The Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA) is the executive arm of the University (Faculty) Senate and the Senate Assembly. SACUA meets regularly throughout the academic year and consists of nine members elected by the Senate Assembly for three-year terms. On behalf of members of the Faculty Senate, SACUA advises and consults with the President, Provost, and other executive officers of the University on matters of policy and University concern that impact faculty interests.

The Chair of SACUA also serves as Chair of the Faculty Senate and Senate Assembly. The Chair is also responsible for representing faculty interests in regularly scheduled meetings with the President and Provost.

What is SACUA’s role?


  • Coordinates the Unit Ombuds program (10-D in the Faculty Handbook)
  • Appoints Faculty Grievance Monitors (FGMs) for grievances and coordinates with Academic HR in the grievance process.
  • Hears faculty complaints or grievances that do not fall under the established grievance process
  • Has responsibilities related to cases of dismissal, demotion, or terminal appointment of tenured faculty members
  • Provides leadership for central faculty governance activities
  • Serves as liaison to a Senate Assembly committee(s)
  • Manages award nominations and selections for five awards:

Distinguished Faculty Governance Award
Regents’ Award for Distinguished Public Service
Jackie Lawson Memorial Faculty Governance Award
University Librarian Achievement Award
University Librarian Recognition Award

  • Nominates Faculty Senate Members to serve on the following committees:

Advisory Board on Intercollegiate Athletics
Honorary Degree Committee
Military Officer Education Committee
Police Oversight Committee
Residency Appeal Committee
Advisory Committee for Recreational Sports (ACRS)
Library Council

What is the role of a SACUA member?

SACUA members:

  • Provide input on the strategic direction of the University
  • Monitor institutional plans, Standard Practice Guides and policies
  • Stay informed about issues that affect faculty
  • Represent their school/college/unit by sharing comments and positions with SACUA
  • Attend weekly meetings prepared to participate and actively engage
  • Serve as a liaison to at least one Senate Assembly committee
SACUA Representatives
  • Rebekah Modrak, Chair

    SACUA/Senate Assembly Chair
    Professor, School of Art & Design
    Term Expires: April 30, 2025

  • Heather O’Malley, Vice Chair

    SACUA/Senate Assembly Vice Chair
    Assistant Research Scientist, Pharmacology
    Term Expires: April 30, 2026

  • thomas braun

    Tom Braun

    SACUA Member
    Professor of Biostatistics
    Term Expires: April 30, 2025

  • Simon Cushing

    SACUA Member
    Associate Professor of Philosophy, UM-Flint
    Term Expires: April 30, 2025

  • Vilma Mesa

    Vilma Mesa

    SACUA Member
    Professor of Education and Mathematics
    Term Expires: April 30, 2026

  • Derek Peterson

    SACUA Member
    Professor of History and of Afroamerican and African studies
    Term Expires: April 30, 2027

  • Soumya Rangarajan

    SACUA Member
    Clinical Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine
    Term Expires: April 30, 2027

  • Melanie Tanielian

    SACUA Member
    Associate Professor of History
    Term Expires: April 30, 2027

  • Alex Yasha Yi

    Alex Yasha Yi

    SACUA Member
    Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, UM-Dearborn
    Term Expires: April 30, 2026

  • Deirdre Spencer

    Senate Secretary
    Librarian of History and Art
    Term Expires: April 30, 2025


