The University of Michigan faculty’s Senate Assembly will choose three new members of the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs at its meeting March 18.
The three top vote getters will serve three-year terms that begin May 1.
SACUA is the executive arm of the U-M’s central faculty governance system, including the Senate Assembly and the Faculty Senate.
The Senate Assembly consists of 74 elected faculty members from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses, and the Faculty Senate consists of all professorial faculty, librarians, full-time research faculty, executive officers and deans.
Additional candidates may announce their intent to run up to the time of the election. The meeting is scheduled to start at 3:15 p.m. in the Michigan Room of the Michigan League.
As of the Record’s deadline March 5, 10 candidates have entered the SACUA election. Biographical information and position statements supplied by the candidates follow.
Professor of Greek and Latin, LSA
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1981, 1986 and 1991, respectively
Faculty leadership: Faculty Senate and various SACUA committees, including the Committee for an Inclusive University; works with colleagues in the sciences to establish a Bridge to the Ph.D. program in the humanities
Candidate statement: I am running for SACUA in order to promote the representation of the humanities in faculty government. The changing place of the humanities in a liberal arts education and the unique challenges faculty in the humanities face in the wake of high tuition and high anxiety about post-graduate prospects, all mean that we as a University have to sustain Humanities education with great policies, resources, and support.
Professor of health behavior and biological sciences, School of Nursing; professor of computational medicine and bioinformatics, Medical School
Education: Bachelor of Science, math and informatics, Sofia University, 1991; Master of Science, pure math, Michigan Tech University, 1993; Master of Science, statistics, Florida State University, 1998; Ph.D., math, Florida State University, 1998; Postdoctoral training, neuroscience, UCLA, 2001
Faculty leadership: Associate director for education and training, Michigan Institute for Data Science; chair, Senate Assembly Information Technology Committee; member, School of Nursing Executive Committee; director, Statistics Online Computational Resource
Candidate statement: SACUA is an important component of the Michigan Faculty Governance. I am running for a 3-year SACUA term to increase faculty engagement and transparency in decisions affecting the university community and all stakeholders. In the era of Global competition, financial stress, and IT disruption, sustaining academic excellence is paramount. I will work with faculty, students and staff to ensure the long-term success of the State’s flagship institution in terms of (1) educating and training next generation artists, highly skilled and broadly informed citizens, (2) advancing research innovation and translation, and (3) providing “uncommon services to common folks and diverse organizations.”
Kathryn A. Eaton
Professor of microbiology and immunology, Medical School
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, Research Administration Advisory Council; director, Germ-Free and Gnotobiotic Mouse Core Facility; Host Microbiome Initiative local executive committee member; Senate Assembly member; Microbiology and Immunology Advancement, Promotion, and Awards committee member
Candidate statement: My goal as a senior faculty member is to support the freedom of faculty to pursue research activities. Over the past 3-4 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.
Associate professor of astronomy and associate chair of graduate studies, LSA
Education: Bachelor and Master in Physics from the University of Milan, 2001; Ph.D. in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Amsterdam, 2005; NASA Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT Kavli Institute, 2008-10; NASA Chandra Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara, 2005-08
Faculty leadership: Member, U-M Astronomy Executive Committee, 2015-present; associate chair of graduate studies, U-M Astronomy, 2015-present; member, U-M Government Relations Advisory Committee, 2014-17; member, Senate Assembly, 2016-present
Candidate statement: The mission of higher education institutions depends upon academic freedom, intended as “the free search for truth and its free exposition.” Recent times have witnessed an increased level of distrust in those institutions, and the values they represent. At the same time, we are faced with the challenge to reaffirm the very existence of objective truth. As a SACUA member, I would work to ensure the universal principles of academic freedom are embedded in all matters of faculty governance, while at the same time defending the notion of factual knowledge, and its importance in the public decision making process.
Associate professor of surgery, Medical School; and associate professor of business, Stephen M. Ross School of Business; surgical director, University Hospital Operating Rooms; director, Michigan Bariatric Surgery Collaborative
Education: Bachelor of Science, physiological science, UCLA; medical degree, John Hopkins University School of Medicine; Master of Science, health and health care research, U-M
Faculty Leadership: Chief of General Surgery, Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System, 2013-18; founding director of Bariatric Surgery, Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System, 2014-18; director, Michigan Bariatric Surgery Collaborative, 2015-present; co-director, U-M School of Medicine Health Policy Path of Excellence, 2016-present; Department of Surgery Executive Committee, Strategy and Finance Representative, 2016-present; director of education, U-M Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy, 2012-17; University Hospital OR/IR Management Committee, contributing member, 2018-present; University Hospital Perioperative Quality Improvement Committee, contributing member, 2018-present; director, Research on Healthcare Organizations & Culture, U-M Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy; 2012-present; inaugural surgical director, UH Operating Rooms, U-M Health System, 2018-present; U-M Faculty Senate, 2016-19
Candidate statement: Thank you for considering my candidacy for SACUA. Throughout my academic and professional career I have maintained a vigorous and enthusiastic spirit of service. SACUA is a core pillar of the University of Michigan to allow for increased faculty engagement and transparency in important matters that affect our professional community. Faculty governance in a world class institution like ours cannot be taken lightly and requires partnerships and collaboration across the many Schools, Institutes, and Centers at Michigan. I am eager to learn from and represent the inspiring faculty while contributing to our faculty governance in this role.
