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Membership Committee

Membership Committee

April 18, 2007

The 2006-2007 Faculty Senate Membership Committee consisted of Kim Dillivan, Marc Fulgham, Elaine Jackson, Jim McGill, D.K. “Skip” Smith (Chair), Pat Willingham, and Min Zou.

We accomplished the normal things the committee does. As vacancies arose on various Faculty Senate Legislative and Reporting Committees, we filled those vacancies; in addition, chairs were nominated by the committee, for approval by the senate. We also solicited volunteers to serve on various University Standing Committees and Councils, and recommended individuals to the appropriate administrators for appointments on those committees. Again this year (as last year), for most university-level service opportunities, faculty members indicating an interest in serving on a particular committee or council were invited to provide a short statement indicating why they were interested in serving and why they believed they were a good candidate. The Membership Committee believes that having these statements available improved our ability to match up faculty interests and abilities with the positions for which we were soliciting candidates.

Due to a prior year's revision of Faculty Senate-related terms and policies, Faculty Senate found itself this year in a position where more than half of all senators' terms expire in 2007. The faculty handbook indicates that senators' terms should be staggered, so that approximately one third of the terms expire each year. To ensure that this problem (that is, the expiration of more than 50% of all senators' terms in one year) does not continue, eight departmental units whose unit representatives' (that is senators') terms expire this year were selected (using a random draw) to serve two year (instead of three year) terms. Departmental units whose representatives (that is, senators) will (on a one-time basis) serve a two year (instead of three year) term are:
Accounting and MIS, Educational Admin & Counseling, Foreign Languages/Anthropology, Kinesiology, Nutrition, and Recreation, Human Environmental Studies, Middle & Secondary Education, Political Science/Philosophy/Religion, and Theater and Dance.

For all 18 of the departmental unit representatives (that is, senators) whose terms expire in 2007, the membership committee has initiated the process for electing new senators. The chair of the Faculty Senate Membership Committee has solicited candidates from each of the 18 departmental units, and is now working through the responses to that solicitation. For departmental units with more than two candidates, the faculty handbook calls for a primary election to be held; for departmental units with two candidates, an election will be held; and for departmental unites with one candidate, recent practice has been to designate that one interested individual as the representative (that is, senator) for that departmental unit.

Last week, in response to calls for nominees to represent the faculty on various university-level committees (the Research Involving Human Subjects Committee, the University Athletic Committee, the University Planning Committee, and the University Student Affairs Committee), the Chairperson of the membership committee used the faculty senate list serve to solicit volunteers for the above service opportunities. Numerous faculty have expressed interest in these opportunities, and the Chairperson of the Membership Committee is working through those responses, so as to be able (in the near future) to forward expressions of interest and supporting materials to the Membership Committee, for their consideration.