SACUA Agendas + Minutes + Archived Minutes

May 20, 2024

          SACUA Agenda 5-20-2024

May 13, 2024

          SACUA Agenda 5-13-2024

          SACUA Minutes 5-13-2024

May 6, 2024

          SACUA Agenda 5-6-2024

          SACUA Minutes 5-6-2024

April 29, 2024

          SACUA Agenda 4-29-2024

          SACUA Minutes 4-29-2024

April 22, 2024

          SACUA Agenda 4-22-2024

          SACUA Minutes 4-22-2024

April 8, 2024

          SACUA Agenda 4-8-2024

          SACUA Minutes 4-8-2024

April 1, 2024

          SACUA Agenda 4-1-2024

          SACUA Minutes 4-1-2024

March 25, 2024

          SACUA Agenda 3-25-2024

          SACUA Minutes 3-25-2024

March 11, 2024

          SACUA Agenda 3-11-2024

          SACUA Minutes 3-11-2024

March 4, 2024

          SACUA Agenda 3-4-2024

          SACUA Minutes 3-4-2024

February 12, 2024

          SACUA Agenda 2-12-2024

          SACUA Minutes 2-12-2024

February 5, 2024

          SACUA Agenda 2-5-2024

          SACUA Minutes 2-5-2024

January 22, 2024

          SACUA Agenda 1-22-2024

          SACUA Minutes 1-22-2024

January 8, 2024

          SACUA Agenda 1-8-2024

          SACUA Minutes 1-8-2024

December 18, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 12-18-2023

          SACUA Minutes 12-18-2023

December 4, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 12-4-2023

          SACUA Minutes 12-4-2023

November 27, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 11-27-2023

          SACUA Minutes 11-27-2023

November 20, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 11-20-2023

          SACUA Minutes 11-20-2023

October 30, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 10-30-2023

          SACUA Minutes 10-30-2023

October 9, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 10-9-2023

          SACUA Minutes 10-9-2023

October 2, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 10-2-2023

          SACUA Minutes 10-2-2023

September 25, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 9-25-2023

          SACUA Minutes 9-25-2023

September 18, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 9-18-2023

          SACUA Minutes 9-18-2023

August 28, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 8-28-2023

          SACUA Minutes 8-28-2023

August 14, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 8-14-2023

          SACUA Minutes 8-14-2023

May 22, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 5-22-2023

          SACUA Minutes 5-22-2023

May 15, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 5-15-2023

          SACUA Minutes 5-15-2023

May 8, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 5-8-2023

          SACUA Minutes 5-8-2023

May 1, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 5-1-2023

          SACUA Minutes 5-1-2023

April 24, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 4-24-2023

          SACUA Minutes 4-24-2023

April 10, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 4-10-2023

          SACUA Minutes 4-10-2023

April 3, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 4-3-2023

          SACUA Minutes 4-3-2023

March 27, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 3-27-2023

          SACUA Minutes 3-27-2023

March 13, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 3-13-2023

          SACUA Minutes 3-13-2023

March 6, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 3-6-2023

          SACUA Minutes 3-6-2023

February 20, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 2-20-2023

          SACUA Minutes 2-20-2023

January 30, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 1-30-2023

          SACUA Minutes 1-30-2023

January 9, 2023

          SACUA Agenda 1-9-2023

          SACUA Minutes 1-9-2023

December 19, 2022

          SACUA Agenda 12-19-2022

          SACUA Minutes 12-19-2022

December 5, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 12-5-2022

           SACUA Minutes 12-5-2022

November 28, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 11-28-2022

           SACUA Minutes 11-28-2022

November 7, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 11-7-2022

           SACUA Minutes 11-7-2022

October 31, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 10-31-2022

           SACUA Minutes 10-31-2022

October 10, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 10-10-2022

           SACUA Minutes 10-10-2022

October 3, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 10-3-2022

           SACUA Minutes 10-3-2022

September 19, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 9-19-2022

           SACUA Minutes 9-19-2022

