volume 40, number 5
Temple UniversityFaculty Herald

From Senate President Karen M. Turner
Karen M. Turner, Faculty Senate President and Associate Professor of Journalism in the School of Communications and Theater

Karen M. Turner,
Faculty Senate President

It’s been my honor to serve as your Faculty Senate President for these last two years. We’ve certainly had our challenges, but we’ve also experienced significant successes. The retreats held with the Faculty Senate Steering Committee (FSSC) and the Provost’s staff in December 2009, and with the Deans this month, are unprecedented. These interactions were certainly far from kumbaya gatherings - in fact we retreated no further than TUCC and 1810 Liacouras Walk. Both events began honest dialogue between these groups. We have a commitment from Interim Provost Dick Englert that the retreats will continue.

The impetus for these meetings is a direct result of faculty action. When we began making amendments to the Senate bylaws in the fall – specifically to the quorum provision – it became apparent there were still unresolved issues from the FSSC’s introduction of the April 2009 motion, Status of Contract Negotiations and Involvement of the Presidency. At the Provost retreat in December, we engaged in open, candid, and truthful discussions. That led to a realization that we needed the same level of interaction with our deans. At the May 5th Deans retreat we discussed and developed action-steps for the following cluster issues, which we prioritized and will follow-up in the fall:

1. How can each of us enhance faculty input in the decision making process --especially in decisions of planning, program development and resource allocation and teaching load issues?

2. What should be the role of the collegial assemblies and why? The role of the dean? The role of the faculty?

3. What processes might we use to create the safety required for faculty to express, and deans and faculty to consider, divergent views?

4. What should be the role of service in the University and the College, specifically for merit, promotion, and tenure?

5. What are current successful communication mechanisms used in specific colleges that regularly inform faculty of collegiate business and what can we do to strengthen these mechanisms?

6. What can we do to kick start the progress of associate professors toward promotion to full?

None of these meetings – none of this progress toward better communication – would have happened without the support, encouragement, and leadership of Provost Lisa Staiano-Coico. As we begin thinking about our search for a new provost, it’s imperative that we find someone like Provost Lisa who says and demonstrates she “likes” the faculty. President Ann Weaver Hart hit the ball out the park with her hiring of Provost Lisa. I’m confident she’ll make it a repeat.

Karen M. Turner
Senate President (www.temple.edu/senate)