Provost addresses Faculty Senate on increasing diversity
By JOSH BOURGEIOS
Assistant News Editor
University Provost Nathan Hatch addressed the Faculty Senate Wednesday night on such issues as lack of reporting from the Provost's Office, affirmative action in respect to students, faculty and staff and the creating of academic institutes and centers within the University.
Members of the Faculty Senate queried why Hatch's office has not published any reports summarizing the recommendations of the Provost's Advisory Council [PAC] to academic priorities during his time in the office. Former Provost Timothy O'Meara stated that the PAC should publish such a report at least once a year.
"The first three [years'] reports will be out by spring, and again I apologize for this," Hatch said.
Hatch stated that the University is committed to diversifying its faculty and students without limiting themselves to set numbers or percentages.
"We want to be proactive and creative [in attracting diverse students and faculty], but we do not try to set numeric goals," Hatch said.
Hatch stated that within the last three years the number of women faculty raised from 16 percent to 19 percent, but said he regretted that the percentage of minority faculty remains at 12 percent.
Coinciding with the increasing diversity issue is the discussion of faculty spousal hiring.
Hatch commented that the number of spousal hirings within the University has increased. He noted that the College of Science now has five couples among its faculty, and the Law School just hired its second couple within its faculty.
Although spousal hiring continues to be a success, Hatch stated that there are difficulties in finding and funding positions for perspective faculty's spouses.
"Overall, spousal hiring is immensely complicated. However, it's one of the strategies used to maintain women faculty," Hatch said.
The Faculty Senate also asked the provost to comment on faculty representation in the University governance. They said this issue was especially important in respect to the Fellows of the University's and Board of Trustees' rejection of the non-discrimination clause last year after the Faculty Senate and Academic Council voted to approve the clause.
"I believe Notre Dame faculty have a lot of representatives throughout University governance," Hatch said.
Hatch noted the faculty's involvement in selection process of deans and how the president has to concur with what the elected search committee, consisting of faculty, decides.
Hatch added that the Fellows and the members of the Board of Trustees acted within their power and both sides of the issue were presented in the London meeting.
"I know enough people involved to know that neither side dominated the meeting," Hatch said.
Hatch also commented on the role of the research professor in the University and the importance to recognize their accomplishments.
"Research faculty need more recognition … but it would be cumbersome to invent a new category for the recognition," Hatch said.
Hatch stated that the University needs to find more occasions to hire research faculty.
One of the other issues that Hatch addressed was the creation of centers and institutes within the University and how open such institutions and centers are to both internal and external review.
Hatch stated that last year the Academic Council passed some academic regulations and guildelines for institutions and centers.
"We've begun to review centers such as the Center for Environmental Studies, Kroc Institute and the Kellogg Institute," Hatch said. "However, centers and institutes are too complex for a one size fits all model."
Hatch acknowledged the importance of investing in such centers and institutes and cites the success of the Keough Center for Irish Studies as an example of this importance.
"We need to continue to invest in these centers because many times they can lead to foundation funding," Hatch said.
Hatch stated that it is important to "integrate academic and student [or campus life] affairs, while recognizing the roles of each."
The provost noted that Duke University provided a stipend for faculty who act as fellows in the residence halls. Hatch stated that this stipend has provided moderate success.
"Notre Dame's residence halls do a fabulous job at building community," Hatch said. "We want to maintain that."
In other news:
u Faculty Senate voted unanimously to send a motion and proposed an amendment to the Administration Committee. The motion dealt with amending the Academic Articles in respect to the Faculty Board on Athletics. The committee will report on the motion in March's meeting.
uThe chairperson announced in her report that there will be a Senate Forum on Academic Life on Feb. 14 in room 210 of the Center for Continuing Education. The topic of the forum will be "Arts and Letters Departments, Institutes and Collective Resources."
All News Stories for Thursday, February 10, 2000