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
Congratulations to the TAUP, AFSCME, and the Hart administration for reaching collective bargaining agreements. It’s refreshing to begin this academic year on positive footing.
With the negotiations behind us, the senate leadership is optimistic that more faculty will get involved in governance – whether it’s through participation on a senate committee to a shorter-term commitment by sitting on a task force or search committee to regularly attending monthly senate meetings. And don’t forget, we continue to videoconference to our colleagues at the Ambler and Health Sciences campuses.
The Faculty Senate Steering Committee (FSSC) has planned an ambitious agenda for the year:
- We have begun our review and updating of the Senate Constitution and Bylaws. The representative senators amended the bylaws at the September meeting to include electronic voting. The senate used electronic voting in its most recent elections. However, the bylaws did not reflect this new method of voting. They do now. The review of these governing documents will be an ongoing activity this year. We will soon undertake a review of College and School bylaws. This is not aimed at conformity but to encourage collegial assembly conversations about their suitability. As part of the collegial bylaw review, we will discuss the appropriateness of chair and dean evaluations. We have begun collecting templates from other universities.Vice President Paul Lafollette and Senate Coordinator Cheryl Mack are working with Computer Services to create a faculty database. Its purpose is to more efficiently answer the call for faculty members to serve on administrative task forces and committees. This database will also assist the Committee on Administrative and Trustee Appointments (CATA) in its efforts to identify faculty for various administrative search committees.
- Other activities include developing a plan for associate level support and/or mentorships, creating an Academic Freedom statement, and reactivating the Senate Handbook Committee.
If you have faculty governance concerns, or ideas for issues that the senate should address, contact your FSSC representative or me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We also want to hear your ideas for monthly meeting programs. This is your senate. Have a great 2009-2010.
Karen M. Turner