Note: This article was amended March 13 from its original version to reflect a change in voting procedures.

Nine people are running for three seats on the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs, the body that advises and consults with the executive officers of the University of Michigan on matters that impact faculty.

The election will be open for 24 hours, from 3 p.m. March 16 through 3 p.m. March 17, and conducted electronically. The vote was originally scheduled to take place during a Senate Assembly meeting that has since been canceled. 

Results will be announced over email.

SACUA is the executive arm of the university’s central faculty governance system, which includes the Senate Assembly and the Faculty Senate.

The Senate Assembly consists of 74 elected faculty members from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses. The Faculty Senate is made up of all professorial faculty, librarians, full-time research faculty, executive officers and deans.

The top vote-getters in the election will replace Joy Beatty, Sami Malek and Neil Marsh, who are term-limited. SACUA members serve three-year terms.

Faculty Senate members who wish to nominate candidates from the floor can contact the Faculty Senate Office by noon March 16. Nominations must include a video or written statement from the candidate.

Nominations from the floor will be added to the list of candidates before voting starts at 3 p.m.

Here’s a look at the candidates:

Anca M. Avram

Professor of radiology, Medical School

Anca M. Avram
Anca M. Avram

Education: Doctor of Medicine, Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy, 1992; Internal Medicine Residency, Fairview Hospital, Cleveland Clinic Health System, 2001; Fellowship Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, U-M, 2003; Fellowship Nuclear Medicine, U-M, 2005

Faculty leadership: Medical director, U-M Nuclear Medicine Therapy Clinic; director, Nuclear Medicine Medical Student Education; board member, Radiology Department Appointment, Promotion & Tenure Committee; board member, General Counsel Advisory Committee of University of Michigan

Candidate statement: I am running for SACUA in order to promote the representation of the clinician physicians in faculty government. The rapid change in clinical research and medical practice and the unique challenges of clinical medicine faculty all mean that we as a university need to sustain medical education with great policies, resources and support.

Hani Bawardi

Associate professor of history, UM-Dearborn

Hani Bawardi
Hani Bawardi

Education: Bachelor of Arts, political science, 1993, and master’s degree, American culture, 1997, UM-Flint; Ph.D., history, Wayne State University, 2008

Faculty leadership: Served on CASL Executive Committee, 2014-16; member, Faculty Senate, 2017-20; Strategic Planning: Closing Lingering Student Equity Gap Committee, 2019; Center for Arab American Studies Steering Committee, 2006-present; Blue Ribbon Committee on Writing Letters of Recommendation Policy, 2020; current member, Senate Assembly

Candidate statement: I seek to serve on SACUA because I believe in equitable representation of all faculty in university governance, to preserve freedom of speech on the three campuses, and to ensure that changes in policy do not impinge on academic freedoms or tenure. I will also work toward equitable support for our students on the Flint and Dearborn campuses.

Marilia Cascalho

Associate professor of surgery and associate professor of microbiology and immunology, Medical School

Marilia Cascalho
Marilia Cascalho

Education: Doctor of Medicine, University of Lisbon in Portugal, 1986; medical internship, Hospital de Santa Maria in Lisbon, Portugal, 1989; Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Fellow, Hagedorn Research Institute, Gentofte, Denmark, 1990-1992; Ph.D., immunology, University of Lisbon, Portugal, 1998; post-doctoral fellow, immunology, University of California in San Francisco, 2000

Faculty leadership: Chair, experimental surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, 2006-2008; co-director, Transplantation Biology Program, U-M, since 2008

Candidate statement: I grew up in Portugal. As a child I saw the demise of fascism, the release of the political prisoners and the re-invention of democracy. It was, however, only years later that I became aware of the disproportionate impact of 48 years of fascism in blocking innovation and discovery in medicine and science. Realizing that the current U.S. funding environment discriminates against the most creative scientists, I hope at the University Senate to be an advocate for physician-scientists who wish to make a difference through discovery. 

Kathryn A. Eaton 

Professor of microbiology and immunology, Medical School

Kathryn A. Eaton
Kathryn A. Eaton

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Amherst College, 1978; Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, 1984; Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Pathologists, 1990; Ph.D., Ohio State University, 1990

Faculty leadership: Chair, SACUA Research Policy Committee; member and chair, Research Administration Advisory Council; director, Germ-Free and Gnotobiotic Mouse Core Facility; member, Host Microbiome Initiative local executive committee; member, Senate Assembly; member, Microbiology and Immunology Advancement, Promotion, and Awards committee

Candidate statement: My goal as a senior faculty member is to support the freedom of faculty to pursue research activities. Over the past three to four years, I have worked to address the greatest risk that faculty face in our efforts to perform our jobs: administrative burden. Burgeoning regulatory requirements from outside and inside the university hamper our academic progress. As faculty, we must work with the administration to seek solutions to current and increasing regulatory roadblocks. Faculty and administrative partnerships such as the SACUA RPC and RAAC have begun to make inroads, and my goal is to continue this work.

