History of the Ohio Faculty Senate of Community and Technical Colleges
In the early 1990s, there existed a group known as the Chancellor’s Faculty Advisory Committee. It was comprised of representatives from each university in the state of Ohio but allowed only the top 6 two-year colleges in the state to be represented on this committee, presumably assuming that the other 17 two-year colleges were not large enough or important enough to have a consistent seat at the table. The other 17 two-year colleges took turns rotating on and off the committee – four at a time for a two year period each. Additionally, the representatives to this committee were appointed by the presidents of the universities and colleges, rather than by the Faculty Senates of each.
John Buttelwerth became the representative to this committee from Cincinnati Technical College in 1992 and eventually was elected and served as Vice-Chair of the Chancellor’s Faculty Advisory Committee – the first and only time that a representative from a two-year college held an officer position on this committee.
In order to give all twenty-three two-year colleges a seat at the table and the opportunity to engage with the Board of Regents, John Buttelwerth founded the Ohio Faculty Senate of Community and Technical Colleges (Ohio Faculty Senate) or (the Senate). This was the first state-wide assembly of faculty at the college or university level that was comprised of representatives that were selected by the actual Faculty Senates of each college. A number of years later, faculty from Ohio’s universities followed the Ohio Faculty Senate’s lead and formed their own representative group named the Ohio Faculty Council.
The Ohio Faculty Senate first met on February 14th, 1996. The Senate has been meeting five to six times per year ever since working with the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellors, other Regents’ staff, and numerous other various groups and individuals to engage in countless higher education issues.
When Chancellor Rod Chu arrived in 1998, he declared that the Ohio Faculty Senate would be the official voice of all two-year faculty in the state of Ohio and immediately disbanded the Chancellor’s Faculty Advisory Committee – stating that he only wished to meet with faculty selected by the college’s Faculty Senate. The Ohio Faculty Senate has held this role of the “official voice” ever since and continues to this day – now working with its seventh chancellor, Chancellor John Carey.
The Senate is now chaired by Darrell Minor from Columbus State. It meets in the Department of Higher Education (formerly the Ohio Board of Regents) headquarters in Columbus. Their involvement over these many years in Ohio higher education has been very significant, relevant, and widespread. The Senate is responsible for networking with numerous individuals from the higher education community throughout Ohio and responding to various issues and questions on behalf of the faculty at the two-year colleges in Ohio and serves as the conduit through which all communication to the faculty at the two-year campuses passes. After twenty years of performing these duties, the Senate has developed a tremendous reputation in the higher education community in Ohio.