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Updated 10:00 AM March 27, 2006




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Three new members to join SACUA May 1

Faculty members from LSA, the Law School and the University Library are joining the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA).

The Senate Assembly March 20 elected Bruce Frier, the Frank O. Copley Collegiate Professor of Classics and Roman Law, LSA, and Henry King Ransom Professor of Law; Barbara MacAdam, librarian and head, reference and instruction, University Library; and Keith Riles, professor of physics, LSA, to fill expiring terms.

Riles was tied with David Potter, the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Greek and Latin, LSA, after a first vote. Riles tallied more votes in a second vote in the Rackham Amphitheatre. All three winners will take seats on the nine-member committee May 1 and serve three-year terms.

While Potter did not win election to the committee, as fourth vote-getter in the field of four candidates he would be in line to replace Betty Anne Younker, assistant professor of music, who will leave the committee June 30 when she begins a new position as associate dean.

The new members will replace outgoing members John Lehman, professor of biology; Vice Chairman Richard Gull, professor of philosophy at U-M-Flint; and Jens Zorn, professor of physics.

Remaining on SACUA for 2006-07 are current Chair Bruno Giordani, associate professor of psychiatry in the Medical School and associate professor of psychology, LSA; Michael Combi, distinguished research scientist in the Space Physics Research Lab and research professor in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences; Semyon Meerkov, professor of electrical engineering and computer science; Brett Seabury, associate professor of social work; and Dr. Charles B. Smith, professor of pharmacology.

Before voting to elect the new SACUA, the Senate Assembly discussed an action item from Lehman to permit newly elected members to vote on the 2006-07 chair and vice chair. If enacted, this would change the current practice in which three outgoing SACUA members select the new chair and vice chair, along with the other six who continue on the committee.

The committee is charged with electing a new chair and vice chair to take those positions starting May 1.

"I regard this action as completing the election reforms that we began together in 2004," Lehman said. But his action item drew more opposition than support. "It takes time to learn the strengths and weaknesses of colleagues," said Zorn, who said he opposed the change, as did Giordani. Speaking in support of the change was Meerkov: "New members are disenfranchised," he said, by the current system.

The assembly voted 24-8 to table the motion, which likely is to be discussed again at SACUA's regular meeting at 2 p.m. today (March 27) in the Regents Room of the Fleming Administration Building.

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