Faculty Senate elects new officers to start 2012

Aimee Burch

The Faculty Senate has new officers to kick off 2012.

The ISU Faculty Senate gathered for its first meeting of the year Tuesday in the Great Hall of Memorial Union.

Among the first things to be discussed was the election of a new senate president-elect. The previous holder of that office, Ann Marie VanDerZanden, was recently appointed as director of the Center for Excellence and Learning and Teaching. With this new position, under Faculty Senate bylaws, VanDerZanden had to vacate the office of president-elect.

After a special election, Suzanne Hendrich was selected to take VanDerZanden’s post. Hendrich, a long-time member of the senate, said she brings a strong background in land-grant institutions and the principles associated with land grants to the office. Hendrich will take over as president-elect immediately and will serve as senate president during the 2012-13 school year.

Hendrich said there are four “vitamins” she will emphasize during her tenure, including team-building, asking questions and creativity.

“Questions are the origin of learning,” Hendrich said. “Creativity is an important asset in keeping moving in diversity.”

Under Faculty Senate bylaws, the January meeting is also the time when senators are required to elect a president-elect for the upcoming school year. Veronica Dark, professor of psychology, was elected to the post. Dark beat out two other candidates, Kevin Amidon and AnneMarie Butler, for the position.

Dark said she has been a member of the ISU faculty for nearly 25 years in various capacities and seen many instances of growth during this time. She said she believes this upcoming year will be an important year in terms of transitions coming and hopes to do her part to make these transitions smooth.

“My core values are academic freedom and the rights of individual faculty,” said Dark in a speech prior to the vote. “We have a responsibility to be the best and take multiple perspectives in our approach.”

The senate passed two proposals during the meeting. One proposal called for changing the name of the curriculum and instruction computing minor to the learning technologies minor. The other called for the discontinuation of the graduate major in zoology. The discontinuation will not impact students because no students have been enrolled in the program in recent years.

The senate was presented with one order of business in a proposal outlining the reorganization plan for the College of Design. This plan will be voted on at the meeting next month.

The next Faculty Senate meeting will be Feb. 14 in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union.