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Faculty Senate

154 Administration Bldg.
Memphis, TN 38152-3370
Office: 901.678.2512
Fax: 901.678.4188
www.memphis.edu

 

April 27, 2010

Dear Colleagues:

At the beginning of this academic year, I reported on a series of Faculty Senate initiatives supported by President Raines and Provost Faudree to enhance the involvement of faculty in university decisions. As the term of this year’s senate now comes to a close, I am pleased to list the successful completion of many of these initiatives along with other significant actions taken by the senate:

Online Access to Department Budgets: Faculty can now view their department budgets online using the Banner ePrint channel from the Finance tab of the myMemphis portal. This new capability was made possible by the excellent work of the Office of Financial Planning. Full details are available from the original announcement of this budget access for faculty.

Access to Course Drop/Add Information: During the past several years, the Faculty Senate has been working with the Information Technology Division to develop an online system that would give faculty access to current information about when students drop, add, or withdraw from courses. This past fall term, a new channel was added to the myMemphis portal to achieve this goal. The development of this Drop/Add channel would not have been possible without the collaboration of numerous members of both the Information Technology Division and the senate’s Information Technology Committee, with special thanks to the chair of this senate committee, Tom Banning. Details and a link to a step-by-step guide are in the original announcement of the portal.

Evaluation of Top Administrators: This spring term, the Faculty Senate authorized the senate’s Faculty Input Committee to conduct a 2009-2010 faculty survey evaluating the university president, the provost, and the faculty member’s college dean. The survey—which was conducted March 1-25, 2010—offered faculty a way to provide feedback to top university administrators and make suggestions for change. Results of the survey are available at this link.

Faculty Participation in Selection of Department Chairs: Last April, the Faculty Senate asked President Raines to codify a role for faculty in the selection of their department chairs. As one means of doing so, the section entitled “Department Chairs” in chapter 2 of the 2010-2011 Faculty Handbook will include the following statement: “University administrators who have responsibility for appointing department chairs should ensure that such appointments are judged acceptable by the majority of the faculty in a department, except under unusual circumstances.

New Administrative Council: This year, President Raines created a new Administrative Council, consisting of top university administrators and with representation by the Faculty Senate. The inaugural meeting of the Council was on February 19, with budget issues being the primary focus. The Office of the President has an online report from this meeting.

Faculty Resolution on Funding of Athletics Department: At its March 23 meeting, the Faculty Senate approved a resolution urging President Raines to end the university’s practice of subsidizing expenditures of the Athletics Department with general education funds. This resolution has received local media attention, with an article in the Commercial Appeal and a poll indicating that more than two-thirds of the public supports the senate position. President Raines has promised to issue a report to the faculty regarding this matter.

These and other activities of the Faculty Senate are described in the list of “Current and Recent Issues” on the senate’s Welcome page. They could not have been accomplished without the collaborative efforts of the senate’s Executive Committee, the members of the senate, the senate’s administrative assistant, Carolyn Featherstone, and the various administrative divisions of the university. Special appreciation must be given to President Raines, who was consistently supportive of the Faculty Senate and was generous in the time and consideration she gave to faculty concerns.

During the academic year, I have received messages of encouragement concerning senate efforts from many of you. Thank you for this support. It was an honor to serve as senate president and to represent the University of Memphis faculty. I hope all of you will now join me in welcoming incoming Faculty Senate President Wade Jackson, who begins leading the new senate today.

My best wishes both for a successful ending to your academic term and a rewarding summer.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey S. Berman
President, Faculty Senate

 

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The University of Memphis
A Tennessee Board of Regents Institution
An Equal Opportunity · Affirmative Action University