September 12, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 9-12-2022

           SACUA Minutes 9-12-2022

August 29, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 8-29-2022

           SACUA Minutes 8-29-2022

August 15, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 8-15-2022

           SACUA Minutes 8-15-2022

July 25, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 7-25-2022

           SACUA Minutes 7-25-2022

June 13, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 6-13-2022

           SACUA Minutes 6-13-2022

May 23, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 5-23-2022

           SACUA Minutes 5-23-2022

May 16, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 5-16-2022

           SACUA Minutes 5-16-2022

May 9, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 5-9-2022

           SACUA Minutes 5-9-2022

May 2, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 5-2-2022

           SACUA Minutes 5-2-2022

April 25, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 4-25-2022

           SACUA Minutes 4-25-2022

April 11, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 4-11-2022

           SACUA Minutes 4-11-2022

April 4, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 4-4-2022

           SACUA Minutes 4-4-2022

March 28, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 3-28-2022

           SACUA Minutes 3-28-2022

March 7, 2022

             SACUA Agenda 3-7-2022

             SACUA Minutes 3-7-2022

February 21, 2022

             SACUA Agenda 2-21-2022

             SACUA Minutes 2-21-2022

February 7, 2022

              SACUA Agenda 2-7-2022

              SACUA Minutes 2-7-2022

January 31, 2022

          SACUA Agenda 1-31-22

          SACUA Minutes 1-31-22

January 10, 2022

           SACUA Agenda 1-10-22

           SACUA Minutes 1-10-22

December 20, 2021 – Canceled

December 6, 2021

          SACUA Agenda 12-6-21

          SACUA Minutes 12-6-21

November 29, 2021

          SACUA Agenda 11-29-21

          SACUA Minutes 11-29-21

November 22, 2021 – Canceled

November 8, 2021

             SACUA Agenda 11-8-21

             SACUA Minutes 11-8-21

November 1, 2021

             SACUA Agenda 11-1-21

             SACUA Minutes 11-1-21

October 25, 2021

             SACUA Agenda 10-25-21

             SACUA Minutes 10-25-21

October 18, 2021

             SACUA Agenda 10-18-21

Meeting in Executive Session – No Minutes

September 27, 2021

            SACUA Agenda 9-27-21

            SACUA Minutes 9-27-21

September 13, 2021

            SACUA Agenda 9-13-21

            SACUA Minutes 9-13-21

August 30, 2021

            SACUA Agenda 8-30-21

            SACUA Minutes 8-30-21

Auguste 16, 2021

          SACUA Agenda 8-16-21

          SACUA Minutes 8-16-21

August 2, 2021

       SACUA Agenda 8-2-21

       SACUA Minutes 8-2-21

July 19, 2021

       SACUA Agenda 7-19-21

       SACUA Minutes 7-19-21

June 21, 2021

          SACUA Agenda 6-21-21

          SACUA Minutes 6-21-21

June 7, 2021

           SACUA Agenda 6-7-21

           SACUA Minutes 6-7-21

May 24, 2021

          SACUA Agenda 5-24-21

          SACUA Minutes 5-24-21

May 17, 2021

         SACUA Agenda 5-17-21

          SACUA Minutes 5-17-21

May 3, 2021

        SACUA Agenda 5-3-21

       SACUA Minutes 5-3-21

April 26, 2021

       SACUA Agenda 4-26-21

       SACUA Minutes 4-26-21

April 12, 2021

       SACUA Agenda 4-12-21

       SACUA Minutes 4-12-21

April 5, 2021

       SACUA Agenda 4-5-21

       SACUA Minutes 4-5-21

March 29, 2021

      SACUA Agenda 3-29-21

      SACUA Minutes 3-29-21

March 22, 2021

     SACUA Agenda 3-22-21

     SACUA Minutes 3-22-21

March 8, 2021

     SACUA Agenda 3-8-21

     SACUA Minutes 3-8-21

March 1, 2021

     SACUA Agenda 3-1-21

     SACUA Minutes 3-1-21

February 22, 2021 (Executive Session)

     SACUA Agenda 2-22-21

February 8, 2021 (Executive Session)

     SACUA Agenda 2-8-21

February 1, 2021

     SACUA Agenda 2-1-21

     SACUA Minutes 2-1-21

January 11, 2021

     SACUA Agenda 1-11-21

     SACUA Minutes 1-11-21

December 7, 2020

      SACUA Agenda 12-7-20

      SACUA Minutes 12-7-20

November 30, 2020 (Executive Session)

      SACUA Agenda 11-30-20

November 9, 2020

      SACUA Agenda 11-9-20

      SACUA Minutes 11-9-20

November 2, 2020

      SACUA Agenda 11-2-20

      SACUA Minutes 11-2-20

October 19, 2020

       SACUA Agenda 10-19-20

      SACUA Minutes 10-19-20

October 12, 2020 (Executive Session)

SACUA Agenda 10-12-20

October 5, 2020

SACUA Agenda 10-5-20

SACUA Minutes 10-5-20

September 28, 2020 (Executive Session)

