University Senate met for one of its last meetings of the school year Thursday. University Senate will reconvene at 3 p.m. April 27 in the David Letterman Communication and Media Building Room 125. Meetings are open to the public. Sara Barker // DN Photo
University Senate discusses affordable textbooks, Cooper renovations
University Senate met for one of its last meetings of the school year Thursday as senators discussed some ongoing projects.
University Senate will reconvene at 4 p.m. April 27 in the David Letterman Communication and Media Building Room 125. Meetings are open to the public.
Here are some main points from the meeting:
Cooper Science Building renovation
Interim President Terry King updated the Senate on developments with the Cooper Science Building.
"It just needs to be replaced," King said. "It's too expensive to keep going."
Certain parts will be vacated, but the physics and astronomy departments will stay in the building. King mentioned the Charles W. Brown Planetarium is attached to the building and care must be taken when dealing with the part of the structure leading to it.
“It’s likely that part of Cooper Science will remain and be renovated," King said.
The project will start this summer. To be completed, the project needs an extra $10 million in funding to reach the $87 million it requires total, King said.
Tarek Mahfouz, chair of Faculty Council, briefed the Senate about efforts to make textbooks more affordable to students, which was discussed at length at the last Faculty Council meeting March 23.
Currently, the academic technology committee is looking into electronic textbooks, which might be the cheapest and most efficient way to deliver content to students, Mahfouz said.
No commitments have been made to any electronic textbook providers at this time.
Stopping the tenure clock
The Senate passed a motion to approve edits of language pertaining to extenuating circumstances that may delay a faculty member becoming tenured.
In the updated language, the tenure clock may be paused for up to two years at the request of an individual and subsequent approval of the department chairperson, the appropriate dean and the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.
The request must be submitted within one year of the birth or adoption of a child; serious illness of the faculty member, his or her dependent or family member; or if "the faculty member will be on leave for at least one semester of the academic year," according to the revised language.
Because tenure is based off of research, an individual with an approved exception will not have to make up for research not done in the year of leave.