The University of MichiganNews Services
The University Record Online
Updated 11:00 AM March 8, 2004



news briefs


UM employment

police beat
regents round-up
research reporter


Advertise with Record

contact us
meet the staff
contact us
  Faculty governance
Nine faculty members vie for three SACUA slots


David Blair

Appointment: Professor of computer and information systems, Business School

Education: Bachelor of arts, philosophy, Whitman College, 1968; doctorate, information systems, University of California, Berkeley, 1981

Faculty leadership/governance experience: Member of founding faculty of CIS Department in the Business School, Industrial Technology Institute, School of Information and the Graduate Interdisciplinary Institute; University Tenure Committee (chair); co-author of the University Tenure Policy Document; Faculty Senate; SACUA; SACUA Rules Committee (chair); University Financial Affairs Committee; President Duderstadt's Task Force on Attracting and Retaining Excellent Faculty and Students at the University; Civil Liberties Review Board
Blair (Courtesy David Blair)

"The major overriding concern of U-M today is, of course, the dramatic budget cuts which it has suffered recently. This is a natural consequence of being a state university, but the magnitude and suddenness of these cuts have put an unusually difficult burden on University administrators and faculty. Budget fluctuations are a constant phenomenon, and U-M has found ways to deal with them before. But these recent budget cuts may do what no other budget cuts have done—they won't just reduce the support of existing activities, letting them continue at a reduced rate; but may, in fact, change the character of the University itself by eliminating a significant number of these activities and the infrastructure that supports them.

"As we confront the budget crisis, it is essential we maintain the traditional character of U-M that has been responsible for its excellent academic and research reputation. This means that the budget cutting cannot just be a numbers game where support is cut without consideration of the impact it may have. The cuts only can come out of a careful and thorough consideration of which University activities and infrastructure are essential to maintain the character of U-M.

"I have been on the University faculty for 24 years, have served on a large number and variety of committees, and have had several appointments in departments other than the Business School. This background gives me, I think, a good perspective in which to see the University as a whole and not just from the point of view of my own department or school. Furthermore, I currently am a member of the University Financial Affairs Committee, so I have first-hand knowledge of the financial assets and liabilities the University must operate under. This personal knowledge and experience will give me a good sense of which University activities are essential to preserve.

"Finally, as these difficult financial decisions continue to be made, it is important that the University faculty be as informed as possible about the discussions and reasoning behind these decisions. Only by being completely informed can the U-M faculty at large provide the analysis and support necessary to make this difficult process successful."

Michael Combi

Appointment: Research professor and distinguished research scientist, Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences (AOSS), College of Engineering

Education: Bachelor of science, physics, Manhattan College, 1973; master of science, physics and astronomy (1976), and doctorate, physics (1979), University of Toledo

Faculty leadership/governance experience: Faculty Senate Assembly (2001-04); director of AOSS Research Experience for Undergraduates Program (1997-present); AOSS Department Executive Committee (two terms); College of Engineering Awards Committee (three terms); Space Physics Research Laboratory Advisory Committee (two terms); chair and member of numerous hiring, promotion and dissertation committees; editor, planetary science journal Icaru; numerous NASA review and advisory panels and conference organizing committees
Combi (Photo by Paul Jaronski, U-M Photo Services)

"The University remains in an ever-deepening financial crisis, when a continuing string of difficult policy decisions will need to be made. The most effective course of action will be one in which all major players have a voice. What distinguishes large elite research universities (privates like Stanford and Johns Hopkins and publics like UCLA and U-M) from other excellent institutions of higher learning is their dual role of nurturing the next generation of the "leaders and best" while enabling the current generation to advance basic and applied knowledge for the benefit of the country and mankind.

"It is this unique aspect of integrating education with research for both purposes that universities such as U-M strive. The presence of a world-class research faculty enables the University to add both breadth, in terms of more research areas, and depth, in terms of big research, not possible with only tenure-track teaching faculty, and thus provides a wide range of research opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students.

"I am pleased to stand for election to SACUA at this time, when we need reasoned input into the administration, as well as communication back to the faculty regarding the issues and trade-offs surrounding difficult decisions."

