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Week of March 12, 2012

Six vie for three SACUA seats

The Senate Assembly will elect three members to the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA) at its March 19 meeting. The three top vote getters will serve three-year terms. Additional candidates may announce their intent to run up to the time of the election.

SACUA is the nine-member executive arm of the U-M faculty governance system. As of Record press time, six candidates have indicated they will run in the election:

• Sara Ahbel-Rappe, professor of Greek and Latin, Department of Classical Studies, LSA; and adjunct associate professor, Department of Near Eastern Studies, LSA

• Seth Hirshorn, associate professor of public administration, UM-Dearborn

• Dr. Rex Holland, professor, Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences and Endodontics, School of Dentistry; and professor in the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology, Medical School

• Scott Masten, professor of business economics and public policy, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

• Sally Oey, associate professor of astronomy, LSA

• Dr. Tilly Peters, professor, Department of Cariology, Restorative Sciences and Endodontics, School of Dentistry; faculty associate, Center for Global Health, School of Public Health

Biographical information and position statements supplied by the candidates follow.

Sara Ahbel-Rappe


Education: Bachelor of Arts (1981), Master of Arts (1986) and doctorate (1991), all from University of California, Berkeley.

Fellowships: Michigan Humanities Award for project, Cross-examining happiness, Socrates in the City of Sages, LSA (2007-08); Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship for the study of Arabic Language (2004-05); Institute for Advanced Study, School of Historical Studies, Princeton, New Jersey (winter 2000); Harvard University, junior fellow, Center for Hellenic Studies (1997-96).

Faculty Leadership: Senate Assembly member, 2010-present; served one year on College Nomination Committee; College Curriculum Committee; College Tenure Committee.

Statement of candidate: “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHA) was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948. Article 26 paragraph 2 states: ‘(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.’

“In my view, it is imperative to keep this directive in mind as the university continues to change and grow into its 21st century mission. Education in the humanities has a critical role to play in the well being of our future citizens.

“As Cicero put it in his Pro Archia Poeta, ‘literary commemoration is a most potent factor in enhancing a country’s prestige. And to those who hazard their lives for the sake of glory, such literature is a vigorous incentive, stimulating them to risk fearful perils and perform noble endeavours.’”

Seth Hirshorn


Education: Bachelor of Science (political science), University of Wisconsin-Madison (1969); Master of Public Administration, SUNY-Albany (1971); Doctor of Philosophy in Public Administration, Maxwell School, Syracuse University (1974).

Faculty leadership: Director of the UM-Dearborn graduate MPA Program several times over the past two decades. Former president of the UM-Dearborn Senate and represented UM-Dearborn in the Senate Assembly for the past five years. Member of SACUA’s Budget Study for the past five years and chaired this committee for the past four years. Elected to represent the Midwest on the American Society of Public Administration’s National Council.

Statement of candidate: “Faculty governance, our system of tenure, and higher education, generally, is being challenged by the politics of our time and the public’s commitment and willingness to support our efforts. Renewing ties that bind the University of Michigan and our many publics — quality education, research and service — are and will continue to be our mandate. In this context faculty governance should see that outstanding instructors receive recognition and are rewarded for their teaching; faculty governance should be a central actor in promoting a faculty research agenda including providing financial incentives and recognition for fresh approaches and outstanding work. We should renew our efforts to improve service including faculty governance, and other service activities of the faculty, that leads to improved faculty engagement throughout the university.”

Dr. Rex Holland


Education: Bachelor of Science, with honors (1968), Bachelor of Dental Surgery, with honors (1971), Doctorate in Anatomy, University of Bristol, U.K. (1975); Specialty Certificate in Endodontics, University of Iowa (1983).

Faculty leadership: 1996-2002, School of Dentistry Multicultural Affairs Committee (chair 1999-2002); 2002-05, SACUA — Research Policy Committee; 2002-07, SACUA Tenure Committee (chair 2006-07); 2002-06, U-M Cognate Panel; 2002-06 U-M Grievance Panel (as school ombuds); 2002-04, Michigan Union Board of Representatives (faculty member); 2003-06, 2008-11, Senate Assembly representative, School of Dentistry; 2006, ad hoc committee “Dean misconduct in EC election”; 2005-08, government affairs committee; 2006-present, committee for a multicultural university (chair 2009-present); 2006-09, Civil Liberties Board (chair 2009).

Statement of candidate: “Faculty governance and the tenure system that supports it are the key features of the University of Michigan that have allowed it to reach the level of distinction it has. Unfortunately both have been eroded for at least a decade and the prospect if not the present is one of a much more autocratic form of governance by the central administration. The divine right of deans has led them to be rulers rather than leaders. The current structure of faculty governance needs to be reviewed and enhanced to include more obviously the non-tenure-stream faculty who contribute so much to the university’s stature, to educate faculty about the benefits, resources of faculty governance and to work with deans such that they more sincerely appreciate and utilize faculty in governance.”

