Relationship Building Meeting Brings Up Trust Issues

Issues with trust among faculty, problems installing new courses core of discussion

Discussions during the meeting concerning the College of Arts and Sciences dealt with issues of instituting new courses and trust among faculty members.

Those present at the fourth relationship-building meeting that took place on Nov. 19 were President David Eisler, Matt Klein, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, board of trustee members, FFA Representatives, and Provost Fritz Erickson, who facilitated the discussion.

“We are sincere about improving our working relationships,” said Erickson.

A Relationship Building Team was formed that is made up of FFA leadership, members of the university administration and members of the Board of Trustees. The team holds meetings to exchange ideas and talk about issues through open discussion.

During the discussion, members expressed concerns over procedures being put into policy and practice. One issue in particular that was brought up dealt with faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences developing more effective communication skills in regards to one another.

In regards to policy and guidelines, it was said that faculty governments are almost “non-existent.” Faculty members also mentioned that there have been barriers in the last two to three years in terms of creating new courses due to paperwork becoming “constantly weakened.”

A single course takes about eighteen pages to get into the system and fifty pages to get into curriculum. Members said they have been struggling with the process.

In the way of policy moratorium, no new courses can be offered within a year without developing a timeline chain of command or a developmental process. Forms from 2008 had to be used because that was all that was available.

Officer of Senate Dr. Sandy Alspach said policy has been getting in the way of education.

An issue regarding the Administrative Council was brought up due to the fact that there has been no follow up and no faculty represenation at the Administrative Council meeting.

The Grievances Committee said the morale is “terrible” in the College of Arts and Sciences and that problems are not solved well. It was said that there is a lack of trust between faculty members.

Some members said they are having a good time and getting along well with their co-workers, while others said they see a level of mistrust and have felt a lack of support and respect.

Janice Weaver of the FFA board said, “When we see a problem, we want to know what’s being done to reinforce efforts. We do have to make a difference.”