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Faculty Senate

February 1, 2017 Faculty Senate Summary

Sample for AU 2030

Senate Chair Todd Eisenstadt reported that nominations are sought for the upcoming election of the Senate Vice Chair. Membership is needed for a new Grade Inflation Committee and a Term Faculty Standing Committee. The Teach-In held on January 18 was very successful. The Presidential search has concluded with the appointment of The Honorable Sylvia Matthews Burwell. Discussions are ongoing with the Board of Trustees to codify the faculty role in presidential hires. A representative from the Faculty Senate Undergraduate Curriculum Committee will be added to the AU Abroad Advisory Committee. Discussions about the University budget are ongoing.

Provost Scott Bass reported that campus climate issues will arise and may lead to recruitment challenges in the future. He believes that the proposed AU Core curriculum represents a milestone for the institution.

Todd Eisenstadt introduced two proposed resolutions:

1. The Faculty Senate enthusiastically welcomes The Honorable Sylvia Mathews Burwell and resolves to offer her our full cooperation as she takes on the job of leading the university over the years ahead.

Further, the Faculty Senate acknowledges the tremendous leadership of Dr. Neil Kerwin, to whom we are very grateful. It also takes comfort in knowing that his strong commitment to American University will continue.

The Faculty Senate reiterates that although our next president will face challenges – within the context of AU’s resounding overall success – that The Honorable Sylvia Mathews Burwell is the person for the job. On behalf of the faculty, the Faculty Senate pledges our full effort in working closely with Ms. Mathews Burwell and in helping her continue to move American University forward.

A motion was made and seconded, and the resolution passed unanimously with a 24-0-0 vote.

2. American University’s faculty seek to promote the free movement of ideas and people around the world. We share this mission with most U.S. universities and hence condemn the U.S. president’s executive order issued on January 27 that sought, in part, to bar individuals from targeted nations from entering the U.S. and further restrict entry of refugees to the U.S., but has had other far reaching adverse effects.

We appreciate the efforts by American University’s administration to defend and support our community members affected by the executive order, and to learn how we can continue – despite the setbacks the federal government seeks to pose to our academic community and all others – to promote cultural exchange and understanding, as well as the production of “deep knowledge” through research and scholarship by the world’s best and brightest, bar none.

The Faculty Senate of American University stands resolutely in opposition to the executive order and pledges to do whatever it can to preserve the emphasis on celebrating the diversity of our community, the invaluable virtues of globalization and internationalization, and the humane and dignified treatment of refugees and immigrants of all faiths and beliefs at American University, and at universities throughout the U.S. We ask the administration of American University to continue its vigilance and advocacy for students, faculty, staff, and colleagues abroad who are affected by the executive order, and that it continue to join with us in publicly opposing the adverse impacts of the U.S. president’s executive order.

A motion was made and seconded, and the resolution passed unanimously with a 24-0-0 vote.

Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies Jessica Waters and Chair of General Education Cindy Bair Van Dam presented a revised report on the AU Core. A motion was made and seconded to accept the report and its recommendations for phased implementation. This includes ongoing assessment reporting to the Faculty Senate and potential revisions to the program in response to faculty concerns as they arise. The motion passed unanimously with a 22-0-0 vote.

CAS Dean Peter Starr, University Librarian Nancy Davenport, and Senior Director of Academic Support and Access Marianne Thomson presented an Academic Support Model Proposal. The intent is to unify under one umbrella the various tutoring opportunities currently offered and to provide additional support for courses in which some students traditionally struggle. As the discussion was informational only, no further action was taken on the matter.

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