A Message from the Faculty Senate Chair
Welcome to the Missouri State University Faculty Senate website.
I am honored to serve as Senate Chair for the 2015-16 academic year. The Faculty Senate is the representative body for the faculty at Missouri State University. Membership includes voting representatives from every department and from each of the faculty ranks, as well as non-voting delegates from Staff Senate, Student Government Association, the Graduate Student Council, and each of the standing Senate committees. At regular monthly sessions and throughout the year in committee work, the Senate oversees curricular issues and provides the administration and Board of Governors with faculty perspectives and recommendations on matters of concern to the faculty.
Faculty commitment to the work of shared governance is essential for maintaining the integrity of academic programs and improving the working and learning conditions of faculty and students. Faculty Senate is stronger when it works as a team. Working together we can make a difference! I urge all faculty members to get involved in the work of Faculty Senate by volunteering to serve in the Senate or on one of many standing Senate committees. All faculty and university community members are welcome to attend and voice their concerns at the monthly Senate sessions.
The 2015-16 academic year is poised to be an exciting year for Missouri State University. This year will see the culmination of a year-long effort by a Senate appointed committee to transform and replace the curricular process at Missouri State University with a more sustainable electronic process. In April 2015 a Senate Action was passed to adopt the electronic process and ask for its implementation in fall 2015. This will be officially instituted after receiving Board approval. The new electronic curricular process will greatly simplify the method of proposing new course/programs and making changes to existing courses/programs. In addition, it will increase transparency and access and make tracking and record-keeping much easier.
It looks like 2015-16 will be a period of relative stability, both in terms of the economy and the current MSU administration, which has made a conscious effort to work with the Faculty Senate leadership on issues that have been raised. This gives us an opportunity to continue to work on significant projects begun under the leadership of my predecessor in this job. These include working with the administration on the family/parental leave initiative currently being studied by a presidential task force, continuing conversations on faculty hiring trends which have raised concern, finding ways to address concerns raised by faculty via the faculty morale survey, working on strategies to provide adequate training and resources to help part-time faculty, and continuing to work on faculty salary-related issues.
Some of the other strategies that Senate will consider during the 2015-2016 academic year include a study into the possibility of creating a position for a faculty Ombudsperson at the university to help serve those faculty members who are unaware of existing university services or who, due to different reasons, seek an alternative to the traditional means of communication. In addition, we will continue in our efforts to represent and highlight faculty perspectives on how to promote diversity and inclusiveness in everything we do at Missouri State.
This website contains a great deal of information about faculty issues, including links to the Faculty Handbook, The Constitution of the Faculty and Bylaws of the Faculty Senate, agendas and minutes for Senate sessions, and an archive of past Senate Actions and Resolutions. I look forward to getting to working with you. Please do not hesitate to contact me or the Faculty Senate Office for more information or assistance.
Dr. Sharmistha Self, Senate Chair, 2015-16, 836-5740, SSelf@missouristate.edu
2015–16 Faculty Senate Executive Committee
Chair – Dr. Sharmistha Self
Chair-Elect – Mr. Mike Foster
Secretary – Ms. Ruth Barnes
Parliamentarian – Dr. Cynthia MacGregor
Past Chair – Dr. Stephen McIntyre
Faculty Senate Office - CARR 314C - 836-5257
Sandra Johnson, CAP
Administrative Specialist III