Tensions rise in latest Faculty Senate meeting

Ryan Lovelace

Managing Editor

The Faculty Senate did not display any proposed suggestion for changes made to the tuition remission and exchange programs at Tuesday’s meeting, but that did nothing to silence concerns.
Darin Ramsey, Faculty Affairs Committee chair, said his committee hopes to bring forward a proposal later this year to address the Board of Trustees’ recommendations provided to the faculty last spring.
“We wanted to have a formal recommendation to the Board of Trustees to recommend by the September meeting, but we didn’t want to rush,” Ramsey said.
But some faculty members remained concerned that any changes could harm the faculty.
Vivian Deno, professor of history and faculty senator for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said she wondered whether the proposed changes in benefits signaled that Butler was on “a race to the bottom.”
Deno said she had deduced that the starting salary of an administrative assistant in LAS is about $21,000.
“And we would begrudge them this benefit. Shame on us,” Deno said. “You tell the board that I said that; shame on them. It’s disgusting.”
Faculty Senate president Margaret Brabant responded to Deno’s concerns quickly.
“I want to say the reason why this policy has not gone through is because the faculty said ‘no,’” Brabant said. “It’s not as though we have been silent and disempowered here. We have said no. I want that in the record.”
Brabant started the meeting by marking the anniversary of former Butler University Police Department officer James Davis’ death nine years ago.
Brabant said Butler is still providing Davis’ children the opportunity to receive tuition remission and exchange benefits, as was promised at the time of his death.