Faculty Senate passes resolutions on pandemic, sexual misconduct


University of Michigan faculty members are asking the university to increase COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated people, provide additional support for employees with young children and take other actions related to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a series of resolutions they recently passed.

They also are calling for the adoption of new measures related to sexual misconduct.

The Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs will discuss next steps for addressing the concerns raised in the resolutions, Faculty Senate Chair Allen Liu and Interim Secretary David Potter said in an email to members.

The resolutions are advisory in nature.

Four resolutions related to the pandemic and one about sexual misconduct were presented at an Oct. 4 Senate meeting. Electronic voting was open for two days afterward.

The Faculty Senate is part of U-M’s central faculty governance system. It has more than 4,000 members and consists of all professorial faculty, librarians, full-time research faculty, executive officers and deans.

Summaries of the resolutions and the vote results are:

  • A resolution calling for the university to direct Work Connections to validate and support all medically supported requests to work remotely and create a process for appealing Work Connections decisions. Yes, 681; no, 329; abstentions, 68.
  • A resolution asking to increase COVID-19 testing frequency to twice a week for unvaccinated people, and adjust a prompt on the ResponsiBLUE symptom-tracker app. Yes, 563; no, 439; abstentions, 76.
  • A resolution asking the university to re-evaluate and adjust its policy for in-person instruction to better incorporate faculty input. Yes, 611; no, 403; abstentions, 64.
  • A resolution calling for new measures related to sexual misconduct, including requiring faculty or administrative search committees to gather written statements from committee members disclosing details about known or suspected allegations of misconduct. Yes, 701; no, 243; abstentions, 134.
  • A resolution calling for additional support for employees who care for young children, including the option to move their teaching or office work online if their children cannot attend school in person. Yes, 681; no, 320; abstentions, 77.

Faculty Senate members also chose a new secretary and parliamentarian. There were two candidates in the race for secretary, with Deirdre Spencer, arts and humanities librarian, receiving 210 votes to win a three-year term that begins Nov. 1. Colleen Conway, professor of music education, received 113 votes. There were 19 abstentions.

Paul Fossum, professor of education at UM-Dearborn, was the only candidate for parliamentarian. He received 449 votes, with 128 abstentions. His three-year term also begins Nov. 1.  

More than 350 Faculty Senate members participated in the Oct. 4 meeting via Zoom, while 22 members attended in person. More than 900 people viewed the livestream.


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