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From the Faculty Senate By Ludo C. P. Scheffer, PhD, Chair, Faculty Senate, Teaching Professor and Director Undergraduate Studies Program, Department of Psychology

The 2015-2016 academic year feels different. For starters, Convocation was not truly at the beginning of the Academic Year. We are excited to work with the new Provost, Brian Blake, who even before the year started had already met twice with the Steering Committee of the Senate and just recently met with the Faculty Senate. We are pleased to hear of his strong commitment to faculty governance and his intention to seek out the Senate as part of good stewardship. Brian has already sought out the Senate for two more University Advisory Councils (UACs): Curricular Innovation and Research Synergies. We look forward to working with him on these, as well as existing UACs. Of note is the most recent UAC on the Assessment of Teaching and Learning, in which all aspects of evaluation of teaching and assessment of learning are being examined. This UAC commenced its work over the summer and we are looking forward to its report.

Last year the Senate established caucuses in each college/school. These groups are comprised of all elected academic unit representatives serving on the Senate and Senate Committees. This year they will continue to reach out to the faculty they represent, as well as look to create committees that will focus on important matters affecting faculty in each college/school. The caucuses will be another vehicle for faculty to become informed about all matters affecting their college and the university, as well as have input in issues that they believe need to be brought to the attention of the Senate and its committees. Seek out your representatives and get connected!

Starting in January the chair of the Senate and the RCM team will visit each college and school for round two of discussions. This year is the “hold harmless year.” After the first round of visits last year, changes were made in the RCM model and we continue to seek input to assure as smooth a transition to the budget model as possible. Please attend the meetings that will be held in 2016 to become as informed as possible. For more information, including the budget process model, please visit the Responsibility Center Management website.

Youngmoo Kim at Convocation said this could be our best year yet, and I agree; let’s make this our best year!

Ludo Scheffer, Chair
Faculty Senate