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Fakheri: University Senate to meet online on Thursday, program prioritizations are not on the agenda

With almost all offices and departments of Bradley University now operating remotely, the University Senate president Ahmad Fakheri confirmed that the body will assemble via Zoom, an online video conference program, at 3:10 p.m. on Thursday, March 26, as scheduled. 

The link to the video conference call was distributed to the senators. 

Fakheri, the chairperson and a professor of mechanical engineering, said the senate body will need to act on some “time-sensitive curricular and other issues” on Thursday, and the meeting will also serve as a test round for the new online format. 

“Is it deliberative enough; is it an acceptable format; and are there other alternatives? These are the questions that we will also discuss in the Thursday meeting,” Fakheri said. “Depending on how this meeting goes, the same format may be utilized by the Senate committees, to get their work done. But undoubtedly, there would be some time before the committee work ramps up to its normal levels.” 

Fakheri said that the three program prioritization motions are not one the agenda and will not be discussed in the meeting. 

The motions include the elimination of all physics degree programs and the elimination of three out of the six degree programs in family and consumer science department, both were sponsored by the University Strategic Planning Committee; and a motion to eliminate all degree programs in the theater department, sponsored by university president Gary Roberts as a member of the senate.

The three motions were originally scheduled to be voted on in February’s meeting, until the senate body realized a procedural step was not followed and delayed the voting to March 26, and only now, to be further delayed. 

Fakheri said the purpose of the University Senate and the shared-governance system is even more important during this extraordinary time. 

“Now more than ever, faculty, students, staff and the administrators need to work collaboratively to deal with our increasing challenges,” Fakheri said. “I would not be surprised if the Senate soon has to deal with even more far-reaching issues, and we need to maintain continuity of our processes and structures.”

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