ASUWT update: It’s all about the process
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012 16:04
During the senate meeting there were many concerns over how the open selection process was carried out. Since there is no vice president and the interim vice president was a candidate for the position, another ASUWT official, the Legislative Liaison Eric Lint, was selected for the hiring committee by President Ally Molloy. Then, Molloy chose Jonathan Bowers, the former ASUWT President, as a student at large to sit on the committee. The decision of having both Lint and Bowers serve on the hiring committee was criticized by several members of the Senate.
Hyatt said, “Who should be on an interviewing committee is subject.” He also noted that, “I’m not descenting because I don’t think Morgan’s qualified.” Hyatt would like to see a change to the governing documents.
Bowers felt the Senate didn’t trust him, Lint, and Molloy to make a good decision regarding who would be the best candidate to serve the students. According to the open selection process, it is up to the president to pick all of the people to the hiring committee. Another point of contention that came up during the meeting was that the committee selected by Molloy represented either a certain amount of bias or lacked a certain amount of intimate knowledge necessary to making an informed decision.
Many felt that as an former ASUWT President, Bowers shouldn’t have served on the committee, and that this was an inappropriate choice. They didn’t feel he was student-at-large enough, yet at the same time there were criticisms that Lint did not spend enough time in the office to really understand what the needs of the Senate were from the vice president.
The question of whether this was really about process also popped into several people’s minds. Bowers said that how the Senate responded was “prioritizing personal preference over student service.” Why did the senate reject a bill to confirm a Vice President candidate if the candidate was in fact qualified and would do the job of serving the students? Does it really come down to process, and is process enough of a reason to reject a bill despite the committee’s unanimous decision?
Also according to the By-Laws, the Interim Vice President Jaime Toyoda presided over the staff meeting, which arguably created an interesting position for her to be in, because she was the other candidate for the position of vice president and her position could have been affected by the bill and what it was specifically addressing.
Former ASUWT President Jonathan Bowers said, “Jaime should not have been chairing that part of the meeting and has a financial interest.” He also noted that “process was not valid discussion. The discussion about the process should not have been relevant. The bill was only to confirm Morgan.”
The Senate wanted to be involved in the process of hiring the new vice president. They wanted to attend the hiring committee meetings. Although it isn’t stated anywhere in the By-Laws that the Senate is required to attend those meetings, Molloy extended as a courtesy an opportunity to sit in on those meetings.
According to conversation from the meeting, she had promised an e-mail (to go out 24 hours in advance), but because of the short timeline for the position to be filled she was only able to send a text several hours in advance of the meetings. One or both of the meetings were scheduled on a day and time that the Senators had class, so they didn’t attend the hiring committee meetings. One of the contentions against the bill was because select members of the Senate felt the promise of being able to attend those meetings and be involved in the process wasn’t kept.
ASUWT Senator Niko Ahkiong said that, “If there was a problem with one of the committee members [referring to Hyatt and his opposition to the bill] then obviously there was a problem.”
Process is key, because, as Toyoda says, “process determines what’s going to be put on the bill.”
ASUWT Senator Elizabeth Pierini said, “It doesn’t seem unnecessary or unproductive to do it right. We want to get the process right. We’re differing opinions and we represent different views on campus.” Pierini also supported Hyatt’s decision to descent stating, “I really place stock in Tim,” and when Tim descented on the bill Pierini followed. She said that the Senate wanted to be involved because the vice president is their boss and they wanted to be part of the process in choosing who their next boss might be.