Change in Senate leadership is only slight

The University of Oregon Faculty Senate will only see a minor change in leadership next year. Senate President Bill Harbaugh will be next year’s Senate vice president and president-elect after he ran unopposed for the position. Harbaugh was elected to the position at the Faculty Senate meeting on Wednesday.

Candidates nominate themselves to be elected vice president for 2017-2018 and then become president for the 2018-2019 year. Harbaugh was the only candidate for Senate vice president next year.

In a role reversal, Chris Sinclair, this year’s vice president will take over Harbaugh’s position next year and Harbaugh will serve as the vice president.  

“I get along really well with Chris Sinclair and I think the combination of the two of us is a good combination,” Harbaugh said in an interview with the Emerald.

Nominations for vice president/president-elect were allowed until the last minute, right before the vote, but nobody volunteered. Harbaugh said that this is likely because of the amount of work required to be president for not a lot of money.

Senate members still voted, even though Harbaugh was the only candidate. Sinclair only asked members to vote if they were in favor. The majority voted for Harbaugh, but not every Senate member raised their hand.

Harbaugh said he ran again because he did not feel that he had enough time in his one-year tenure as Senate president to do everything he wanted to do.

“You learn a lot doing the president’s job and if we keep rotating the jobs with new people, nobody ever gets enough institutional knowledge to really be able to use that knowledge to change what the university is doing,” he said.

Sinclair is looking forward to being Senate president. He believes the Senate is in a strong state and hopes that everyone continues to take the job of being on the Senate seriously. Sinclair told the Senate that he wants there to be a focus on making good policies.

“I would like us to be known as that university which does produce good policy — produces thoughtful, ethical policy which serves as models for others,” Sinclair said.

Harbaugh said that people are mostly pleased with what he has done as Senate president this year and that not a lot of people wanted to replace him. He said that a couple people did want to run, but did not think they would have enough votes and support.

“The main push back that I have gotten so far has been that I have been too much of a sellout to the administration,” Harbaugh said. “Given my past history people really expected me to be a hell raiser and I haven’t been.”

Senators also handed out UO Senate awards. One non-Senate or university member, Diane Dietz, a former reporter at the Register-Guard, was awarded for her work covering higher education. Other award winners were Senate members Kurt Willcox, Jennifer Freyd, and Lisa Raleigh. At the end of the meeting, Provost Scott Coltrane and Anthropology Professor Paul Simonds were both recognized for their service to the university.

Follow Emma on Twitter @henderemma

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Emma Henderson

Emma Henderson