Campus News

UT Martin Faculty Senate passes two resolutions

04-25-2015


Contact 1: Bud Grimes


MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin Faculty Senate recently passed two resolutions advocating for increased support of higher education, and inclusive faculty involvement in policy development and implementation. Both items have been shared with all members of the system-wide University of Tennessee Faculty Council and University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro. The resolutions can be read in their entirety at http://www.utm.edu/departments/facsenate/resolutions.php.

The first resolution expresses faculty support of the university and progressive higher education that advances a diversity of ideas. In addition to initiatives such as the Tennessee Promise that expand opportunities for community and technical college students, the resolution calls for increased recognition and support for the significant contributions of four-year institutions and the UT System.

Although the faculty are encouraged that next year’s overall UT budget request has been well supported, the resolution also calls for continued “genuine means of supporting Tennessee higher education and the University of Tennessee as a value for the common good.”

“Vocational training provides excellent opportunities for Tennesseans, and we applaud the state’s efforts in this area,” said Dr. Brian Donavant, associate professor of criminal justice and faculty senate president. “However, genuine higher education is much more comprehensive in its ability to help students envision and understand their roles in society. We hope this resolution offers the chancellor, president and board of trustees additional support as they work to advance the university’s mission.”

The second resolution emphasizes the importance of shared governance within the university structure. Across the UT System, faculty note a general drift away from the policy documents approved by the UT Board of Trustees and included in the faculty handbook on each campus, and that administrators are increasingly making performance and evaluation policies on an ad hoc basis and without faculty input.

“While items in the second resolution generally have not been a problem on the Martin campus, with the pending announcement of a new chancellor we want to stress the importance of maintaining faculty input on our campus,” said Donavant. “The Martin senate also determined to proactively emphasize these tenets of shared governance in support of faculty across the UT System.”

Other senates across the UT System are expected to vote on similar actions over the next several weeks and forward their respective resolutions through the faculty council to DiPietro and the UT Board of Trustees.

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