FA News: 11/13/2017

Dear colleagues,

Things are moving at what Chancellor Montemagno has himself called a “feverish” pace [FS minutes: see below]. I begin with a summary of the most important points right now.

After six weeks on the job, Chancellor Montemagno decided, without consulting with faculty, that he would eliminate all departments on campus, replacing them with schools. Now he is citing “contractual and policy issues” and “our relationship with the FA” for the impossibility of preserving departments [FS minutes]. This is misleading. The chancellor cannot have both schools and the units within them function as “basic academic units”—as academic structures with the same level of autonomy. This is a logical impossibility, not a contractual glitch. Blaming the CBA or SIU policies for his inability to call the residue of eliminated departments “departments” is the equivalent of blaming the military code of conduct for your inability, after you’ve demoted a captain to the rank of corporal, to keep calling him or her a captain.

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“Informal minutes” of FS meeting

SIU Faculty Senate President Kathy Chwalisz has post informal minutes of a meeting between Chancellor Montemagno and members of the Faculty Senate. Her cover note is pasted below. Here is the link to the minutes themselves:

Faculty Senate Working Meeting with the Chancellor–Faculty Senate EC Meeting 11-7-17

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Restructuring files released

This post is now finished–which is not to claim that it is comprehensive or error-free. My goal was to help readers begin to digest what these changes will mean. If you spot major differences between these files and the previous iteration of the plan, or have any other comments, please drop me a line at dmj2@me.com.   –Dave J

At 8:30 pm on Friday, November 10, Vice Provost DiLalla sent me (Dave J, as FA President) the following Article 9 plans for the restructuring of the university into schools. The chancellor’s FAQ page has also been updated in recent days.

We are only starting to review these files, so these comments are provisional. We will of course be providing more commentary, and initiating more conversations with faculty, in coming days.

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FA News: 11/6/2017

Dear colleagues,

Two announcements to start with:

  1. The FA’s Departmental Representative Council (DRC) will meet this Thursday (11/9) at 5:00 in Parkinson 202. Our topic will be the chancellor’s plans for the future of SIUC, and what role FA members would like to see the FA play in this process. All FA members are welcome to attend.
  2. A group of faculty and students who sponsored the October 25thcommunity meetinghas formed a “Coordinating Committee for Change at SIU.” I attach a copy of the group’s letter calling for volunteers: CCC Letter 1.

Chancellor Montemagno’s Vision 2025 proposals continue to generate considerable discussion and controversy on campus and in the press. We’ve gathered some links to coverage on our website. Here, to avoid going on even longer than usual, I’ll address just one central element among the many things he is proposing: the replacement of all academic departments with schools.

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“Vision 2025” Coverage

This is an effort to gather press coverage and other links about Chancellor Montemagno’s “Vision 2025” plan. This post was last updated 11/5/2017. If you have a link to add, please it to Dave J at dmj2@me.com

Chancellor’s Vision 2025 website

FA Newsletters

FA News: 10/23/2017 (on faculty votes)

FA News: 10/3/2017 (initial response)

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FA News: 10/23/2017

Dear colleagues,

Chancellor Montemagno has released the details of his reorganizational scheme, and posted slides and video of his speech of 10/19. The Southern and the DE have accounts not only of the speech but of the question period, which grew heated at times.

The chancellor’s plans touch on all aspects of campus life, including graduate education, the core curriculum, and the role of diversity on campus. We invite all interested in further discussion of his plans and the future of SIUC to take part in the following:

SIUC Community Meeting on Restructuring

Wednesday, 10/25, 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Parkinson 124 (Browne Auditorium)

This meeting is co-sponsored by the GPSC and FA. A flyer and document outlining principles for positive change are attached; the principles document will be available at this meeting for any who wish to sign it. Here we focus on the role of faculty in the process for program changes.

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FA News: 10/3/2017

Dear colleagues,

In his State of the University speech last week, Chancellor Montemagno outlined an ambitious plan to restructure SIUC.

The heart of the chancellor’s plan is to replace all academic departments with schools. Every single department on campus not already part of a school structure would be merged with some number of other departments to form a new interdisciplinary unit. Most of our existing academic programs would be housed in these new schools; others would be terminated.

FA News: 9/5/2017

Welcome to a special Labor Day Plus One edition of the FA newsletter. Three announcements, then some more substantial items.

  • President Trump’s decision to end the DACA program threatens many on our campus. This NEA webpage suggests some ways to respond, and links to resources on DACA for educators.
  • The NEA is collecting funds to be distributed to members who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. To find out more, click here.
  • It’s time for elections for department reps to the Departmental Representative Council (DRC), the FA’s most important representative body. If you are interested in serving, get in touch with FA Vice President Aldo Migone.

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Program change update: 9/2/2017

We continue to hear of program changes moving forward on campus. The fiscal sustainability plan presented to the BOT in July targeted the following programs for possible elimination:

  • BS and MS in Mining Engineering
  • BA in Business Economics
  • BS in Physical Education Teacher Education
  • BA in Africana Studies
  • MA in Political Science
  • Ph.D. in History

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FA News: 8/18/2017

Dear colleagues,
 
My attempt to clarify the status of syllabi was itself unclear about what is meant by “electronic posting.”
 
Syllabi naturally must be distributed to students. A copy must also be shared with your Chair/Director. The contract does not say in what format syllabi are to be shared. 
You may distribute syllabi to students in hard copy, electronically on D2L, or both. I, like many faculty, do both, and nothing in the CBA is meant to prevent that. 
The controversy about electronic posting centered on the administration’s past practice of requiring public posting of all syllabi online, in venues where it was possible for anyone, not just students, to access and download the syllabi. It is this sort of posting that the CBA is meant to address. 
 
Indeed, the whole point is that a syllabus you create is your intellectual property as a faculty member (unless the university specifically paid you extra to produce it). So you may share it with anyone you please, in any format you please—so long as you also share it with your students and your supervisor in some form. 
 
The new contractual language limits what the administration can do with your syllabus, not what you can do with it. 
 
I apologize for the confusion, and thank two colleagues for promptly pointing it out. 
 
Dave J
 
[My earlier message is posted below in all its original, glorious ambiguity.]
—–
 
Dear colleagues, 
 
As we prepare for the new semester (not to mention the eclipse), it is also syllabus season, and the annual reminders about syllabus policy are making the rounds. Here are some comments from the FA perspective. 
 
Syllabi are an important part of our teaching work, and it is precisely because so many faculty put a great deal of effort into providing quality syllabi that the Faculty Association has worked to protect faculty’s interest in syllabi as intellectual property. The 
new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement, a.k.a. contract) clarifies that syllabi are the intellectual property of faculty, save under certain rare conditions, as when development of a syllabus was directly funded by a university grant. 

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