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First all-faculty meeting in over 15 years convenes on graduate workers’ strike

For the first time since November 2005, faculty members petitioned the Executive Committee of the Bloomington Faculty Council to convene the full Bloomington faculty for a meeting.

(Devan Ridgway, WTIU/WFIU News)

More than 700 Indiana University faculty members, who say they are frustrated with the administration’s refusal to negotiate with student workers, deliberated and voted on three resolutions at a meeting Monday night.

One of the measures would ensure shared governance, allowing faculty along with the provost to supervise graduate workers. Another resolution would make it so graduate workers couldn’t be fired for striking.

The third resolution encourages cooperation between graduate workers and the administration going forward.

READ MORE: IU faculty members hold tense pre-meeting on labor dispute with IU graduate students 

732 faculty members were present, and 800 have to be in attendance in person to ratify the resolutions. Because of that, the resolution will now be sent via email to the campus’ approximately 2,000 faculty. They will vote on the measures and could ratify them once the votes are in. 

“I thought it was a respectful display of shared governance amongst our faculty,” professor of music and president of the BFC, Marietta Simpson said. “Lots of people clearly who are passionate on both sides of the issue. But I think what's a very true statement is all of us support our graduate students.”

The faculty did not take a vote of no confidence in the provost. Simpson said that is because such a resolution is not currently in accordance with BFC’s constitution.

READ MORE: Graduate student government votes 'no confidence' in IU provost

Monday night’s meeting was the first time since November 2005 faculty members petitioned the executive committee of BFC to convene the full Bloomington faculty for a meeting.

Chair of Germanic Studies, Benjamin Robinson is optimistic about next steps.

“What makes it so extraordinary is that it was an expression of our trusts, our faith, that the graduate students are leading,” Robinson said. “And the administration is leading in competently and that's a strong thing from us. I think that means a lot.”

Indiana University spokesperson Chuck Carney declined to comment for this story.

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