Faculty Senate accepting nominations for 2013-14 academic year

UAB’s Faculty Senate is accepting nominations for the 2013-2014 academic year and will host a faculty forum at The Edge of Chaos from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19 to highlight the opportunities to serve available to faculty.

“The forum will serve as a great chance to meet with other university faculty and talk with faculty senators about the issues affecting their areas and, hopefully, find answers to their questions,” says Julio Rivera, Ph.D., chair of the Faculty Senate. “We want faculty who attend to gain an effective understanding of shared governance and faculty representation at UAB and better understand how the role and activities of the Faculty Senate benefit the faculty.”

Refreshments will be served at the Feb. 19 forum.

Nominations for senators and the Faculty Policies and Procedures Committee have been extended to March 13, and forms can be downloaded from the Faculty Senate website www.uab.edu/facultysenate. Submit completed acceptance of nomination forms to Pat Higginbottom at phiggin@uab.edu. Questions or inquiries can be directed to Higginbottom, Rivera or the senators of your academic unit, which are listed here. Online elections will be held in March.

The Faculty Senate is a community of scholars who have come together to consider their responsibilities and needs and to represent the faculty to UAB administration. Part of that mission includes providing advice to the president.

The Faculty Senate is committed to the principles of shared governance, inclusive and transparent decision-making and facilitating open communication among all members of UAB. The group aims to do this by working collaboratively with administration to help UAB achieve excellence in all its activities.

“Faculty involvement is necessary for shared governance,” says Roberto Mayoral Hernandez, Ph.D., assistant professor of foreign languages and senator for the College of Arts & Sciences. “This is especially important for disciplines that are underrepresented at the college or university level.”

“Shared governance keeps those who are on the front line of delivering a quality education in the loop in determining the future of the university,” adds John Mayer, Ph.D., professor of mathematics and senator for the College of Arts & Sciences.

The Faculty Senate consists of 64 senators and alternate senators elected by their peers to represent more than 2,200 faculty.

There are five standing Faculty Senate committees focused on curriculum, research, faculty affairs, finance and governance and operations. Faculty Senate representatives to 14 UAB university-wide committees present the views of the senate and notify the full body on items of interest or concern.

The Faculty Senate meets the second Tuesday of every month at 7:30 a.m. in the Finley Conference Center.

Being a part of the senate enables faculty to stay informed on issues important to the UAB campus, members say. It also gives them an opportunity to connect with colleagues throughout the university, in addition to formal, regular access to the UAB administration.

“Being involved in the senate has helped me feel more like a part of the university community rather than an isolated faculty member,” says Rose Scripa, Ph.D., professor of engineering and senator for the school. “Participation connects you to the pulse of what’s happening on campus.”

John Chatham, Ph.D., professor of molecular and cellular pathology and past chair of the Faculty Senate, agrees.

“My time on the Senate has been an excellent learning experience,” Chatham says. “It has enabled me to better understand how UAB functions and how as an individual member of the faculty I can contribute to improving the overall environment.”

For more information on the Faculty Senate, including dates, agendas, minutes and constitution and bylaws, visit www.uab.edu/facultysenate.