At the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs’ meeting Monday, the faculty governance body discussed an array of topics and concluded with an executive session with University Provost Martha Pollack.

SACUA members addressed the proposed awarding of honorary degrees at Spring Commencement, appropriate grievance procedures and an upcoming meeting with University President-elect Mark Schlissel. This meeting will be the first time SACUA has had the chance to meet with and engage in direct discussion with the President-elect.

During the presidential search process, SACUA expressed concern that their input was not solicited to a greater degree during his selection. Nonetheless, some members expressed approval of the Board of Regents’ Choice when Schlissel was named in January.

During their meeting Jan. 24, Dentistry Prof. Rex Holland, SACUA vice chair, said he was optimistic that Schlissell will serve as an exemplary president.

“I’m very impressed with President-elect Schlissel’s credentials,” Holland said. “His speech was short but contained several very positive references to faculty governance. I have great confidence that President-elect Schlissel will be a splendid leader for a splendid institution.”

The non-executive discussion during the meeting consisted largely of questions about SACUA’s duty to nominate individuals to the Department of Public Safety Oversight Committee. The committee is an independent group that monitors the DPS and any problems or complaints that may occur, advising the University administration if changes need to be made.

SACUA is in charge of finding faculty nominees when positions open on the Oversight Committee, through a nominating committee. The nominating committee will consist of Medical Prof. Charles Koopmann and Astronomy Prof. Sally Oey, both SACUA members, and Holland.

The nominating committee faces some difficulty in the procuring of nominees, due to technical problems with the Senate Assembly’s computers. The server has recently been in use by other sections of the Senate Assembly, preventing the nominating committee from utilizing it in their search.

A minimum of two nominees are required before a vote can be held, and the only existing nominee is Law Prof. Richard Friedman, who has opted to continue his service on the Oversight committee.

Members of the University’s Board of Regents will join SACUA for their next few meetings, with Regent Mark Bernstein (D) appearing on April 7 and Regent Julia Darlow (D) appearing on April 14.

Social Work Prof. Karen Staller, SACUA Chair, also shared information regarding University President Mary Sue Coleman’s retirement celebration. The event will be held this Friday at 3 p.m. in the Rogel Ballroom of the Michigan Union.

Coleman is retiring in July after 12 years of serving the University. Actor Jeff Daniels will emcee the event, which is open to the public.

SACUA will be holding an election meeting on March 24, where three new members of the committee will be selected to serve three-year terms. Currently, nine professors are seeking election the three spots on the committee.

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