CARBONDALE — The head of one of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s major constituency groups has stepped down over what she calls a “crisis of trust.”
In an email sent out to faculty during Tuesday’s regular meeting, Kathleen Chwalisz gave up her post as president of the SIUC Faculty Senate.
Chwalisz, a professor of psychology, has been a vocal supporter of SIUC Chancellor Carlo Montemagno’s plan to restructure the university by eliminating all departments and reorganizing degree programs under new schools and colleges.
She has publicly criticized opponents of the plan, calling their tactics overly negative and disrespectful to the chancellor.
In the email, Chwalisz said shared governance requires bodies fulfilling their various roles and that the Faculty Senate’s role is advisory.
“For this shared governance relationship to function, there must be trust. We seem to be in a crisis of trust,” Chwalisz wrote in the email.
“Faculty Senate seems to be at a choice point of whether we wish to be advisory — or adversarial.
“My efforts to be collegial toward all stakeholders have made me a target of the opposition — and a potential wedge to impede the university’s progress.
“Therefore, I am taking myself out of the equation for the sake of progress.
“I’m stepping down from my role as Faculty Senate President in order for the Senate to move forward without this unnecessary distraction.”
Chwalisz has over one year left in her term as senator and said she would “continue to work hard to represent faculty” during that time.
Faculty Senate executive officers serve one-year terms. Chwalisz was elected president on April 25, 2017.
Ahmad Fakhoury, previously vice president, will serve in Chwalisz’s role until an organizational meeting on April 24.