The Senate Source

April 2016

UCLA Professor Shane White Elected 2016-17 Senate Vice Chair

UC Los Angeles Professor of Dentistry Shane White has been elected 2016-17 Academic Senate vice chair. He will succeed UC Davis Professor James Chalfant as systemwide Senate chair in 2017-18.

Professor White has been one of the Senate’s leading voices on faculty welfare and budgetary issues over the last decade. He currently chairs the University Committee on Planning and Budget (UCPB), and served for ten years on the University Committee on Faculty Welfare (UCFW), including a year as chair. He was also a member of UCFW’s Health Care Task Force and a member and chair of UCFW’s Task Force on Investment and Retirement (TFIR). 

White was a Senate representative to the finance workgroup of President Yudof's 2009-2010 Task Force on Post-Employment Benefits, and to President Napolitano’s Retirement Options Task Force – the University’s two most recent efforts to revise post-employment benefits.  He has served the UCRS Advisory Board as chair.

White is a Professor in the Section of Endodontics in the Constitutive & Regenerative Sciences at UCLA’s School of Dentistry. He is also a faculty member of UCLA’s Center for Esthetic Dentistry and of the Center for Craniofacial and Molecular Biology at the USC School of Dentistry. A native of Ireland, White received his dental training from Trinity College Dublin. He spent several years in private practice and part-time teaching in Dublin before moving to California, where he received a master’s degree in Oral Biology and residency training in prosthodontics as well as in endodontics from UCLA, and a PhD in Craniofacial Biology from USC.

In addition to his systemwide service, White has a notable record of Senate and departmental service at UCLA. He served on the local Faculty Welfare Committee (including four terms as chair), the Committee on University Emeriti and Pre-Retirement Relations, the Council of Senate & FEC Chairs, the Legislative General Assembly, the Senate Executive Board, and the Council on Planning and Budget. He has also served as chair of the Section of Endodontics in the UCLA School of Dentistry, and is the Director of Integrative Education in the Division of Constitutive and Regenerative Sciences. His current research interests include dental biological materials, genetic-structural relationships in enamel, and in patient-centered endodontic outcomes.

White says the Senate must work in partnership with the administration to make difficult strategic decisions that maintain access and quality.

“The University’s challenges are the Senate’s challenges,” he said. “The Senate is a thin but strong web that reaches through the entire depth and breadth of the University and must effectively provide its unequaled expertise and experience to the University administration. While shared governance is a distinctive and successful part of the UC culture, in order for it to be effective it must be actively and collegially engaged by all. Historically, UC has been well-served by practices of consensus-building and transparency. Shared governance can be a fragile thing. Trust must be earned and maintained by all; but, surprises, secrecy, or unilateral action can cause great harm. The University must work to be united in the political and fiscal arenas if we are to be effective in maintaining the quality of our teaching, research, and service missions. The Council chair and vice chair must facilitate and promote the incredible talents of the Council members and the entire Senate body to best address the future of the UC in providing access and affordability to the UC’s preeminent teaching, research, and service successes.”