Faculty Senate Chair elected, resigns

Kellie Gleeson

At the first meeting of every academic year, the Faculty Senate elects a new chair along with a number of representatives. This year the operation did not go as smoothly as usual. Within a week the new chair, Jack Leary, resigned from his position.

“Jack Leary was nominated and voted to be chair,” said Bill Keep, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. “As one of their duties, the Chair of the Senate holds a position on the Board of Trustees. Jack already had a role on the board as an elected member of the faculty. He had to choose between the two positions.”

Leary, Associate Professor of Legal Studies, did not want to give up either of his titles. Before he resigned he tried to get the Vice Chair to take his space at the board meetings.

“Since the chair has many responsibilities, I thought (I would) let the Vice-Chair sit on the Board of Trustees,” said Leary. “I thought this was a good way to resolve the situation.”

But due to the by-laws put forth by the Board of Trustees, the chair is the only individual who can officially sit on the board, thus forcing Leary to keep his role as the elected representative of the faculty.

“It is my habit to fulfill one commitment before I take on another,” said Leary. “I still have one more year as an elected representative.”

Leary is still sitting on the Faculty Senate as a representative and was part of the nomination process for a new chair. Leary said that position of chair is a highly complex and difficult duty.

“Chair is not a very sought out position,” said Leary.

David Rosettenstein, the newly elected chair and professor of law, also felt the heat of taking over such a position.

“It was clear that there was some reluctance to take over the job,” said Rosettenstein. “It does require a lot of work.”

Keep stated the senate provides the faculty with a voice on university policies. It is now Rosettenstein’s voice that will reside over this assemblage.

According to Keep, Rosettenstein will formulate agendas, look over a total of five sub-committees, and be a part of several other committees throughout the school.

“It is the goals and the obligations of the Faculty Senate and these committees to see how it all fits into the academic university,” said Rosettenstein.

Rosettenstein feels the new position will better equate the Law School and the undergraduate schools of the University.

“I am very aware that a lot of the Faculty Senate business deals with operations of undergraduate proportions in the university,” said Rosettenstein. “As a member of the Law School, I am not as familiar with these situations. I am willing to learn, so the schools will form a better relationship.”