Board of Trustees approves Trustee Code of Conduct, faculty senate

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Vanessa Kelly

Board of Trustees codify annual Title IX training

Anna Frazier, News Editor

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The Linfield University Board of Trustees approved an official Trustee Code of Conduct, among other changes, during their most recent meeting on Saturday, Nov. 14. This was their first meeting of the 2020-2021 school year. Linfield community members received an email on Saturday from President Miles Davis with documents and a brief explanation.

According to the document, the new code creates an official reporting process for any allegation of misconduct by a Linfield Trustee, “including such that falls short of an official policy violation.” 

It codifies the process that was already in place, said ASLU Vice President and senior Michayla Sponsel. Her position in ASLU doubles as student representative on the Board of Trustees.

“I think it’s really good, [because it] holds Trustees to the same level as employees,” Sponsel said .

Board of Trustee members will also be required to participate in yearly training on sexual misconduct, Title IX, and any other topics that come up. Former ASLU Vice President Mary Cait Moriarty, ’20, suggested this change during her tenure on the board in the 2019-2020 school year.

The board also approved an amendment to their bylaws that establishes a faculty senate model for the university. This creates a new style of governing amongst teaching staff, replacing their old structure.

Linfield’s faculty senate will have “no more than 12” total faculty members, divided evenly amongst the School of Nursing, School of Business, and the College of Arts and Sciences. 

The faculty senate will decide issues such as academic policies, University-wide curriculum changes, and faculty working conditions.

Five trustees, including the faculty representative, formed a Task Force over the summer to work on drafting this change. President Davis’s email included the Bylaw Task Force Report which showed recommendations for a new structure by the task force.

While students may see little change in their day-to-day, this new system was designed to save time and reduce workload for faculty and staff, as well as be collaborative, representative, and adaptive, according to the Bylaws Task Force Report. 

Faculty voted in favor of a senate model by over 90%, according to the task force report. The report did not explicitly state whether the faculty were in favor of this particular model. “All parties and all members of the Task Force agreed that a Faculty Senate form of governance would be necessary to account for the new university structure,” said President Davis in his email.

Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, the Faculty Trustee, noted his opposition to part of the model in the task force report. 

“Rather than silo faculty in separate units, we should adopt a governance structure that promotes collaboration and communication between faculty across the university,” said Pollack-Pelzner. “If we grant authority to the faculty as a whole, instead of cordoning off responsibilities with the faculty of each unit, we can ensure better pathways to student success.”

Pollack-Pelzner also stated that the faculty already voted on a structure in their own meeting, prior to the Board of Trustees meeting. He said that faculty should have power to decide their own governance model, instead of the Board of Trustees deciding for them.

The board also passed two resolutions at their meeting. The first is to officially recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the third Monday of January at Linfield University as a holiday.

The second resolution passed recommends a name replacement for Brumback St on the McMinnville campus. The private road is currently named after former professor and president of the college, A.M. Brumback. According to the resolution, around 1900, Brumback “engaged… in desecration and theft of burial artifacts and human remains from Native American burial mounds in the region.”

The resolution also commissioned a small group to explore a replacement name. The board will discuss the topic further at their February 2021 meeting.

 

 

This story was updated on Dec. 18 to clarify a source for a quote in the second to last paragraph.