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Updated 10:00 AM March 14, 2005




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Five faculty members vie for three SACUA slots

Editor's note: The Senate Assembly will elect three new Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA) members at its March 21 meeting. Candidate biographical information and position statements follow.

Carl Akerlof

Appointment: Professor of physics, LSA

Education: Bachelor of arts, physics, Yale University, 1960; doctorate, physics, Cornell University, 1967

Faculty leadership/governance experience: Senate Assembly (2001-04); Student Relations Advisory Committee (SRAC) (2003-04); chair, SRAC (2004-05); Physics Department Executive Committee (two terms); University Supercomputer Access Committee (1984-85).

"The University is facing a variety of difficult challenges exacerbated by the serious economic pressures facing all public institutions in Michigan. I think that SACUA can best serve the University community by looking at long-range issues to solve, or avoid problems before they turn around and bite us. I am particularly concerned by a number of trends that have drastic future implications.

"U-M has sought to enhance diversity in the student body, but it is less clear that we are prepared to ensure the success of these students once they arrive on campus. As at other universities, there is a growing cultural and intellectual gap between the faculty and the administration, aided in part by exponentially growing differentials in compensation.

"Ever-increasing tuition costs are squeezing the population that can afford to send their sons and daughters to Michigan—a treacherous path for a tax-supported institution."

Dr. Charles Koopmann, Jr.

Appointment: Professor and associate chair, Department of Otolaryngology; professor, Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, Medical School

Education: Bachelor of science, medicine (Honors Program in Medical Education), Northwestern University, 1967; medical degree, Northwestern University, 1969; master of science, otolaryngology, University of Iowa, 1975; master of health services administration, School of Public Health, 1996.

Faculty leadership/governance experience: Advisory Committee on Appointments, Promotions and Tenure, Medical School (1996-99); chair, Appointments, Promotions and Awards Committee, Department of Otolaryngology (1996-present); Chair, Academic Affairs Advisory Committee (AAAC) (2000-02); AAAC (2004-present); Tenure Committee (1997-2001); SACUA (2001-04); chair, SACUA (2002-04); Cognate Panel; Advisory Board for Intercollegiate Athletics (2001-present); chair, Academic Performance Committee (2003-present); chair, Grievance Review Board (2001); Student Relations Advisory Committee (2004-present); Senate Assembly (2004-present).

"It is a great privilege to be considered for service on SACUA at this difficult time in U-M's history. I believe that the faculty must have a major voice in deciding what programs will be supported with the limited funds available, especially in the areas of employee benefits, academic programs, facility priorities and dependent care issues.

"The Senate Assembly and SACUA must have major input in the governance status of non-tenured track faculty, grade inflation, the process of grade changes, the development of new programs, any alterations in the tenure requirements and/or tenure 'clock,' and the criteria by which existing programs are maintained or dropped.

"Finally, SACUA, as a representative of the Senate Assembly and the entire faculty, must maintain a viable, credible, but most importantly, a strong, successful voice for the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses when interacting with the administration and the regents."

Brett Seabury

Appointment: Associate professor of social work, LSA

Education: Bachelor of arts, Wesleyan University, 1964; master of social work, Simmons College, 1966; doctorate, social welfare, Columbia University, 1976.

Faculty leadership/governance experience: Senate Assembly (2003-present); Administrative Evaluation Committee (AEC) (2004-present); experience within the School of Social Work (SSW): chair, Curriculum Committee, Parliamentarian for Governing Faculty, past membership in Faculty Council, Executive Committee, Search Committee, Information Technology Committee, Interpersonal Practice Committee and Mental Health Practice Area Committee; membership in ad hoc committees: Minority Relevant Committee that developed SSW's diversity requirements; Organizational Climate Committee that developed and implemented SSW's organizational climate questionnaire.

