Indiana Daily Student

Bloomington Faculty Council discusses lack of IU faculty governance

The Bloomington Faculty Council is seeking ways to increase faculty voice in University procedures and decisions.

In a meeting Thursday to present the goals of the slate that will run in upcoming BFC elections, faculty discussed the lack of faculty governance at IU and how they might go about becoming more involved.

“I find it a rather frustrating service that I do because the faculty no longer believes in the BFC, and the BFC no longer believes in itself,” Karma Lochrie, professor in the Department of English, said.

She is the arts and humanities representative of the council.  

She said she was excited to see the new slate and that she hopes she can be a part
of something bigger through the BFC.

Lochrie pointed out that while the BFC has been very active in the past, it has been far too long since it has been active.

Sara Friedman, associate professor of anthropology, said in addition to a more active BFC, there must also be improved communication between BFC and other governing bodies across campus and within the different schools.

Council members said they agreed.

“We in the BFC are kind of stranded in the BFC,” Lochrie said.

Members at the meeting also expressed a concern that administrators are not involving faculty in decisions, but are only coming to them after the fact.

“I’d love to not comply, but I don’t know how, given the fact that they’ve intentionally taken that away from us,” Friedman said of administrative demands.

Purnima Bose, associate professor of English, said the bureaucratic demands administrators put on faculty conflict with the research mission of IU.

IU is a Research I university, a classification based on giving high priority to research, commitment to graduate and doctoral programs and other criteria.

“I find myself really anxious now that it’s not clear to me how we’re going to service this new demand to be a full-service undergraduate institution and an R1,” she said.
Friedman said IU has a very top-down president, which makes faculty involvement

Michael Martin, professor in the Department of Communication and Culture pointed out that the cross-school nature of the Media School would have given the BFC jurisdiction, no involvement from the BFC occurred.

“It just seems to me that these are legitimate points of intervention that the BFC should’ve been involved in,” he said.

Ben Robinson, associate professor of Germanic studies, said the effort has to lie in building faith in the BFC and encouraging faculty to speak up.

“I think we do need to insist on more authority as is granted by the BFC constitution,” Robinson said. “It really has to be a cultural fight.”

Follow reporter Anna Hyzy on Twitter @annakhyzy.

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