Posed To: David Fenner, FA President
Questions 1 and 2
FA President – (Part One)
The last few meetings, new “questions and comments” to the Faculty Association have not been included in the agenda packet — as they have in the past. This was a valuable service to the faculty who cannot attend Faculty Association meetings but wish to be informed. Written inclusion of the questions was also helpful to those attending the meeting. Inclusion of the questions provided context to the discussion and encouraged accountability on the part of those questioned.
I was pleased to receive the FA president’s email speaking against “pushback” and defending the long standing tradition of anonymous questions to administrators and others at FA meetings. All the reasons offered by the FA president to justify the questions, and the option of anonymity by the author, are absolutely correct. However, contrary to the FA president’s defense, the pushback appears to be working. Whether by design or fiat, the FA’s recent decision to stop publishing the text of new questions in the agenda packet means that faculty can no longer easily read the questions. If the FA is serious about defending the right of faculty to ask questions (anonymous or otherwise), please bring back the long-standing tradition of publishing the questions in the FA packet.
Response from the floor by David Fenner, FA President:
At the beginning of this year, when Dan Richard created his index for the questions, we decided that we would only publish in the agenda packet information that faculty didn’t have otherwise, So, instead of publishing all of the questions that were unanswered, instead of publishing the questions that were answered from the floor, we decided on a practice of publishing only those questions and answers where the answers were provided to us in writing. I’m going to go back to the—and we’ve already started the conversation—I’m going to go back to the leadership and ask if we want to go back to the practice of publishing all of the questions that were answered from the floor and in writing. We’ve not had any written responses to any questions in the last three or four months; they’ve all been answered from the floor. We will go back to that practice. What we will probably not do however, is publish all of the unanswered questions that just sort of sit for a while. We’re trying to get on top of that. We are on top of that right now. Last, I checked, we had zero unanswered questions. We’ve gotten it all the way down to zero. There’s a few there now because we are waiting for the minutes to come back, but we [FA leadership] are going to talk about this.