U Faculty Senate offers forum

Adam Elrashidi

Most students are still getting accustomed to the new semester and classes, and the Faculty Senate is hoping those transitions go smoothly.

The Faculty Senate addresses personal and work-related concerns brought by University faculty members, staff members and students. The senate consists of members from all the University’s campuses.

Stuart Goldstein, a genetics and cell biology professor and Faculty Senate clerk, said one of its important duties is working with the University Senate to establish the University’s academic calendar and bylaws.

Twenty-three University Senate committees exist to handle campus issues that affect areas such as athletics, financing, employee benefits and educational policy.

But the Faculty Senate also provides faculty members, staff members and University professionals a forum to voice their views and concerns to the decision-making bodies of the school.

“It is the University-wide governance body for faculty and faculty issues,” said Becky Hippert, University Senate student senate liaison. “This is also an opportunity for faculty to discuss and debate core issues impacting a major research institution.”

One high-priority issue facing the Faculty Senate involves the University’s budget and how it will fit within the senate’s strategic planning process.

Dan Feeney, a department of veterinary clinical sciences professor and former Faculty Consultative Committee chairman, said there are numerous factors the Faculty Senate has to consider to create an effective plan within the school’s budget model.

“There are a number of different things that influence (the University) that periodically you have to revisit,” he said.

Those items include tuition and student demographic populations.

Feeney said he is confident the Faculty Senate and University administration is able to come up with a comprehensive plan.

The current form of the University Senate dates back to 1969, when it reorganized and adopted a new constitution, Hippert said.