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FACULTY SENATE: Group addresses Library, football scheduling issues

Laura McCrystal | Thursday, December 10, 2009

 The Faculty Senate passed four resolutions this semester, making recommendations about the Hesburgh Library, football scheduling and academic honesty, as well as recognizing the contributions of military veterans and ROTC students, according to Senate chair and economics professor Thomas Gresik.

“Perhaps the biggest issue we dealt with was a report on the Library,” he said of their work this year.  

Gresik said the academic affairs committee of the Faculty Senate conducted an extensive study of the Library, including interviews of more than 150 people in all departments and colleges.

The recommendations passed in a library resolution included an emphasis on the need for more subject librarians to build library collections and assist faculty members in finding materials for their research, Gresik said.

The resolution also states that each department should conduct a review of library resources and report its findings to the dean of its college or the provost. 

Gresik said the final recommendation of the resolution involves an external review of the University Library System.

“The Faculty Senate recommends that the Office of the Provost in conjunction with the Office of Strategic Planning arrange for an external review of the entire Library system,” the resolutions states. “This should include the production of a library self‐study document. We further recommend that after this review, the Library system undergo an internal review every five years and an external review every 10 years.”

The Office of the Provost agreed that an external review would be appropriate for the Library at this time, Gresik said.

The football scheduling resolution, completed by the Faculty Senate’s administrative affairs committee, was a result of the delayed release of the 2010 football schedule, Gresik said.

“Delays in getting out the 2010 schedule were causing some complications with faculty who wanted to schedule conferences next fall,” he said. “We just wanted to ask the administration to keep in mind that there are these additional consequences of getting a delayed schedule out.”

Gresik said the University administration was understanding of the resolution, and he does not think there will be similar delays in the future.

The Faculty Senate also passed a resolution related to academic honesty, Gresik said.  

“The main concern is that there seems to be a gap in perception between what faculty consider to be academic honesty practices and what students feel is acceptable,” he said.

The resolution recommends that incoming students receive a more detailed explanation of academic honesty as well as a second orientation when they declare their major. It also suggests that faculty members receive annual reports with the number of each type of honor code violations as well as more frequent reminders of their own obligations under the honor code.

A fourth resolution by the Faculty Senate this semester recognized the contributions that students, faculty, staff and alumni make to the United States Armed Forces, Gresik said.

Next semester, Gresik said the Faculty Senate plans to address the issue of parking. Faculty members have expressed concern about the current availability of parking spots on campus, and the issue will become a greater concern as the University looks to construct new buildings on or near existing parking lots, he said.

“The University has started thinking more about parking garages and parking fees for dedicated spots,” he said.

Gresik said the Faculty Senate chooses which issues to address based on the concerns of fellow faculty members, but Senate representatives also constantly look for potential areas of improvement.