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During Tuesday’s Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs meeting, members discussed various new initiatives proposed in last week’s meeting, including measures to increase transparency through document sharing, expansion of the Senate Assembly and increased interactions with the Board of Regents. The committee members additionally canceled their upcoming meeting due to a limited number of members able to attend as well as plans to reduce the number of meetings throughout the summer months.
In another effort to increase faculty transparency, the committee discussed a proposal to require all Senate Assembly Committees to publish their meeting minutes, as well as archiving SACUA meeting material on Mbox — a Univeristy file sharing platform. It was not made clear whether this material would be open to the public.
The committee also discussed the possibility of expanding the Senate Assembly. LSA professor and SACUA member Silke-Maria Weineck pointed out that the Senate Assembly was no longer representative of the faculty due to the faculty’s increasing size.
“The faculty has tripled and the Senate Assembly has stayed the same number,” Weineck said.
Pharmacy professor and SACUA committee member David Smith suggested an increase in the number of Senate Assembly members and, consequently, increasing the number required for quorum would affect decrease the efficacy of the Assembly.
“That might have a negative effect,” Smith said
SACUA Chair William Schultz, a professor in the College of Engineering, also questioned whether SACUA accurately represented the entire University’s faculty, offering the possibility of reserving a SACUA seat for a faculty member from the Flint or Dearborn campuses.
Schultz also stated an initiative to add attendance at the University’s Board of Regents Meetings to the duties of the SACUA liaison — a member who sits in on other Univeristy bodies as an observer. The committee decided to send at least one SACUA member to each of the Regents meetings in a public capacity to keep members of SACUA informed on administrative affairs.
Schultz then moved to request a volunteer to attend the biennial meeting of Alcohol and Other Drugs — a division of the University Health Service focused on preventing substance abuse. He said the SACUA representative should bring the committee’s former proposal to increase the number of Friday morning classes to the meeting.
“Remember the Friday morning class initiative was nipping away at a problem, that’s reducing by one day a week –– one night a week –– our students indulging too much,” Schultz said. “But I think it would be nice to perhaps even consider what further things we could do, because it certainly is a problem.”
Additionally, Schultz expressed a desire to publish a newsletter once or twice a semester, summarizing the actions and accomplishments of SACUA, and a desire to promote greater committee involvement in the newsletter, as opposed to it being a sole effort of the SACUA chair, as it has been in previous years.