Time Sensitive Items and Voting

FA Newsletter 9-28-20

Three time-sensitive items have arisen. The FA needs your thoughts. If you have concerns related to the first two items, please respond a.s.a.p.

  1. Many of you have received instructions concerning the modalities of classes for Spring 2021 (filtered down from the Provost to Deans to Chairs). Communication has been inconsistent at best. Some Faculty have received the entire unedited directive from the Provost. Some have received requests from their chairs simply asking for a description of what their classes will look like in their given modalities. Some have received what appear to be directives asking for “justifications” or “class plans” and/or a quick response. Some have (as of Friday) have received nothing. Please reach out to the Faculty Association if you are confused or, more importantly, if you feel the request you received may infringe on your academic freedom.
  2. The provost is soliciting “in-put” re: an “opt-in” on the part of students for PASS/FAIL again this semester. We need your in-put by Oct.2.

A number of issues arose from this practice when it was implemented last spring, among them:

  • Some students exercising the pass/fail option failed to get a letter grade on their record that they might have needed in the future.
  • The pass/fail option set up students to fail to meet the achievement thresholds they needed to satisfy degree and prerequisite requirements.
  • Programs were pressured to accept pass grades that did not meet degree or certification requirements.
  • The pass/fail policy eliminated minimum grade requirements that should have been applied for a course to serve as a prerequisite in the future. 

Please reach out to your DRC member and/or to me or another member of the FA leadership with your concerns (afletcher849@gmail.com)

It’s time to vote on the new contract!

  • You will soon receive a copy of the new contract (with changes indicated), a list of “talking points” that outline significant changes, and instructions for “drive-thru” voting on ratification. Voting will take place on October 5 (time and place forthcoming). ONLY FA MEMBERS CAN VOTE! Now would be a good time to join the union if you are not already a member! New member form will be available at voting. The FA website can be accessed (siucfa.org), although it remains “a work in progress.” Thanks for all you do!

In solidarity,

Anne Fletcher

President, SIU Faculty Association

FA News (4/18): Update from search committee

[Apologies for horrid format on this post. WordPress is working poorly on my Mac these days, and I don’t have the time to polish. I don’t recommend WordPress.]

Dear colleagues,
Marc Morris, chair of the search committee, has asked that the message below be shared, and I am happy to do so on behalf of the FA. The documents he attaches and video he links to are the most important pieces of evidence for any hoping to get to the bottom of the controversy about Dr. Lane, together with the March 10 “point in time assessment” by the TSU auditor, which was released by the Houston Chronicle too late for the search committee to evaluate. I would particularly call to your attention Marc’s link to Dr. Lane’s press conference of February 6, which I had not yet seen.
 
Members of the search committee worked hard to provide us with the best candidates from the candidate pool, and we owe them thanks for their work on our behalf. I agree with Marc that is incumbent on all of us to show our institution at its best as we vet candidates. To my mind that includes respectful but also direct questioning about any controversies the candidates have faced.
 
Marc’s message appears first below, then links to upcoming faculty interviews with candidates. 

In solidarity,
Dave Johnson
President, SIUC-FA

Dear CSAC, 
I have received a lot of feedback regarding Dr. Lane’s candidacy.  Much of what is being referenced, in my view, is secondhand information that is incomplete and subjected to misinterpretation.  However, the information on Dr. Lane was widely known at the time airport interviews were conducted and he shared it openly throughout this process.  As such, the CSAC needs its view of the search process correctly portrayed to the larger university community.  The constituents need to hear from us, their representatives on the CSAC, to understand what it was thinking when it proposed inviting Dr. Lane to interview. Included are some items providing first person accounts that I would like to share with the CSAC for all your constituents. Please disseminate this information, accompanied by my note or your own, to all of your constituents.   

