The University Faculty Senate approved a policy Thursday that allows the removal of committee chairs and members by a democratic vote.
“There was no provision to take care of this sort of thing,” Faculty Consultative Committee Chairman Dan Feeney said. “(With this policy) we’re circumventing any potential problems.”
According to the policy, committee chairs and members – including faculty, professional and academic, civil service employees and alumni – might be removed by a two-thirds vote of the Faculty Consultative Committee. And the Student Senate Consultative Committee, by a two-thirds vote, can also remove student committee chairs and members.
Committee chairs and members may be removed from their position if they have not fulfilled their duties, have obstructed senate business or if their service would question the integrity and credibility of the committee’s work, according to the policy.
Feeney said many University groups have similar removal policies. The committee, he said, wanted to have a policy in place to safeguard against future conflicts. He said there have been conflicts of interest in the past, and individuals serving on a committee have been deemed unfit to serve.
Some have expressed the need for future review of the policy change.
“I’m for it as long as it’s used correctly,” said Judy Berning, chairwoman of the Student Senate Consultative Committee. “I don’t want it to be used for personal gain or corruption.”
Berning said every organization should have a removal policy in place, but the policy should be reviewed in the future to ensure it is being used effectively and not unlawfully against committee chairs and members.
“The policy is more of a check and balance,” she said. “It’s not there to hinder committee work; it’s there to help it.”