SACUA Agenda 9-28-20

September 14, 2020

SACUA Agenda 9-14-20

SACUA Minutes 9-14-20

August 31, 2020

SACUA Agenda 8-31-20

SACUA Minutes 8-31-20

June 15, 2020

SACUA Agenda 6-15-20

SACUA Minutes 6-15-20

June 1, 2020 (Executive Session)

SACUA Agenda 6-1-20

May 18, 2020

SACUA Agenda 5-18-20

SACUA Minutes 5-18-20

May 11, 2020

SACUA Agenda 5-11-20

SACUA Minutes 5-11-20

May 4, 2020

SACUA Agenda 5-4-20

SACUA Minutes 5-4-20

April 29, 2019

SACUA Agenda 4-29-19

SACUA Minutes 4-29-19

April 22, 2019

SACUA Agenda 4-22-19

SACUA Minutes 4-22-19

April 8, 2019

SACUA Agenda 4-08-19

SACUA Minutes 4-8-19

April 1, 2019

SACUA Agenda 4-1-19

SACUA Minutes 4-1-19

March 11, 2019

SACUA Agenda 3-11-19

SACUA Minutes 3-11-19

February 25, 2019

SACUA Agenda 2-25-19

SACUA Minutes 2-25-19

February 11, 2019

SACUA Agenda 2-11-19

SACUA Minutes 2-11-19

February 4, 2019

SACUA Agenda 2-4-19

SACUA Minutes 2-4-19

January 14, 2019

SACUA Agenda 1-14-19

SACUA Minutes 1-14-19

January 7, 2019

SACUA Agenda 1-7-19

SACUA Minutes 1-7-19

December 17, 2018

SACUA Agenda 12-17-18

SACUA Minutes 12-17-18

December 3, 2018

SACUA Agenda 12-3-18

SACUA Minutes 12-3-18

November 26, 2018

SACUA Agenda 11-26-18

SACUA Minutes 11-26-18

November 12, 2018

SACUA Agenda 11-12-18

SACUA Minutes 11-12-18

November 5, 2018

SACUA Agenda 11-5-18

SACUA Minutes 11-5-18

October 29, 2018

SACUA Agenda 10-29-18

SACUA Minutes 10-29-18

October 22, 2018

SACUA Agenda 10-22-18

SACUA Minutes 10-22-18

October 8, 2018

SACUA Agenda 10-8-18

SACUA Minutes 10-8-18

October 1, 2018

SACUA Agenda 10-1-18

SACUA Minutes 10-1-18

September 24, 2018

SACUA Agenda 9-24-18

SACUA Minutes 9-24-18

September 10, 2018

SACUA Agenda 9-10-18

SACUA Minutes 9-10-18

August 27, 2018

SACUA Agenda 8-27-18

SACUA Minutes 8-27-18

June 12, 2018

SACUA Agenda 6-12-18

SACUA Minutes 6-12-18

May 21, 2018 (Regent Weiser)

SACUA Agenda 5-21-18

SACUA Minutes 5-21-18

May 14, 2018 (President Schlissel)

SACUA Agenda 5-14-18

SACUA Minutes 5-14-18

May 7, 2018

SACUA Agenda 5-7-18

SACUA Minutes 5-7-18








SACUA Actions

May 17, 2023

SACUA Nominations: College of Engineering Dean Search Advisory Committee

April 21, 2023

SACUA Statement on the Role of the Faculty Regarding Grading

April 19, 2023

Restructuring Resolution: Technical Correction

April 10, 2023

SACUA statement regarding the GEO negotiations

April 7, 2023

Approval of Record Article Publication

April 5, 2023

Proposal 2 Implementing Resolution

March 17, 2023

SACUA Nominations: Integrated Disability Management Advisory Committee

March 13, 2023

SACUA Nominations: Honorary Degree Committee

March 6, 2023

SACUA membership: conflict of interest rule

Faculty Senate Restructuring Vote

February 23, 2023

Senate Restructuring Voting Process

February 16, 2023

SACUA Nominations: General Artificial Intelligence Advisory (GAIA) Working Group

February 1, 2023

SACUA Feedback on Senate Assembly Ballot

December 23, 2022

SACUA Nominations: Search Committee for the Director of the UM Center for Innovation