Bruno Giordani

Appointment: Associate professor, Medical School and LSA; director, Neuropsychology Section, Department of Psychiatry

Education: Doctorate, University of Virginia, 1982

Faculty leadership/governance experience: SACUA Research Policy Committee (chair); SACUA Academic Affairs Advisory Committee; SACUA Child Care Task Force; department tenure and training committees
Giordani (Photo by Pat Bohland)

"I am honored to be nominated and believe that my background leaves me ideally suited to contribute to SACUA. Faculty should play a strong and decisive role in University governance. An important part of this will be insuring that there is a system of accountability throughout our University. Faculty also must have effective input into budgets, staff negotiations and questions addressing diversity and admissions.

"Challenges continue for our institutional environment, including availability, cost and quality of health insurance, parking, child/eldercare programs, and retirement benefits. As a researcher, I am aware of increasing administrative and budget restrictions routinely encountered and the stress of balancing research and publishing with family priorities. As a teacher with a daughter at U-M, I am sensitive to issues of student life, including course availability, tuition and disability resources. As a section director, I recognize issues in retention of instructional level positions and faculty recruitment, as well as the need to reward faculty remaining committed to the University.

"While protecting the role of tenure at U-M, SACUA must be a responsible voice for all faculty. We must ensure that the University remains an environment where respect and open, reasonable communication exist among all faculty, administrative staff and students."

Michael Gould

Appointments: Assistant professor, School of Music, Residential College, LSA

Education: Bachelor of music, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 1990; master of music, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, 1992; doctor or musical arts, University of Kentucky, 1999.

Faculty leadership/governance experience: Senate Assembly; Tenure Committee (chair); College Pedagogy Committee; Percussive Arts Society
Gould (Courtesy Michael Gould)

"I believe the University has the tools and people to not only survive our current financial troubles but also to thrive both now and in the future. The fiscal drive to cut budgets throughout the University has to be balanced by our collective academic needs, which will happen through strong and wise faculty leadership. Developing creative approaches to utilize our existing resources while forecasting the effect of cuts on schools, colleges and programs will yield innovative solutions to difficult decisions.

"I feel fortunate to be a part of two academic communities on Central and North campuses and have a keen understanding of the needs of the faculty. I would be honored to be an advocate for the faculty and feel confident that my creativity in solving complex issues, as well as my enthusiasm for helping all of the members of the U-M community, would be a great asset to SACUA."

Shaké Ketefian

Appointment: Professor and director of international affairs, School of Nursing

Education: Bachelor of science, American University of Beirut, 1963; master of education (1968) and doctor of education (1972), Columbia University

Faculty leadership/governance experience: Two terms on Senate Assembly, serving on several committees; Executive Board of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies; several University-wide task forces and committees
Ketefian (Courtesy Shaké Ketefian

"SACUA is a critical structure for the faculty governance system at U-M; it brings to bear the faculty voice on major University-wide decisions. This faculty voice needs to continue to be strengthened, and I am pleased to be a candidate for SACUA membership. As resources become constrained, especially at the state level, many decisions made by the administration will likely be zero-sum. It therefore becomes critical that faculty advocate and keep at the forefront for all the academic values and primary mission that has brought us together as a community.

"I would also like to see SACUA concern itself with faculty governance issues of the schools and colleges, where the strength of the faculty's voice and influence is highly variable across campus.

"The University brings together an outstanding group of faculty, students, administrators and staff. It has a high and well-deserved national profile. As I travel around the world, however, I do not see the degree of visibility and impact one would expect U-M to have. I would like to see the University develop a strategic plan to implement its tri-partite mission at the global level, and become more active and visible on the world stage. This will take careful planning, deliberation and commitment to bring about. This is an area where faculty and administration can collaborate constructively.

"When resources begin shrinking, it is too tempting to keep busy balancing the budget; yet, for the intellectual vitality of the University, introducing new initiatives are critical contributors to the dynamisms of our intellectual environment."

Semyon Meerkov

Appointment: Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering
Meerkov (Courtesy College of Engineering)

Education: Master of science, electrical engineering, Polytechnic of Kharkov, Ukraine, 1962; doctorate, systems science, Institute of Control Sciences, Moscow, Russia,1966

Faculty leadership/governance experience: Senate Assembly (2003-present)

"During the last 10 years, the balance of power at U-M has shifted from the faculty to the administration. I think this shift is detrimental for the University. I am running for a seat on SACUA in order to work on improving this situation. Currently, as a member of the Senate Assembly, I introduced a proposal for routine evaluations of the administrators (including the president, provost, deans and department chairs) by the faculty, with the results to be reported to the regents. I believe that my membership in SACUA will be helpful to have this proposal approved and, most importantly, implemented."