Scott Masten


Education: Bachelor of Arts, economics, Dartmouth College (1977); Master of Arts, economics, University of Pennsylvania (1979); Doctor of Philosophy, economics, University of Pennsylvania (1982).

Faculty leadership: Academic Affairs Advisory Committee, member, 2011-present; Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty, member, 1992-99, chair, 1998-99; William H. Davidson Institute Strategic Mission Committee, member, 1992-93; William H. Davidson Institute Research Committee, chair, 1992-93; Ad Hoc Committee on New Pay, member, 1993-1994; Ross Strategic Planning Committee, member (elected), 1995-97; U-M American Association of University Professors Executive Committee, member (elected), 2001-04; Senate Assembly Rules Committee, chair, 2005-08; SACUA Task Force to Review Proposed Revisions to Rules Governing Senate Assembly, chair, 2005-06; SACUA Grievance Procedures Task Force, member, 2006-07; Administration Evaluation Committee, member, 2007-10; Senate Assembly Budget Study Committee, member, 2010-present; University Grievance Review Board Cognate Panel, member, 2010-present; International Society for New Institutional Economics, board of directors (elected), 1997-2001, 2006-09, president (elected), 2008-09.

Statement of candidate: “The role of faculty in the governance of universities derives from two essential functions: the application of faculty expertise in support of the research and educational mission of the university, and the protection of academic freedom. Consistent with this, the most successful universities historically have been those with the strongest tradition of and commitment to shared governance. If elected to SACUA, I will work to preserve the faculty’s voice in the governance of the university and to assure that the decisions and advice of the faculty on specific issues are well-reasoned and promote the broad interests of the university in its core academic mission.”

Sally Oey


Education: Bachelor of Arts, physics and Latin, Bryn Mawr College (1986); doctorate in astronomy, University of Arizona (1995).

Faculty leadership: Secretary of the University Advisory Committee of the Senate Assembly (since 2010); LSA Curriculum Committee (2009-12); Steering Committee, Museum Studies Program (since 2010); Board of Advisors, U-M Museum of Natural History (since 2010); co-chair, Winter 2009 LSA Theme Semester on “The Universe: Yours to Discover” (2007-09); LSA Committee on the Public Face of Research (2005-06); member, Michigan Center for Theoretical Physics; member, LGBT Faculty Alliance.

Statement of candidate: “The faculty constitute a critical constituency within the university community, and one which potentially offers unparalleled richness in creativity, expertise and depth. SACUA and the faculty governance bodies are a primary avenue for the university leadership to access this immense resource. I would work to maximize this potential for the faculty to provide our unique, varied and valuable perspectives on the issues facing the university. A mutually transparent relationship will benefit the entire community and strengthen our institution as it continues to evolve and grow.”

Dr. Tilly Peters


Education: Doctor of Dental Medicine (1975), Doctor of Philosophy, Biomechanics, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands (1981).

Professional fellowships: Fellow Academy of Dental Materials (1988), Fellow International College of Dentists (1995).

Faculty leadership/governance experience: Appointments, Promotions & Tenure Committee, School of Dentistry (1999-02); Advisory Board, CRLT (2000-02); Institutional Review Board I, Health Sciences Cluster (2001-04); University Senate Assembly (2003-08); Grievance Panel, School of Dentistry (2007-10); International Council, Advisory to the President (2008-09); Budget Study Committee, University Senate Assembly (2008-11); Board of Directors, American Association for Dental Research (2011-13); Grievance Hearing Board, School of Dentistry (2011-12).

Statement of candidate: “A flourishing academic climate requires an open and transparent environment strongly based in democratic leadership and faculty governance. In economic downturns faculty must surmount many challenges. Effective use and creative sharing of dwindling resources demand collaborative effort to enhance our work climate. These challenges require an open, agile mindset, shared commitment and free exchange of information to ensure a good future. If elected to SACUA, I would feel privileged to represent the faculty as my constituency and to help you make strong, positive contributions while enhancing our university’s climate to benefit all faculty —from assistant through emeritus, nurturing our enriching cultural diversity. I will try to make the regular Senate Assembly meetings more substantive, vibrant, and worthy of the representative democracy and deliberative process that our faculty can offer.”



Nicole Green-Valentine, assistant director, Department of Recreational Sports, on officiating: "You need to be confident in yourself, confident that you know the rules and know how to apply them, and that you communicate well with the players, coaches, parents your partner officials."


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