During Monday’s meeting of the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs, the first of 2018, members discussed recruiting more faculty for various Senate committees and changing the date members are initiated in order to increase each committee’s efficiency.

Robert Ortega, SACUA Chair and social work professor, said faculty governance is not working optimally at this point due to a lack of members. According to Ortega, several governance committees are lacking chairs or need to be revamped in the coming semester.

“We have a number of committees that are not performing at top level, so we need to figure out how to get more faculty involved,” Ortega said.

SACUA members discussed the need to find new and creative ways to bring faculty in and make them aware of opportunities in each committee. One proposal for innovative recruiting had to do with creating a website aimed at getting faculty interested in serving.

“(The website is) trying to get people to committed to membership service,” Ortega said. “We have to figure out how to get this out and let them know that it’s there.”

Dave Wright, SACUA member and business professor, suggested SACUA members disseminate the information throughout their respective schools. He said faculty would be more likely to respond if members within each department gave the information to them.

“Each member can distribute the information (within their school) so that they are more aware,” Wright said.

During the meeting, Ortega also discussed plans to change the date that faculty would be initiated from the fall to spring. Ortega said he had discussed moving the initiation and appreciation ceremony to April 30 with University President Mark Schlissel. Ortega said the fall appointment date was too late and stressed the importance of optimizing each committee’s time and resources.

Before moving to the executive portion of the meeting, SACUA members discussed creating a new committee to take on some of the burden of the Academic Freedom Lectures, an annual lecture promoting academic and intellectual freedom, off of the main committee. Stefan Szymanski, SACUA member and kinesiology professor, said this decision would give AFL more attention so SACUA could focus on other topics

“We need to move towards establishing a permanent committee to manage this confusion,” Szymanski said. 

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