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Cal U. jettisons University Forum

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By Amanda Dolasinski
Thursday, June 6, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

A forum designed to enhance communication between California University of Pennsylvania and the public was eliminated Wednesday night.

Despite pleas to table the motion for continued discussion, the university's Council of Trustees voted to abolish University Forum. The council had received complaints about the forum's inability to function as it was designed.

“I think we're being precipitous here,” Jerry Spangler, a trustee said. “There's nothing to replace it.”

Spangler, along with trustees Michele Mandell and Thomas Uram, voted down the motion to abolish the forum.

The forum, which was set up 13 years ago, was designed to enable participation in the decision-making processes of the university for faculty members, students, administrators, staff and alumni. The forum met monthly.

Geraldine Jones, interim president, recommended the trustees eliminate the forum. Jim Davis, a trustee, supported her proposal.

“She's the closest to the issue,” Davis said. “She tells me it's not functioning as designed. I feel comfortable in supporting her decisions.”

There are other ways to offer input into university decisions, university spokeswoman Wendy Mackall said.

The Provost's Council, Dean's Council and Chairs' Forum are other options, she said.

Since its inception in 2000, the university forum has passed 95 motions. No motions were passed in the 2007-2008 academic year, when the forum had only three public meetings.

Among the motions passed by the forum over the past 13 years: the university president must address and answer questions of the student body at a regular student convocation each semester, university administration must design a recycling program for campus and academic records, including transfer and associate degree credits, must count toward granting honors.

Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6220 or adolasinski@tribweb.com.

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