SIUC Faculty, Staff Unions Ask for Reorganization Reconsideration

May 15, 2019

The union representing faculty, graduate assistants, and civil service employees is asking SIU's Board of Trustees to take control of the controversial reorganization plan on the Carbondale campus.

SIUC Faculty Association President David Johnson says the proposal has no evidence it'll increase enrollment or save money - so he and others question its necessity.
 
"If restructuring isn't saving us money, and won't produce greater cooperation amongst faculty - at least not when faculty are being smashed together into new units against their will - what is it doing?"
 
Speaking to the Board Wednesday, Johnson and other Illinois Education Association representatives asked Trustees to reclaim authority over major decisions, along with requiring consensus building and a focus on enrollment and retention.

In a presentation to SIU's Board of Trustees, the SIUC Faculty Association, Graduate Assistants United, and Association of Civil Service Employees asked for additional oversight of the campus reorganization plan.
Credit Dave Johnson, SIUC FA

"We do not expect you to micromanage this campus. We do expect you to insist that it is managed properly, with due attention to the views of all on this campus - including the students, staff, and faculty we represent."
 
Johnson and others expressed frustration that proposed schools and colleges are being forwarded and approved over the objections of faculty and other constituencies.

Trustee Ed Hightower, who chairs the Board's Academic Matters Committee, says he understands the frustration - and wants to make sure communication continues along with the process.
 
"What we are demanding, as the Academic Affairs Committee, is there be full transparency. That there be full communication with our committee, and we've seen that during these past five-to-six weeks that we've been on the Board."

Interim President Kevin Dorsey says proposals are moving forward - in some cases despite opposition - because it's critical for the university to make changes.
 
"Everybody wants a guarantee that it's going to be successful. We all want that. But we can't divide the university in half, and reorganize a bit of it, and leave the rest of it, and then see which one recruits the most students."
 
Dorsey and other administrators say the changes will make programs more attractive to prospective students, and more flexible so that future changes and modifications will be easier.

Roughly half of the proposed schools have been forwarded to the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Administrators say they're still working out issues with the rest.