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The Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs met Monday afternoon via Zoom to discuss and approve committee charges that will be presented to the Senate Assembly in three weeks. 

The charges put forth by the various committees include a faculty engagement component, COVID-19 related items, a commitment to deciding on fund allocation and an added focus on defining inclusivity. The group voted unanimously to approve the presentation of the committee charges to the Senate Assembly. 

SACUA started with approving the agenda for the meeting and plans for future meetings. At the Senate Assembly meeting on Sept. 21, the committee will discuss and approve committee charges put forth by SACUA and clarify what it means to be a Senate Assembly member. University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel is also slated to speak to SACUA one week after the Senate Assembly. 

SACUA Vice Chair Annalisa Manera discussed her meetings with students from Central Student Government and her commitment to maintaining a relationship through setting up monthly meetings. 

“They feel there is some formal interest between faculty and students,” Manera said. “They think it would be nice to touch base from time to time so we know how the students feel. It’s a way to stay in touch with them.”

Colleen Conway, chair of SACUA and professor in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, then moved to talk about her recent discussions with vice presidents and chairs from numerous faculty committees, including the Government Relations Advisory Committee, the Student Relations Advisory Committee and the Financial Affairs Advisory Committee, about the goals of the committees for this upcoming school year. 

“We met with all of the chairs for those committees along with the VP (vice president) so that we kind of have a shared discussion of the goals of those committees,” Conway said. “We’re feeling pretty successful about those meetings. We’re trying to make sure that all of the committees get back into compliance with the rules.”

Conway also discussed SACUA’s new opportunity to meet weekly with the Academic Programs Group, which consists of all deans on campus, to keep up the connection between faculty and that group. 

Maryjo Banasik, director of the Faculty Senate Office, then discussed the changes to the committee charges that will be presented to the Senate Assembly next week. 

“Some of these have been modified to bring in some more current changes for understanding,” Banasik said. “Most of them have actually changed a little bit.”

The meeting concluded with Conway going over the proposed agenda for the Senate Assembly meeting next week and putting it up for a vote. The meeting is set to include updates from the chair, a slot for the Faculty Committee on anti-racism to speak and breakout rooms for Senate Assembly rooms to take a close look at the new charges being put forth this year. 

“My sense, at least for me, is that the Assembly approval of the charges has sometimes been a little bit of a box check — let’s just say they’re good,” Conway said. “But this year I’m trying to take an opportunity to really have Senate Assembly look at those charges more carefully.” 

Daily Staff Reporter Julia Forrest can be reached at

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