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First Faculty Council meeting tackles old and new ideas

Pictured+fourth+from+left%2C+Tom+Swenson%2C+chairman+of+Faculty+Council%2C+said+he+has+concerns+with+the+proposed+shared+governance+draft+sent+out+to+the+campus+community+in+an+email+Oct.+24.
Sam Fuller/The Ithacan
Pictured fourth from left, Tom Swenson, chairman of Faculty Council, said he has concerns with the proposed shared governance draft sent out to the campus community in an email Oct. 24.

The Ithaca College Faculty Council held its first meeting of the 2016–17 academic year Aug. 23, where it proposed having council representatives on college committees, established an electronic student evaluation task force and cultivated ideas about orienting new faculty with the college.

Thomas Swensen, chair of the Faculty Council and of the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, introduced the idea that instead of members of college committees coming to the Faculty Council for faculty feedback, they should have a council member serve on committees as a faculty voice.

Some faculty, like Stanley Seltzer, associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, said it would be more appropriate for a Faculty Council member to meet with the heads of committees for conversations, rather than join multiple committees across campus.

Swensen said the Faculty Council Executive Committee will meet at a later time to finalize the subject.

Following discussions in December 2015 about moving student evaluations online, the Faculty Council passed a motion in April 2016 to create a task force to gather information about how to improve the efficiency of student evaluations.

Matt Sullivan, associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Jeane Copenhaver-Johnson, associate professor and chair of the Department of Education, volunteered to serve on the task force at the Aug. 23 meeting.

Also discussed was the idea that the Faculty Council should be involved with orienting new faculty members. Jason Freitag, associate professor in Department of History, proposed to organize a small group of council members who would meet with new faculty members midway through their first semester to assist them.

David Turkon, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, said he thought that was a job for the Center for Faculty Excellence.

As a faculty member who came to the college in 2013, Kari Brossard Stoos, assistant professor in the Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education, said she would appreciate another faculty orientation support system, but she said it should be centralized through the CFE.

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