Administration still criticized for faculty cuts

Campus Editor and Campus Editor

“Benchmarking” the University against other colleges is something the administration often does, but Faculty Senate members said they don’t want to be like everyone else anymore.

During the Tuesday meeting, Peter Blass, senate representative for the Chemistry Department, asked Provost Rodney Rogers, associate vice president for Academic Affairs, why cuts fall upon faculty during the meeting.

Blass was referring to the 30 non-tenure track faculty whose contracts were not renewed by the University for fall 2014.

“When you cut faculty, you cut the University,” Blass said. “I think cutting faculty was the wrong move. Convince us why there was nothing else to cut.”

Besides faculty, there have been other reductions as well across the University and positions among classified and administrative staff have not been filled, Rogers said.

The University compared the number of faculty members to the student body, which revealed the University was “quote-unquote ‘overstaffed,’” said University President Mary Ellen Mazey.

Faculty members protested her statement, saying they know specific examples of faculty members who were cut and who had full classes for fall semester.

Blass said the faculty doesn’t see the argument that the University needs to be like every other institution.

“We’re compared with every other university,” Mazey said. “We’ve been losing ground.”

The University can beat other universities by being different and doing something they’re not doing, Blass said.

“Our discontent affects enrollment and retention,” said Sarah Rainey, women’s studies representative.

Much of University officials concerns are over dwindling state funds, a topic addressed by both Rogers and Mazey during their reports.

The state funding formula recently changed to awarding funds based on degrees granted rather than enrollment total. Every public institution must submit a report by July called The College Completion Plan to the Ohio Board of Regents.

The report will outline how the University will “help students persist toward degree completion,” Rogers said.

The 12-page report outlines the goals, as well as how the University will reach those goals.

Rogers will take the report to the Board of Trustees for approval in May. It is available on the provost website.

“It shows all the work that is being done at Bowling Green State University,” Rogers said. “I thank all the people involved in a variety of initiatives.”

Also during the meeting, the senate passed a resolution speaking out against signs posted on Wooster Street at the beginning of the year that they refer to as sexual harassment. Presenting the resolution, Julie Haught, senior lecturer of the English Department, called on the dean of students to impose sanctions on students who post the signs, as its a violation of the Student Code of Conduct.

The meeting was the final one of the year. As such, the senate is working on finalizing member positions for next year.

As the current senate vice chair, Joel O’Dorisio of the Chapman Learning Community will take over as chair for Sheri Wells-Jensen, associate professor in the English Department, next year.

During the meeting, the senate voted Allen Rogel, instructor of Physics and Astronomy, as the next vice chair. Rogel has been a senate member since 2010, during which time he has served on the amendments and bylaw committee and worked on the Collective Bargaining Agreement.