On Friday, March 14, Fairfield held a general faculty meeting to discuss the Education Technology Committee’s report on the shutdown of Mentor.

While all faculty members are expected to attend general meetings, only about 145 showed, according to sources.

The meeting, held to discuss the ETC report, saw two motions come to a vote. The first motion stated: “In light of the ETC’s recommendation, the CIO Francis either ‘demonstrate the severity of Mentor’s alleged flaws in a transparent and convincing manner’ or else ‘honor Fairfield’s contract with Axiom Education, work with it to fix any remaining concerns in Mentor, and restore it to full functionality,’ and in light of the continued failure of CIO Francis to make any such demonstration, and in light of her recent statements that she will not make such a demonstration, we call upon the administration to immediately restore Mentor to full functionality.”

This motion passed with a vote of 106-35, with three abstentions.

The second motion stated “that before any major technology decision affecting academics is made by the administration, including the termination of Mentor, the Educational Technologies Committee should be consulted and given time to review the decision and receive faculty input. The only exception to this policy would be if delay of the decision would place the university at increased legal exposure.” This motion also passed in a landslide vote.

According to Dr. Michael Tucker, professor of finance, Fr. Paul Fitzgerald, S.J. was the only administrator who spoke at the meeting, in opposition to the motions voted on by faculty.

The faculty believes this issue has become a matter of a “lack of shared governance at Fairfield between administration and faculty.”

According to Tucker, the New England accreditation board outlines shared governance as an industry standard. Fairfield has been cited on this issue in the past, according to Tucker.

“This was no emergency … we’re not accepting that,” said Tucker, “This was someone crying fire in a theater.”

With spring break next week and the deadline for Mentor approaching soon after students return, faculty await the administration’s decision on the motions passed.

The office of the president was unable to be reached for a response. Chief Information Officer Paige Francis did not respond to questions emailed to her from The Mirror.

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.