Faculty Senate meets

UD Faculty Senate holds first meeting of 2013-14 academic year

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(Editor's note: For more detailed information, including meeting minutes, visit the Faculty Senate website.)

9:01 a.m., Sept. 12, 2013--The University of Delaware Faculty Senate welcomed new Provost Domenico Grasso during its first meeting of the 2013-14 academic year held Monday, Sept. 9, in Gore Hall. 

Also at the meeting, the senate approved an amendment to the Faculty Handbook clarifying the definition of adjunct faculty and affiliated faculty titles at UD. 

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During his first remarks to the Faculty Senate, Grasso discussed what he considers to be issues of critical importance to UD and the academic community at large.

“At the reception they held for me recently, I said there is a lot of latent heat here, and I still believe that,” Grasso said. “With every day, I uncover new gems about this University, and I think that there is enormous potential here that has been hidden away.”

Grasso expressed the hope that a collaborative effort between faculty, staff and students will meet the challenges facing higher education in the 21st century. 

“The drivers are going to be looking at how students learn, the role of citizenship, research in critical areas of importance, and faculty excellence,” Grasso said. “And, of course, diversity overlays all of that.” 

Grasso also cited a recent report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, “The Heart of the Matter,” which identifies three goals and 13 broad recommendations for advancing the humanities and social sciences in America. 

The report, Grasso noted, identified a series of recommendations that call for an integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies and the humanities and social sciences. 

“As important as STEM education is -- and make no mistake, it is critically important to the future of our civilization and the economy -- I think it’s equally important to have strong and vibrant humanities and social sciences that interlock with it,” Grasso said. “This is what will give America the competitive advantages it enjoyed in the last century.” 

Citing past discussions with students on why they chose their particular major, or what majors they were considering, Grasso said that three important things to consider are currency, luxury and legacy.

“At the end of their education, you hope the students will be able to get a job — that’s currency,” Grasso said. “You hope that they will make a difference — that’s legacy. And you hope that they will enjoy what they are doing — that’s luxury.” 

Grasso cited collaboration, diversity and impact as being among the core values with which to meet the “grand challenges and great debates taking place at great institutions like UD.” 

“What I do want is for all of us to enjoy what we are doing here, to be impactful, and to be very diverse,” Grasso said. “I think that the only way we are going to be successful is to be a diverse community that is representative of the hopes and dreams of our society at large, and to be collaborative in how we do this.”

Senate actions

Faculty Senate President Deni Galileo, associate professor of biological sciences, welcomed new senators, updating new and returning members on subjects including the multiple responsibilities of the senate, parliamentary procedures, item tracking and points of information. 

Members of the Faculty Senate approved a resolution to amend Section 4.1.2 of the Faculty Handbook whereby the title “adjunct faculty” be given to those who teach a course or courses on a supplemental contract and are not otherwise fulltime faculty of the University.

Faculty currently given the title “adjunct faculty” will now be given the title “affiliated faculty” (including professor, associate professor, assistant professor and instructor).

An example of an affiliated faculty member might be someone who started out at UD, was advising graduate students and moved on to another university and who wants to continue advising their UD graduate students but does not receive a UD stipend. The changes in designation will be implemented as of Jan. 1, 2014. 

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Faculty Senate is at 4 p.m., Monday, Oct. 7, in 104 Gore Hall. Preceding the regular meeting will be a general faculty meeting to be held at 3:30 p.m. in the same location.

Article by Jerry Rhodes

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