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Utica University Board of Trustees censured by Faculty Senate

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The Utica University union is censuring the Board of Trustees over the proposed cuts to major offerings.

UTICA, N.Y. – The Faculty Senate at Utica University issued a public censure against the Board of Trustees on Wednesday to express its disapproval of the recent review of the academic offerings at the institution.

The AAUP-Utica union says the Board issued a resolution in August mandating a program portfolio review, but violated the collective bargaining agreement by not involving the Curriculum Committee in the process.

The union filed a grievance on Jan. 10 about the University’s failure to follow the Faculty Senate procedures while moving forward with the program review.

Based on the review of current programs, Utica University President Laura Casamento presented recommendations to the Board of Trustees last week to eliminate more than a dozen majors with low enrollment. 

Then on Wednesday, the Faculty Senate voted 108 to 15 to publicly censure the Board and Chairperson Bob Brvenik for failing to involve the Curriculum Committee.

The censure document states, in part, “there is no apparent intention to include the Curriculum Committee in the academic program portfolio review process nor any acknowledgment that ‘the faculty has primary responsibility for such fundamental areas as curriculum…’”

The censure is a collective judgment against what they call the sidestepping of shared governance and proper curricular processes.

The university is accepting public comments on the academic portfolio recommendations through Feb. 2. For more information on how to provide feedback, click here.

See the full censure document below:

Utica University released a response to the censure Thursday afternoon, saying, in part, "The Board acknowledges the difficult decisions that all of this requires, and understands that decisions may cause anger and angst. However, no decisions have been made as of yet, and the Board struggles to comprehend a vote to censure the Board around decisions that have neither been made nor, for that matter, even taken up. Such an action inexplicably and indefensibly suggests the Board’s upcoming deliberations are a fait accompli, and we incontrovertibly reject that notion."

Read the response in full below:

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