Non-tenured faculty make case for greater representation at Senate meeting

Kavish Harjai, News Editor


Tensions rose at the last Senate meeting of the year when discussion of the representation of contracted faculty, non-tenured faculty, students and portal campuses in the Senate started.

In discussing the size of the Senate, the Faculty Senators Council, the elected representative body of the faculty, alleged that an increase student representation in the Senate would lead to too much student representation. This assertion was based on the notion that at a research university, mainly or only tenured faculty should take part in governance.

“This is the first time where we not only have to discuss something of substance, but a lot of people had something to say,” said Mariam Ehrari, CAS senior and chair of the Student Senators Council. “There was a lot of back and forth between the tenured faculty and students.”

Deans spoke up in support of balanced representation and said the university is made up of many different voices. It was also mentioned that there are students in various NYU schools, such as the School of Continuing and Professional Studies and the Tisch School of the Arts, who do not solely depend on tenured faculty. Therefore, all voices were needed to represent the needs of the school equally.

A temporary compromise was reached. Effective Sept. 1, 27 full time contract/non-tenure track faculty will be added to the University Senate. Additionally, representation from the portal campuses will join other NYU colleges and schools in the Full-Time Non-Tenure Track/Contract Faculty, Faculty Senators Council and Deans Council.

In two years, the compromise dictates that the Senate should undertake a major re-evaluation of the Senate size. It’s proposed to downsize the number of members from 127 to 110-120.

Members at the meeting also discussed alcohol and drug use and student health.

The number of hospitalizations due to alcohol poisoning increased, allegedly due to the increased use of the good Samaritan policy. However, there were two percent less mental health related hospitalizations.

The Momentum Campaign, the $1 billion financial aid fund-raiser, has raised $280,025,895.

Additional reporting by Valentina Duque Bojanini. Kavish Harjai is a news editor. Email them at [email protected].

*Correction: A previous version of this article stated that faculty were protesting too much student representation in the Senate. Instead, they were debating an increase in student representation.