"Since joining the Senate 17 months ago, I have been concerned about two patterns that I have observed in faculty governance. The Senate Assembly struggles to reach a quorum in far too many meetings. This seems to suggest a lack of faculty commitment to faculty governance within the University. The second observation is the obsessive concern of some members of SACUA not to say or approve anything that might be seen as unfriendly to the administration or Board of Regents.

"My experience as a member of the AEC has connected me to colleagues who have worked responsibly to plan and implement the online, administrative evaluation system. In contrast to my impressions of SACUA, this committee has moved expeditiously to produce a significant change in the organizational climate of the University. Hopefully, SACUA and the Senate Assembly can follow-up with the lessons learned in this evaluation.

"I am running for membership in SACUA in order to continue the movement reflected in the AEC to enhance faculty governance."

Dr. Charles B. Smith

Appointment: Professor of pharmacology

Education: Bachelor of arts, 1958, medical degree, 1965, and doctorate, 1966, Harvard University

Faculty leadership/governance experience: Senate Assembly (1990-95, 2003-present); chair, Budget Study Committee (2002-present), SACUA, (1992-95); General Counsel Advisory Committee (2002-present); Medical Affairs Advisory Committee, (1999-2002); Committee for a Multicultural University (1992-98, chair, 1996-98); Academic Affairs Advisory Committee (1989-92, 1995-98); Civil Liberties Board (1994-95); University Advisory Committee, Program in Scholarly Research for Urban/Minority High School Students (1981-96); Research Policies Committee (1993-94); Student Relations Committee (1992-93); Wade H. McCree Incentive Scholars Program Advisory Committee (1988-91); Provost's Commission on Recruitment, Success and Graduation of Undergraduate Students of Color (1989-92); Statistical Consulting Implementation Committee (1990); Special Task Force on Statistical Support (1988-89); Minority Student Recruitment Initiative in Health and Biological Sciences Task Force (1986-87); Medical School Neural and Behavioral Sciences Program Director (1981-87).

"Because we are one of the nation's premier public universities, our faculty and administration must lead in protecting academic freedom, preserving tenure and promoting shared governance.

"Important issues include maintaining a high-quality educational experience, the growing number of non-tenure-track instructional faculty, the University as a business enterprise and intellectual property rights, as well as shifts in the cost of benefits.

"Administrative decisions related to such issues should be made only after consultation with the faculty. SACUA should bring these and related matters to the Senate Assembly. I have served on many Senate Assembly committees—service for which I received the 2003 Distinguished Faculty Governance Award. These past experiences in faculty governance and my current work on the Budget Study Committee—which is evaluating the changes in faculty benefit programs—and with the local and state American Association of University Professors, will enable me to be an effective advocate on SACUA for faculty and for working with the University administration."

Betty Anne Younker

Appointment: Assistant professor of music education, School of Music

Education: Bachelor of music, University of Prince Edward Island, 1978; master of music education, Pennsylvania State University, 1980; doctorate, music education, Northwestern University, 1997

Faculty leadership/governance experience: Chair, Department of Music Education (2004-present); Academic Affairs Advisory Committee (2004-present); Senate Assembly (2003-present); resolution officer (2002-04); Michigan Roads Scholar Tour (2001); involvement with the Prison Creative Arts Project; chair, Council of Departmental Representatives (2002-04); School of Music faculty advisor for the music education students' chapter of a professional organization (2001-present).

"Universities have faced economic challenges in the past, but presently such challenges are requiring shifts in thinking and expectations.

"On the positive side, it is often during these times that creativity peaks and in the process, involves a critical analysis of existing traditions and allows for an emergence of new thinking. Often such analysis and thinking generates alternative paradigms and interdisciplinary ventures. Here at U-M, the community has capitalized on the challenges and continues to provide such opportunities.

"As traditions and new thinking are examined, faculty should be vocal and play a strong role at all levels of discussion and decision-making procedures.

"I am honored to be nominated and think that my continuing involvement at a variety of levels across the campus would contribute to the proceedings of SACUA. It is through such involvement that productive dialogue can occur as decisions are made about issues that affect students, staff and faculty."

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