Senate meets to discuss election and organization

By MaryCate Most

Roy Campbell, Urbana-Champaign Senate Executive Committee Chair, stood in front of a room full of senators, and asked, “How many of you are in the senate for the first time?”

A majority of the room raised its hands.

This marked the first meeting of the 2014-2015 faculty senate, during which the new senate elected members to the Senate Executive Committee, the University Senates Conference and Standing Committees of the Senate. During the meeting, the new senators were introduced to the standard senate procedures and were encouraged to participate actively in senate meetings over the next year.

“I want to thank all of you for serving in the senate and tell you that this is the most important body on this campus,” Provost Ilesanmi Adesida said. “This is the fundamental basis for faculty governance. Take the time out of your very, very busy day to come and to participate vigorously.”

Adesida emphasized the importance of the faculty senate, underscoring the teaching, research, technology and student infrastructure that faculty support through their participation.

“One of the objectives is this campus renewal,” Adesida said. “We need to distribute money, funds into buildings, classrooms… and into IT. We need to look at research infrastructure across all disciplines. I really believe that if we invest now, we will reap the reward in terms of more funding and a better reputation in the future … And we need to make sure there is a campus conversation with students.”

Senators started off their participation in the governance system by electing LAS professor Joyce Tolliver to serve as the University Senates Conference representative on the Senate Executive Committee.

The senate also unanimously approved the following faculty nominees: Education representative Nicholas Burbules, Applied Health Sciences representative Kim Graber, LAS representative Sally Jackson and LAS representative Carol Skalnik Leff to serve a three-year term on the University Senates Conference.

Senate Parliamentarian George Friedman addressed the new senate to discuss parliamentary procedures, especially the way in which proposals may be amended, sent back to committee and postponed.

“Parliamentary procedure is designed to make things easier, not more difficult,” Friedman said. “These (procedures) are meant to clarify, rather than obscure.”

Following Friedman’s discussion with the senate, the senate elected FAA representative David O’Brien, Business representative Mike Sandretto and Library representative Mary Mallory to serve on the Senate Executive Committee for next year.

MaryCate can be reached at [email protected]