For the first time, staff members will have a vote in University Senate
Rule change adds five staff to senate membership
For the first time since the establishment of University Senate at Ohio State in 1972, staff members will become voting members of the university’s central governing body.
Faculty constitute the majority of University Senate, which also has significant student representation. Senior administrators – the president, provost and several vice presidents as well as all college deans – are also part of the senate membership.
Effective today, the composition of senate will change with the addition of five voting staff members.
The Board of Trustees approved the membership change, which has been considered by senate committees and was approved by University Senate in April. The University Staff Advisory Committee (USAC), which recommended the change in senate membership, has advised the president on staff concerns since 1986.
“USAC’s proposal made a pretty compelling case that there’s a place for a staff voice in the senate itself,” said Senate Secretary Ben Givens, associate professor of psychology. “Staff have a lot of roles at the institution. There will be a benefit to increasing the voice of this constituency in the senate itself when we’re deliberating directions for the university.”
Senate’s 19 committees connect to all administrative offices, developing and advising on policies, processes, programs and solutions for issues facing the university.
USAC will select the five senate staff members, who will serve two-year terms. The USAC chair-elect will become a nonvoting member of the senate Steering Committee, which sets the agenda for all University Senate meetings and steers proposals to other relevant senate committees. The USAC chair will continue to be a voting member of the Steering Committee and a nonvoting member of the senate.
Under the new membership structure, University Senate consists of 71 faculty, 24 senior administrators, 41 students (26 undergraduate, 10 graduate and five professional students), and five staff members.