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Faculty Senate Chairs' Announcements Academic Year 2021-2022

May 14, 2021

Fellow Bengals,

We did it. We got through the last year and a half. We’ve suffered, stressed, and sacrificed – all in the name of our students and out of dedication to our community. And for that I, and all of Faculty Senate, am eternally grateful and humbled.

 For those who don’t know me, or who know me only through the Faculty Senate Updates over the past year, my name is Jasun Carr. I am an Associate Professor in Communication, Media, & Persuasion – and I’m also honored to be your Faculty Senate Chair for 2021-22.

 In my time here at ISU, I’ve already seen a lot – deep divides between admin and faculty; a changing of the guard in the Offices of the President and Provost; furloughs, budget cuts, and program reductions; and, most recently, direct attacks on academic freedom from the Idaho State Legislature. And I know, from conversations with those who have been around longer and those in different units, that these barely scratch the surface of the issues we face as faculty.

 I also know that my time in this role is brief, my power is limited, and my actions may, at times, not be what everyone would like to see. However, I (and the entirety of the 2021-22 Faculty Senate) have a responsibility to all of you to do our best to represent your interests and to be your voice in discussions with administration at both the college and university level, as well as with our sister institutions across Idaho.

 With that in mind, I am making “Communication” the focal point of the 2021-22 academic year – with the understanding and expectation that communication must be a 2-way street. Too many of the issues we face are caused or exacerbated by confusion, lies and disinformation – both intentional and benign. With this in mind, we will be continuing some existing initiatives as well as implementing some new ones.

  1. Faculty Senate Updates: Faculty Senate will continue to send regular updates on matters relating to faculty life and university initiatives. In addition, we are exploring ways to communicate more often, as well as how to best provide a repository of previous messages.
  2. Regular Meetings with Deans: Over the last year, senators from each college have held regular meetings with their respective Deans – sharing information and updates, as well as identifying areas of concern or conflict within units and across the university. These meetings have been beneficial, and will continue moving forward.
  3. Regular Chairs Council Meetings: To better coordinate the efforts of the councils under Faculty Senate, we will be reestablishing regular meetings of all the Faculty Senate council chairs.
  4. Increased Presence and Availability: In the spirit of increased communication, I will be holding regular “Senate Office Hours” – and will encourage other senators to do the same. We will also explore options for faculty to raise questions, issues, or concerns indirectly through an online form or similar system in the hopes of providing additional channels to engage with your Faculty Senate.

If there are other ideas that you have to facilitate/improve communication, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or your local senators.

And please: Have a safe, relaxing, and rejuvenating summer! 

-D. Jasun Carr, Ph.D., Faculty Senate Chair 2021-2022