MaryJo Banasik has been named the new director of the University of Michigan’s Faculty Senate Office.
The director of the Faculty Senate Office provides operational and administrative support to the Faculty Senate chair, the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs and other university committees in support of central faculty governance efforts.
Banasik replaces Thomas Schneider, who led the office for 24 years and retired from the university in June.
Along with providing support to SACUA and Senate Assembly committees, Banasik also will manage partnerships and represent faculty governance with key constituents, provide advice and training, and conduct research of policy concepts, issues and legal implications of university policies.
Banasik earned her law degree from Western Michigan University and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Michigan State University.
Among her previous roles, she served as a research administration manager at the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine and as a research development specialist for the U-M Medical School.
“She has a broad understanding of the mission of higher education, faculty governance, and the roles of faculty and staff in the university,” SACUA Chair Joy Beatty said.
Banasik noted how her dissertation studied the experiences of faculty, adding that faculty work has always been one of her interests.
“Starting this new role, I’m excited about working to make faculty governance more visible on campus, mostly through outreach efforts,” Banasik said.
“I think faculty governance is something that faculty should be aware of and they should aspire to be a part of it, but sometimes faculty just aren’t aware. And if they don’t participate, then they don’t have the opportunity to have their voices heard.”