Faculty Forum Papers
December 1978 - International Education: A Neglected Resource
Professor of French and
OSU Interinstitutional Faculty Senator
November 30, 1978
Recently all faculty members received a document entitled
"Faculty Lobby Proposal"
from the Lobby Activating Committee set up by the Interinstitutional
Faculty Senate. The initial response to the proposal here at OSU has
been gratifying to date. However, the greater the number of faculty
members supporting the lobbyist effort, the more effective a lobbyist
can be. Hence this plea to those of you who have not yet submitted
pledge forms to think carefully about the importance of faculty
representation in Salem.
As you should realized, faculty members have not always had a
voice in legislative matters of concern to them. While state
system, institutional, and administrative points of view have
generally been well-represented, they do not always correspond
to faculty views. During the last session with its effective
Student Lobby, faculty members were for the most part conspicuous
by their absence. In order to insure that the faculty voice is
heard, a great many faculty members have decided that the tie
has come to support a faculty lobbyist.
What can a lobbyist do that faculty members cannot do alone
A lobbyist with the help of the Association of Oregon Faculties
can ascertain the concerns of faculty members that require
action by the Executive or Legislature and coordinate united
efforts by the faculty to address common problems and common
concerns. A lobbyist can be on the spot in Salem day in and
day out; keep track of legislative committee and subcommittee
agenda and hearings, especially those called upon short notice;
and notify the Association when it seems advisable for faculty
members to present in Salem. A lobbyist can become acquainted
with individual legislators to know their interests and concerns
and to represent faculty concerns to them; press for solutions
to the problems of higher education with the appropriate elected
officials; and explain faculty views on higher education to
communication media and opinion makers.
What are the alternatives to a faculty lobbyist
bargaining is not an immediate likelihood on this campus.
Other statewide organizations which might offer lobbying
opportunities have been neither highly effective nor totally
sympathetic to faculty in the past. Short of accepting silence or
ineffective, disorganized representation, there seems to be no alternative.
Why spend money on a faculty lobbyist
? What better place to channel
your money to assure faculty input in the legislative, decision-making
arena. The cost is modest in comparison to dues in some other professional
organizations and downright cheap in terms of bargaining union expenses.
Some of you may ask whether you can afford the less than 1% of your salary
represented by the pledge amounts. At the same time you should ask yourself
what will happen in the long run if we continue to be without full representation.
As the Interinstitutional Faculty Senate recognized in proposing a faculty
lobbyist for the institutions of the OSSHE, there may be shortcomings and
difficulties in this course of action. Yet, this seems to be a necessary
and inevitable course given the context of Oregon's way of dealing with
higher education. Ponder carefully and move quickly; the moment of decision
is upon us.