skip page navigationOregon State University
OSU Home.|Calendar.|Find Someone.|Maps.|Site Index.

Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate » Faculty Forum Papers

Faculty Forum Papers

December 1978 - International Education: A Neglected Resource By

Sally Malueg
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? Collective 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.