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Faculty Senate holds November meeting

Topics include academic calendar, anti-bullying policy and naming protocols

A month after celebrating its 50th year of promoting high academic standards and helping to enshrine shared governance as an institutional pillar at the University of Delaware, the Faculty Senate held its November meeting in Gore Hall on Monday, Nov. 4.

Provost Robin Morgan addressed the group and provided updates on several issues, including the task force looking to adjust the date of Commencement. A number of people had expressed concern that the relatively late Commencement on June 1 this year had created problems for students seeking internships and summer work. While there had been talk of simply shortening Winter Session from five to four weeks, the task force was able to offer some modest calendar adjustments that eliminated the need to alter the winter calendar while still scheduling Commencement before Memorial Day. Morgan thanked the members of the task force for their work, recognizing faculty members Avron Abraham (chair), Jackie Fajardo and Bill Rose, UD Registrar Jeff Palmer, and Julia Rowland, vice president of the Student Government Association.

Morgan also noted that a process is underway to develop an anti-bullying policy as a means of ensuring a positive workplace climate where people are treated with respect. She said that Matt Kinservik, vice provost for faculty affairs, is seeking models around the country and will work with UD Advance, the Faculty Senate and other groups to propose policies for UD.

Finally, Morgan provided status reports on the searches for both the inaugural dean of the Graduate College and the chief diversity officer for UD. She encouraged everyone to send in nominations for possible candidates for these positions.

Faculty Senate President Matt Robinson announced there would be a town hall meeting on the University budget that would be open to all faculty and staff on Wednesday, Dec. 4. There also will be presentations to the executive and budget committees.

One piece of business from the October meeting—the approval of the Department of Music’s name being changed to the School of Music—has prompted the need for a larger discussion around naming and organizing issues. For that reason, Robinson said there would be a “committee of the whole” session at the December meeting to discuss the following items:

  • What is the difference between a school, a college and a department?
  • What is the appropriate and/or accepted title for the person leading such an entity?
  • What is the difference between a stand-alone entity and one that is part of a college?
  • What should be the criteria to become one of the entities? (e.g., professionally accepted name, number of faculty, students, programs, centers, reach across campus, etc.)
  • Other items that may be of consideration.

Adam Cantley, dean of students, and John Cohill of the Student Government Association made a presentation on “Loss of a Student: Supports and Processes,” offering details on the protocols surrounding what happens when a student passes away on campus and providing information on the support resources available to students, faculty and staff.

For information on the Faculty Senate, including past and upcoming meeting information, please visit the senate’s website.

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