After a year of work the Idaho State University administration and Provisional Faculty Senate were unable to come to acceptable terms for a constitution. But, later this year the two opposing sides will have another chance to resolve the issue.
Some of the ISU faculty and the adminstration have been at odds for years on several issues. While this move by the state board is supposed to lead to a constitution for campus, it is clear that the disagreements between the two sides run deep.
Nearly a year to the day since its creation and with the mandate of being in existence for one year, the provisional faculty senate at ISU was sunsetted by the State Board of Education after being unable to come to terms with the administration on a new constitution. Elections for a permanent Faculty Senate will be held sometime after the start of this year's fall semester and faculty who have not served on the provisional senate or the senate preceding it will be eligible to run.
“In essence there theoretically should be a lot of new participation and hopefully these people working together with the administration will be able to produce the document that everybody wants and that is an acceptable constitution and bylaws,” said Mark Levine, ISU Director of Marketing and Communications.
But at least one member of faculty, who is not eligible to serve on the new senate, thinks that limit on participation will help the president set the tone of negotiations later this year.
“I think he wants to have less obstacles to overcome, his style of leadership, well his style of leadership does not exist he's not a leader,” said Dr. Robert Croker, Professor of Human Resource Training and Development.
Levine says President Arthur Valias has been forthcoming with what he has wanted
“President Valias has stated numerous times his desire to have a constitution and bylaws that are acceptable to all parties to everyone,” Levine said.
But Croker says the president has not been willing to budge on his issues.
“President Valias has been identified by many people as a my way or the highway person,” Croker said. “He has rejected that notion, but everything that he has done so far his indicated quite clearly you are either for him or you're against him, there is no middle ground because he is not a person of compromise he is a person of mandate.”
The disagreements between these two sides even sparked a federal lawsuit. Some members of the faculty were claiming that the administration violated their right to free speech when access to a campus wide email distribution list was denied.
Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled this week in favor of the administration and completely dismissed the faculty's lawsuit. To read the judge's decision, click here