The University Record, March 19, 2001

Candidates for SACUA posts share views

Editor’s Note: The Senate Assembly will elect Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA) members at its March 26 meeting. There are four candidates running for three open positions. Position statements and biographical information are included below.

SeonAe Yeo

The role of SACUA is to advise and consult with the president, provost and executive officers of the University on matters of University policy on behalf of the Assembly. Through this service, leaders of the University gain critical perspective from SACUA that is diverse and heterogeneous in its faculty composition. In light of changes in the tenure system, student body composition and research funding sources, we are at a critical point to evaluate and redefine our future, in order to preserve and enhance education and research. Vision and consensus will guide us to respond to the rapidly changing environment in the health care system and information technology. Instead of being in fear of losing the status quo, the University is in an excellent position to articulate a framework in order to capture a powerful, efficient and stronger future faculty body that is deeply connected to communities.

More important, to fully integrate all faculty into shared governance, the lives and the careers of all of us, including women, working parents, persons with disabilities and ethnic minorities, must be nurtured with special attention on tenure and promotion, competitive salaries, and support for balancing family responsibilities. As a SACUA member for one year, I had an opportunity to serve for the Prescription Drug Workgroup for 2002 as a SACUA liaison. I fought for faculty members to keep the cost for health care at a reasonable level. I believe that I can make a significant contribution to the University through service in SACUA. I believe that I can be a bridge between leaders of the University and faculty at large.

Yeo, associate professor of nursing, has been with the University since 1986. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Tokyo. She is a member of the Japan Academy of Nursing Science. She served as a Senate Assembly member for three years. She also serves on the Executive Committee for the Children’s Center for Working Families, as well as the Executive Committee for the School of Nursing. She received the Heart of Gold Award from the United Way for her service to the Corner Adolescent Health Center in Ypsilanti. Her research has involved pregnant women’s exercise and its effect on preeclampsia.

Charles Koopmann

The University community faces challenges, which require that the administration, faculty and students work together to achieve common goals and to solve mutual problems. It is imperative that the faculty have strong leadership to ensure that it will be adequately represented in the decision-making in the areas of teaching, faculty governance, promotion and tenure policies and decisions, budget priorities, balancing the academic triad (education, research and service), and the implementation of the Principles of Governance for the faculty of all schools in the University of Michigan system. SACUA members must work with the students and the administration to maximize our educational environment for all members of the academic community. We must improve communication and collaboration between the various campuses and schools in this diverse institution and, at the same time, be innovative and collaborate with governmental and business colleagues who share common interests and goals. Finally, SACUA must strive to find ways to assist faculty to deal with the increased demands placed on its members to “do it all.”

Koopmann was a faculty member at the University of Arizona (1977–86) before coming to the U-M in 1986. In 1994–96, he completed his studies at the School of Public Health to earn a master’s of health services administration degree, and in 1998, he obtained a Certificate in Medical Ethics from the University of Washington. He is professor and associate chair of the Department of Otolaryngology, chief of Pediatric Otolaryngology and a member of the Faulty Group Practice Board of Directors at the Medical School. He has served on departmental, Medical School and university tenure committees (he is chair of the Tenure Committee for the University) and currently serves on the Academic Affairs Advisory Committee. He was one of the authors of the “Principles of Faculty Involvement in Institutional and Academic Unit Governance at the University of Michigan” and the “Tenure Committee Principles” document (recently approved by the Faculty Senate), and he recently served on the “Do It All” Task Force and the Faculty Senate. He has served as an officer in several national societies (president of one) and is currently a member of an American Medical Association advisory committee.

John Riebesell

The Regents’ Bylaws state that the Senate Assembly is “the legislative arm” of the University Senate. However, Senate Assembly has evolved into an organization that spends most of its time listening to presentations by senior officers and very little time on legislation. It is probably unrealistic to expect that a 72-member body will be able to originate new proposals and policies during once-a-month meetings. Instead, the development of new initiatives should generally be delegated to smaller committees, such as SACUA and faculty advisory committees. As a SACUA member, I will encourage SACUA and the SACUA-appointed committees to develop proposals that include a range of alternatives for Senate Assembly to consider.

As a Senate Assembly member from a “branch” campus, I also have an interest in seeing that U-M-Dearborn and U-M-Flint are not overlooked in Universitywide faculty governance. In 1998–99, Dearborn and Flint accounted for 22.7 percent of the students enrolled in the U-M system (FYES) and 17.7 percent of faculty effort (FTE). In light of these numbers, it is disappointing when most of the presentations and documents that come before Senate Assembly presume a purely Ann Arbor audience, even in cases where potential policies might very appropriately be applied to all three campuses.

Riebesell has been a biology faculty member at Dearborn since 1977. He has substantial faculty-governance experience, including service on the executive committees of the Department of Natural Sciences and the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters, and on the U-M-Dearborn Faculty Senate, which he chaired in 1997–99. His current research focuses on the ecology of the Rocky Mountain capshell (a rare limpet) and on developing methods for applying geographic information systems to environmental problems.

Phillip Savage

When asked to stand for election to SACUA, I was reluctant to assent. It was easy to tell myself that the University would be better served if I were less distracted from my students and my scholarship. Nevertheless, my name appears on the ballot. I agreed to serve because there will always be challenges that a University such as ours will face. Some of these will be ones to which we must react. Others will be ones that we deliberately create to ensure that Michigan remains among the leaders and the best. The University is best served when there is genuine faculty governance and the administration and faculty work together to meet these challenges. Genuine faculty governance requires genuine faculty participation. That participation must be broad and vigorous. It must include faculty in different units, in different seasons of life, in different stages of their careers and in pursuit of different models of scholarship. I do not claim to be uniquely gifted or uniquely qualified to serve on SACUA. I simply possess one of the perspectives, some of experiences, some of the insights and some of the skills that must be pooled for SACUA to be effective in faculty governance. It is out of my commitment to the alumni, students, staff and faculty of this University and my desire to see it accomplish its purposes that I make myself available to serve on SACUA.

Savage, professor of chemical engineering, has been at Michigan since earning his Ph.D. in 1986. His scholarly interests involve chemical reaction kinetics and mechanisms, especially in systems of environmental significance. He has served on the Senate Assembly for two years and also is a member of the Provost’s Council on Student Honors. He has served on many College of Engineering committees, including the curriculum committee; the nominating committee (chair in 1999); the honors and awards committee (chair in 2001); the Institute for Environmental Science, Engineering and Technology (IESET) curriculum and executive committees; and other ad hoc task forces. Savage was the national winner of the 2001 Catalyst Award from the American Chemistry Council for excellence in chemical education. He was named a Thurnau Professor in 1997. He won the Amoco Faculty Teaching award in 1996, and he has received both Research Excellence (1997) and Teaching Excellence (1995) awards from the College of Engineering. He will bring this experience in service and his insights from integrating teaching and research to his role as a member of SACUA.