The Faculty Senate Subcommittee on Convocation and Commencement Policies and Procedures makes the following recommendations:
1. The practice of seating faculty in two separate blocks should cease. In an effort to portray unity and solidarity, university faculty should be seated together as a single faculty. Tenure and rank, important and noteworthy accomplishments, may be acknowledged and honored by seating arrangements within the single block of faculty seating. Separate seating seems unnecessary, arbitrary and inconsistent with values of the university.
2. The practice of including public prayer at convocations and commencements should be reconsidered. We recognize that this is an extremely emotionally charged issue. We are concerned that in lieu of proactive action on the part of the administration, the debate surrounding this issue will become more public. Such a development could be detrimental to the university in numerous ways.
3. A procedure by which faculty may have input regarding commencement speakers should be established. We specifically recommend that the Faculty Senate appoint a committee responsible for developing a pool of potential commencement speakers. This committee shall submit a list of potential speakers to the administration for consideration each academic year. Recognizing that the administration makes decisions about commencement speakers based on consideration of numerous factors, we suggest that faculty input be given commensurate consideration.
4. Policies pertaining to assigning seating on the dais or stage during commencement should be clarified.