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2023-2024 Legislative Actions

Review legislative actions for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Actions, which include resolutions, motions, votes and leadership changes, are listed in reverse chronological order with the most recent actions first. 

Resolution to ensure new stadium does not harm the University's Mission

November 16, 2023

WHEREAS – Northwestern University’s mission states that it is committed to excellent teaching, innovative research, and the personal and intellectual growth of its students in a diverse academic community; and

 WHEREAS – Northwestern's stated priorities embody commitments to global eminence in research, innovation and education, and the strengthening of its academic community across our Evanston, Chicago and Qatar campuses; and

 WHEREAS  – Northwestern’s stated priorities include a commitment to excellence and equity across athletic programs, as well as an assurance the athletic program’s goals remain aligned with the University values and always place student safety and welfare at the forefront; and

 WHEREAS – Continued development and improvement of teaching and research infrastructure is critical to support the mission of the University; and

 WHEREAS – Competitive salaries, stipends, scholarships and benefits for students, faculty and staff are crucial to furthering the mission of the University by attracting and retaining the most talented people; and

 WHEREAS – Previous actual and predicted financial shortfalls within the university have led to, inter alia, the delay of planned infrastructure improvements (e.g., Jacobs Center), staff reductions, faculty hiring freezes, reduced salary pools, and the temporary suspension of faculty retirement contributions; and

 WHEREAS – The construction of an $800 million stadium and the costs associated with its ongoing maintenance has the potential to place financial pressure on the University’s operations and commitment to its own mission;

 BE IT RESOLVED THAT – The Faculty Senate holds Northwestern University’s Board of Trustees responsible for maintaining proper fiduciary oversight of the University such that it can maintain and enhance its mission; and

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT – The building and maintenance of the new stadium will not lead to a reduction in resources for any aspect of the mission of the University.

Resolution: Temporarily pause planning and marketing of the new Ryan Field

October 16, 2023
On October 16, 2023, the Faculty Senate denied a motion to approve the following resolution:

WHEREAS in recent years the university has made major and high-profile investments in athletics, particularly in the football program, while harassment and abuse in the football program went unchecked, and

WHEREAS the university has announced plans to construct a new $800 million Ryan Field, and envisions this project as a “once-in-a-century” investment in the campus and community, and

WHEREAS such a defining, long-term investment must be developed and considered with care and intention, and

WHEREAS the university must demonstrate and prioritize an unwavering commitment to its academic mission, students’ welfare, and Athletics Department reform, free of the distraction of a major construction project, therefore

BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Trustees and Northwestern leadership pause the planning and marketing of the new Ryan Field until the university demonstrates that it has taken the steps described in the three preceding resolutions.

Committee Membership: Committee on Cause

October 16, 2023

The Faculty Senate approved the following Committee on Cause members on October 16, 2023: 

  • Senator Steve Jacobsen (Chair)
  • Senator Caryn Ward; Senator H G Munshi
  • Senator Mark Johnson
  • Senator Yvonne Curran
  • Senator Sarah Bartolome
  • Senator Heather Risser

Leadership: Standing Committee Chairs

October 16, 2023

The Faculty Senate approved the following standing committee chairs on October 16, 2023:

  • Senator Therese McGuire, Budget & Planning Committee
  • Steve Jacobsen, Committee on Cause
  • Senator Jacqueline Babb, Educational Affairs Committee
  • Senator Kalyani Chadha, Faculty Handbook Committee
  • Senator Ana Aparicio, Faculty Rights & Responsibilities Committee
  • Senator Mark Witte, Governance Committee
  • Senator Cat Fabian, Non-Tenure Eligible Committee
  • Senator Tom Hope, Research Affairs Committee
  • Senator Joseph Ferrie, Salary & Benefits Committee
  • Senator Angela Lee, Secure Faculty Survey Committee
  • Senator Rebecca Zorach, Social Responsibility Committee
  • Senator Ana Maria Acosta, Student Affairs Committee