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LSU Board Weighs Faculty Governance Changes

September 13, 2021

Louisiana State University's Board of Supervisors on Friday discussed and then tabled a resolution that would have nullified the Faculty Council of full-time professors, for which the university's smaller Faculty Senate is the representative body. Robert Mann, Manship Chair in Journalism at Louisiana State and a member of the Faculty Senate, told trustees during their meeting that faculty members had only learned of the resolution the night prior to the meeting, and that "this is happening only a few months after an overwhelming percentage of the Faculty Council voted for a COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The council has existed for decades, but just months after more than 700 members asserted themselves on behalf of the safety of this school and the Baton Rouge community, you are planning to abolish that council?" The Faculty Senate has also voted in favor of mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for students.

William Tate IV, university president, told Mann during the meeting that he didn't put the resolution forward himself, but that it had been proposed to "bring clarity about who we engage with," the Faculty Council or the Senate. Tate said no one wants to abolish faculty governance but, "I do think there is a need for greater clarity [as to] who is the faculty body." Still, he said, discussions about reshaping faculty governance should involve further discussions with the faculty. Mann has argued that the Council serves an important role but a different role from the Senate and that both groups benefit from shared governance.

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