University of Michigan
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December 15, 2018

Faculty invited to dialogue with President Schlissel at town hall

December 5, 2018

Faculty invited to dialogue with President Schlissel at town hall

Topic: Campus News

University of Michigan faculty members are invited to attend a town hall Monday with President Mark Schlissel, who will discuss challenges and opportunities facing the university and will take questions from the faculty.

The town hall will serve as an official meeting for the Faculty Senate, which consists of all professorial faculty, librarians, full-time research faculty, executive officers and deans.

The meeting will begin at 3:15 p.m. in the Vandenberg Room of the Michigan League.

Faculty Senate Chair Neil Marsh said faculty governance leaders thought it would be valuable for the faculty to hear from the president and get the opportunity to ask him questions.

“There aren’t that many opportunities for the average faculty member to ask the president a question,” said Marsh, professor of chemistry, and of biological chemistry. “Faculty governance at its core is the ability for the faculty to talk to the administration, and certainly Mark Schlissel has been very generous in supporting that agenda.”

The town hall will also serve as an effort to engage more faculty. Faculty Senate meetings have historically struggled to attract enough attendees to conduct official business.

“In recent memory, we’ve only really had Faculty Senate meetings when there’s been some crisis or something that people have been upset about,” Marsh said. “And we thought it would be good to try and re-establish a tradition of faculty engagement that wasn’t strictly responsive to the latest crisis.”

Marsh said they hope to have similar events in the future with other senior university administrators.

If a quorum is obtained, two other business items are on the meeting’s agenda.

Senate members may vote on re-electing David Potter as the Senate Secretary. Potter, Francis W. Kelsey Collegiate Professor of Greek and Roman History, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and professor of Greek and Latin, currently is the interim secretary.

They also may consider a request to authorize an electronic vote of the Senate to change Senate rules, which would occur at a later date.

Marsh said that although the proposed Senate rule changes are still being discussed, he said the electronic-vote proposal would allow members to participate in Senate meetings remotely as well as vote electronically. Both proposals aim to engage more faculty members in faculty governance.

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