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Faculty Senate Spells It Out

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No C-o-n-f-i-d-e-n-c-e

WNMU / Western New Mexico University

WNMU Faculty Senate Spells it Out

This program focuses on the two previous Board of Regents meetings where Faculty Senate President Tom Gruszka made very compelling arguments to move the administration and Regents toward serious efforts to address faculty salaries and other issues.

To casual, or even interested observers, there might be a question of whether the faculty has been prone or supine over the last few years but apparently their backs have stiffened a bit after years of wrangling with the Counts admini- stration and the Regents with such unsatisfactory results.

While Gruska's presentations are included here in full, other issues were addressed by Citizens for A Better University, including the unconscionable million dollar compensation package given to Counts, the 8% graduation rate cited by College Results, and the prima facie lack of Hispanic representation in this Hispanic serving institution for which WNMU receives additional funding to meet those obligations..  These segments will be presented in a coming program.

If you do a little digging, you'll find that a vote of No Confidence by the WNMU faculty has been looming for a number of years with Counts himself as a primary target as fundamental issues have remained unaddressed - not least of which is the broad disparity between WNMU faculty salaries and those at peer institutions.  In essensce, WNMU salaries are the lowest in the state which is among the lowest in the nation.  No wonder that 18 faculty retired (why fight it?) or resigned (on to greener pastures) prior to the fall semester.

The Faculty Senate Resolution of No Confidence is actually focused on issues other than salaries but "disengagement and disinterest," "incompe- tence," "denial" and the name of Chris Farren (Vice President of Student Affairs) all occur in one sentence.  Given the bunker mentality of the WNMU administration and its tight inner circle, this can hardly be an indication of approval of President John Counts himself.  The resolution refers to "extensive" information in support of the resolution and requests a response - in writing - from Counts by the next Faculty Senate Meeting on 13 March 2008.  Don't hold your breath - Counts has already preempted the response by stating in the SCDP article that "The motion was presented as an informational item only and no action is requested."  Well that takes care of that!

Hopefully, the success of the WNMU custodial workers at finally arriving at a collective bargaining agreement will encourage the faculty to stick to their guns and hold the administration's and Regents' feet to the fire. And a unified stance is the best defence against retribution - a practice decried by many in the past.

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Click here for 

Click here for
WNMU Faculty Senate Vote of No Confidence in Chris Farren
Click here for
SC Daily Press on
No Confidence Vote
Click here for
Faculty Senate Report of WNMU Wage Disparity
Click here for
SC Daily Press on Dec 14 Board of Regents Meeting
Click here for data on WNMU's 8% graduation rate
Click below for previous shows on WNMU