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Faculty Senate seeks new president in upcoming months

(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) – UCM Faculty Senate will elect a new president this spring.

Katie Jacobs, an assistant professor in psychological sciences, has been Faculty Senate president for two years and has served the organization for a total of five years. Her term as a senator ends in the spring of 2019.

“My goal right now is to try to help build the Senate so it can sustain when I leave,” Jacobs said. “I’ve been in leadership for so long and it’s never good for an organization to be dependent on an individual, so I’m trying to build the capacity of the system so whoever takes over after me has a really easy transition.”

Faculty senators are elected to two-year terms and can serve two terms for total of four years. After those two terms are up, the member has to wait a full academic year before they can run again.

A possible candidate for the position is Vice President Steve Price, associate professor in communication.

“My vice president is fantastic,” Jacobs said. “I’m trying to get him to run next year as president. That way we can get someone new in the vice president role and orient them for leadership.”

Price said he’s considering running for the president role. He said serving on Faculty Senate is a big responsibility as a voice for the faculty to the administration.

“It’s a lot of work, so If I decide not to run, it’s because I want to focus my energy and efforts elsewhere,” Price said.

According to the Faculty Senate constitution, the president serves as chair of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, creates and appoints committees, acts as a liaison between UCM faculty and administration and supervises the Faculty Senate office professional.

“I serve on a ton of committees as president,” Jacobs said. “I run the Senate meetings, the executive committee meetings and I also serve on the board of governors academic affairs. I serve on the Academic Council, meet with the president and the interim provost frequently and serve on the president’s cabinet, so it’s really busy.”

Michael Bersin, a music professor and member of Faculty Senate, said he understands the level of commitment it takes to be president. He served as president for four years in two different decades.

“It’s up to the individual to decide if they want to do this,” Bersin said. “It’s a pretty serious undertaking.”

Bersin also said the amount of work that comes with Faculty Senate can have an impact on an instructor’s teaching loads.

The nominations for president are scheduled to open April 1 and are due back April 15. Senators will nominate candidates for the position and then vote at the following meeting in ballot form.

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