SACUA elects Silvia Pedraza chair, Durga Singer vice chair

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The Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs has elected new leadership for the 2022-23 school year.

Silvia Pedraza, professor of sociology and American culture, will become chair of SACUA May 1. She will serve a partial term through Dec. 31, at which point current chair Allen Liu will return to the role.

Kanakadurga (Durga) Singer, associate professor of pediatrics with a secondary appointment in molecular and integrative physiology, will serve a one-year term as vice chair that begins May 1.

Pedraza and Singer were elected at the April 11 SACUA meeting.

Pedraza said she hopes to help restore trust in university leadership and improve the campus climate so students feel safe. These are challenging times for the university, she said.

“SACUA needs to work together with the Senate Assembly and the top university leadership to make sure our university remains what it was: a safe place that we can all call home and a place where we can develop into our best selves,” she said. “In the past, I was always proud to be a Wolverine. We need to return to that sense of pride while confronting the real problems in our midst.”

Pedraza joined SACUA in February, filling the position of another member who took a temporary leave of absence. Because her term ends at the end of 2022, she and Liu ran together for the chair position. Liu, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering and biophysics, will serve as chair Jan. 1-April 30, 2023.

Pedraza previously served on SACUA both as a member and as vice chair from 2003 to 2005. She attended U-M as an undergraduate and is a longtime member of the faculty.

Singer completed her medical school training at U-M and joined the faculty in 2012. She has been on SACUA since 2021.

“I am looking forward to continuing my work on SACUA as vice chair,” Singer said. “Advocating for our faculty and advising our university leadership has been such a rewarding experience.”

SACUA is the nine-member executive arm of the Faculty Senate and Senate Assembly. It advises and consults with the president of U-M on matters of university policy, and serves as an instrument for effecting the actions of the Faculty Senate and Senate Assembly.

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

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