outlines Faculty Senate priorities for year ahead
Faculty Senate Chair Michael
Fitzgerald says that a number of priorities for the Senate emerged from the
Senate’s August retreat, some of which continue from the 2005-06 Senate
One of the first items –
and potentially the most complicated Fitzgerald says – is review of the
University’s proposal for the independent doctorate in educational leadership,
expected to be offered in fall 2007. The program will provide advanced training
for administrators in elementary and secondary schools and community colleges.
plan, due in the Chancellor’s Office Nov. 1, will cover issues such as
admission standards, program structure, curriculum and faculty. Once the plan
for the program is established and approved by the campus, it will need to be
approved by the CSU Board of Trustees, the California Postsecondary Education
Commission and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Sacramento State
is one of seven CSU campuses that will be offering the doctorate.
“This is an important
program for the University and the Faculty Senate wants to help the doctorate
get off to a strong start,” says Fitzgerald, a professor of Journalism.
Another priority for the
Faculty Senate is enrollment management, especially in the area of student retention,
“We believe the faculty
can help the University with the problem, which affects all of us,” says
Fitzgerald. He noted that in recent years fewer students are returning to Sacramento
State to continue their education. “We want to look at the data to see
what is happening to our students. We need to find out why students aren’t
returning to our campus and where they are going instead.”
Fitzgerald says another
priority is better coordination of the various faculty awards and recognition
programs the Faculty Senate administers. Those annual award programs include
the Livingston Lecture as well as the outstanding faculty teaching awards and
the outstanding community service awards. “We need to have a better way
of coordinating awards and recognition so they all get the attention they deserve,”
Fitzgerald served previously
as chair of the Faculty Senate in 1996. In the 1990s, he served as a member
of the Faculty Senate for six years. After his stint as chair, Fitzgerald went
on to serve three years as a statewide academic senator. A member of the Sacramento
State faculty since 1986, Fitzgerald is returning to serve his fourth year on
the Faculty Senate since ending his statewide status.
As chair of the Faculty
Senate this second time, Fitzgerald says he has several goals in mind.
First, he would like the
Faculty Senate to become more of an open forum for the entire campus. “I
see the Faculty Senate as a place for not only faculty but also for staff and
students to provide input on policy issues. One of my goals is to see the Faculty
Senate used as a forum to talk about issues before we provide the President
with policy recommendations,” he says.
Second, Fitzgerald would
like to work to help junior faculty take more leadership positions in the Faculty
Senate and across the University. Untenured faculty make up as much as 60 percent
of the Faculty Senate today, he says.
And third, Fitzgerald wants
to help develop a more collegial atmosphere on campus. “We should be able
to discuss ideas, disagree, but in the end still be able to get along as colleagues
and professionals,” Fitzgerald says. “Everybody on campus has something
California State University, Sacramento Public
6000 J Street Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 (916) 278-6156