Thomas resumes Brown Bag dialogue
November 17, 2017
Filed under News, Showcase
Close Modal Window
Hang on for a minute…we’re trying to find some more stories you might like.
Close Modal Window
Email This Story
With aspirations to keep communication open amongst faculty, staff and students, Western Illinois University president Jack Thomas hosted his second Brown Bag Lunch Conversation, promoting an open forum and honest communication within the Western community.
“Brown Bag conversations provide us with another informal opportunity to communicate,” Thomas said. “I invited members of our University community, as well as our local community, to bring their lunch to the Brattain Lounge on Nov. 15 and enjoy a casual hour of conversation and fellowship.”
The theme for this week’s Brown Bag conversations was communication and a desire to create a partnership between the University union and administration in regards to financial reporting.
“I was wondering if it would be possible for representatives from the Union and the Administration to meet ahead of time to present a set of generally agreed upon figures that would be informative to faculty members,“ said English professor Bill Knox.
Thomas responded, agreeing that faculty members play a pivotal role at the university and will be essential during budget negotiations.
“I’m sure we can, I don’t see any problem in doing that,” Thomas said. “We had our budget director come to the faculty senate to talk about the budget, who has also come to those sessions in the Union, which is the faculty union, and the university administration and presented them financial figures before.”
Moving forward, another topic of discussion that Thomas spearheaded was the financial reserve and how to properly distribute the money.
“There were times when the state did not come through with funding. Every institution, every business should have a reserve,” Thomas said. “We had it in place so we could float the state. There were times before the budget impasse that the state didn’t come through. We had to use that reserve.
According to Thomas, the nature of his Brown Bag dialogues is to inform the general public and concerned members of the community and allow self-expression. Thomas also stressed the importance of payroll and how detrimental it is to the University’s reputation when payroll is not met.
“We have an obligation to meet payroll, and when you do not meet payroll, that really says a whole lot about your institution,” Thomas said “If you don’t get a paycheck then these people are going to be all out and so you have to make payroll.”
La’India Cooper, President of the Black Student Association raised questions about student attendance and enrollment at Western.
“My biggest concern as being a student here is future enrollment is looking as far as numbers because I feel like if numbers go up as far as enrollment, everyone can get a raise,” Cooper said. “This question lead to a general discussion of bringing welcome receptions and trying to attract more students to campus ahead of the FAFSA opening October 1.
If you have a question or concern about something within the Western Illinois community, come visit President Thomas and his Brown bag lunch discussions in the Union’s Brattain Lounge.