MU Faculty Council Discusses Faculty Voting Rights

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COLUMBIA - The MU Faculty Council discussed expanding the university's definition of "faculty" to include non-tenure-track, or NTT, faculty in a meeting Thursday afternoon.

Stephen Montgomery-Smith is a math professor at the university and chairs the committee that drafted the propsal.

"They would have rights to vote on certain decisions, where faculty make decisions. So if there was some campus-wide vote to change the collective rules, then they would be included in that vote," said Montgomery-Smith.

About 36 percent of full-time assistant, associate and full professors employed at MU are not allowed to vote in decisions affecting university policies. That amounts to about 716 ranked NTT faculty.

Non-tenure-track faculty members are hired under one- or three-year contracts and do not have the potential to receive tenure.

Montogmery-Smith says his main concern with the change is that NTT faculty might hesistate to voice unpopular opinions for fear of losing thier job. However, he even current faculty succumb to that pressure.

"I have seen tenured faculty really give in to that pressure way too much. And to some extent I am very disappointed with the tenured faculty. And I am hoping that NTT will do a better more involved, be more engaged," said Montgomery-Smith.

If the faculty council approves the proposal, the UM Board of Curators will make the final decision on faculty voting rights.