January 2011: Faculty Senate Update

January 28, 2011

By Lynne Opperman, Speaker

The Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) Faculty Senate had an extremely busy and rewarding 2010.

Lynne Opperman

Dr. Lynne Opperman

The senate drafted and edited several policies, giving all TAMHSC faculty the opportunity to voice opinions and give feedback. Among the policies addressed were appointment, promotion and tenure; email and privacy; alternate work location; conflicts of interest; academic workload; emeritus faculty; and faculty grievance.

Two research retreats focused on TAMHSC research barriers and helping each component find resolutions. At the second retreat examining potential solutions, guest speakers were David P. Huston, M.D., vice dean and professor of microbial and molecular pathogenesis in the College of Medicine and director of the Clinical Science and Translational Research Institute, and Dr. Edgar Garcia-Rill, professor of anatomy and psychiatry at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and director of the Center for Translational Neuroscience.

Meanwhile, after receiving comments from health science center faculty, David A. Cantrell, M.A., M.B.A., M.P.M., vice president for information technology and chief information officer, was invited to a senate executive meeting to discuss email and privacy policies, as well as faculty frustration concerning Office of Information Technology (OIT) issues. Afterward, Senator Jane N. Bolin, Ph.D., J.D., B.S.N., was asked to participate in an external audit of information technology and initiated a draft satisfaction survey of the OIT for both TAMHSC faculty and staff. Senators also were key in voicing the faculty’s stand on a web monitoring issue with OIT.

Separately, the senate conducted a TAMHSC-wide election for the Faculty Grievance Committee. Members include Bob Hutchins (chair), Bryon Benson, Reginald Taylor, Rajesh Miranda, Farida Sohrabji, Diane Benson, Delwar Hussain, Mingyao Liu, Fen Wang, Catherine Hawes (vice chair), Charles Phillips and Jane Bolin.

The senate also solicited nominations from all components for the Regents Professor Award, bestowed annually by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents in recognition of awardees’ exemplary contributions to their university or agency. Robert J. Hinton, Ph.D., of the Baylor College of Dentistry and Kenneth R. McLeroy, Ph.D., of the School of Rural Public Health were named Regents Professors in December.

Finally, the TAMHSC Faculty Senate underwent reapportionment, which occurs every three years. Senatorial seats are apportioned to guarantee fair and even representation on the senate for each component. Membership for 2011 membership includes 48 senators.

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