Senate votes for independent audit

Christine Lee

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Staff and faculty fill the Kendall Hall meeting room Thursday to voice their opinions on the internal independent auditor. Photo credit: Christine Lee

The Academic Senate passed a resolution asking the Chancellor’s office for an internal review of Chico State’s transparency and shared governance.

The resolution, which passed 32-2 Thursday, will create a five-person team made up of faculty, staff and students to work with the Chancellor’s office to find an independent auditor. The auditor will review transparency, trust and communication at Chico State.

President Paul Zingg pledged to continue to support the academic affairs of the campus.

“We will renew and support, and strengthen our faculty by steps and investments we undertake on our campus, and through leadership, example and advocacy that we can provide for this system,” he said.

The resolution is a means of reuniting the campus in order to move forward, said Paula Selvester, chair of the Academic Senate, after the vote.

“This is about keeping us together and making this a healthier organization and to make sure that things aren’t personal,” she said. “They are an organizational effort to create a place that we all want to be proud of.”

Patrick Mace, academic senator, said he didn’t think the resolution had enough input from the campus community.

“Being that this is one of the most important proposals that I’ve seen in my three years on the academic senate, I think this proposal should have been vetted with the campus more,” he said. “I think it should’ve been put past all the students, all the faculty, all the staff and, to some degree, all the stakeholders we have in the community, but especially the students.”

Sylvester said the recent turnover in upper administration has caused faculty and staff to feel unsure about its leadership.

“When provost, vice presidents and upper management leave, there’s a vacuum of leadership and that often makes the campus feel there’s a lot of uncertainty like who’s going to make the decisions and what’s going to happen,” she said. “What we want to do with this is work together in a really collaborative effort led by a consultant who’s outside, who could participate in giving us direction.”

Russ Mills, academic senator, said he thinks Chico State needed more evidence before requesting an audit.

“I can appreciate that people have a gut reaction to this and they want to do something but whether this will have the desired effect with the Chancellor, I really don’t know and I think we could’ve improved it,” he said. “There needs to be some factual basis and not just opinions.”

The Academic Senate will now wait for a response from the Chancellor’s Office.

David McVicker contributed to this report.

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