University of Northern Iowa Faculty Senate Statement Regarding Proposed Program Closures
University of Northern Iowa Faculty Senate
Statement Regarding Proposed Program Closures
March 6, 2012
The University of Northern Iowa Faculty Senate denounces the lack of proper consultation and process with regards to proposed program closures.
As we are all aware, this is a challenging time for the University of Northern Iowa. We are beset by a number of adversities.
The nineteenth century poet Lord George Gordon Byron wrote:
“Adversity is the first path to truth.”
One truth that has emerged is:
The administration of UNI has failed to consult in a timely fashion with faculty members with regards to decisions affecting the academic integrity of the university.
In the case of current efforts to close programs, the faculty was first consulted on February 27 and provided information for viewing only. Background information that we used to help interpret what was being shown to us was provided by the Des Moines Register rather than administrative sources. Only after discussion in the Senate was it agreed that there would be an additional meeting for discussion, but in the meantime, the Senators were not allowed to consult with colleagues regarding the information that had been shared.
Another truth is:
The administration failed to initiate the appropriate processes in a timely fashion that would result in thorough and meaningful consultation with all appropriate parties.
This process came to the UNI Faculty Senate roughly two weeks before a planned public announcement despite the fact that the administration has known for the entire academic year that such cuts would be proposed. The Senate worked hard within the unreasonable constraints imposed by the administration to question the proposed cuts and save programs.
The UNI Faculty Senate hereby states that it in no way considers the two meetings it had with the administrative team to constitute adequate or appropriate consultation.
Let it be known that the UNI Faculty Senate does not endorse or condone any recommendations being made for program closures nor does it fully understand the criteria or justifications for specific recommendations.
The UNI Faculty Senate condemns the process used to arrive at these recommendations as contrary to the accepted practices for an institution of higher learning.