December 20, 2022

SACUA recommendations for the Office of Ethics, Integrity, and Compliance (OEIC)

December 13, 2022

SACUA statement regarding negotiations between the University of Michigan and GEO

December 7, 2022

SACUA Nominations: Faculty Budget Engagement Committee

December 5, 2022

SACUA Nominations: Undergraduate Testing Policy Review Committee

November 30, 2022

SACUA Nominations: Initiative Planning Group on Student Academic Success

October 31, 2022

Motion regarding Senate Assembly Committee minutes

October 14, 2022

SACUA Nominations: Military Officer Education Committee

October 7, 2022

SACUA Nominations: SPG 201.96 Review Faculty Group

October 2, 2022

Statement on the passing of H. Chandler Davis

September 28, 2022

SACUA Nominations: School of Information Dean Search Advisory Committee

SACUA Nominations: School of Law Dean Search Advisory Committee

SACUA Nominations: School of Public Policy Dean Search Advisory Committee

August 17, 2022

SACUA Nominations: Library Council

August 15, 2022

SACUA letter to Regents regarding the UM-Flint crisis

July 29, 2022

SACUA Nominations: Michigan Union Board of Representatives

July 14, 2022

SACUA Nominations: School of Dentistry Dean Search Advisory Committee


SACUA Motion on Recognition of Outgoing SACUA Chair Joy Beatty 4-27-20

SACUA recognizes Professor Joy Beatty for her outstanding contributions to facultygovernance during her tenure at the University of Michigan. SACUA further commendsProf. Beatty for her exceptional leadership as Chair of the Faculty Senate during a periodof unprecedented challenges to the operation of the University.

The motion passed unanimously, with Chair Beatty abstaining.


SACUA Motion on Formation of an Ad Hoc Committee Focused on University Libraries and Open Access 3-30-20

SACUA authorizes the formation of an ad hoc committee focused on university libraries and open access. The committee’s charges are to: (1) Review the financial operations of the University Press and (2) To evaluate how open access is influencing publishing processes across disciplines. The goal is for the ad hoc committee to present its findings, which may include recommendations, to SACUA by January 2021.

The motion passed unanimously.


SACUA Resolution on Senate Assembly Committee Realignment Recommendation 2-10-2020

WHEREAS, Senate Assembly committees provide an avenue for faculty to address issues and concerns;

WHEREAS, Senate Assembly may create standing and special committees to assist it with its work;

WHEREAS, the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA), on behalf of Senate Assembly, shall serve as an instrument for effecting the actions of the Faculty Senate and Senate Assembly;

WHEREAS, issues that arise or demand attention change from time to time, requiring realignment of Senate Assembly committees to address current goals and needs.

BE IT RESOLVED, A new committee is established with a charge to address issues related to the Office of Institutional Equity, the grievance process, and implementation of sanctions. This committee shall be named the Committee on Oversight of Administrative Action (COAA).

BE IT RESOLVED, Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty (CESF) is revised with an expanded charge to encompass topics such as campus climate and social well-being, while also serving in an advisory capacity to Academic Human Resources pertaining to faculty-life issues. CESF’s name shall be revised to Committee on the Economic and Social Well-Being of the Faculty (CESWF).

BE IT RESOLVED, Committee on Civil Rights and Liberties (CCRL), Committee for an Inclusive University (CIU), and Tri-Campus Committee (TCC) are merged and consolidated into one committee, the Committee for Fairness, Equality, and Inclusivity (CFEI). CFEI’s initial specific charge is to address issues of inclusion for all populations on the three campuses including Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint.

BE IT RESOLVED, Financial Affairs Advisory Committee (FAAC) and Building, Facilities, and Infrastructure (BFIC), are merged into one committee, FAAC, addressing issues related to both financial affairs and building, facilities, and infrastructure.

BE IT RESOLVED, Rules, Practices, and Policies Committee (RPP) is designated as an ad hoc committee. Committee members shall serve for one year terms when assigned as specific needs arise.

