Mark Taggart, Chair of the Faculty
Good morning faculty! Welcome to the beginning of the 2006-2007 academic year, our centennial year at East Carolina University. I am honored to be serving you as Chair of the Faculty during this special year. We have a tradition of excellence in shared governance, and I am dedicated to having us live up to our reputation and to serving you well! I want to thank all of you who are serving on our campus committees, and especially those of you who have volunteered to serve as my representative or as representative of the Faculty Senate. We still have a very small number of vacancies, so what better way to honor our centennial than by volunteering to serve on a committee! Remember, we’re all in this together.
Let me introduce you to our faculty officers. Serving as Vice Chair is Professor DeeDee Glascoff, who is from the College of Health and Human Performance. DeeDee won re-election as vice chair, so I am grateful for the continuity she can offer.” Our secretary is Professor Dale Knickerbocker, from the Department of Foreign Languages in the Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. Dale it is an honor to be serving with you!. Patricia Anderson, from the College of Education, will be serving as our parliamentarian for this year. I am grateful for all that Trish has done on behalf of ECU as a former Chair of the Faculty as parliamentarian. Seated with the officers is Lori Lee, who is the Faculty Senate administrative assistant. Lori is the main contact in the Faculty Senate office and she is invaluable to everything we do. She will always be there to answer your questions and lead you in the right direction. Thank you!
One component of our system of shared governance is participation by students and the SGA. I’d like to now recognize M. Cole Jones, President of the Student Government Association. Seated next to him is his Chief of Staff, Joel Banjo-Johnson. Welcome, Cole and Joel, and I hope that you and your representatives will take full advantage of the SGA memberships on the various Senate and campus committees.
Next, I would like to thank the members of the Board of Trustees who are in attendance this morning. Welcome! I look forward to working with you this coming year!
These are exciting times to be involved in shared governance at ECU. Our Board of Trustees has approved our proposed revisions to Appendix D of our Faculty Manual, which describe our procedures for tenure and promotion. We are still awaiting approval of the general administration. After this approval, these policies will become implemented in all of our tenure and promotion recommendations. Our Appendix C, describing our personnel policies and procedures, was approved earlier this summer. Get to know our Faculty Manual, which are our “keys to the ignition” of shared governance! You can access the Faculty Manual via the Faculty Senate homepage.
Some additional items on the agenda for the upcoming year include issues that surround our fixed term faculty. Our Fixed term task force has worked diligently to make recommendations, and I’m looking forward to working with the Faculty Governance Committee in reviewing these recommendations. The Governance committee is also preparing a document outlining faculty review of administrative officers at ECU. We are also moving forward with the liaison program to help facilitate our curriculum process. We are hoping to have a liaison from every college and school for this coming year.
I would also like to comment on another very important responsibility of shared governance: our work on search committees in order to fill vacancies in faculty and administrative positions. It is important that we do all that we can in finding the right colleague or administrator, and it is crucial that we fully review the credentials of any candidate we bring on campus. We not only want him or her to succeed in the classroom or lab, but it is also important to try to determine what kind of colleague this individual would be. We don’t want any unpleasant surprises! So, don’t forget to be thorough when you contact their references! Make those phone calls; go “off list” if you can. Also, don’t forget all of the research tools that are available to us through the internet.
As I close, I am recalling words said by our former Chair of the Faculty Catherine Rigsby, urging all of us to become involved in shaping our university: “Look beyond your offices, labs, classrooms, and studios. See the whole university. Offer to serve on a university-level committee. Be willing to help shape the future of ECU by helping us build first from within – from the great faculty sitting in this room. “
Nearly ten years ago, ECU made the financial commitment to provide faculty access to computing technology through the implementation of the Faculty Workstation Program. Through this program, faculty are equipped with new computers every three years to meet teaching, research and professional computing needs. As more advanced technologies emerge, the program continues to evolve to provide faculty with new configurations that offer greater computing capabilities.
For the third year, the Faculty Workstation Program is offering a laptop with an external monitor, keyboard and mouse as an alternative to a traditional desktop computer at no additional expense to academic departments.
When determining which configuration will best fit your academic needs, consider the valuable advantage of portability a laptop offers— continuous access to all of your electronic files as well as familiar software applications whether teaching in the classroom at East Carolina, traveling abroad or conducting research from home. On campus, the university's extensive wireless network provides Internet access and Piratedrive connection from a variety of locations such as Joyner Library, Wright Plaza, and campus dining and residence halls.
Progress marches on! Our undergraduate catalog will become completely on line beginning with the 2007-08 academic year.
There will be a forum and luncheon for new faculty at noon on August 30 in the Mendenhall Center Great Rooms. This will be a great opportunity for our new colleagues to become introduced to shared governance at ECU.
There will be promotion and tenure workshops for deans, chairs, directors and personnel committee chairs on Friday, October 13, in the Mendenhall Center Great Rooms.
The Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences will have their opening convocation here immediately following the conclusion of ours. If you do not plan to attend, please leave the building so that they may begin their convocation on time.
Thank you. We are adjourned. Let’s go out there and have a great year!