After pushback from professors, the members of the University of Wyoming’s Board of Trustees and Faculty Senate reached an agreement on the board’s proposed changes to institutional regulations, the university announced. The board will vote on the updated regulations in July, but they’re expected to pass.
Notably, the board has eliminated a controversial proposal that would have allowed it to change or amend university regulations “at any regular or special meeting of the trustees without prior formal notice.” Another regulation about financial exigency now affords new protections to tenured faculty members, in that they would lose their positions only after non-tenure-track professors lost theirs.
Laurie Nichols, university president, said in a statement that the “expertise and input of everyone in the [Wyoming] community are crucial as we make decisions, and I’m pleased to see that this commitment is maintained in the proposed regulations that emerged from that very process of consultation.”
Still, some professors -- even within the Faculty Senate -- have concerns about the deal. Donal O’Toole, professor of veterinary science and incoming Faculty Senate chair, was not part of the subcommittee that negotiated with the board. He told the Casper Star-Tribune that extended-term, non-tenure-track professors support tenured and tenure-track professors in many ways. Yet they're not protected in the new regulatory language regarding program reorganization, he said. “There’s a lot of kind of complacency” in the university’s announcement, he added.