Faculty Senate changes leaders

Derek Lenehan

Faculty Senate changed executive leadership, debated a university power shift, approved a new doctorate program and voted to oppose an amendment to the Ohio Constitution last night.

Cheryl Casper, economics professor and outgoing American Association of University Professors president, defeated incumbent Tom Dowd for Faculty Senate chair position. Casper, who said she was stepping down as AAUP president for a quieter life prior to last night’s vote, expressed dismay in the current leadership.

“We need to be proactive … rather than reactive to the administration,” she said. Casper also said recent events within the senate compelled her to run, though she did not specify what events did so.

Tish Soper, assistant professor of technology, was elected as vice chairperson.

“I feel honored, and the senate’s trust is well placed,” she said. “I look forward to working with Senator Casper. She has lots of experience, and I expect to learn a lot from her.”

Michael Mikusa, associate professor of teaching, leadership and curriculum studies, and Tom Janson, professor of music, were elected as senator at-large and secretary, respectively.

The senate and administration discussed Pat Book’s reach into academic programs. Book, vice president of regional development, will receive academic authority over regional campuses as of Friday, in addition to her current economic authority.

Multiple faculty members spoke out to Provost Paul Gaston and President Carol Cartwright against the change, saying a non-academic administrator should not be able to wield power over academic affairs. No decision was made, though it may linger as an issue between the faculty and administration.

The senate also approved the nation’s first doctorate of translation program.

Several senators pushed to add Arabic and Chinese to the program, citing the state of global affairs, though the program still received large support.

The senate approved a resolution to encourage the administration to take action against the state tax and expenditure limitation Constitutional Amendment. The resolution passed last night said the state amendment:

– Would permanently and arbitrarily restrict state spending in areas vital to Ohio’s economic and social health

– Is opposed by all points in the spectrum of partisanship and ideology

– Would restrict access to high quality educational programs at Kent State and other Ohio public universities

Contact academic affairs reporter Derek Lenehan at