University Senate proposes separate faculty senate


Melissa Gjellstad speaks at the University Senate meeting. Photo by Jennifer Friese/The Dakota Student.

University Senate hosted its first meeting of the new semester on Jan. 15 and had several big issues to tackle — one being a faculty governance proposal. The proposal is looking into whether the faculty on campus needs a representative body such as a faculty senate.

“There is no faculty senate, just a University Senate,” Chair Melissa Gjellstad said. “This is not a new conversation. It has been going on for several years now. We need to envision what that might look like and what it takes to get there.”

So far there have been two drafts of the proposal. There have also been open forums and, more recently, a survey done on the idea.

The findings of the survey were presented at the most recent meeting. Over 30 percent of the faculty said they were in favor of a separate faculty senate, while about the same number said they needed more information.

“There was a lot of good conversations and questions,” Gjellstad said. “There is a lot to think about. We need to figure out, how do we best serve?”

The discussion ended with a motion for the faculty senators to go back to constituents for consideration and discussion of the issue.

Other matters

Work groups at the beginning of last semester figured out what some of the biggest issues were that they wanted to work on for the year.

“The goal was to engage senators in dialogue,” Gjellstad said. “I assigned them work groups and we came up with a top 10 list, and in December we found that the top two were the library and parking.”

Senators agreeing to go out and get feedback from faculty, students and librarians to see what can be done to improve the library.

The body is waiting to hear back from the parking consultant that was on campus last fall to get recommendations on how to move forward with parking at UND.

Megan Hoffman is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].