Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Blanket Email by FCC Chairs to

University of Minnesota Faculty Members

Concerning Faculty Senate Furlough Vote

Dear Colleagues—
At the special Faculty Senate meeting scheduled for Thursday, March 25, 2010, President Bruininks will bring forward a motion under Section 4.5 of the Tenure Code. Briefly, that section provides that in the case of financial stringency ("financial difficulties that are unusual in extent and require extraordinary rather than ordinary responses," per Interpretation 3 of the tenure policy), a temporary reduction or postponement in compensation for faculty may be imposed only following an affirmative vote in the Faculty Senate.

For access to the university tenure policy, please see

The vote on March 25th will address ONLY the proposed 3-day furlough for faculty, which will yield a decrease in faculty compensation for the upcoming academic year (July 2010-June 2011). A simple majority "yes" vote will permit the President, upon approval of the Board of Regents, to impose a 3-day furlough on the faculty for a single year, as provided in Section 4.5 of the Tenure Code; a simple majority "no" vote will prevent him from doing so, and will presumably lead him to exercise other cost-saving options. A majority “yes” vote will NOT invoke any of the more extreme measures permitted upon a declaration of “fiscal emergency” as described in Section 11 of the Tenure Code.

Note that this vote of faculty senators does NOT affect proposed furloughs for other university employees.

Also note that the Faculty Senate is not asked to vote on declaring financial stringency, as this declaration rests within the discretion of the President.

It is our understanding that by week’s end, additional information about the way in which the proposed furloughs will be implemented—and answers to other pertinent questions about administrative decisions related to the current financial situation—will be provided by the President’s office. We urge you to use that information and this message as the basis for consultation among Faculty Senators and members of the faculty in advance of the Faculty Senate meeting on March 25th.

And finally, please feel free to reply to us or to members of the FCC should you have any additional comments or questions.


Marti Hope Gonzales
2010-11 FCC Chair

J. Michael Oakes
2010-11 FCC Vice Chair

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