Resolution passed unanimously


Professor Shultz delivered the following appreciation of Professor Lippert:

SACUA mourns the passing of our dear colleague Sarah Lippert after a brief illness. A fine scholar of faculty governance as well as Art History, Sarah chaired several important committees on the Flint Campus and was president of the local AAUP chapter there.  She brought her strong advocacy to SACUA one year ago and immediately headed the Tri-Campus Committee for the Faculty Assembly.  She was a champion of the underdog, challenging administrators and faculty alike that did not have her depth of knowledge on university governance regulations, procedures, and best practices. She was professional, ethical, passionate and tireless. She is admired and missed by many, even those with whom she had differences. She left us far too early, leaving big shoes to fill.  It will take many people to carry on her important work

Professor Malek delivered the following appreciation of Professor Lippert:

We mourn the loss of Professor Sarah Lippert, a highly valued member of SACUA.  Dr. Lippert was an engaged and fierce supporter of faculty rights, believing strongly in due process and in normative behavior.  Dr. Lippert envisioned a university guided by principled interactions between university stakeholders. Her overriding goals were in making the university a better place.  She displayed personal courage, civility, and grace in her pursuit and was an inspiration to SACUA and the faculty at large.  She will be deeply missed.

Librarian Spencer said that Professor Lippert had been an inspiration to her.

Chair Marsh asked that SACUA observe a moment of silence in memory of Professor Lippert.

SACUA adopted the appreciations by Professors Schultz and Malek unanimously.


SACUA supports the efforts of the faculty who wrote the letter on Climate Change Action and urges other faculty to support the letter as well. The motion passed unanimously

Dear President Schlissel,

As a group that includes the most distinguished faculty at the University of Michigan, we are writing for several reasons.  First, we thank you for establishing the President’s Commission on Carbon Neutrality to plan the University’s path towards carbon neutrality. As is clear from the 2018 IPCC special report, the goal of achieving carbon neutrality is critical for the resilience of society and we are happy to see this manifestation of U-M leadership.

Second, we urge you to reconsider the scope of the Commission by incorporating consideration of 1) the planned expansion of the Central Power Plant and 2) divestment of holdings in fossil-fuel securities from our U-M investment portfolio. While the expansion and upgrade of the Central Power Plant may result in a reduction of direct emissions (scopes 1 and 2), the current calculations from the University do not incorporate the latest science on fugitive methane leaks (Alvarez et al. 2018, Howarth 2014), which may mean that the greenhouse gas savings are actually negligible. The expansion would thus commit the University to years of fossil fuel use without either saving money or reducing emissions.  A genuinely sustainable movement toward carbon neutrality requires a commitment to renewable energy sources and not simply less harmful fossil fuels. Divesting of fossil fuel stocks from our endowment portfolio is necessary for a full accounting of carbon emissions. Offsetting the emissions impacts of these investments by diminishing our on-site emissions would be difficult, if not impossible to achieve. Divestment is also likely to be financially responsible in the long term, given the need to vastly reduce global fossil fuel use. Ethically, including fossil-fuel stocks in our endowment portfolio makes us complicit in supporting an industrial sector that is driving our world into a climate crisis.

Third, we urge you to establish a timeline for carbon neutrality now as so many of our peer institutions have already done (e.g., see the Climate Leadership Network). It is clear that the technology exists or is being developed to achieve ambitious goals within the next 10 to 15 years; the gap is the political will. It has, frankly, been embarrassing that our distinguished institution has lagged so far behind our peers in this arena, especially given the immense intellectual resources of our faculty and students to contribute to solutions, both locally and globally. We think it is most appropriate for the University leadership to set the goals and then have the Commission formulate plans to implement them.

Finally, and most immediately, we urge you to engage directly with the University community in discussion of these and related issues. We understand that a town hall with you is being arranged; we hope you will take this opportunity to respond directly to students’ questions without prescreening. We also ask that you reconsider the arrest of students on trespassing charges that occurred during the March 15th climate strike sit-in. As educators, we are proud that our students are seriously and thoughtfully addressing climate change as the “defining scientific, social, and environmental problem of our age” and hope that you will engage with them with the same level of seriousness and thoughtfulness.


