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A collective voice

faculty senate officers 2014-15

The Faculty Senate met Sept. 10 for the first time under its new leadership, which plans to review academic policies and maintain its strong advocacy for faculty concerns.

James Conover, center, professor of finance, insurance, real estate and law, takes over as chair of the senate, while Guido Verbeck, left, associate professor of chemistry, is the senate’s vice chair.

Pam Harrell, right, professor of teacher education and administration, remains the senate’s secretary.

Conover is serving the last year of his three-year term and recently served as chairman of the senate’s Committee on Committees.

Conover said the senate will have a busy year. In addition to the senate, more than 300 faculty members who are not senators are serving the campus to ensure faculty interests are represented in the governance process.

For example, more than 80 academic affairs policies are under review. Because those policies have a significant effect on faculty, the senate requested a strong presence to review and revise those policies.

“That request was granted, so we have on each of those committees more than 50 percent faculty members who have no administrative function,” Conover said. “That effort is going on across campus, and it is going well.”

Conover said the transition in leadership has gone smoothly this year, and he expects the senate’s strong voice to continue.

While Conover and Verbeck are new to their leadership positions, Harrell has served as secretary since 2012.

Also, Mark Vosvick, associate professor of psychology, who served as chair of the senate for two years, remains a member of the Executive Committee. Conover said Vosvick established a culture where senators put a priority on representing their constituents, Conover said. That has allowed the senate to have a strong voice with administrators.

“Our collective voice is listened to, but our individual perspectives as one out of about 1,200 would not be,” Conover said. “I’d like to maintain what we have – a strong voice that is truly listened to by the administration.”

Senate meetings are open to the public.

—Matthew Zabel, University Relations, Communications and Marketing

(Photo by Gary Payne / URCM)


Posted on: Wed 10 September 2014

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