J. Caitlin Finlayson

Associate professor of English, UM-Dearborn

J. Caitlin Finlayson
J. Caitlin Finlayson

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Vassar College; Master of Arts, University of Virginia; Ph.D., University of Toronto (Canada)

Faculty leadership: Member, Senate Assembly; chair, Tri-Campus Committee of the Senate Assembly. At UM-Dearborn: member, Commission for Women; co-chair, Commission for Women Professional Development Committee; member, College of Arts, Sciences and Letters Curriculum Committee; member, Arts & Humanities Committee for DDC Assessment; member, First Year Experience Committee (Faculty Senate); member, Literature, Philosophy & the Arts Department Executive Committee

Candidate statement: As a SACUA member, I will be a strong voice for the concerns and perspectives of the regional campuses, while also advocating for all faculty in governance and policy decisions. I wish to continue SACUA’s current efforts to broaden faculty awareness of and participation in emerging policy decisions, and to facilitate the equitable implementation of new policies and procedures on all three campuses. There is strength and value in faculty governance when diverse voices across the three campuses are heard and we act collectively to promote the interests of the faculty as a whole.

Oleg Gnedin

Associate professor of astronomy, LSA

Oleg Gnedin
Oleg Gnedin

Education: Bachelor of Science and Master of Science, astrophysics, St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, 1994; Ph.D., astrophysics, Princeton University, 1999

Faculty leadership: Chair, Undergraduate Curriculum and Graduate Admissions committees, Department of Astronomy; member, Senate Assembly since 2019; editor, “New Astronomy” since 2018; member, Resource Allocation Committee of the National Science Foundation’s Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment since 2017

Candidate statement: I believe that faculty should share the power and responsibility of running the university. I advocate more faculty input in the decision-making process at all university levels, including the creation of academic positions, fair teaching policies and the consideration of tenure. As a SACUA member I will work hard to promote communication with the University Administration to solicit, and include, feedback of the faculty when new university policies are being established, to preserve the guiding principles of openness and academic excellence.

Allen P. Liu

Associate professor of mechanical engineering, College of Engineering; associate professor of biomedical engineering, College of Engineering and Medical School; and associate professor of biophysics, LSA

Allen P. Liu
Allen P. Liu

Education: Postdoctoral fellow in cell biology, The Scripps Research Institute, San Diego, 2011; Ph.D. in biophysics, University of California, Berkeley, 2007; Bachelor of Science in biochemistry (honors), University of British Columbia, Canada, 2001

Faculty leadership: Member, Senate Assembly; ADVANCE College of Engineering Advisory Board member, 2018-present; member, College of Engineering Information Technology Faculty Council, 2015-18; member, Microfluidics in Biomedical Sciences Training Program Executive Committee, 2014-18; member, U-M Institutional Biosafety Committee, 2014-present

Candidate statement: Faculty governance is a shared responsibility of all faculty, one which should be built upon “sharing” with our administration as the decision-making body. As a SACUA member working with our colleagues and administration, I will work to build shared vision, shared engagement, shared mutual respect, shared information and shared risk. I believe that the principles of sharing will result in decisions that will benefit our institution. As an engaged member of our university, it will be my honor to serve our faculty to convey faculty voice to decision-makers and to provide different perspectives to help guide university policies.

Ya’acov Ritov

Professor of statistics, LSA

Ya'acov Ritov
Ya’acov Ritov

Education: Bachelor of Science, 1973, Master of Science, 1980, electrical engineering, The Technion, Israel Institute of Technology; Ph.D., statistics, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1983

Faculty leadership: Member, Senate Assembly Student Relations Advisory Committee

Candidate statement: As someone who arrived at the Berkeley scene in the mid-’80s, I grew up on the legends of the East Bay of the ’60s, People Park, Free Speech and the Black Panthers. I’m still a believer. Then I learned about Isidor Rabi explaining Eisenhower, “Mr. President, we are not employees of the university; we are the university.” Later, I learned that actually Rabi was wrong, this is just what the university likes us to believe.

Kentaro Toyama

W. K. Kellogg Professor of Community Information and professor of information, School of Information

Kentaro Toyama
Kentaro Toyama

Education: Bachelor of Arts degree in physics, Harvard University, 1991; Ph.D. in computer science, Yale University, 1998

Faculty leadership: Member, Academic Affairs Advisory Committee, 2016-present, chair from 2017-present; representative, Senate Assembly, 2017-present; member, 5.09/5.10 Faculty Working Group, 2019-20; faculty director, School of Information Master’s Program, 2017-present; member, Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Faculty Advisory Committee, 2016-present

Candidate statement: Three years as chair of SACUA’s Academic Affairs Advisory Committee, Senate Assembly member, and Office of DEI advisory committee member have given me a good sense for what faculty governance can and should be at the University of Michigan. Faculty — all faculty — are the soul of any world-class university, and my ongoing commitment is to ensure that well-informed faculty views are strongly represented in university decision-making.

Tags: