Senate president Burris studies academic workplace
a sociologist, Professor Beverly Burris studies the academic
workplace. As president of Faculty Senate, shes trying
to improve it.
have experienced dramatic and rapid change. Nationally, they
receive less from state government and more from tuition increases.
Public institutions have experienced fiscal crises, says
she says, has been a decline in the number of tenure-track faculty
positions. Fully 75 percent of university faculties were
tenure track in 1970. In 2002 its only about 50 percent.
When you factor in graduate instructors, then it is less than
half, she says.
result is that faculty are less inclined to be involved in faculty
want to revitalize the Faculty Senate and get more people involved.
Im convinced that with the dramatic and rapid changes
in higher education, its necessary for them to get involved.
I want faculty to want to be on the Faculty Senate, says
the corporatization of universities and the reliance of institutions
on corporate dollars as helping to create a shift toward corporate
style management in higher education.
nationally are seeing more of a top-down, CEO style of management
rather than shared governance. We want to move back toward shared
governance, she says.
believes faculty should be integrally involved in the search
process for UNMs next president. We forwarded 12
names to the Presidents Office. They selected three names
at the October 8 Regents meeting, she says.
passed in Septembers Faculty Senate meeting calls for
a candidates forum where all the UNM presidential finalists
will be invited to speak and answer questions to an audience
of individuals from the campus and the community.
Senate is also calling for a faculty regent. I recently
attended a meeting of Faculty Senate presidents from all of
New Mexicos four-year institutions. The resolution put
forth by our faculty has passed that group as well, says
Burris. Ultimately, adding an additional regent to the other
institutions and replacing a community regent with a faculty
regent at UNM, must go to the state legislature and then to
the voters to decide.
faculty is the heart of the university, says Burris, and
a university cannot be strong without a strong faculty. Many
faculty remain at an institution 20 to 30 years. Students, administrators
and regents are more transient populations. The faculty tend
to stay and as a result, they know and understand the institution.
Senate Government Relations Committee will be involved in lobbying
on the compensation issue for faculty and staff.
lose our best faculty as we fall further and further behind
our peer institutions. Those who leave are productive and mobile
and have offers out there. This could result in a decline in
the institution, she says.
adds that losing valuable faculty has a deleterious effect on
graduate programs at UNM.
good graduate students come because they want to work with specific
faculty members who are well known in their field, she
a full professor, has been at UNM since 1986. A native of Houston,
she earned her undergraduate degree in English with a minor
in sociology at Rice. She earned both her masters and
doctorate at New York University.
in Albuquerque with 13-year-old daughter Julia, Burris recently
was invited to apply at Southern Methodist University in Dallas,
thought about it for about 30 seconds and decided I didnt
want to live in Texas again, she said.
also served as president elect.
two years has real advantages. You can accomplish much more,