Deborah Goldberg

Margaret B. Davis Distinguished University Professor, Arthur Thurnau Professor

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, LSA


Professor Marsh introduced the following proposal for allowing on-line voting

The motion will be introduced as follows:

  • Absentee votes may be called by the Chair of the Assembly if an important and urgent matter arises that cannot wait until the next scheduled Senate Assembly meeting, including over the summer recess.
  • Senate Assembly members may transmit their votes by e-mail to the Secretary of the Assembly or his/her designate (e.g. the Director of the Faculty Senate Office) or through a secure web-based platform such as may be set up for the purpose.
  • The Secretary of the Assembly, or designate, shall be responsible for tallying electronic absentee votes.
  • The Assembly will be notified by e-mail that an absentee vote be held. Voting will be open for a period of 5 business days from the date of notification.  After voting closes, the Assembly will be promptly notified of the results of the vote.
  • The quorum for an absentee ballot shall be the same as that for conducting a Senate Assembly meeting; currently 50% of Senate Assembly members.
  • Electronic votes shall not be considered secret unless a secret ballot has been called for – e.g. election of SACUA members
  • Senate Assembly members voting in person at an Assembly meeting shall not be permitted to vote electronically.
  • The resolutions to be voted on electronically should normally have been discussed by the Senate Assembly prior to voting. A summary of any discussion should accompany the resolution.

The amended motion was passed unanimously.


Resolution on Governance at all Levels: Endorsed by SACUA January 14, 2019 Introduction:

This resolution addresses governance challenges caused by differences in terminology for academic bodies among the 3 campuses. For example, units named colleges, departments, programs, units, institutes, divisions, and disciplines are all involved in making curricular policies and decisions that must be subject to faculty purview according to the  Regent’s  Bylaws and to common understandings of faculty governance. There seems to be confusion about the faculty’s authority and role in governance within those alternatively named decision-making bodies. The resolution is a reminder of the existing policy that regardless of how the decision-making body has been named, decision-making should include consultation of the faculty with relevant disciplinary expertise and that those faculty may establish operating procedures within the bodies in which they serve. For example, departments should be free to pass internal rules without obstruction, understanding that if a conflict arises between policies, the policy of the higher body prevails (per the SPG:


This resolution reaffirms the importance of the existing policy that already applies across the three campuses. Passages below are taken from those existing institution-wide policies.


Resolution on Governance at all Levels:

Whereas the principles of faculty governance apply to all three campuses across the University of Michigan as an institution;

Whereas the Principles for Faculty Participation in Institutional Governance state that “Faculty members are encouraged to use these principles as a basis for ensuring their effective participation in governance at all levels; […] Agencies for faculty participation in the government of the college/school or university shall be established at each level where faculty responsibility is to be met. A faculty-elected campus-wide body shall exist for the presentation of the views of the whole faculty. The agencies may consist of meetings of all faculty members of a department, school, college, division, or university system, or they may take the form of faculty-elected executive committees in departments and colleges/schools, and a faculty-elected body  for larger divisions or for the institution as a whole (Part A.5.).”

Whereas faculty serve in a variety of roles, including through governance within committees, programs, departments, schools, colleges, institutes, divisions, and assemblies;

Whereas the governance structures of the institution vary in number and type by campus;

Whereas an instructional unit is most often a school or college, all Regentally established academic structures (i.e., disciplines, institutes, programs, departments, etc.) also function as types of units   and are meant to be subject to the same principles of faculty governance;

Be it resolved that the U of M Senate Assembly acknowledges the importance of faculty participation in institutional shared governance at every level of academic responsibility on all U of M campuses. This includes the faculty at the departmental and academic program or Discipline (Dearborn) levels. Faculty have the right and duty to develop and ratify internal procedures in accordance with the SPG ‘Hierarchy of Legal and Policy Requirements,’ and to establish mechanisms for their participation at those levels. Those best informed by disciplinary academic expertise should be able to make decisions according to the standards of governance established in the Regents Bylaws and Principles of Governance


TriCampus Committee Resolution on Due Process(pdf)


Professor Beatty introduced the following motion to create the committee to administer the DMN lecture:

Be it resolved that a permanent DMN Academic Freedom Lecture Committee of the Senate Assembly be established with a charge to select the annual speaker for the DMN lecture and coordinate the programming elements.

