Faculty Senate

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


August 31, 2009

Dear Colleagues:

On behalf of the Faculty Senate, I welcome you to the new academic year. The Faculty Senate serves as a university-wide voice for faculty and as a vehicle by which faculty can participate in the development of the university. As I reported at the General Faculty Meeting last week, President Raines along with Provost Faudree have supported a number of significant steps to involve faculty in university decisions and enhance the role of the Faculty Senate. Among these items are:

• A new Administrative Council with Faculty Senate representation
• Department budgets to be available online to all faculty
• Faculty Senate to conduct search and select the Faculty Ombudsperson
• Senators to participate in the university’s annual program review
• Support for the senate resolution on faculty participation in chair selection
• Faculty Senate representative to serve on the university’s TAF Committee

Those of you who have been at the university for some time will recognize that many of these points represent important ways of facilitating faculty involvement with university governance.

As also reported at the General Faculty Meeting, our senate has been involved at a statewide level with the Association of Tennessee University Faculty Senates (TUFS), which represents the faculty senates of all ten four-year public universities in the Tennessee Board of Regents and University of Tennessee systems. At its August meeting, TUFS approved a position statement on higher education that calls for (a) the separation of our governance from the two-year institutions and technical schools, (b) the merging of the four-year institutions in the current TBR and UT systems under a single governing body, and (c) the four-year institutions each having their own independent local advisory boards.

Some of the benefits envisioned by this reorganization include:

• Student and faculty exchange programs between university campuses
• Joint academic programs across multiple institutions
• Statewide system for library access and interconnected IT systems
• Flattening and reduction of administrative structures

This TUFS position paper—which has already received an endorsement from the Tennessee State Conference of the American Association of University Professors—is now before the member faculty senates across the state for their endorsement. It will be voted on by our Faculty Senate at its first fall meeting on September 15. Before this meeting, all faculty are encouraged to review the paper, which is available at this link, and express their views of it either with their department senator or by contacting the office of the Faculty Senate.

We look forward to your involvement on this important matter, which has potential implications for the future of both the University of Memphis and higher education throughout the state of Tennessee.

Jeffrey S. Berman
President, Faculty Senate

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