Should SFA Join a System? Survey Provides Faculty's Answer

SFA Faculty Senate Chair Dr. Brian Oswald is overseeing a survey on probably the most controversial topic in Nacogdoches, should the university join a system, rather than maintain its independent status? Ten former senate chairs made the request. Oswald granted it, reluctantly. Oswald smiled and said, "Yeah, it does rattle cages a little bit when you do a survey like this."

Yet 65% of the over 500 faculty members responded. Fifty two percent want SFA in a system. Just over 28% say no. It doesn't matter to the rest. It's all a matter of opinion. Oswald said, "You talk to the people that went into a system they may be saying, 'Oh yeah, it was great.' Other ones say, 'No, no change in salary. I still do my job, everything is the same. All we have is another level of bureaucracy. Other ones say,'Yeah, having the name recognition helps me get research grants, so there are no facts to do that. It's all a perception."

The survey also asks, which system? Almost 40% favor Texas Tech. A distant second is Texas A & M with Texas State, University of Texas and University of Houston following.

The third part of the survey, and perhaps the most significant is being compiled. It asks for a narrative response to why SFA should join or not join a system? One question not on the survey, but on a lot of people's minds is will the survey make any difference? Will regents respond or just ignore it? A faculty that's concerned about low pay and morale hope not.

Regents will hear the final results in April. A university has to receive legislative approval before joining a system. With such an overwhelming response it's clear the faculty has expressed their opinion.