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Summary of Faculty Senate Meeting, May 2, 2018

Representatives from Spencer Stuart presented an overview of the process and timeline for the Provost search and answered questions from the Senate.

Pat Aufderheide and Lacey Wootton from the Strategic Plan Committee updated the Senate on the progress of the Plan. The sub-committees, representing a range of issues and activities associated with the Plan, have posted draft documents on a SharePoint site. Faculty are encouraged to react to the documents and participate in open discussions on campus. A goal of the Strategic Plan Committee is transparency.

Senate Chair Andrea Pearson presented her report, which included the approval of the April minutes, an update on the status of the SET revision, and a welcome to the newly elected Senators.

The Senate elected Tony Ahrens (CAS) and Mohamed Nimer (SPExS) to serve as the Executive Committee representatives for AY 2018-2019.

Provost Scott Bass updated the Senate on enrollments figures. To date 1837 undergraduate deposits have been paid.

Dean of Undergraduate Jessica Waters proposed and the Senate approved revisions to Undergraduate regulations 7.0 and 10.0 - 14.2.

Senate Chair Andrea Pearson proposed and the Senate approved Senate Bylaws revisions

The Senate passed a resolution Opposing the Addition of a Citizenship Question on the U.S. Census.


Faculty Senate, May 2, 2018

WHEREAS The Commerce Department has announced its intention to add a question concerning citizenship status to the 2020 Census; and

WHEREAS The addition of a citizenship question has not and will not be included in field tests that are used to validate the survey instrument; and

WHEREAS It is reasonable to anticipate that such a question will result in systematic undercounting of immigrants, creating serious sampling bias in the 2020 Census; and

WHEREAS A systematic undercounting of immigrants would also render overall population figures unreliable; and

WHEREAS Sampling bias in the 2020 Census will further undermine the validity of future research that uses data from the 2020 Census; and

WHEREAS The Census is a key source of data used in social science, health, and environment research; and

WHEREAS The research produced by faculty and researchers throughout this country contributes not only to the advancement of knowledge but also to the development of programs, initiatives and interventions to serve the public good.

BE IT RESOLVED That the Faculty Senate strongly condemns the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census for its effect of diminishing the reliability of Census data and research.

Senators accepted the Annual Committee Reports.

The Senate passed a resolution commending Scott Bass’ many accomplishments as Provost.

Faculty Senate Resolution in Honor of Provost Scott Bass

Faculty Senate, May 2, 2018

Whereas Scott Bass has served American University admirably as Provost since 2008 and will leave his position on June 30, 2018;

Whereas Provost Bass was instrumental in the recruitment and hiring of 43 percent of the current full-time tenure-line faculty and over half of the current full-time term faculty, and in raising the racial and ethnic diversity of the faculty body;

Whereas under his leadership AU is now a “Higher Research Activity” or R2 institution in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, in recognition of the university’s research infrastructure, doctoral programs, centers for knowledge production, external funding, high impact faculty research published with top journals and presses, and national faculty awards;

Whereas he championed the Myers Technology and Innovation Building and the Hall of Science to ensure that AU’s academic facilities matched the quality of our faculty and students;

Whereas he established the AU 2030 initiative that invests in cross-disciplinary faculty collaboration;

Whereas he reenvisioned and revised with the Faculty Senate the Faculty Manual, to further clarify the collaborative governance model and faculty rights and responsibilities therein;

Whereas he increased with the help of the enrollment management team the racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic diversity of the undergraduate student body, primarily through increasing need-based financial aid;

Whereas undergraduate applications have reached record numbers, and more students are prioritizing AU as their first choice, in part because of new initiatives such as the Frederick Douglass Distinguished Scholars Program;

Whereas with the deans and faculty he established AU’s first online master’s programs and modernized the recruitment and admission process;

Whereas he collaborated with university and external constituents to receive support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to expand the advising system and academic support services, which will be fully implemented in the fall of 2018 in the form of RiSE;

Whereas he spearheaded the development and implementation of the AU Core Curriculum when other universities have failed to carry out a curricular overhaul of this magnitude;

The Faculty Senate on behalf of the faculty of American University commends Provost Bass, expresses its appreciation for his leadership, and wishes him well as he returns to the School of Public Affairs and embarks on a sabbatical to establish a center for higher education at American University.

Chair Andrea Pearson passed the gavel to Vice-Chair Elizabeth Worden who will become Chair of the Senate on June 15, 2018.