The University Record, June 10, 1998
By Kerry Colligan
The Senate Assembly held its monthly meeting May 18 under the direction of a new chair, William Ensminger, professor of pharmacology and of internal medicine. "Faculty governance is a lot like curling," he noted. "The faculty are the sweepers and where the stone ends up depends on how the people sweep. If we're good sweepers, we should be able to have some impact in the coming year. In short, I plan to take a new look at some things."
Topics under discussion last month included: tobacco divestment; acceptance of reports from the Committee for a Multicultural University, the Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty (CESF) and the Study Group on the Changing Nature of the Professoriate; and charges for the Medical Affairs Advisory Committee and advisory committees for the offices of the General Counsel and Development.
Last October, the Assembly passed a resolution supporting divestment of tobacco stocks. While a University-wide decision has not yet been made, Ensminger said "the position of the administration and the faculty committee is that the University must define the principles [under which divestment would be appropriate]. Socially responsible investment is something the University community can come together on and be educated about."
President Lee C. Bollinger told Ensminger in a separate meeting that he expects those principles to be defined in the fall term. "He said it is 'likely that divestment will happen,'" Ensminger added.
According to Martin Einhorn, professor of physics and chair of the faculty committee examining divestment, once those principles are defined, other products could come under some scrutiny. Among those mentioned at the Assembly meeting were alcohol and sweatshop-produced products.
Reports from the Committee for a Multicultural University, CESF and the professoriate study group were passed. One of the recommendations of the multicultural committee is that a study be done of the University's policies on recruitment and retention of a diverse faculty.
CESF made eight recommendations to the Regents to help "foster integrity in the decision-making process." They are: non-discrimination, openness, consistency of compensation, peer review, communication, accountability and a grievance procedure, budget priority of faculty salaries and publication of all components of faculty salary.
Discussion is ongoing surrounding the professoriate study group report. "The major emphasis of the report," Ensminger said, "is to point out the degree to which the University is moving toward a non-tenure-track faculty." He also noted that SACUA and the Academic Affairs Advisory Council will advise the provost on the findings of the study group.
Each report is available in the SACUA office.
The Assembly's meeting schedule has been set for 1998-99. Meetings will be held in Rackham Amphitheater unless otherwise noted. For more information, contact the SACUA office, 6048 Fleming Administration Bldg., 764-0303.
June 15 cancelled
Dec. 7 on North Campus, location TBA