Talks of promotions

Faculty Senate


Screenshot taken during the meeting that was held via webex.

Libby Nabhan, Campus News Editor

The main topic for this week’s faculty senate was on promotions and how they would affect the faculty and the university as a whole. With an increase in promotions there would need to be an increase in payroll but as it is known, the university has set amounts of income they receive from students in the summer. If a faculty member were to get a promotion, then a higher salary would ensue, but because the university doesn’t increase their amount allotted to pay faculty members that have been promoted, their promotion would only improve their title. This has raised a concern that even with the evaluations given to a faculty member in hopes of promotion, there won’t be a pay raise, which creates the potential to create more issues. 

“Each year it costs more and more to live so there has to be a way to increase their pay without fully promoting them to a new position,”said Master Advisor & Liberal Studies Coordinator Tracy Hawkins.  

The increase in payment is needed due to the increased cost of living, also in order for the faculty to be able to stay in their current positions. The topic of paying each faculty member has been brought to the attention of the senate after discussing the evaluation process in weeks prior; with evaluations leading to promotions, there needs to be a pay increase. But, because the set price of schooling per student has been decided early in the school year, there isn’t a way to increase the amount of money being generated that could be used to pay for these promotions. There have been several ideas that could be the solution, one being to increase segregated fees that a student pays, if it was one hundred dollars per student, that would be an increase in the millions. Another would be to create the promotion during one school year, and then increase the pay next year; this would only work if the increase in segregated fees was increased for another reason, using the new amount to pay the staff. 

“I think that there is a definite difference between academic freedom and doing what is necessary for a class,” said Lynn Gilberston. Because of covid, there has been an increase in questioning the amount of freedom each professor has because of their online classes increasing. Some professors believe that for their class they need more than the allotted amount of time per class period or feel as though they need to have class more times. Because of the increase in differences that each professor has, there has been a lot of discussions of ‘how much is too much academic freedom’? Many points were made by those present regarding the reality that each class is different and due to the increase in topics added in the last few years, the need to re-evaluate the amount of freedom each professor has been brought to the attention of the senate. In this discussion, nothing was set in stone about what they would define as ‘academic freedom’ but the explaination as to why this has changed over the previous years was discussed. It is important to address this topic each few years because otherwise, there will be such a disconnect between the professors and the departments. The meeting wrapped up with the approval by the senate to discuss at the next meeting, this will influence each department, and the students as a whole. 

To learn more about the agendas and meeting dates, visit: