The faculty senate consists of representation from every area, department and cohort on campus, except, adjunct professors.
An adjunct professor is, generally, a contracted, non-tenure track instructor. Concordia University-Portland defines an adjunct professor as a professor who is hired on a “contractual, part-time basis as opposed to the traditional university model of full-time employment.”
Chair of the Weber State University faculty senate standing committee Constitutional Review, Apportionment and Organization (CRAO) Amy Stegen called an open forum meeting on Jan. 15 to discuss the representation of adjunct faculty on the faculty senate.
“This year, the committee is charged with exploring adjunct representation on faculty senate,” Doris Geide-Stevenson, chair of the faculty senate, said.
The forum opened the discussion of possibly expanding faculty senate to include adjunct faculty representation.
“Some feel that adjuncts should be given a seat, or two, in the faculty senate as well as adjuncts on standing faculty senate committees,” Stegen said.
However, it is not as easy as a yes or no vote to approve adjunct representation. The senate also needs to discuss and determine to what extent adjunct faculty should have input on the senate, and Geide-Stevenson noted there were several other questions as to the role of adjunct faculty on the senate.
Questions such as how many senators would be appropriate to represent the adjunct faculty because adjunct faculty span each department and how the adjunct senator would be appointed, by vote or by application, may need to be addressed.
“I also found it interesting that some departments seem to invite adjunct faculty to department meetings, but other departments do not,” Stevenson said.
The faculty senate will next meet and discuss the information from the CRAO forum so that the whole senate can decide whether adjuncts should gain representation on the senate.
“We present next month at faculty senate to get feedback from the senators on our recommendations,” Stegen said.
The meeting with the entire faculty senate where they will present and debate this issue will be on Feb. 14 at 3 p.m. in the Wattis Building.