September 10, 2018

Q&A with Natalie Carroll, University Senate chair

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Natalie Carroll, professor in the departments of Agricultural Science Education and Communication and Agricultural and Biological Engineering, today (Sept. 10) will lead her first meeting as chair of the University Senate for 2018-19. Here, Carroll answers questions from Purdue Today about her service with the Senate and goals for the year.

How long, and in what positions, have you worked at Purdue?

I have been a faculty member at Purdue since 1995.

Why did you decide to become involved in University Senate?

Initially I was elected by my department, I think as a way to help me meet faculty members from across campus and to become more familiar with Purdue in general. I found that being involved in various committees did, indeed, allow me to meet many people from across campus and that the work was both interesting and rewarding.

What did you learn as vice chair or as a committee member that will assist you as chair this year?

I’ve become pretty familiar with how the University Senate works and what needs to be done because of the many years (11) that I’ve served on the University Senate and my work on various Senate committees (both standing committees and faculty committees that report to various standing committees). 

What will the Senate be working on during the upcoming academic year?

The Senate will continue to work on a number of items that have carried over from last year, including those listed by each standing committee responsible:

* Educational Policy Committee -- Math core and winter session pilot.

* Equity and Diversity Committee -- Curriculum, faculty/staff recruitment and retention, freedom of expression, non-welcoming spaces at Purdue.

* Faculty Affairs Committee -- Allowable travel expenses, benefits issues, continuing term lecturer cap, external threats on Purdue faculty related to social media, promotion appeal process, teaching evaluation resolution follow-up.

* Student Affairs Committee -- Graduate student bill of rights and responsibilities, in-state tuition for members of Native American tribes from Indiana, jury duty absence policy, parental leaves for students, policy on extended leaves for students.

* University Resources Policy Committee -- Sustainability strategic plan, space survey.

* Special Committee -- Teaching evaluations.

Faculty members with suggestions and concerns that they would like the University Senate to consider should send them to Professor Gerald Shively, Steering Committee chair. The Steering Committee will then decide what committee should look into the issue/concern.

What are your own goals as the chair of the Senate? What do you hope to have contributed as chair to the Senate and to the University once your term ends?

As chair of the Senate I will facilitate the issues and concerns of the faculty and, when appropriate, sharing these with upper administration and the Board of Trustees, as required in our bylaws. I will remain impartial and strive to assure that each member is able to have their voice heard so the views of all departments are considered in any actions we take. I hope that the University Senate truly reflects the views and wishes of the entire faculty. 

What would you like faculty and staff to know about the Senate?

I would like faculty and staff to know:

* They can submit a concern or suggestion for consideration by sending them to the Steering Committee chair.

* It is important to get involved to help move Purdue in a positive direction for students, faculty and staff.

How can faculty/staff get involved?

The University Senate has mostly faculty representatives, but we also have members who are selected by the Administrative and Professional Staff Advisory Committee, Clerical and Service Staff Advisory Committee, Purdue Student Government and Purdue Graduate Student Government who serve on the Senate and some of our standing committees. Senate faculty members are elected by and represent their departments and, in some instances, colleges. All faculty (tenured, pre-tenure, and clinical) are asked each January to volunteer for various faculty committees. We need numerous volunteers for the committees, but we like to have many more than we need so we can create committees with members from different colleges (and schools) and as much diversity as possible.

I would ask the faculty to note, however, that even though they volunteer in January, the committees take some time to populate and those who are chosen will not be informed until late in spring semester for terms beginning June 1. I hope that every faculty member would self-nominate for one or two committees next January, unless they are already serving on a University Senate committee.


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