University department head elected vice-chairman of committee

by Sam Kean

As the newly elected vice-chair of the University’s Faculty Consultative Committee, Joseph Massey has dozens of responsibilities.
But according to Massey, the position can be boiled down to one thing: “To do a whole lot of prep work so I can take over next year.”
As vice-chair, Massey will take over Fred Morrison’s position as committee chair for the 2001 school year. Thus, he has only one year to familiarize himself with nearly every aspect of the University’s faculty, students and administration.
Until then, Massey’s responsibilities as vice-chairman include serving on key University boards; preparing the University Senate agenda, a faculty-student legislative body; and occasionally acting as chairman in Morrison’s absence.
Massey’s recognized leadership, substantial scholarship and teaching skills ensure the committee will be in good hands next year, Morrison said.
College of Natural Resources Communications Coordinator Marty Moen noted Massey’s enthusiasm and diplomacy when addressing difficult issues that might arise.
Massey became interested in serving the University while working toward his Ph.D. in forest economics in 1979. He returned five years ago as a professor of wood and paper science and currently heads the department.
Within two years, faculty members elected him to the University Senate and, this year, to the FCC. He said serving on the Senate was invaluable preparation for his new role.
For his upcoming term, Massey emphasized the importance of working in conjunction with University President Mark Yudof on long-term improvement for the University — “the jewel in the crown of Minnesota” — specifically citing three issues:
ù First, laying out a plan to offset the rising cost of health care to both faculty and students. A committee has been set up and is currently working on this issue.
ù Second, working with the newly formed Office of Academic Integrity to help address scholastic honesty on campus.
ù Lastly, reaching out to the state Legislature to secure the University’s future success through funding and resolutions.
Massey said he hopes to show the Legislature how vital the University system is to Minnesota’s economy, a point Gov. Jesse Ventura also made at last week’s Summit on Minnesota’s Economy.
He cited educating Minnesota’s aging population, community service programs and research as three examples of this importance.
Establishing a relationship might include bringing legislators to campus to sit in on classes or having faculty members address the Legislature, he said.

Sam Kean welcomes comments at skea[email protected]. He can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3212.