FSU’s Faculty Senate Discusses New Anti-Bullying Policy

On a monthly basis, Frostburg State University’s Faculty Senate meets to discuss current key topics, primarily being school policies as well as other important business regarding the university. With the help and tireless dedication of faculty participation, these frequent meetings help shape the university and further the education of students. Faculty Senate Executive officers include Dr. Michael Murtagh serving as Chair, Dr. Philip Allen serving as Vice Chair, and Dr. Amy Armiento serving as secretary. The executive members help guide the sessions and encourage faculty member participation when discussing the agenda. With the attendance of certain members of faculty, such as Interim Provost Dr. Ahmad Tootoonchi, comes several reports of subcommittees given to update the senate on previous recommended proposals.

Regarding university news, several faculty members applied for tenure and are currently in the midst of the process, and the police are still investigating the recent robberies while the university has been doing whatever possible to help ease the trauma brought onto the victims. A few items were easily discussed and passed, such as a proposed new course and changes to course titles within the Music department. Updates to the current family medical leave policy were also briefly discussed, followed by a swift vote of the senate to pass the motion.

On the agenda for February’s discussion was faculty workload and the recently recommended anti-bullying policy. Both topics were greatly discussed, raising many questions and pointing out several concerns. With strong governance and responsibility, the senate extensively deliberated every concern.

The senate highly weighed in thoughts concerning the anti-bullying proposal and changes, if any, to be made. One aspect of the policy is the Faculty Code of Conduct, which is essentially a guideline on appropriate workplace behavior. It was brought forth to the senate with the proposed update of adding the Faculty Code of Conduct to the Faculty Handbook. It was specifically asked to be placed under the details of a Faculty Role Model in the handbook. Staff, as well as students, are victims of bullying, and in that, the Faculty Senate reviewed proposed new changes to help prevent possible future workplace bullying.

Another point of discussion was the faculty workload, which could, in turn, possibly affect the availability of courses to students. What can be viewed as a salary disagreement, has unintentionally made a large effect on student education. Faculty members normally carry 12 units, which is four 3-credit classes, but the question of certain circumstances arise, such as class cancellations. How to still fall under the standard workload for professors facing difficulty carrying the standard workload was a large concern that was highly discussed. With that, the senate reviewed the proposed changes in the policy guidelines presented to the latest Faculty Senate meeting.

To stay in tune and up to date on current university affairs, attending the next meeting can be highly beneficial. The next Faculty Senate meeting will be the first Wednesday next month, March 2, 2016. Located in room 397 in the Gira Center, the Faculty Senate will begin their discussion at 4:00.


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