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Shared governance invites faculty input

Through his participation in Faculty Governance, John VanderLippe (History), said he has made a difference at the college outside of the classroom and his office. He urges other academic and professional faculty members at New Paltz to participate, as well.

“Faculty Governance allows us all to have a voice in how the college runs,” said VanderLippe, who is presiding officer of Faculty Governance.

All faculty members can participate in the shared governance of the college by attending monthly meetings of both the full faculty – both academic and professional – and the Academic Senate.

Representatives from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Schools of Fine and Performing Arts, Business, Education, and Science and Engineering meet once a month as the Academic Senate to make policies, such as creating new academic majors and minors. Changes made at the Academic Senate level are presented to the faculty and student body at the all-faculty meetings, which are held once a month during the academic year.

VanderLippe, who with the start of the fall 2007 semester will enter into his last term as presiding officer, serves as president of the Academic Senate and chairs the full faculty meeting. Another role of the presiding officer is to serve as the liaison between the faculty and administration.

Joining VanderLippe at the helm of Faculty Governance are the university faculty senator and the ombudsperson. All three positions are elected by the academic and professional faculties.

Rose Rudnitski (Educational Administration) represents the New Paltz faculty at the State University of New York University Faculty. As university senator, Rudnitski, whose three-year term began with the 2006-2007 academic year, attends meetings with members of faculties from all of the fouryear SUNY campuses.

The third elected Faculty Governance position is the campus ombudsperson, who serves a two-year term.

In this role, Janice Anderson (Communication and Media) hears and investigates complaints from individual faculty members in areas not covered by the union contract.

VanderLippe said faculty members can also submit their input by joining committees on campus. The Academic Senate has three standing committees: Academic Affairs; Budget, Goals and Plans; and Curriculum. The college faculty has committees for areas such as organization; tenure and reappointment; and promotion and salary increases.

Participation at any level, VanderLippe said, allows all members of the campus community to have their say in the day-today management of the campus.

“We are all part of a community and the decisions that are made on campus affect all of us,” said VanderLippe.