Faculty Senate Resolution On Institute

Resolution
Prepared by the Executive Committee of the Senate
Passed by the Faculty Senate February 14, 2007

Whereas, on December 21, 2006, President R. Gerald Turner announced that the Presidential Library Selection Committee had informed Southern Methodist University that it was focusing on SMU as the potential site of the George W. Bush Library, Museum, and Institute (hereinafter called “the Center”), and that discussions would begin toward that end;

Whereas, the proposed Center coming to SMU could offer valuable opportunities related to research and service;

Whereas, President Bush’s representatives have proposed as part of their vision for the Center an Institute that would remain independent of SMU;

Whereas, President Turner stated in his letter to the faculty of January 5, 2007, that “the proposed Bush Institute would report to the Bush Foundation” rather than to SMU;

Whereas, since that time numerous questions, concerns, and a range of opinions have been shared among the faculty and with the administration;

Whereas, SMU’s tradition of academic freedom and open inquiry in the search for truth, embodied by the university motto, Veritas Liberabit Vos – “the truth shall set you free” – must be respected and upheld;

Therefore, be it resolved that the Faculty Senate, as the representative body for the faculty of Southern Methodist University, presents the following issues and concerns to President Turner for him to take to the Board of Trustees for their consideration and response:

The identification of the proposed Institute with SMU,

The relationship between SMU and the proposed Institute, including appropriate SMU representation on respective boards,

The procedures and standards for the appointment of fellows to the Institute,

The procedures and standards for concurrent academic appointments at SMU, such that approval and oversight for any concurrent appointment are housed within an academic department of the university, are subject to regular university standards for appointment and assessment, and are free from any inappropriate external influence,

Access to records as elaborated by Executive Order 13233, which gives former and current presidents and their representatives wide latitude in withholding records and documents,

The relationship between SMU fund-raising efforts for needed academic initiatives and fund-raising for the Center, and

Faculty inclusion in the negotiations, through the office of the Faculty Trustee.

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