Faculty Assembly votes 169-159 to pass resolution allowing non-tenured faculty to serve on senate but 2/3 majority required.
By James Irwin
A resolution to amend the Faculty Organization Plan to allow non-tenured faculty to serve on the Faculty Senate failed to pass Tuesday at the university’s annual Faculty Assembly, though the majority of voting faculty did vote in favor of it.
Faculty voted 169-159 in favor of amending the Faculty Organization Plan to allow non-tenured, regular contract and specialized faculty who have attained the rank of associate professor to serve on the senate. The resolution would have required at least half of faculty members on the senate from each school to be tenured. The vote required a two-thirds majority to pass. The current Faculty Organization Plan allows only full-time tenured faculty to serve in the senate.
The resolution, proposed by the Board of Trustees and an amended version of it introduced by the Faculty Senate in September, were up for vote Tuesday at Lisner Auditorium. George Washington President Steven Knapp presented both versions to the assembly. The senate version also sought to extend senate membership to faculty without tenure, but to not include specialized faculty. That amendment failed by a 187-131 vote, which preceded the vote on the board resolution.
The Board of Trustees resolution was the final of five resolutions created during the university’s multi-year effort to revise the Faculty Code and Faculty Organization Plan to better align with GW’s Vision 2021 strategic plan. The preceding four resolutions all were passed by the Board of Trustees after a lengthy collaborative process with the senate and working groups of trustees and faculty.
Nelson Carbonell, B.S. '85, chair of the board, was one of several leaders to provide remarks prior to the vote Tuesday, and spoke of the shared efforts among the trustees, faculty and university administration in their work to revise the Faculty Code and Faculty Organization Plan. He personally thanked Dr. Knapp and Charles Garris, chair of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, for their efforts.
“I believe we have proven that we take seriously our shared responsibilities and that we’ve been able to collaborate to make changes that will allow the university to be the best it can possibly be,” he said. “It has been an experience which has reinforced my belief that GW can be among the top, most respected institutions in the world in teaching, research and service.”
Tuesday’s assembly also featured introductions of new faculty from each of the university’s schools and colleges, and remarks from Dr. Knapp. He provided updates from around the university, including the 2015 openings of Science and Engineering Hall and the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, the hiring of new university administrators and faculty—among them Elliott School of International Affairs Dean Reuben E. Brigety II and GW Cancer Center Director Eduardo M. Sotomayor—and an update on GW’s Making History campaign, which has surpassed the $810 million mark.
Dr. Knapp also took time to recognize Provost Steven Lerman, who announced in August that he will step down from his post at the end of the calendar year. Since becoming provost of the university in July 2010, Dr. Lerman has overseen a number of major initiatives. The centerpiece has been the university’s strategic plan, which was approved by the board in 2013.
“That strategic plan, to an extraordinary extent, was stimulated, led and shaped by the work of one individual: Steve Lerman,” Dr. Knapp said Tuesday. “It is a plan that will guide us into our third century, and it was an extraordinary accomplishment.”
The provost received an extended standing ovation from the faculty Tuesday. In brief remarks, he touched on what he’s enjoyed most in his five-plus years as provost.
“It’s been my great pleasure—a privilege—to be part of a large team that has made a lot of good things happen here at GW,” he said. “I would say the best part of my job has been the opportunity to work with talented administrators, faculty, staff and students on the collective enterprise of making a great university even greater.”