Editor's note: The Nevada System of Higher Education Faculty Senate chairs delivered the following statement at the Board of Regents meeting Thursday, Sept. 8.
Dear Chancellor, Chairman, and Regents,
Over the past three years, we have all experienced great turmoil on our campuses as each institution sought mechanisms to deal with extreme budget cuts. Part of this process has been employment of Curricular Review.
The Curricular Review process within the code is not well-defined, leaving much to be determined at the institutional level, and thus it has been implemented differently by different institutions. For example, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, used a previously established institutional curricular review process, and tenure rights and contracts were protected. Faculty at Truckee Meadows Community College, who enjoy the protection of a collective bargaining agreement, were involved in the development of an institutional curricular review process, and tenure rights and contracts were protected. And at Western Nevada College faculty were not involved in the development of the curricular review process, and tenured faculty are slated to be terminated
– despite adequate class loads to justify their positions and the filling of vacancies in other, administrative positions.
Such discrepancies have led to real apprehension on our campuses. The Nevada System of Higher Education Code sets forth just one set of contractual rights and due process to protect faculty, including tenured faculty. Any potential breach of those rights of tenured faculty on any campus is therefore a threat to the contractual rights of faculty across the system.
Actions of the faculty senates have already begun to take place on some of our campuses this year – such as resolutions passed at WNC demanding tenure contracts be honored and requesting a new curricular review process be jointly developed by senate and administration
– and more faculty senates are expected to take action this fall.
We, the faculty senate chairs, request continued diligence in the repair of the code, Title 2 Chapter 5, section 4.6, such that explicit instructions can facilitate a more consistent process. We also once more urge the Board and System leadership to give the potential termination of tenured faculty without a declaration of financial exigency the full and careful scrutiny that such a grave development for higher education warrants
Faculty Senate Chair, Nevada State College
On behalf of the NSHE Council of Faculty Senate Chairs