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Faculty Senate Begins Semester with Debate

Addressing concerns with policy and online learning were the primary objective for Belmont’s faculty senate this week. 


During the faculty senate meeting, members focused on issues regarding the Belmont Policy Review Committee. Discussed in the fall, the BPRC had been tasked with evaluating existing university policies for effectiveness and bias.  


The senate voted to suggest: “a clear procedure for disciplinary decisions that provides due process; a graduated program of disciplinary actions that have time limits for their effect and a schedule for reassessment of the steps in light of future performance; locations of the policy in a place where faculty have easy access, and clear descriptions of how it relates to any other policies that might be in different documents. The Belmont Policy Review Committee shall bring a proposed policy to the faculty senate for feedback, prior to its implementation.” 


The motion passed unanimously. 


Since only one faculty representative was on the committee, the faculty senate agreed that the BPRC should implement a Performance Improvement Policy that would outline guidelines they should adhere to when reviewing policies.  


“I guess it just gives me pause that there be one faculty representative on a committee that’s really addressed with handling a lot of broad policy issues around campus when this particular issue itself requires a lot of consideration,” said Lora Harding.  


Within his Provost Report, David F. Gregory announced procedures surrounding budgeting for colleges and departments.  


“Programs that are growing will be looked more favorable than programs that are not growing,” said Gregory. “We’re not going to cut positions, but we want to put the money where we’re growing for our revenue stream, and I think that makes sense.”  


He also addressed the university’s policies during last week’s snow days. Although professors were given liberty as to how they would like to handle their classes, some teachers expressed difficulties with both students and teachers being able to access online learning.   


Professor Carla McDonough citied issues among newer faculty with accessing Zoom.  


“Because we no longer have a contract with them, new faculty don’t have access to it,” McDonough said. “And the Teams version is really clunky, so we were looking at ‘what are our options?’”  


Although last week’s snow was out of the ordinary, the provost agreed that issues among online learning need to be solved in case critical weather conditions occur again in the future. 

This article was written by Anna Blubaugh

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