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Faculty Senate Chairs' Announcements Academic Year 2018-2019

February 1, 2019


I am writing to update you on several items occurring within Faculty Senate.


Changes to Senate per Faculty Constitution


  • Senate voted unanimously to reinstate the Faculty Professional Policies Council at our January, 28 meeting. This important committee will start meeting in March. Elections for representation from your college are forthcoming. Senate is asking that Faculty with at least three years of experience serve on this Council. We specifically encourage senior faculty to serve. The first task of the Council will be to rewrite its bylaws. While this Council gets underway, Senate has formed two immediate subcommittees to work on the following policies. The five year Periodic Performance Review and the appeal process for Faculty Appeals.


  • Senate has been working closely with Brian Gee, the Chair of the Research Council to fold this Council back under Senate. Senator John Holmes is acting as a liaison with the Research Council to rewrite bylaws for this change.


  • Senate invited Susan Belliston, Chair of Curriculum Council to begin the work of folding this Council back under Senate. Senate is committed to a smooth transition and will work diligently with Susan to ensure processes remain efficient.


  • Senate Administrative Assistant, Erin Selleneit has been hard at work creating web pages for both Research Council and Graduate Council. These new web pages provide minutes and information on the councils. 


  • Russell Wahl is Chair of the local AAUP. Any questions concerning AAUP and sanctions from AAUP can be addressed by Russell Wahl.


  • Erin Selleneit is taking minutes for the Academic Deans Council. Their minutes may be found at Academic Deans Council


  • Senate is rewriting our Bylaws to align with the Faculty Constitution. We hope to have a working draft completed within the next few weeks and the new bylaws adopted by March of this year.



Senate is happy to announce that we have appointed Dr. Jeremy Thomas as a second Faculty Ombuds. Dr. Jeremy Thomas is the Director of Gender and Sexuality Studies and Associate Professor of Sociology. Dr. Thomas did his Ph.D. at Purdue University and came to ISU in 2012. His research and teaching has focused on gender, sexuality, and religion, especially through the lens of pluralism, diversity, and conflict resolution. Prior to starting in his new role as a Faculty Ombuds, Dr. Thomas served on the Faculty Senate and the Graduate Council. Dr. Thomas has completed training with the International Ombuds Association and conducts his work in accordance with the Association's principles of confidentiality, independence, neutrality, and informality. 

Faculty Senate Ombuds are not tied to a reporting system to Human Resources. Human Resources itself has ombudsman if needed and their names can be found here ISU Ombuds Program.


Idaho State Board of Education

As Chair of Faculty Senate, I have been asked to serve on an institutional ISU team for Complete College America (CCA) Momentum Pathways Scale Project. Idaho was selected as a state to participate in this project. A letter from Randall Brumfield, Chief Academic Officer, Idaho State Board of Education, is attached to this email to provide context. The purpose of this work is to improve student retention, persistence, and completion across the state. The ISU institutional team is currently engaged in a learning process with the state and CCA. I will be sharing everything that I am learning with Faculty Senators at our upcoming Senate Meetings. Please reach out to your Senators for information!




Laura Ahola-Young

Faculty Senate Co-Chair