The University of Michigan Senate met Monday in University Auditorium in the Alexander J. Ruthven Building to discuss the possibility of partially restructuring the college. Senate.
The College Senate It currently consists of more than 4,250 members from all three campuses of UM – all tenure-track professors, faculty, librarians, executives, and deans are members. Currently, only faculty members, researchers, and librarians can run for office in the Senate, which is a more selective body. The Senate debated opening the Senate to lecturers and clinical faculty as well.
Silvia Pedraza, Chair of the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs, called the meeting and introduced University President Santa Uno to the committee. Ono addressed the committee and answered questions from faculty members. Ono talked about it transition In the role of the chair and the value of faculty governance.
“The University of Michigan is an institution that I have admired for a long time,” Ono said. “This Senate is a very important body, and I hope you will welcome me back to having these kinds of conversations on a regular basis.”
Ono said that academic excellence and building trust in the central administration are two of his main priorities. Ono told the Senate that he is committed to implementing feedback from UM faculty members to achieve these goals.
“We hope that in a year’s time we will have a clear vision of where we are going, and that we will be heading in the same direction (as a university),” Ono said.
After Ono spoke, the Senate discussed the possibility of expanding the Senate to include Lecturers And the Clinical College – who often teach in medical school and work in Michigan medicine – in the college senate. These faculty members are not currently permitted to run for Senate positions.
Pedraza proposed a resolution that would increase the total number of representatives in the Assembly from 74 to 87, 76, or 78—a decision that would depend on whether the Senate voted to approve the addition of just lecturers, only clinical faculty, or both. No school will lose seats, but some may have the opportunity to elect additional representatives to the Assembly if either or both groups are allowed to join.
The Senate was divided over whether or not to restructure the Society to make room for faculty members and clinical lecturers. Brian Zinke, senior associate dean for faculty and faculty development in the College of Medicine, has expressed support for the structural changes.
“Full representation of all the hard-working people who get appointments on the faculty at UM is the fair and right thing to do,” Zinke said. “The addition of clinical pathway faculty from the Faculty of Medicine to the Senate will add diversity to the Senate and better represent the faculty than just the regular alumni and the research they are doing at this time.”
Zink gave two examples of clinical faculty who might consider joining the Senate as representatives if they were able to run: Laura Hopson, clinical professor and co-chair of the Emergency Medicine Department of the College of Medicine, Gifty Kwaki, Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery. Zink said both have expressed interest in running and would bring a wealth of perspective and knowledge to the association.
“(I say this) to put some face on these concepts and highlight a couple of faculty members in the clinical track who are examples of the kind of people we would have in the Senate,” Zinke said.
Michel Tholes, a professor in the College of Engineering, called on the College Senate to preserve the same structure in which it is now located. I previously served as president of the college senate from 2007 to 2010. There are already enough votes in the large senate, Alst said, so keeping the assembly smaller is ideal. Instead, he said, clinical faculty members should form their own committee, like SACUA, that cooperates with the association and the Senate, but has separate meetings.
“(The Senate) is not a club; the clinical faculty should meet as a group similar to how SACUA works.”
Due to time constraints, the Senate decided to vote to determine whether or not to vote on the recommendation at Monday’s meeting. They failed to achieve the required two-thirds majority, so the Senate decided to continue discussions at a later meeting and possibly vote on the matter in the future.
Daily News contributor Emma Lapp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.