On Monday, the Faculty Executive Committee used its first meeting since the June 30 retirement of longtime secretary of the faculty Joseph Ferrell to discuss how it can best utilize meetings to fulfill its broad charge.
Among other duties, that broad charge includes acting on recommendations from the larger Faculty Council, exercising certain legislative powers when prompt action is required and representing the faculty in advising the University administration.
The meeting gave the Executive Committee a chance to hear from some of its new additions. Faculty members joining the committee this year include Tamera Coyne-Beasley, department of pediatrics; Kelly Giovanello, department of psychology and neuroscience; Carol Hunter, deputy university librarian; and Jennifer Larson, department of english and comparative literature. Larson will be replaced by journalism professor Debashis Aikat while she is on leave during the fall semester.
The new secretary of the faculty, Vincas Steponaitis, said he is getting up to speed with his new position and working on changes to make the executive committee work more efficiently.
“If we use the analogy of faculty governance being a ship, then the chair of the faculty sets the course but the secretary of the faculty is kind of like the ship’s engineer who keeps things running,” Steponaitis said. “If this were the Starship Enterprise, (Cairns) would be Captain Kirk and I would be Scotty.”