Dear Alma| Help for “Befuddled”

Dear Alma

Dear Alma,

I hear that the Academic Senate will soon receive a report from a special ad-hoc committee on compensation and benefits.  But, the Senate already has a committee charged with reviewing compensation and benefits.   What’s with all the multiplying?   If the Senate Executive Committee gave birth to a new committee, why didn’t we get a new baby announcement?  Should I send a present?

Signed — Befuddled Senator


Dear Befuddled,

It’s true that there’s been a lot of committee reproduction in the Senate and in the case of compensation and benefits, twins!

It’s true that there already is a standing committee on faculty and staff compensation and benefits.   My guess is that the Senate Executive Committee and the Administration have created this new offspring to make it look like SOMETHING IS REALLY HAPPENING, all caps.

Here’s the important thing: the Senate and its Executive Committee can investigate compensation and benefits as much as it wants to, but the Senate can only offer advice to the Administration and the Board of Trustees.  The Senate cannot bargain on behalf of faculty for better salaries or merit pools, or for benefits to match our peers. Only a union may act collectively on behalf of faculty on those matters.

Love, Alma

P.S. If you don’t know the SEC all that well, there’s really no need to send a gift.

Published by Susan Davis

I teach in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois.

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