Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Senate Assembly elects three to fill seats on SACUA

The Senate Assembly on Monday elected faculty members from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, LSA and the School of Dentistry to three-year terms on the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA).

The faculty governance body elected:


Scott Masten


Sally Oey

  Dr. Rex Holland

• Scott Masten, professor of business economics and public policy.

• Sally Oey, associate professor of astronomy.

• Dr. Rex Holland, professor of cariology, restorative sciences and endodontics, and cell and developmental biology.

The three were the highest vote getters of six faculty members vying for positions on the nine-member executive arm of the faculty governance system, which also includes the University Senate and Senate Assembly. Their terms begin May 1 and continue through April 30, 2015.

Each candidate gave a brief statement before Monday's vote.

"As a rule I think we're probably more effective in faculty governance at stopping really bad policies and actions than we are in promoting positive initiatives," Masten said.

He added that a recent visit to Europe illustrated for him how universities there are trying to emulate those in America, which in turn gave him an appreciation for the role of faculty governance in making the best U.S institutions great.

Oey said she values transparency, and that mutual trust, mutual interest and working toward a common goal are essential. She said the administration should be interested in working with the faculty and its varied expertise.

"We're a phenomenal resource for them. And by the same token, we can trust that the administration really does have the best interest of the university at heart, and so I think we all agree that is what we want to promote," she said.

Holland said he strongly supports faculty governance, but that the principle behind it is being eroded. He expressed concern that the administration operates in an atmosphere of secrecy.

"The Senate Assembly is not as effective as it could be. I think we need to communicate more often and more strongly with the individual units. Maybe have the Senate Assembly members report to their own units on a regular basis, or maybe have someone from the SACUA committee present to the faculty every year," he said.

Also running were: Sara Ahbel-Rappe, professor of Greek and Latin and adjunct associate professor of Near Eastern studies; Seth Hirshorn, associate professor of public administration at UM-Dearborn; and Dr. Tilly Peters, professor of cariology, restorative sciences and endodontics, and faculty associate at the Center for Global Health.

The new SACUA members will replace outgoing members John Lehman, professor of biology; Steven Lusmann, associate professor of voice; and Ed Rothman, professor of statistics.

They will join incumbents Kate Barald, professor of biomedical engineering, and cell and developmental biology; Kimberlee Kearfott, professor of nuclear engineering radiological sciences, biomedical engineering, and radiology; Rachel Goldman, professor of materials science and engineering, electrical engineering and computer science, and physics; Dr. Charles Koopmann, professor of otorhinolaryngology, and pediatrics and communicable diseases; Finn Larsen, associate professor of physics; and Karen Staller, associate professor of social work.