LSA Professor Silvia Pedraza speaks at SACUA in the Ruthven Building November 28. Grace Lahti/Daily. Buy this photo.

The University Insider is The Daily’s first faculty and staff-oriented newsletter. This weekly newsletter will give U-M faculty and staff the ability to see the most important issues on campus and in Ann Arbor — particularly those related to administrative decisions — from the perspective of an independent news organization. It will also provide a better understanding of student perspectives.

The Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs met in a hybrid format at the Ruthven Building on Monday to discuss chair and director updates and the upcoming election to replace a University-wide Ombud.

LSA professor Silvia Pedraza, SACUA chair, began the meeting by commemorating the recent death of Oveta Fuller, associate professor at the Medical School. Fuller was a recipient of the 2022 Regents Award for Distinguished Public Service, a designation given to members of the University Senate for public service activities that reflect their teachings and expertise.

“I am personally, of course, so sorry that she passed away, but pleased that we gave her an award in time,” Pedraza said. “She realized that we held her in high esteem.”

Pedraza announced that University Faculty Ombud Robert Ortega stepped down from being the University-wide Ombud and discussed the process of appointing a replacement.

“There is now a search committee that is looking at applications for the job,” Pedraza said. “We have received eight very excellent applications.”

She explained that many of the applicants were very skilled and have already served in either ombuds in their units or have experience as faculty grievance monitors. The committee will begin interviewing exclusively University faculty members on Tuesday and is basing the decision on rankings, Pedraza explained.

Luke McCarthy, director of the Faculty Senate Office, also provided updates about the upcoming installation of a duress button that will allow doors in University buildings to lock from inside the building in case of an emergency.

“Building facilitators were very glad to look into this and address the situation,” McCarthy said. “We got word that we were approved to have a duress button in the office so that we can lock the doors from the inside. Building management has been very helpful and supportive.”

The rest of the board continued to discuss upcoming matters, including the Provost Office Committee nomination process and the Office of Ethics, Integrity and Compliance in an executive session, which is not open to the public.

Daily News Contributors Maddyn Shapiro and Hannah Yoran can be reached at maddyns@umich.edu and hyoran@umich.edu.