  • Letter dated February 4, 2020 from the TSU Board of Regents (BOR) to Dr. Lane regarding the Notice of Termination Clause.
  • Letter dated February 6, 2020 from Dr. Lane to the TSU BOR in rebuttal of its letter.
  • Link to the complete video dated February 6, 2020 of Dr. Lane addressing the allegations of his leadership at TSU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKGaTMERWfk

Note that all predate and were publicly available at the time of the airport interviews. Distributing these items will allow people to understand the committee’s perspective, but more importantly, add what are currently missing pieces from an ongoing dialogue in hopes of better informing the campus community.    
Also, in the spirit of transparency and to give proper context to the quotes attributed to me by the Daily Egyptian, below is the unedited version of my response to a query for more information about the search..  On the evening of Tuesday, April 14, I received the following request originating from DE News Editor, Kallie Cox: 
“I recently found out that two of the candidates for chancellor, Dr. Austin Lane and Dr. Kenneth Evans, were both under investigation for the misappropriation of funds at their universities and that Dr. Lane was fired for this. Would the university or anyone from the search committee be willing to offer me a statement regarding this? My deadline is 5 p.m. tomorrow April 15th.” 
My unedited response on Wednesday, April 15 was:

Hi Kallie, Thank you for reaching out regarding the chancellor finalists. They were recommended by a search screening committee representing faculty, staff, students and others connected to SIU and the community. The finalists rose to the top of a strong pool of candidates based upon their backgrounds and strengths. I need to point out that the characterization that Dr. Evans and Dr. Lane were “both under investigation for the misappropriation of funds at their universities and that Dr. Lane was fired for this” is inaccurate. First, neither was accused of misappropriating funding. In Dr. Evans’ case, there was an internal disagreement about how funding should be spent following a hurricane that impacted the campus and its students. In Dr. Lane’s case, financial allegations concerned an employee who was terminated, not to Dr. Lane. Further, Dr. Lane was not ultimately fired; he reached a mutual separation agreement with the institution. I should add that the firm assisting the university with the search conducted thorough background checks and referencing on all of the finalists. 
In short, the screening committee was aware that both Dr. Evans and Dr. Lane faced controversies on their campuses. This is not unusual for university leaders given the number of constituencies they serve, the public nature of their work and the difficult decisions they must make. In the cases of both Dr. Evans and Dr. Lane, the committee considered the candidates’ application materials, preliminary interviews, leadership skills, professional experience and accomplishments in addition to information about the controversies they faced. The consensus was that both candidates should be invited for interviews and given the opportunity to address questions about their backgrounds.The goal throughout the search has been to identify outstanding candidates who can lead the university effectively, and I believe that all three finalists have that potential. We encourage everyone who participates in the interviews to provide feedback on the candidates using the form at chancellor.siu.edu/search
Best,
Marc E. Morris, JD, PhD 
Chair, Chancellor Search Advisory Committee  

Please encourage your constituents to remember the importance of balancing vetting the candidates with selling them on the institution.  We as a campus community need to be proud of the campus-driven chancellor search and treat each finalist as a guest of the university, one worthy of our respect and undivided, unprejudiced attention.  Let’s not adhere to the reputation for “tough love” during the interview process and risk losing potentially good leaders as a consequence. It is now time for the university community to let the finalists speak for themselves. Nobody can tell their story better than they can.  

Best,

Marc

Marc E. Morris, JD, PhD
DIRECTOR, SCHOOL OF ACCOUNTANCY
REHN HALL, ROOM 232AMAIL CODE 4631
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY
1025 LINCOLN DRIVE
CARBONDALE, ILLINOIS 62901
memorris@business.siu.edu
P: 618 /453-1405F: 618 /453-1411BUSINESS.SIU.EDU

April 21 1:00 pm faculty interview of Lane:
https://zoom.us/j/797825568?pwd=WFpnYVhYc21HV1RyenNKV0lqMFp2QT09

April 23 1:00 pm faculty interview with Evans:
https://zoom.us/j/630867276?pwd=YWJFWHYvVFlTN0N4QnlJUkdRY1VIZz09

Faculty Zoom meetings to discussion candidates (same Zoom meeting ID for both, to begin immediately after interviews).
https://zoom.us/j/398379201?pwd=OXplc00rMFRzSzRxaUF5aGNjcXVSZz09

COVID-19 Recommendations

Dear colleagues,

The attached document shares some FA recommendations for the COVID-19 crisis.

