Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Committees built to suit 

The other day I reported on a committee that gave different veto rights to its membership depending on "protected class membership". The union is at it again. One of the items in the anti-Semitism case settlement -- no, we haven't forgotten this, we're just doing our research -- is for SCSU to
establish a Jewish Studies and Resources Center and hire a coordinator/Professor of Jewish studies with .5 teaching responsibilities and shall fund the activities of the center and salary and benefits for the position for five years at $100,000 to $125,000 per year.
The Faculty Senate voted yesterday
to create a search committee for the Jewish Cultural Center [sic] Director of five faculty members, three to be selected by the JFA [Jewish Faculty Association] and two to be selected by the faculty as a whole.
Three of five to be selected by a subset of the faculty identified as members of a particular group which is not a body of the union or the Faculty Senate. It's certainly understandable that JFA members and other Jewish members of the SCSU community would be interested in this, but that does not excuse stacking the committee. The settlement states that "[T]he purpose of the center is to provide coordination of activities relating to Jewish heritage and history for faculty, staff, students, and community." So why not have Jewish students or staff or community members on the committee? And there's nothing to indicate to which department this faculty member will be attached, how that department will be involved in the hiring process, or how the courses for this professor to teach will be placed into the curriculum.