Thursday, April 12, 2012

Faculty survey

This a quick plug for the survey being done by the Faculty Senate's "Faculty Status and Welfare" committee.  The survey is easy enough to take, and will as it happens introduce you to the Desire2Learn software package we will all need to learn to love as it replaces Blackboard next semester. It is not at all difficult to access the survey, even if you've never signed on to Desire2Learn before (as I hadn't) and the survey itself is as painless as you need it to be.  It basically consists of a couple of open ended questions which you can answer at length (my response--surprise!) or very briefly, and a single multiple choice question on morale. Results are to be confidential, something the software should guarantee (you may leave your department name blank to assist in anonymity should you so choose).

Here's the link:  Below the break, the email SIUC faculty should have received from Becky Armstrong.

TO ALL SIU FACULTY -- Make your voice heard on the rapid changes going on…
The Faculty Status and Welfare (FSW) Committee, a sub-committee of Faculty Senate, in the interests of increasing lines of communication campus-wide about recent and impending changes, have put together a quick survey to give all faculty the chance to (anonymously) share your thoughts with the rest of the campus community.
It need only take a few minutes, or as long as you’d like.

It would be especially valuable to provide campus constituency groups and decision-makers with your thoughts and concerns about your status and welfare as faculty, especially in relation to real or perceived changes such as:
·      centralization of hiring decisions
·      the perceived replacement of tenure track lines with non-tenure track lines
·      faculty/student ratio
·      level of university support, including travel funding
AND how these and other issues affect:
·      workload
·      the tenure process
·      morale
The survey is confidential, and your name will not be associated with your comments. It will be available until MIDNIGHT on Friday, April 20th. The FSW Committee will go through the comments and thematize them into a report that will be shared with the entire campus community.

To participate in this survey, you will need to sign into Desire2Learn, which you can do at using your regular Network ID and password. Once there, you will see under “My Courses” a link to “Faculty Senate 2102.” Click on this link, and then on the “Surveys” link on the black toolbar in the upper right corner. Then click on the link to “Faculty Status and Welfare Survey S’12.”

[If you do not yet have an activated network ID (or have lost or forgotten it), you can activate yours here: . Once you have activated your Network ID, please contact JP Dunn <>  so that he can add your Network ID to the system.]

 Please report any technical problems to JP Dunn <>  and Lisa Brooten <>.

Thanks, and we hope to hear from you!

Faculty Status and Welfare Committee, Faculty Senate


  1. I took the survey & also encourage others to do the s

    Obviously results of the survey won't be taken seriously by the Administration......if they cared about faculty welfare, last fall would have have been entirely different.....

  2. Exactly. This is all just show and will not affect "business as usual."

  3. Shows can make a difference. And, no, that's not only because I've just returned from The Hunger Games. The willingness of the supposedly supine faculty senate to do such a survey is praiseworthy, it seems to me (a member of said body--though I had nothing to do with this survey).

  4. Not really, Dave. It is all "bread and circus." HUNGER GAMES is a rip-off from BATTLE ROYALE and is really a Marine recruiting film promoting teen violence with a PG 13 certificate as opposed to that more serious film on cyber bullying which has been refused the same certificate. Be ready for the next episode when the Donald Sutherland character (a composite of his Straker from the SALEM'S LOT remake and Mr.Barrett from PRIDE AND PREJUDICE) plots his revenge. The film is as dumb as the recent SIUC radio ads suggesting that freshmen can participate in high power research. "Shows" are often meant to distract people from the real threats around them and this Senate "show" is little different. Has the administration ever listened to faculty on anything over the past few years?

  5. Well, Hunger Games isn't exactly original, great art (among numerous other things, the Roman references are thoroughly scrambled, though at least in the film they did a nice job with Seneca's involuntary suicide). Nor is this faculty survey the equivalent of the [pick your favorite successful color] Revolution. But if we say we want shared governance, then my thinking is that we need to keep speaking up, including in official channels. What's the alternative? Wait around for an administration that "listens to" faculty? If no one speaks, save in blog comments, there's no one to listen to in the first place.

    And of course "listening to" isn't the height of shared governance, as you know--it's more how it is currently defined. Administrators throw out some vague plan, then get lots of faculty comments, then go ahead and draft their plan. "Consultation" means soliciting input. Real shared governance would mean faculty don't just comment on plans but help shape them. I'll be curious to see what the final "program review" plan looks like. We'll I was irate that the administration did not subject their final plan--the first plan with a real mechanism for review--to faculty oversight, I'm told that the first wave of faculty comments made a real difference. We'll see.

  6. I made an analogy the other night, comparing the Faculty Senate to the Imperial Senate in Star Wars. The more I thought about it, the more the pieces/players seemed to fit....

  7. I hope the results of the survey will be shared with more than just the administration. As I answered the questions, I became curiouser and curiouser (thanks Alice) about the likely feedback from the rest of the campus.

    That said, I have to wonder about the distribution of the survey. Using a system that is not yet used by most on the campus (including, apparently, access glitches with the Springfield campus) doesn't seem like the best way to reach everyone. I also wonder if likely or reluctant respondents trust their feedback will be kept anonymous on a system that requires signing in with their University network account. Unfortunately, these concerns with the mechanism will color the final results. If you don't like the results (whether administration or disgruntled faculty) you will doubt that the instrument allowed for accurate feedback.

    But, you know, at least somebody asked. Finally.


I will review and post comments as quickly as I can. Comments that are substantive and not vicious will be posted promptly, including critical ones. "Substantive" here means that your comment needs to be more than a simple expression of approval or disapproval. "Vicious" refers to personal attacks, vile rhetoric, and anything else I end up deeming too nasty to post.