From Senate President Karen M. Turner
— Karen Turner, Faculty Senate President and Associate Professor of Journalism in the School of Communications and Theater
Faculty Senate President
There’s an often-quoted adage that says we’re all standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. Past presidents Jane Evans and Bob Aiken have worked tirelessly to restore faculty morale and strengthen relationships with the Hart administration and the Board of Trustees. Building on their work, one of my goals is to increase participation in faculty governance. We have the opportunity to do this. Beginning with the 2008 academic year, we are welcoming our non-tenure track colleagues as voting members of the senate for the first time. The response from the NTTs to become active in senate activities has been inspiring. I’m encouraged that their example will motivate all tenured faculty to take on at least one university service activity. If we’re all doing something, the whole will benefit.
Here are some of the outreach activities planned for the year:
- Videoconferencing the monthly senate meetings to the Ambler and Health sciences campuses. The September 15th meeting was videoconferenced to Ambler. We plan to add the Health Sciences campus in November.
- Recording all monthly meetings through Apreso. Here’s the link for the September 15, 2008 meeting: Faculty Senate Video Conference
- Visits to school/collegial assemblies. Vice-President Paul S. LaFollette, Secretary Bonnie Averbach, and I plan to attend as many meetings as we can schedule over the academic year.
- Provost-hosted gathering for representative senators and the faculty senate steering committee. This will be scheduled once we have the names of all the school/collegial representatives.
- Meetings with newly tenured and promoted faculty. Senior Vice Provost Diane Maleson and I are scheduling such meetings throughout the fall to talk about opportunities for civic engagement.
- Encouraging faculty attendance at Board of Trustee meetings as observer guests. I will send email posts throughout the academic year soliciting volunteers.
- Creating a “Faculty-interest database.” The Steering Committee often gets calls for faculty participation on short-term and long-term university projects. Through this database, interested faculty will sign up to volunteer for such projects.
In addition, the steering committee will work with the provost on issue-oriented activities. One issue that I would like to address is the development of guidelines for faculty who are faced with academic freedom challenges.
Certainly if you have ideas for issues that the senate should address, send your thoughts to me at email@example.com.