Messages from the Chair

November 21, 2022

Dear FAS and SEAS Colleagues:

The Senate of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Science – the elected body representing FAS and SEAS faculty – met via Zoom on Thursday, November 17th

Major Agenda Items:

·      Diane Charles, from Yale’s Office of Institutional Equity and Accessibility (OIEA), presented to the Senate on faculty accommodations during the COVID period and beyond, and also discussed the many services available through the OIEA. 

·      Valerie  Horsley and Sandro Gomez presented an initial analysis of the recently released Report by Yale’s Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty (CESOF), in particular focusing on the pace of narrowing the measured gap in salary between faculty at Yale and those at peer institutions (particularly pronounced in the Sciences / Engineering). CESOF representatives will present their findings at the December 15th Senate meeting.  

·      Valerie  Horsley and Sandro Gomez led a discussion on the roles and responsibilities of FAS and SEAS Teaching Fellows, highlighting the relatively narrow set of responsibilities delineated in the annual letter from the Deans regarding Faculty / Teaching Fellow Collaboration. 

Are there other issues you would like to see addressed? Please send any suggestions to fas-seas.senate@yale.edu

Finally, please consider attending the next Senate meeting (December 15) in person in HQ276, 320 Wall Street, as a Holiday Party will follow. 

Sincerely,

Paul Van Tassel
Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Chair, FAS-SEAS Senate

_____________________________________________________________________________________

October 17, 2022

Dear FAS and SEAS Colleagues:

The Senate of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Science – the elected body representing FAS and SEAS faculty – met in a hybrid format (In-person plus Zoom) on Thursday, October 13. 

Major Agenda Items:

·      Senate Chair Paul Van Tassel clarified that while the Senate’s Governance Committee had addressed the topic of University Administrative Growth during the past academic year (2021-22), no report has been approved by the Senate. 

·      Chairs from the various Senate Committees presented on their priorities for 2022-23: 

o   The Governance Committee seeks broad participation and additional data in their continued work on the topic of administrative growth.

o   The Budget Committee will advocate for more flexibility in faculty leaves and for improved faculty benefits (including university tuition).

o   The Instructional Faculty Committee plans to administer a survey on the current professional climate within the instructional faculty ranks.

o   The Diversity Committee will consider the questions of boundaries governing faculty-graduate student romantic relationships, and faculty accommodations (especially covid) as coordinated by the Office of Institutional Equity and Accessibility (OIEA).

o   The Science and Engineering Committee will consider the University’s new Patent Royalty Policy.

o   The Education Committee will look into expanding the role of faculty in Yale College admissions, and the availability of mental health resources at Yale.

o   The Peer Advisory Committee will again advocate for an Ombuds Office at Yale.

(Updates on Committee activities will be posted on the Senate’s web site, and FAS and SEAS faculty are invited to contact Committee Chairs with suggestions or questions.)

·      Valerie Horsley presented the main points of the (not-yet-finalized) Budget Committee Report, which include recommendations regarding faculty salary equity (within Yale and compared to peers), budget autonomy for the FAS and SEAS, and endowment growth spending priorities. The Report also advocates for a permanent committee to advise administrators on budget / salary decisions. 

·      Peter Schiffer (FAS Director for Strategic Projects) and Reina Maruyama (Chair of Women Faculty Forum) led a discussion on how Yale is responding to covid-related challenges being faced by faculty seeking tenure and/or promotion – the Senate’s Faculty Advancement Committee is also pursuing this topic. 

·      Stephanie Spangler (Vice Provost for Health Affairs and Academic Integrity) led a discussion on the search for a new CEO of Yale Health. 

Are there other issues you would like to see addressed? Please send any suggestions to fas-seas.senate@yale.edu. We look forward to hearing from you, and to seeing you at the next meeting of the FAS-SEAS Senate meeting (on November 17). 

Sincerely,

Paul Van Tassel
Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
Chair, FAS-SEAS Senate


September 27, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

We encourage all Yale faculty members in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering and Applied Science to work with the FAS-SEAS Senate – the elected body representing FAS and SEAS faculty. A key structure supporting faculty self-governance, the Senate exercises advisory power and is charged with addressing important matters of faculty concern through open debate and targeted recommendations. Examples of recent topics include faculty compensation, university budgetary priorities, and (endowment) investment ethics. 

FAS and SEAS faculty (both ladder and instructional) are encouraged to learn more about the Senate and its accomplishments, to participate in monthly meetings and other Senate-sponsored events, to communicate ideas and concerns to the Senate leadership, and to consider running for office in the spring elections. We look forward to working with you – our faculty colleagues – toward a stronger, more equitable, and more impactful Yale.

Sincerely, 

Paul Van Tassel
Chair, FAS-SEAS Senate

Meg Urry
Deputy Chair, FAS-SEAS Senate