BSU faculty members double down on grievances

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 5:28 PM EST
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - The now dissolute faculty senate at Bluefield State University voted no confidence in the entire administration at the school. Among the top grievances from former faculty senate members at BSU is the removal of the faculty senate. A BSU spokesperson says the school is following state code, which allows them to adopt an assembly model for faculty feedback and recommendations. However, the former senate faculty members we spoke with say the assembly model won’t work as intended and it’s why BSU leadership is adopting it.

“We brought a lot of issues, a lot of concerns. You know a lot of recommendations, suggestions to the president and the board that all fell on deaf ears. So I think they would prefer a faculty assembly model because they know no one will speak up. No one’s going to be willing to put themselves out there and they honestly don’t seem to want to hear from the faculty,” said former Faculty Senate Chair, Dr. Amanda Matoushek.

Once discussions of a change in faculty input started, these former faculty senate members say their vote of no confidence triggered real blow back.

“Chairman Cole said in his statement that if faculty don’t like the way things are going at Bluefield State, we should just leave. Instead of trying to address the real issues that we have here. He would rather just see faculty go somewhere else and they’ll find other people,” said Matoushek.

When it comes to changes to tenure, they say the new post tenure review system eliminates permanent tenure and review is something they’re used to.

“Our faculty already do that. We don’t need to be reviewed to be doing the best job that we do. We already do annual reviews with our deans,” said Matoushek.

“Our students evaluate us every semester. Our dean does an evaluation of us annually, which is more that we can say is done about our president,” said former faculty senate member, Carol Cofer.

While the changes are still underway Cofer says the West Virginia Education Association is looking into their concerns.

Both Cofer and Matoushek say the president has admitted to not meeting with the faculty senate regularly and they claim state code requires those meetings, adding it’s another contributing reason for their no confidence votes.