Nov 30, 2011
The Academic Senate will hold its last business meeting from 4-6 p.m. Dec. 6 in the Goodwin Forum.
The meeting will include a full business agenda and the recognition of outgoing senators. Members of the newly formed University Senate will take also office and elections will be held for senate officers and committee chairs.
The University Senate replaces the Academic Senate as the campus’ main policy recommending body at the start of the spring semester. Created at the suggestion of the Cabinet for Institutional Change, the new body is designed to encourage broader participation by students, faculty, staff and administrators in the university decision-making process.
“We hope the University Senate will lead to a better sense of communal decision making with all stake holders involved,” said Jay VerLinden, chair of the Department of Communication and current President of the Academic Senate.
In addition to elected members, the new senate includes two student delegates selected by Associated Students; one delegate selected by the HSU Emeritus and Retired Faculty Association, and one delegate selected by the Labor Council.
The body is responsible for formulating educational policy, including admissions, curricula and criteria for granting degrees. Senators are also involved in selecting university presidents and administrative personnel. Other duties include maintaining communication to campus delegates and establishing senate committees.
The formation of the university senate comes from a recommendation in the Cabinet for Institutional Change’s 2010 report, “Building the Capacity for Change: Improving the Structure and Culture of Decision-making at HSU,” (PDF).
In April, the Academic Senate Executive Committee charged the Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC) to develop a written proposal for a University Senate structure. Using the university senate model from San Diego State as well as reviewing the current HSU General Faculty Constitution and Senate Bylaws, the FAC drafted new portions of the Constitution and Bylaws, which were approved by the General Faculty in September.
In addition to broader campus representation, the new senate is designed with a more streamlined decision making processes. Senators will be required to serve on at least one senate committee, a policy aimed at involving senators at the beginning stages of policy development.
The senate will also include ex-officio voting members, which include the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, Vice President for Administrative, two General Faculty Representatives to the Academic Senate of the California State University, Chair of the Integrated Curriculum Committee, outgoing Chair of the Senate, President of the HSU Chapter of California Faculty Association (non-voting) and President of Associated Students.
The new University Senate will hold its first meeting in January.