Blaise Pascal, Penseé 347: “Man is but a reed, the most feeble thing in nature; but he is a thinking reed. The entire universe need not arm itself to crush him. A vapor, a drop of water suffices to kill him. But, if the universe were to crush him, man would still be more noble than that which killed him, because he knows that he dies and the advantage which the universe has over him; the universe knows nothing of this. All our dignity consists, then, in thought. By it we must elevate ourselves, and not by space and time which we cannot fill. Let us endeavor, then, to think well; this is the principle of morality.”

Monday, April 23, 2012

Victory in the Senate

Today, in the Academic Senate, the cohort hiring / hiring funding resolution introduced by Chris Henson and subsequently amended by Kevin Ayotte and Honora Chapman passed by a vote of 35 to 10. That is a great victory for faculty consultation and every department at CSU-Fresno that values its own judgment on hiring and curriculum. It also makes budgetary sense.

This resolution is not binding on the Provost, but it was a clear statement of where the majority of faculty stand on the issue, and an affirmation of the Senate as the voice of the faculty. The motion was not discussed; the question was called immediately and the vote by written ballot followed. We can now hope that this will convince Provost Covino to change his policy; there is some indication of this already, as hiring in English, Communication, and Linguistics is going through without the cohort designation.

The Senate addressed three other important items:

1. Elections.

The faculty has already received an email from outgoing chair Michael Caldwell announcing the election of R. Lynn Williams (Agricultural Business) as Senate Chair and Kevin Ayotte (Communication) as vice-chair. Congratulations to both. Although Michael Caldwell and I have probably been on the opposite side of every issue that has come up this year, he deserves the gratitude of the faculty for doing a difficult and extremely demanding job for two years, as do Lynn Williams and Kevin Ayotte for taking on this responsibility. Newly elected senators were installed.

2. Revision of the GE Writing Requirement was introduced and

3. There was discussion of Jacinta Amaral's motion on the new logo.

The last item especially generated significant discussion, and following my usual practice, I will wait until I've had a chance to hear the recording of the meeting to report on it. Since GE writing requirements affect most of us, I want to make sure I have the correct details on that item as well. Look for an entry on those issues before the weekend.

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