups no. 8 and 9.

The committee to review Workgroups no. 8 and 9 from the previous year’s vitalization program was officially staffed by members of the senate who voted with a ballot during the meeting.

The senate voted on the following faculty members to be on the committee: Management professor Michael Dobbs, English professor and women’s studies coordinator Jeannie Ludlow, biological sciences professor Billy Hung and communication disorders and sciences professor Rebecca Throneburg.

Economics professor Teshome Abebe said those who serve on the committee need to be prepared to think about the future of Eastern and not just the present needs of the university.

“This requires individuals that serve on a committee like this to have some form of strategic vision, not just people who are going to serve on a committee,” Abebe said.

The administration faculty that will serve on the committee are still being decided on.

Brooke Schwartz
Senate chair Jemmie Robertson, vice-chair Jeff Stowell and philosophy professor Grant Sterling vote on the candidates for the committee to look at the recommendations made by last year’s Workgroups no. 8 and 9. The committee is now staffed and will have its first meeting at 3 p.m. Friday.

The committee’s first meeting will be at 3 p.m. in the Paris room of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union on Friday.

The senate discussed the return of funds after the recent end of the budget impasse.

Many in the senate said consequences still being felt from that impasse.

Faculty Senate chair Jemmie Robertson discussed his meeting with the Illinois Board of Higher Education where the future of Eastern, especially where the budget is concerned, was discussed.

The future of tenure professors was mentioned, with Robertson saying it had been decided that tenure spots that were lost when people left during the impasse will not necessarily be filled, unless urgent need for them is shown.

Brooke Schwartz
Professor of history Bailey Young explains the dangers of trying to simplify the college application processes and of valuing efficiency above students. “We want to make people aware that these kinds of so-called efficiencies are like a virus in the computer world. They’re meant to destroy,” Young said.

Although the budget for this year has increased, cautionary measures are still necessary since the budget is still lower than it has been in past years, Hung said.

“When (the public) hears, oh, EIU is getting money, it’s important for us to say, it is a 10 percent cut compared to the last time we had a full budget, and that is the continuation of a downward trend of funding that cut our funding from the ‘70s to currently by over close to 50 percent,” Hung said. “I think that’s the story that we, as advocates, have to tell.”

Josh Norman, the associate vice president for enrollment management, also spoke at the meeting to answer faculty questions and update the senate on the upcoming marketing techniques that Eastern is employing, such as advertisements on music streaming service Pandora and billboards.

Norman also commented on the past budget impasse, saying that although the budget problems in the past have had many negative outcomes, there are people still supporting Eastern.

“As hard as this impasse has been for all of us, the folks that are still here are so committed to the mission, they’re so committed to seeing that next generation of EIU,” Norman said.

Brooke Schwartz can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].