Condemnation of the Suspension of the Faculty Senate at
Idaho State University

AS-3010-11/FA/FGA/AA

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU), as a representative body authorized by the California Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA), express solidarity with and support for the faculty of Idaho State University; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU condemn the Idaho State Board of Education's retaliatory suspension of the Idaho State University Faculty Senate because it conducted a faculty vote of no-confidence in its president and refused to endorse a reorganization plan promulgated by the Board; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU recognize and support the right of the faculty of Idaho State University to challenge administrative procedures and mandates when it believes that they compromise the institution’s academic mission and responsibility to its students; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU encourage local CSU Academic Senates to pass resolutions in support of the efforts of faculty at Idaho State University to regain their voice in the academy; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to the Idaho State Board of Education; the Idaho State Legislature; the faculty at Idaho State University; Idaho newspapers including the Idaho State Journal – Pocatello, the Idaho Statesman – Boise, and the Moscow-Pullman Daily News – Moscow; the Idaho State University Bengal newspaper; the CSU Board of Trustees; the CSU Chancellor’s Office; CSU campus presidents; CSU campus provosts/Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs; the CSU campus senate chairs; the Academic Senate of the University of California; and the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges.

RATIONALE: On February 17, 2011, the Idaho State Board of Education suspended the Faculty Senate at Idaho State University and replaced it with an interim faculty advisory structure. A week earlier, the Faculty Senate had conducted a vote of no-confidence in president Arthur C. Vailas, which passed by 72% to 18%, with a voter turnout of 77%. The no-confidence vote was a culmination of on-going disagreements between the Faculty Senate and the president over the restructuring of the university, including faculty representation in shared governance. Such a retaliatory act is deplorable, since it violates both the principle of shared governance and of academic freedom. Furthermore, it creates fear among the faculty and runs contrary to the mission statement of the university, which aims "to develop citizens who will learn from the past, think critically about the present, and provide leadership to enrich the future in a diverse, global society" (http://www.isu.edu/president/statement.shtml). Faculty governance is essential to the very nature of an institution of higher learning. Especially in times of budgetary and political crises, the voice of faculty is absolutely critical in maintaining and forwarding the mission and goals of higher education. The full voice of the faculty cannot be represented by a governance model imposed by the administration, as suggested by the Idaho State Board of Education. Credible representation can only be achieved by a representative body elected by the entire faculty, a body that essentially reports only to the faculty and one which can act without fear of retaliatory repercussions.

Approved Unanimously – March 17-18, 2011



 
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