Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Three new SACUA members elected

Dr. Charles Koopman, Finn Larsen and Karen Staller were elected to the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA) by the Senate Assembly at its meeting Monday.

The three were the highest vote getters among nine faculty vying for the positions. Their terms start May 1 and continue to May 1, 2014.

Candidates gave brief statements before the vote.

“I’ve produced results,” said Koopman, a professor and associate chair in the Medical School, who was a SACUA chair for two terms and a member of committees including the Committee on Economic Status of the Faculty (currently), past chair of the Academic Affairs Advisory Committee and past member of the Advisory Committee for Intercollegiate Athletics. “I think we have some issues to address, health and retirement benefits, and we have to work with the administration to secure our academic freedom.”

Larsen, associate chair in the Department of Physics, said he was concerned that faculty governance is being undermined. “I’m worried that the administration is so far removed from regular faculty,” he said. “I think they need some truly independent advice. … I think that’s what SACUA should do.”

Staller, associate professor of social work, said that her experience as a legal services lawyer in New York City shows that “I tend to be willing to take up the battle.” Staller also said she was concerned about threats to academic freedom. “The role of a strong faculty voice is especially crucial,” she said, adding faculty governance “has an essential role in surfacing issues.”

The new members join incumbents Kate Barald, professor of cell and developmental biology, and biomedical engineering, and incoming SACUA chair; Kimberlee Kearfott, professor of nuclear engineering radiological sciences, biomedical engineering, and radiology, and incoming SACUA vice chair; Edward Rothman, professor of statistics, adjunct professor of economics, director of the Center for Statistical Consultation and Research, and outgoing SACUA chair; Stephen Lusmann, associate professor of music; John Lehman, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology; and Rachel Goldman, professor of materials science and engineering, electrical engineering and computer science, and physics.