Since the spring, the relations between the UMass Amherst faculty, president, and board of trustees has been strained. When the trustees announced plans to have a retreat with the goal of generating action steps, there was some concern raised. Today we held a general meeting of the faculty with a set of resolutions in place to express our lack of confidence. But the trustees decided to have an open meeting, rather than meeting in a secret retreat and so we backed away from the resolutions. One trustee, James Karram, attended the meeting and spoke briefly. I'm encouraged by the positive steps and I hope we are beginning to move away from the series of confrontations that have driven faculty governance relations since the spring.
I was involved in drafting a resolution for the meeting related to the governor's Readiness Project -- this is a commission that has been drawn up to study education in the state. One subcommittee is supposed to study public higher education. Pat Crosson, a highly respected former-provost, is on the committee, but no current faculty, staff, students. We drafted a separate resolution to encourage the commission to hold open forums at the UMass campuses. I drafted the following resolution (with help from many others) to try to provide some guidance to the new readiness project subcommittee:
The Faculty and Librarians of the University of Massachusetts Amherst appreciate the Governor