Faculty member: Open discussion needed for tuition policy

[Tuition remission] is a subject that greatly concerns me as both a faculty member who got three children through the commencement ceremony and a current [Faculty] Senator.

CONTRIBUTED BY STEPHAN LAURENT-FAESI | Dance professor, Jordan College of the Arts

The topic is a tough one. On one hand is the institution’s need for revenue to offset the ongoing—and constantly increasing—expenses.
On the other, this is a great benefit, which in many ways coaxed Butler employees, both faculty and staff, to stay on board.

Any change to the tuition remission policy would have far-reaching consequences in both how the faculty and staff view the employer.

I had a luncheon meeting with the provost in the spring to express my concerns as a Senator and faculty member. She listened well.

My guess is that this is an attempt by the “business-minded” folks on our Board of Trustees to find an easy way to increase revenue—or decrease expenses—with little thought as to what it would entail as a result in terms of faculty and staff morale.

What I think needs to happen now is for all constituencies to have a frank and open discussion on this subject.

Making any amendment to the tuition remission benefit should be discussed with those who have been, are, and will be most affected: faculty and staff.

The current practice has been a long-standing policy expressed thoroughly in the Faculty Handbook.

By the Butler constitution, any changes—and this would be a drastic, and in my mind a grievous modification—to that document must go through a thorough examination by the Faculty Senate and the Staff Assembly.


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