Faculty Senate approves two resolutions
Published: Thursday, April 12, 2007
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
The Faculty Senate approved two more resolutions Wednesday, both asking the university to disassociate itself with the proposed Bush Institute.
One resolution "affirmed the independence of the institute from SMU," said Senator Dennis Foster, who introduced it before the Senate. It calls for the institute to leave SMU's name out of its official title or charter.
The resolution passed 25-6 with three abstentions.
The other resolution asked that the institute include "separation from and independence of SMU" and should have participation from a "variety of views on the topics that it may address." The final part reaffirmed previous positions taken on the Bush Institute.
It passed 25-6 with four abstentions.
Professors Hemang Desai, Rob Frank, Jim Hopkins, Dan Orlovsky, Ulrike Schultze, Linda Sterns, Richard Nelson and Santanu Roy co-sponsored the resolution.
Faculty Senate President Rhonda Blair said a third resolution urged President Turner to avoid a contractual relationship with the institute specifically with a stipulation that SMU could also decline to have a contractual relationship with the library and museum.
The last resolution introduced included a detailed history of the Bush library saga - going as far back as 2001, when the Academic Planning Committee for the Bush Library first met - as well as thanking the faculty for its voluminous input.
Foster said the resolution didn't pass because of disagreement as to what events should be included in the history.
"I think we agreed that the history was more complex than could be adequately addressed in a brief document," he said.
SMU's Associate Vice President for Public Affairs Patti LaSalle said the university would relay the concerns of the faculty to President R. Gerald Turner.
"They have been heard, and President Turner will bring up the issues with the Library Committee," LaSalle said.
She said the Board of Trustees and Turner have indicated an appreciation to the senate for discussing library-related issues and for passing them on.
"It's a part of the dialogue that should ensue with important issues," LaSalle said.
Foster agreed that dialogue was necessary.
"It's been suggested by many that the frequent return to the details of the relationship between the institute and SMU has suggested a mistrust of President Turner," he said.
"It's important for Turner to frequently hear we are speaking, we are thinking and we are offering suggestions for how this relationship should develop," Foster added.
"Leaders need to hear frequently from those they are leading," he said.
According to senators, Wednesday's meeting wasn't as heated as previous meetings on the institute have been.
According to Senator Rick Stevens, a journalism professor, "It was in danger of becoming heated, but in the end, the spirit of collegiality won out." He also called the meeting "one more significant step in a process."