The council elections are in May, but at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences there is already concern about staff representation. The Faculty Council discussed this in its meeting yesterday.
The worries are not altogether unfounded. The council – normal practice: four academic, one member of the support staff and five students – misses one academic representative because of a registration for the elections that came in too late. And now that a PhD candidate will be frequently absent in the coming period due to her research, the academic delegation will be down to just two: Ragna Zeiss and Mihaela Georgieva, both Assistant Professor. Zeiss: “So our representation will be really quite flimsy. What if someone gets sick? Will the one person then have to take decisions on behalf of all the academic staff?”
They have come to a temporary solution: another PhD candidate will attend the council meetings and partake in the deliberation in an advisory capacity (with exception of confidential issues).
Zeiss hopes that enough people put themselves up for the next election and that members will stay on longer than one term (elections for both the academic and support staff are held every two years). “Continuity can be a big advantage and we may need to think about a way to ensure this.”At the same time, she realises that there are many obstacles to this: temporary contracts, too busy, pressure to publish and so on.