We are all scrambling to react to this crisis. The recommendations we pass on are just that, our best ideas for how to handle this crisis now. The way things are going, many of them may be overtaken by events in the next day or two.

Read more of this post

COVID-19 page

I’ve posted a COVID–19 page which can be accessed directly from the menu (top left) and via this link. I’ll try to gather together relevant information there as this situation progresses.

FA News: Fall 2018

The two newsletters from this fall can be found here:

FA News 9 Sep 2018

FA News 29 Oct 2018

FA News: BOT, stopgap, room changes (4/6)

Forgive the frequent messages but events are moving quickly, and I have some updates on announcements from yesterday.

1. BOT declines to authorize SIUC to borrow from SIUE

There was an unexpected development at the BOT meeting today. President Dunn’s plan to have SIUC borrow from SIUE was added late to the agenda. This meant that the board needed unanimous consent to consider the relevant motion. One trustee (Shirley Portwood, an alumna and emerita professor from SIUE) objected, so the motion was pulled. Another trustee (Amy Sholar, another SIUE alumna) said she would be a no vote on the motion. This is bad news for this campus.

Read more of this post

FA News: Announcements (4/5)

Dear colleagues,

Pardon the number of announcements: let us take all this activity as a good sign of positive activity on campus, despite the budgetary gloom.

1. FA Promotion and tenure workshop 4/7

The FA is sponsoring a workshop on Promotion and Tenure this Friday from 12-2 in Communications 1032 (a.k.a. Dean’s Conference Room). If you plan to come, please RSVP to Jyotsna Kapur at jkapur@siu.edu so that we can order enough food for lunch (which will be provided). My apologies for the late reminder. Walk-ins are certainly welcome.

Read more of this post

FA News: 3/10/2017

Dear colleagues,

My apologies for a lengthy and sometimes weighty message as we head into spring break, but we have some important announcements to share, and should comment on recent statements from the administration about the fiscal crisis.

New contract officially ratified on both sides

First of all, I am happy to report that the new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement, a.k.a. contract) has now been ratified by both sides and signed by both sides. A final electronic version of the CBA is attached. This new contract is now legally in effect, and will govern any procedures not already well and truly underway under the old contract. Thanks once again to our bargaining team for all their work: Rachel Stocking (chair), Cade Bursell, Anne Fletcher, Judith Green, and David Lightfoot.

Read more of this post

Official TA

Attached here you will find a final draft of the Tentative Agreement agreed to by the FA and the administration in December 2016.

As of this date (12/14), the Tentative Agreement has been approved by the FA membership, but awaits final ratification by the SIU Board of Trustees.

December 2016 TA between FA and SIU Administration

Contact your representative!

If you are as distressed about the disintegration of our state, contact your representative and tell him/her now!  Below is contact information for the governor, and our local representatives:

Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro, District 115): (618)-684-1100/Springfield (217) 782-0387

http://www.ilga.gov/house/rep.asp?MemberID=2265

Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg, District 118): (618) 253-4189/Springfield (217) 782-5131  

http://www.ilga.gov/house/rep.asp?MemberID=1888

Dave Luechtefeld (R-Okawville, District 58 Senate): (618) 243-9014/Springfield (217) 782-8137.

http://www.ilga.gov/senate/senator.asp?MemberID=997

Governor Bruce Rauner: Springfield, (217)782-0244

http://www.illinois.gov/gov/contactus/Pages/default.aspx