Yet more on service!

Devoted readers of this blog–a number I believe to be in the millions–will recall that, a couple of weeks ago, I got some strange news: Despite having been elected chair of a particular committee, and despite having been told that I was re-elected to the committee, a flaw in election design meant that, in fact, I wasn’t re-elected, and hence couldn’t be chair.

That was the state of play on Monday, when the faculty senate met. Someone had proposed a motion to rectify the situation by having the senate declare me a member of the committee for the year. This passed, and so I went from being chair-in-exile to just chair.

This morning, however, a friend on the senate circulated a senate policy document from 5 years ago, which says, in part:

Members on Standing Committees of the Faculty that are elected into office during their last term shall be granted a one-term extension.

One reading of the policy is that we didn’t need a special resolution of the senate, because officers automatically have their term extended. Another reading is that, if you’re elected officer, you can get another term afterwards.

So, to recap:

  • I was chair, then not chair, and am now chair again
  • To a first approximation, no one fully understands the complex rules governing senate elections
  • In general, it is not good news when a senate resolution specifically mentions you by name.

Hrm. At any rate, the committee should be a good one this year; the first meeting was fun, there’s a cool proposal coming next meeting, & people seem–against all odds–to be lining up to be on subcommittees.

A random service-related thought that doesn’t deserve a separate post: It’s always a special moment in shared governance when a colleague says, “It doesn’t matter what the administration thinks. It’s the *faculty* senate, it advocates for the faculty, and it can pass any policy its members like.”

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