Faculty vote against proposal to create positions for more lecturers

By Victoria Martin, News Editor

A proposal to create more lecturer positions for the contingent faculty on campus, brought forward by Dean of Faculty April Edwards, failed to pass at the faculty meeting on Friday, Nov. 10.

The lecturer proposal promised to create more lecturer positions for contingent faculty, allowing them to have a full time position at EC.

This position would remedy much of what the unionizing adjunct faculty are asking for: four classes per semester, higher pay, office hours to meet with students, and the benefits that come with a full position.

Edwards made it clear that the salary boost would be a “livable salary” and would be higher than current salaries of adjunct faculty, but she did not feel comfortable saying the exact amount.

This proposal would also eliminate the six year term limit imposed on current EC lecturers and allow for a permanent teaching position.

With 88 of the 153 eligible voting full-time faculty present, 79 of those present had to vote in favor of the proposal in order for it to pass.

The first vote, 61 in favor and 22 opposed, did not go through, but had to be re-voted on due to an issue with the electronic voting system.

The second vote, again, did not pass with a 65 to 23 vote.

Prior to the vote, there was a debate on whether or not the faculty should support this addition to the staff.  

EC business professor Roby Thomas mentioned his concern of this being a way for the administration to ease away from the more expensive tenured professor; replacing those positions with lecturers as the tenures retire.

Edwards did not understand the issue and assured that this was not the case, calling Thomas’ logic “circular.”

“If the open position requires a tenured professor, then we will hire a tenure. If we need a lecturer, we will hire a lecturer,” Edwards assured.

After the initial vote, some professors had an issue with the results. Some called it an unfair amount of passing votes to reach, as almost half of the eligible voting faculty was missing. Others wanted to look at specific parts of the proposal and figure out what individuals did not like.

English Department Chair Ann Frank Wake wanted to specifically focus on the elimination of the six year term limit on current lecturers at EC.

“We have six people who are going to lose their jobs in Dec. and we should just vote on taking away the term limit,” said Wake.

Professor of Political Science Mary Walsh thought it would be more beneficial to not eliminate the term limit all together, but instead extend the term until the end of spring semester.

“I think we should vote on extending the term for the current lecturers to the end of the next semester.  This way no one loses their jobs and we can have more time to discuss this issue,” said Walsh.

The room decided to vote on the latter proposal made by Walsh, resulting in a 76 in favor and a 3 opposing vote.

The new vote did not meet the full 88 that were initially at the meeting due to some in attendance having to leave after the meeting went over its initial allotted hour.

Still needing 79 total votes in favor, however, the vote did not pass. 

The Faculty Council has decided to revisit and revise the proposal and will present it again during the December meeting.