The Faculty Senate unanimously approved a change to the Senate’s constitution Thursday that will allow Senate members to decide on issues through an Internet voting system.
The new constitution article states that Senate members would have to have a face-to-face discussion on the particular issue before voting online.
Several Senate members said the new tool will make the Senate more efficient because issues that do not get solved during the monthly session could be cleared up electronically later.
“An issue that is discussed at the Senate that is not finished due to missing information can be finished by voting on the issue through the e-balloting system within a reasonable amount of time,” said Nadia Lahutsky, who chairs the Faculty Senate.
Lahutsky said the biggest advantage of the new measure is that participation in the decision-making process is not limited for those Senate members who cannot attend the session.
Carolyn Cagle, Faculty Senate member, said the Senate will spend less time on issues that do not need a broad discussion.
“Voting online will improve the efficiency of the Senate,” Cagle said.
Peggy Watson, Faculty Senate’s past-chairwoman, said the idea came from faculty members who suggested voting online as a way to include members that couldn’t attend the sessions.
Watson said a disadvantage of voting online is that discussions might be less effective.
“The worry is that the Faculty Senate cannot get rid of discussion because it is important to discuss the issues to get the point of view of everyone,” Watson said.
Lahutsky said Senate members would be able to vote online next school year after the Board of Trustees reviews the measure.
The Faculty Senate also recommended the creation of the proposed Budget Advisory Committee that will give a voice to faculty, staff and students about the annual school budget. The recommendation will be passed on to the Board and ultimately to Chancellor Victor Boschini for approval.