Floreani voted faculty senate chair

Baker University Faculty Senate elected a new chair, made changes, and set goals for the academic year.

"The term of office of chair of senate has been one year, but the term was changed on the theory that with a two-year term, a person can really learn the job and we can have more continuity of leadership on the senate," said Preston Fambrough, professor of English and former chair of faculty senate.

Associate Professor of English Tracy Floreani was elected chair by a senate majority vote.

"One thing I would like to see change, if possible, is to have the senators feel like they have the power to take action and have their voice heard," Floreani said. " (They should feel) that they can really make decisions because they're elected by their departments to represent."

Vice Chair of Faculty Senate and Professor of Business and Economics Martha Harris proposed a motion to create an ad hoc general education review committee.

Harris said the committee will be composed of 12 members including students, CAS faculty, nursing faculty, and an administrative official. The motion passed and Harris said committee members will be elected at the October meeting.

"They won't actually be writing a new general education program, but their purpose is to help us move through an examination of our general education program with the intent of determining if and how it needs to be changed," Harris said. "It's something that has to have a lot of discussion throughout the faculty and throughout the campus."

Floreani said faculty senate approved sending a resolution to inform the administration of its opinion on subjects faculty members can't vote on, such as changing time tables for class schedules.

"(It will be) an official recommendation to the administration to reinstitute a protected half hour for lunch however they creatively want to do it," Floreani said.

As chair, Floreani said she will be in charge of organizing faculty senate meetings and proposals made during the meetings, as well as acting as a spokesperson to the administration.

"It'll be challenging because I've been the chair of a smaller committee, but I've never had a big leadership role like this," Floreani said.

Faculty senate also approved to elect Associate Professor of Sociology Timothy Buzzell to the position of at-large senator for the executive committee created last year.

"The executive committee of the faculty senate is a group that helps to develop business of the senate," said Floreani. "It was developed because of the anticipating fact that we're going to be undergoing all this change ... We felt like we needed a strong body guiding the senate into this transitional period."

Floreani said senate has wanted to improve communication between faculty and administration for a long time, and the executive committee would help.

"One of our big goals is to establish a relationship with Pat Long and the (executive) committee."

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