EDITORIAL: Faculty should have spot on Board of Trustees

Bill facing unnecessary opposition from administration.

Tuesday, the Indiana House passed a bill that would create a new, non-voting member on the Ball State Board of Trustees: a faculty member.

The bill still faces a considerable journey before it receives ultimate acceptance, and the Ball State administration, along with other universities, has already expressed its opposition to the legislation.

Yet, a faculty member on the board would not have the dire effects forewarned by opponents. True, there is the potential for a conflict of interest on the part of the faculty trustee. This is unavoidable. By making the faculty member non-voting, however, this conflict seems to be moot.

The faculty member will be able to contribute more to discussions, and he or she will be privy to executive sessions, but ultimately, the trustee would have no say in the vote. Even if he or she is biased, the other board members can choose not to listen.

This does not mean the trustees would be out of touch with faculty issues without a faculty member, but the board could be better connected with one. Many members of the board do not live in Muncie and are busy with their own jobs and lives. A faculty trustee, though, could foster daily connections with professors, deans and department chairs.

As students, caught up in our own cares and concerns, it can be easy to forget about the voice of the faculty. Yet they too have substantial stakes in the university's future, and they will still be around in another four or five years.

They deserve the representation.


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