Powell Presents Faculty Senate Update


Dr. David Powell

Dr. David Powell, chair of Faculty Senate, provided the Regents an update on the recent work of the Senate.

The Senate has passed a bill on ownership of online courses and online content policy; accepted an amendment in the wording of the title of 17-A-03 Revising Principles of Collegiality; and passed a resolution concerning language in the criterion for “terminal degree” for candidates for the position of provost. The resolution amended language calling for “an earned doctorate from an accredited university” to include “terminal degrees from credited universities,” Powell said.

The Senate approved recommendations for emeritus/emerita status for six faculty members who collectively have provided 179 years of service to the University.

Last November, Faculty Senate initiated a series of “listening sessions” in which it invited University administration guests to share their perspectives and vision of shared governance and how to improve communication and morale across the University. Powell said these conversations have helped cultivate a renewed culture of communication and collaboration. Guests to date have included President Carlos Vargas; Interim Provost Tamela Randolph; Rhonda Weller-Stilson, dean of the Holland College of Arts and Media; Dr. Kevin Dickson, chair of the Department of Management; Dr. Melissa Odegard-Koester, chair of the Department of Psychology and Counseling; Barbara Glackin, dean of Kent Library; and Marsha Blanchard, dean of regional campuses. Upcoming presenters will be Dr. Debbie Below, vice president for enrollment management and student success; Dr. Alberto Dávila, dean of the Harrison College of Business and Computing; Dr. Diana Rogers-Adkinson, dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Studies; and Dr. Brad Deken, dean of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

The Senate is organizing a special task force, he said, to review issues related to the purpose, process and progress of wintersession, including evaluating grades in wintersession versus those earned in regular session coursework.

He said task forces on shared governance, faculty morale, workload, and recruitment and have met or are meeting for the first time this month after a recent Faculty Senate Poll of Senators and Departments identified the need to create additional task forces to explore these topics.

“We look forward to building, rebuilding and reinforcing strong relationships and a sense of community between all constituencies on campus,” he said. “We are committed to collaboration, transparency and open communication, working diligently together to put that commitment into action.”