The results are in, and the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs has elected their leaders for next year. Yesterday SACUA reelected Medical School Prof. Charles Koopmann Jr., as chair. Natural Science associate Prof. John Riebesell is the new vice chair.
After the election, Riebesell and Koopmann discussed issues that will arise in the upcoming year.
Both said budget issues will be key to SACUA. “We’re going to have to watch very carefully the benefits for faculty,” Koopmann said. He said SACUA will push for faculty input into decisions regarding faculty benefit reductions due to budget cuts.
The upcoming U.S. Supreme Court hearing regarding the University admissions policies will also carry significance for faculty members represented by SACUA. “If the Supreme Court should require changes (in admissions policies), SACUA’s role is to make sure there is faculty involvement,” Riebesell said.
Koopmann said having the same chair for two terms will benefit SACUA. “It’ll add continuity,” he added. “There are relationships that have been developed.”
Koopmann pointed to his close relationship with Michigan Athletic Director Bill Martin. “(SACUA) will have more input on the advisory board for athletics than in the past,” he said.
Riebesell said the committee will continue exploring and improving faculty appeals procedures. Koopmann added that SACUA is trying to set up a central ombudsman’s office where faculty grievances can be heard. He said the committee will continue to work on training for members of the grievance board, which deals with faculty employee grievances.
Reducing the University’s reliance on social security numbers for identification of students and faculty is also a hot issue, Riebesell said. “I hope the social security number issue is resolved by next year,” he said. Koopmann also stressed reworking the Academic Affairs Advisory Committee’s document on teaching principles, which he said was developed “two provosts ago” and must be updated.