Sam Maller | Staff photographerUniversity Senate
Senators use first meeting to regroup
CORRECTION: In a previous version of this article, Bruce Carter’s position was misstated. Carter is an associate professor of psychology and child and family studies. The Daily Orange regrets this error.
The first University Senate meeting of the academic year lasted less than 10 minutes, with senators electing to spend time regrouping privately in committees rather than engaging in general discussion.
The senate held an organizational meeting on Wednesday at 4 p.m. in Maxwell Auditorium, which was almost filled with senators for the first formal USen meeting since April.
Chancellor Nancy Cantor was unable to attend because she was in Chicago meeting with other national university presidents at Northwestern University, said Kevin Quinn, senior vice president for public affairs, in an email.
Senators received a report from the Subcommittee on Nominations at the start of the meeting addressing which faculty or administration members would be added or removed from committees. The senate accepted the report and moved to adjourn the meeting just after 4 p.m.
Although faculty talked throughout the summer about university policy and administrative news, no senator motioned to open discussion. The release of the U.S. News & World Report college rankings on Wednesday, which had started discussions in the past, were also not discussed. Prior to Wednesday’s meeting, senators also indicated they did not expect the senate to engage in general discussion because of the focus on committee assignments.
In order to spark discussion at the usually passive introductory meeting, “a series of signs the university might be headed in the wrong way,” would be required, said Jeff Stonecash, professor of political science and member of the Appointment and Promotion committee.
Newly elected Agenda Committee Chair Bruce Carter, who presided over the senate for the first time on Wednesday, said he did not expect much discussion during the organizational meeting given it is traditionally used for senators to convene with their committees.
The agenda committee unanimously voted Carter to the position at the end of August. Former Chair Ian MacInnes, associate dean for academic affairs at the School of Information Studies, stepped down from the position because he may be traveling outside of Syracuse in the spring semester and will be unable to fulfill the duties of chair. He will remain on the committee for the fall semester to help ease the transition.
Carter, an associate professor of psychology and child and family studies, chaired the agenda committee from 1999 to 2001 and from 2005 to 2007, but this is his first time also acting as presiding officer. Carter is the third non-chancellor to serve as presiding officer, following a recent USen trend.
As chair and presiding officer, Carter will not participate in discussion or vote, except to break a tie, and will instead concentrate on facilitating discussion and keeping USen meetings moving. He said he would like to see more discussion occur during USen meetings, which he hopes will lead to the resolution of more issues.
MacInnes said his successor “knows exactly how to run a meeting.”
“He’s fair,” MacInnes said. “He wants to hear from a wide variety of voices like I did and he wants real debate.”
Other business discussed:
• For the second year, senate members will be receiving materials primarily through an electronic packet. After a senator asked whether hard-copy packets are available, Carter said they were upon request.
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