NU faculty meet to discuss economic condition of university

Northwestern faculty members met Tuesday in Swift Hall, 2029 Sheridan Rd., to discuss the academic economy, the future of university governance and the open access publication debate.

Approximately 100 faculty members were joined via videocast by about 20 faculty members on the Chicago campus for the meeting, one of two each year, said Diana Snyder, administrative coordinator for the General Faculty Committee.

University Provost Daniel Linzer gave an overview of the general financial situation at NU, offering possible actions based on potential economic conditions. He also stressed that faculty members would not be laid off, Snyder said.

“It was an informational session about where money in general goes in the university and what we can expect in the future,” she said.

The faculty members also discussed possible changes to the faculty governance system, including structural changes to membership and rules, Snyder said.

Mariann Burright, the scholarly communications librarian at University Library, presented information on open access publication, which refers to allowing public access to publications online “without financial, legal or technological barriers.”

Several institutions are considering open access, according to the presentation. In the near future, federal agencies might require open access, and the number of open access journals is increasing.

“Northwestern wants to be ahead of the game,” she said. “We want to make sure that we’re going to address this in a timely manner.”

– KIRSTEN SALYER