Notice, October 1996

Letter to the UC Faculty
From Council Chair Mellichamp

September 30, 1996

Senate Colleagues:

As the new academic year begins, I wanted to take some time to write to you about some of the issues that now confront the University and the Universitywide Academic Senate's response to them.

Many faculty have told me in the past year that they think of the Universitywide Senate as an organization distant from their activities and concerns. This is inevitable to a certain extent; faculty are, and should be primarily concerned with their own departments, their own teaching and their own research programs, while the Universitywide Senate must be concerned with departments, teaching, and research in the aggregate, which is to say, across nine campuses.

I would argue, however, that while the Universitywide Senate does not focus on local issues, the results of its work are intensely local, in that its mission is to enhance the working environment that exists in each classroom and laboratory. It's obvious that the University's budget, its newly adopted budgeting initiative, affirmative action, shared governance, and other such topics do affect faculty directly and in important ways. One challenge to the Universitywide Senate and its executive committee, the Academic Council, is to keep you abreast of what the Senate is doing in connection with these important issues. This letter is a step in that direction. More communication is in the works, however: Over the course of this year we intend to enhance our existing site on the World Wide Web ( so as to provide not only more types of information to Senate members, but also some electronic means by which campus faculty can easily communicate with Universitywide Senate leaders.

For now, what I'd like to provide is a brief summary of several of the more important issues facing the University. If you have suggestions, please send them to us at either of the addresses listed on the back page of Notice. And bear with us as we move toward less traditional but more efficient ways to keep in touch.

These topics represent only some of the issues the Universitywide Senate will be working on in the coming months. As we begin to deal with them, I'd like to encourage all of my faculty colleagues to make their views known to the Senate leadership and to be as personally involved in Senate work as time and energy permit. The University is only as strong as its faculty and the voice of the faculty is the Senate.

Duncan Mellichamp
Chair, Academic Council