Paul R. Kileny
Professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, and academic program director, Audiology and Electrophysiology, Medical School
Education: Bachelor of Arts, communication sciences and disorders, and Master of Science, communication sciences and disorders, Tel Aviv University, Sackler School of Medicine, 1972 and 1974, respectively; Ph.D., audiology and neurophysiology, University of Iowa, 1978
Faculty leadership: Administrative and clinical responsibilities for the Division of Audiology, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 1985-present; Department of Otolaryngology Executive Faculty Committee, 1987-present; chair, Department of Otolaryngology Public Information Subcommittee, 1985-89; Medical School Admissions Committee, 1988-95; Committee on Medical Students with Disabilities, 1991; chair, Research Committee, Department of Otolaryngology, 1997-02; Senate Assembly Communications Advisory Committee, 2003-15; alternate representative to Senate Assembly, 2006-09; Senate Assembly Medical Affairs Advisory Committee, 2009-15; Medical School representative to Senate Assembly, 2014-17; Rules Committee of SACUA, 2015-18; chair, Communications and External Relations Advisory Committee, 2017-18; chair, Senate Assembly Communications Advisory Committee, 2016-2019
Candidate statement: Today’s higher education institutions face multiple challenges of a broad, national scope. These challenges include the perceived value of a college degree, the impact of online learning, the increased cost of higher education, and political tensions on campus, at times escalating from free to hate speech. Faculty governance is very important in such times. As a SACUA member, I will advocate for direct and transparent communication with University leadership, and the promotion of an environment of innovation, openness, and inclusivity.
Associate professor of cardiac surgery, Medical School
Education: Bachelor of Arts, philosophy major and African-American and African Studies minor, Emory University, 1994; Master of Science, evaluative clinical sciences, Dartmouth College, 1999; Ph.D., evaluative clinical sciences, Dartmouth College, 2002
Faculty leadership: Head, Section of Health Services Research and Quality, Department of Cardiac Surgery, 2012-present; Senate Assembly, 2016-present; U-M Health System Quality Council, 2017-present; University of Michigan Health System External Registries Governance Committee, 2018-present
Candidate statement: I am deeply interested in helping to advocate for faculty interests. To do so requires an openness to broadening one’s perspective on issues. Throughout my career, I have sought to engage my colleagues in understanding their interests and leveraging the platforms afforded to me to advocate on their behalf. I enjoy finding areas of compromise. If elected to SACUA, I would strive to: (i) find areas of compromise among groups and (ii) represent the diverse interests and aspirations of our talented faculty more broadly.
Professor of nuclear engineering and radiological sciences, College of Engineering
Education: Ph.D. in nuclear engineering, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, 2003; Diploma Radiation Protection Expert Level III, The Netherlands, 2001; Master of Science (with highest honors) in nuclear engineering, The University of Pisa, Italy, 1999.
Faculty leadership: College Of Engineering Transdisciplinary Programs Advisory Group, Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences Department Search Committee, NERS Department Executive Committee Program Committee and Executive Committee of Thermal-hydraulic Division of the American Nuclear Society, Vice-President of the Swiss Nuclear Society, General Secretary of the Swiss Nuclear, Editorial Board of the International Journal for Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations.
Statement: It is very important that faculty are an integral part of transparent University decision-making. I will work hard to improve communication channels between University Administrators and Faculty at large, to make sure that faculty opinions are heard and become an integral part of the decision-making process at the university. This is particularly important now when academic institutions are assessing their “return of investments” on the basis of not always sound faculty productivity metrics. As a SACUA member I will work hard to make sure that education, academic excellence, and diversity in all forms remain the primary focus of our institution.
José José Alvarez Research Professor of Thoracic Surgery, associate professor of surgery, Medical School; clerkship director, Surgery; assistant program director, Thoracic Surgery
Education: Bachelor of Science and medical degree, Northwestern University, 1996 and 2000, respectively
Faculty leadership: Current chair, U-M Comprehensive Robotic Surgery Program; current chair, Medical Affairs Advisory Committee; former member, Committee for the Economic Status of the Faculty; president, Feinberg School of Medicine Alumni Association, 2019-2021
Candidate statement: I grew up in Kalamazoo and came back to Michigan for my first (and only) faculty position in 2009. I feel proud and fortunate to be a part of the University of Michigan. I have had increasing opportunities over the past few years to participate in different committees and to lead in different arenas (Clerkship Director, Robotic Surgery program, MAAC). I view the SACUA position as an opportunity to serve the university, the faculty, and our students. It is a chance to work with other engaged faculty to coordinate with administration and work towards our mission of educational excellence.
Douglas O. Richstone
Lawrence H. Aller Collegiate Professor of Astronomy and professor of astronomy, LSA
Education: Bachelor of Science, Caltech, 1971; Ph.D., astrophysics, Princeton University, 1975
Faculty leadership: Chair, Department of Astronomy, 1985-90 and 2000-10; LSA associate dean of natural sciences, 2015-18; chair, Senate Assembly Research Policies Committee and Building, Facilities and Infrastructure Committee; member, Senate Assembly Financial Affairs Advisory Committee; member, federal advisory committees for the National Science Foundation and NASA
Candidate statement: It has been a privilege to serve as a faculty member of this university for nearly 40 years. Sensible decision-making informed by multiple points-of-view is a key factor in the vitality of this institution. It has seemed to me that our Senate Advisory Committees work best when the administrators they interact with use them as sounding boards. Among the more mundane problems we have are inefficiencies created by inadequate parking & mobility, especially on central campus, and by the fragility of the software that relays scores and grades between Canvas, the Registrar’s Office (for scanning) and Wolverine Access.