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From left to right: Karen Baehler (Vice Chair), Elizabeth Worden (Chair), and Andrea Pearson (Past chair)

Summary of Faculty Senate Meeting, March 6, 2019

The meeting began with a visit from President Sylvia Mathews Burwell, who led a discussion on the theme of AU’s reputation, including how we represent ourselves internally and externally and how the larger world perceives AU. Senators asked conceptual and normative questions about what reputation means and why it merits attention. They also offered a wide range of practical suggestions associated with partnerships and other structures that leverage impact, funding models for research centers, multi-platform communications (including WAMU) to reach multiple audiences, local awareness raising, and incentive structures for faculty. President Burwell thanked senators, and faculty generally, for their input to date on the strategic planning and budgeting processes, provost search, and inclusive excellence initiative, as well as the discussion on reputation. She provided thanks in advance for the many different types of contributions that faculty will be making to the new campaign and branding efforts.  

Following approval of the February minutes, Senate Chair Elizabeth Worden updated the Senate regarding a review of the Academic Integrity Code, which is currently in process.

Associate Law Librarian John Heywood was elected vice chair of the Senate for academic year 2019-20 by unanimous vote. Welcome to the Senate leadership, John!

Provost Dan Myers announced several new initiatives from the Office of the Provost, including a forthcoming newsletter and a decision to join the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity as an institutional member. With respect to Senate business specifically, Provost Myers reported that he has approved a request to shift supervision of the Senate’s operations coordinator position from his office to the Senate chair, and has endorsed the Senate’s proposal regarding term faculty representation on the CFA (the Board of Trustees will take that up in May). He also updated senators on the recent Board of Trustees meeting, where the Board approved a new two-year budget along with several new academic programs, a faculty manual change that will enable SPEX to send representatives to the Senate, and a change to the university’s fiscal year end date from April 30 to June 30 starting this year.

Regarding the March 28 Provost’s Annual Address to the Faculty, Provost Myers noted the event’s central purpose, which is to bring the faculty together as a body. He invited and encouraged all faculty to attend.

Following a robust discussion, including active participation from members of the university community in attendance, the Senate voted in favor of recommending the final report of the “Beyond SETs” Task Force to the provost for consideration.