The 60-member Faculty Senate at Utah State University has voted unanimously to oppose the draft of a proposed State Board of Regents policy that would give institutions the authority to terminate tenured faculty if the regents declare a major financial crisis exists.
Still in the early draft stage, the new policy proposed for the State Board of Regents Policy and Procedures Manual was written by staff in the commissioner of higher education's office and has not gone to the regents yet.USU Senate President Gilbert A. Long said the faculty object to a number of points in the proposed policy, believing they greatly alter previous policies dealing with tenured faculty during difficult financial times.
The Faculty Senate passed a resolution outlining its objections, and the Senate and USU provost then sent letters describing their concerns to higher education officials.
In the next few weeks, higher education officials, who have received considerable feedback on the proposal, plan to meet with faculty from the state's nine colleges and universities to discuss the proposal. Harden R. Eyring, assistant to the commissioner of higher education, said earlier this week that the proposed changes may be altered dramatically before they ever reach the regents.
The University of Utah Institutional Council agreed Monday to its own new policy that essentially keeps tenure intact, even during a major financial crisis. The U. policy must receive final approval from the regents, and U. officials have said they will ask the regents to allow the U. to use its own policy, even if it differs from the one eventually adopted by the regents.