Featured Senator — August 12, 2019
1. Please briefly describe how you first came to be involved with the Senate, and the Steering committee
I was nominated to Steering in my first year in Senate. The experience was very positive, although I had a lot to learn in the first year about the various pieces of the process (Senate, faculty Council, Steering, the various committees) and how they work together.
2. Why did you decide to run for the chair of the steering committee and become one of the faculty leaders?
The faculty leadership was really helpful in getting me up to speed in that first year, and the work was interesting, so when the Steering chair opened up, I was open to running for it.
3. What did you learn as a part of that group about the shared governance process?
I don't think I really understood before being in Senate how much of the shared governance process runs on shared information, or just how much information there could be about University governance! The summer faculty leadership meetings were a crash course in university administration. Those meetings are a way for the leadership in Senate to connect with the various efforts and initiatives and a way to build the trust and respect that makes governance work.
4. How did you get involved in the revision of the General Education program?
I had been chair of the Arts and Sciences Curriculum Committee (ASCC) for a few years, and joined the GE review process early on in that role. After the review phase, I worked with the ASCC and the ASC faculty Senate to get faculty input and to tweak the plan in response to that input. Being on Senate helped me see the next steps and connected me with colleagues from around the University. That perspective was invaluable in adapting the initial plan and in moving it forward.
5. How did your position as one of the faculty leaders help you with moving the GE program forward?
Steering helps set the agenda for Senate, and knowing what was on the calendar and knowing the cadence of work for Senate and for key groups within it (CAA< faculty Council, faculty Cabinet) meant that I could plan better. We probably saved time in the last weeks because we could coordinate among those groups, and saving time meant more opportunity for discussion, which I think will help us as we work to actually implement a new GE.
6. What would you say to faculty looking to get involved in shared governance?
Senate is full of well-meaning people and is organized and led in ways that turns those good intentions into action. As a result of having been in Senate, I understand decisions that were opaque to me before, I have worked with colleagues across the University, and I have helped make some important changes in how the University runs. The perspective is invaluable.