SACUA elects Rebekah Modrak chair, Heather O’Malley vice chair


The Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs has elected Rebekah Modrak of the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design as chair and Heather O’Malley of the Medical School as vice chair for the upcoming school year.

SACUA members elected Modrak, professor of art and design, and O’Malley, assistant research scientist of pharmacology, on April 8.

Their terms leading the nine-member executive arm of the University of Michigan’s central faculty governance system begin May 1 and extend through April 30, 2025.

Modrak and O’Malley, who both ran unopposed, succeed Tom Braun, professor of biostatistics in the School of Public Health, and Damani Partridge, professor of anthropology and of Afroamerican and African studies in LSA.

Modrak said she hopes to unite faculty on campus and address faculty who feel isolated in their units and schools.

“I’m really a community organizer at heart,” Modrak said. “I’m very interested in listening to faculty and then acting on the concerns that they have … and I would be excited to do that within SACUA.”

As a research faculty member, O’Malley said she plans to use her position as vice chair to promote the voices of clinical faculty and to work with Central Student Government.  

“Extending the voice of all faculty, especially now that we’ve expanded into clinical faculty, I’m excited to see that in the coming year. … I really just also want to make sure that we’re advocating for all faculty members that are on campus, and on all three campuses as well,” O’Malley said.

Modrak and O’Malley also will serve as chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Senate Assembly and the full Faculty Senate.

The Senate Assembly consists of 77 elected faculty members from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses, and the Faculty Senate consists of all tenure-track professorial faculty, research faculty, clinical professors, librarians, archivists, curators, lecturers I, II, III and IV who have at least a 50% appointment, executive officers and deans of each school or college.


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