Bill would put limits on faculty activities

University Senate to hold on bill; committee will review legislation.

A bill put on hold in the University Senate could conflict with university professors' own conflicts of interest and time.

The legislation limits the time spent for responsibilities beyond campus to one day a week and the amount of income to $10,000 a year.

A conflict of commitment, according to the bill, would occur if external activities interfere with employees' university responsibilities. A conflict of interest would exist if employees can influence university business in matters in which they or their dependents have a financial interest.

As addressed by the bill, such conflicts, real or perceived, would occur if a full-time faculty member taught at another institution, used university resources when the university would not benefit and more.

The issue came about during a university self study. According to Vice President for Academic Affairs Warren Vander Hill, 95 percent of universities in the United States have such policies.

"The legislation has the spirit and intent to encourage outside activities," said James Pyle, the executive director of Academic Research. "We want faculty to still be ambitious in their endeavors, but outside responsibilities have become more complex."

Senator Alicia Stafford, chairman of the Student Campus Life Council, questioned the time faculty members were required to be on campus.

"Some professors only schedule classes and office hours on certain days of the week and still meet all that is required to be a good professor," she said.

Tommy Rector, senator and Student Government Association president, expressed concern about student needs.

"As students, we take pride in the university faculty being in the classroom," Rector said. "We want the faculty to educate and do research to better our degree."

Senator Joe Losco of the College of Science and Humanities said those faculty who are considered to be distinguished in their field must pursue some interests off-campus.

The $10,000 limit also stirred discussion.

"That number is going to be obsolete in five years," said senator Chris Shea, of the College of Science and Humanities.

Senator Bruce Hozeski of the department of English referred to the policy Indiana University adopted in 2000. The IU policy makes no restriction on the amount of income received from outside responsibilities.

"The IU policy is clear and shows the difference between financial and other interests," Hozeski said.

Shea suggested having two policies for each issue.

The senate decided to have a committee of four to five senators, chosen by Senate Chairman John Emert, to review the legislation. Emert said he will choose senators who represented the various concerns.


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