The faculty senate meeting began with a familiar college scene, except instead of students, Henderson 112 was filled by faculty members. Faculty members walked into a large classroom one by one, with many taking seats near the back of the room. Some played on their phones and others chatted while everyone waited for the last meeting of the year to begin.
Four seats were filled at the front of the room by this year’s officers: Jennifer Ball, president, Linsey Moddelmog, vice president, Jim Schnoebelen, secretary, and Dan Petersen, parliamentarian. The last meeting of the year, which took place on May 2, promptly began at 3 p.m. and had only a small agenda to accomplish.
The purpose of this meeting was simple: to elect next year’s officers. There was no new business or old business for the meeting to address
The meeting began with a joke by Roy Wohl, and laughter filled the room as more members shuffled into their seats.
But the meeting quickly turned to business as usual as Ball quickly instigated nominations for president, vice president, secretary and parliamentarian for the 2016-17 year.
Although Ball received a nomination to continue her term as president, she immediately dismissed the notion and two other nominations were offered. Schnoebelen and chemistry professor Shaun Schmidt both received nominations for the presidential position.
“There are quite a few issues I want to address next year,” Schmidt said. “Right now we are worried about making phone calls to students to tell them to please come and I don’t mind making those phone calls, but how does that fit into a bigger picture of what this university really is? I think we need to find a way to push that conversation with administration. What is our identity? What is our goal?”
Schmidt was selected for the presidential position for next year and said he has many ideas that will give the faculty a stronger voice for academics.
“The reason the faculty senate was created was to give the faculty a stronger voice,” said Schmidt. “I don’t know how well we have been expressing that voice, and we need to do a better job of having intellectual debate and conversation. I feel like the faculty senate has become too quiet.”
Along with the new election of Schmidt, vice president Moddelmog was re-elected to her officer position. Moddelmog said she will continue her role of supporting the president and attending all meetings.
Furthermore, Schnoebelen was re-elected to his position, and associate computer information science professor Rick Barker will be taking over the parliamentarian officer role next year.
After electing new officers, attendees briefly conversed on student activities such as the 2016 graduation ceremony and Apeiron before the meeting adjourned.
“Students have paid our salaries for four years. We owe them our coming to graduation,” Barker. said
Ball said that all faculty senate meetings have the purpose of reviewing and approving academic affairs and changes. These reviews and addresses will continue at the beginning of the 2017 academic year.
“The faculty senate is advisory to the president in all things academic,” said Ball. “Any kind of changes to academic programs or any new programs come through academic affairs and then comes to us. It also serves as the faculty voice on issues on policy, faculty personnel issues and any type of policy or concern on campus; we have our voice on campus.”