Jon Rush

Appointment: Professor of art, School of Art & Design (A&D)

Education: Bachelor of fine arts (1958) and master of fine arts (1959), Cranbrook Academy of Art

Faculty leadership/governance experience: A&D Executive Committee; Rules and Nomination Committee (chair); Academic Affairs Advisory Committee (chair); SACUA; Senate Assembly
Rush (Photo by Martin Vloet, U-M Photo Services)

"The faculty's participation in the governance of our University is defined in the regents' bylaws. Yet, faculty participation is most effective when there is mutual trust between the administration and the faculty. This trust is often fragile and is constantly tested by external and internal pressures. This is particularly so now, as the state and University are in the midst of a serious financial crisis. In order to maintain the high quality of our University, it is therefore all the more important that this trust is maintained and the administration continues to seriously listen to and consult the faculty through SACUA. If elected to SACUA, I will work with fellow SACUA members to maintain that trust and express the faculty's viewpoint on the diverse issues that are certain to confront us.

"I worked at my unit level to develop the first bylaws of A&D, creating its first executive committee in 1978. In 1996-97, I chaired the Academic Affairs Advisory Committee, which developed the Principles of Faculty Participation in Institutional and Academic Unit Governance at the University of Michigan. They are now part of the U-M Faculty Handbook."

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); Budget Study Committee (chair, 2002-present); SACUA (1992-95); General Counsel Advisory Committee (2002-05); Medical Affairs Advisory Committee, (1999-2002); Committee for a Multicultural University (1992-98, chair, 1996-98); Academic Affairs Advisory Committee (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); Academic Affairs Advisory Committee (1989-92); 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); Neural and Behavioral Sciences Program Director (1981-87).
Smith (Photo by Paul Jaronski, U-M Photo Services)

"Because of the current economic, political and social climate of our state and nation, higher education is facing critical challenges. Through participation in University faculty governance, faculty can help to shape the position that the University takes with respect to issues such as preservation of a high-quality education, the growing number of non-tenure-track instructional faculty, evolution of the University as a business enterprise, intellectual property rights, shifts in the cost of medical, drug, retirement and other benefits for faculty, staff and students, and the promotion of academic and intellectual freedom.

"Administrative decisions relevant to such issues are often made without adequate faculty involvement. SACUA routinely should bring these and related issues to the monthly meetings of the Senate Assembly for information, open discussion and constructive debate.

"During the past 10 years I have served on nearly every Senate Assembly committee—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 state and local AAUP will enable me to be an effective advocate on SACUA for faculty in interacting with the University administration."

Betty Anne Younker

Appointment: Assistant professor, Department of Music Education, School of Music

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

Faculty leadership/governance experience: Senate Assembly, (2003-present); Resolution Officer (2002-04); Michigan Roads Scholar Tour (2001); chair of the Council of Departmental Representatives, School of Music (2002-04)
Younker (Courtesy Betty Anne Younker)

"U-M serves as a leader in promoting excellence in research and teaching, and in supporting interdisciplinary initiatives across campus. During these difficult economic times, it is essential that values are evaluated, nourished and upheld by the University community.

"In addition to understanding and recognizing the values that shape many decisions, present issues such as preservation of programs, childcare and health care need to be evaluated with input from all stakeholders as proposals are formed and considered at the various levels within the University community.

"Throughout my time here at the University, I have become involved in the wider community and within the School of Music because of my belief in active participation and in stakeholders having a voice during the decision-making processes. Accepting the offer to be nominated for election to SACUA at this time reflects this belief. The Senate Assembly is the only University-wide legislative faculty committee in the governance structure and serves as an informed liaison between faculty and the administration; thus an arena for input as dialogue occurs and proposals are put forth.

"During this difficult economic time, I want to be part of that dialogue as we determine how to best serve faculty and students while maintaining the excellence expected and experienced at U-M."

More Stories