Tech recently held its third Faculty Senate meeting of the Fall 2023 semester on Sept. 25, the format of which was centered around a Q&A style discussion with President Phil Oldham.
The Sept. 25 meeting was made up of 42 out of 50 present senators; 8 of 50 currently serving senators were not present. At the beginning of the meeting, Oldham made some opening remarks and proceeded to address the list of concerns submitted by the committee in question format, to which Oldham would be expected to help shed some light.
There were eight primary topics of concern submitted by the committee, topics including but not limited to campus construction and parking.
The first question posed by the committee regarding the issue of ongoing campus construction was about completion times for current building projects. Oldham responded by providing separate responses for each of the current building projects, stating the Ashraf Islam building is scheduled for completion in early April, the Peachtree project is on schedule, though a completion date was not mentioned and the area may be closed around Christmas for paving installation.
Oldham also states that Johnson Hall’s design is complete and is in the fundraising process to meet targets, and the ACME building is in its final design stages.
Following Oldham’s responses, an anonymous senator went on to express further concerns about student movement across campus, asking, “Are there liability concerns for those crossing the railroad from Foundation, west towards campus?”
Oldham responded by saying, “Working to secure safe passage there has been difficult as it requires partnering. The university is working with TDOT to get a roundabout at the Willow Avenue/University Drive intersection, which will help slow cars and aid pedestrian safety. The university is also working with the city to make sure Dixie Avenue is safe for pedestrians.
Further into the meeting, senators’ concerns regarding the campus-wide parking problem were addressed. One senator raised the considerable question, “Many faculty, staff, and students have no choice in how they get to work or school and must afford a parking pass. Has an accounting analysis been done on the fees?”
Oldham responded to this with what could be derived as an affirmative statement, simply stating, “Funds are analyzed often.” However, Oldham offered no further specifics or details in reference to the accounting and funding analysis process, or the results of said analysis in reference to the high necessity of parking passes.