The motion passed unanimously.  Senate Assembly will be asked to approve the committee at the January 28 Senate Assembly meeting.


Chair Marsh introduced the Resolution in Support of the University of Michigan Achieving Carbon Neutrality in support of CSG’s resolution on Carbon Neutrality (

SACUA joins with the broader University community in recognizing the existential threat posed by climate change and global warming, which is driven by the continuing increase in greenhouses gases generated from burning fossil fuels.  SACUA therefore supports the goals of the resolution recently passed by Central Student Government: In support of carbon neutrality at the University of Michigan by 2035.  SACUA considers that the University of Michigan is uniquely positioned to play a leading role in the challenge of combating global greenhouse gas emissions and calls on the University to redouble its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and achieve carbon neutrality at the earliest possible date.

The resolution was passed with one abstention.


Further statement on the rights and responsibilities of faculty as they relate to writing letters of reference:

In light of recent events on the Ann Arbor campus, the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA) strongly reaffirms its commitment to the defense of academic freedom and the rights and responsibilities of academic tenure.

SACUA reasserts its commitment to the American Association of University Professors’ (AAUP) Statement of Professional Ethics, which stresses that a faculty member’s evaluation of a student’s merit should be the primary concern in providing letters of recommendation and to the Association’s assertion that faculty members “have a particular obligation to promote conditions of free inquiry and to further public understanding of academic freedom.”

In its previous Statement on Letters of Reference, SACUA affirmed a community standard. Clear understanding of that standard should protect students and faculty alike. SACUA, therefore, objects to any suggestion that its Statement on Letters of Reference can be used as an endorsement of sanctions against a member of the faculty.

SACUA is concerned that the widely circulated disciplinary letter recently issued by the Dean of LSA may have a chilling effect on members of the academic community who may, for legitimate and deeply held personal reasons, feel uncomfortable about providing letters to certain organizations or individuals. Such discomfort is fully in accord with the principle of intellectual integrity that is the core of academic freedom and does not represent “exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment of students,” which is deprecated by the AAUP.

SACUA asserts that recommendation letters represent the personal endorsement of the writer and, as such, the decision to write any letter must remain the prerogative of the author; faculty members should not have to fear reprisal for declining to write a letter. To the extent that any member of our academic community feels coerced into providing a recommendation letter, or stating opinions that he or she does not believe, the integrity of the recommendation is tarnished and the academic freedom that is central to our University is impugned.


WHEREAS President of the University of Michigan Mark Schlissel has announced Michigan’s participation in the nonpartisan Big Ten Voting Challenge, and

WHEREAS the 90% Pledge is a motivational tool within the Big Ten Voting Challenge to encourage Universities and their sub-units to ensure 90% of their eligible students are registered to vote and to increase turnout in local, state, and national elections, and

WHEREAS Faculty are critical to establishing a culture of civic participation on a University campus, and

WHEREAS a culture of civic participation is in accordance with the mission of a public university to contribute to the common good,

BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate endorses the 90% Pledge and the Big Ten Voting Challenge and encourages the Faculty of the University of Michigan on all three campuses to promote voter registration and voter turnout among all eligible students.

The amended measure passed unanimously.


The Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs affirms its commitment to the American Association of University Professors’ Statement of Professional Ethics and wishes to draw the University community’s attention to section 2, relating to a professor’s educational responsibilities:

As teachers, professors encourage the free pursuit of learning in their students. They hold before them the best scholarly and ethical standards of their discipline. Professors demonstrate respect for students as individuals and adhere to their proper roles as intellectual guides and counselors. Professors make every reasonable effort to foster honest academic conduct and to ensure that their evaluations of students reflect each student’s true merit. They respect the confidential nature of the relationship between professor and student. They avoid any exploitation, harassment, or discriminatory treatment of students. They acknowledge significant academic or scholarly assistance from them. They protect their academic freedom.

Within the guidelines set forth by the American Association of University Professors, and “demonstrate[ing] respect for students,” faculty should let a student’s merit be the primary guide for determining how and whether to provide such a letter.

The motion passed unanimously.


Professor Beatty moved that the Tri Campus Committee resolution be brought back for discussion.

The motion is:

Be it resolved that a permanent Tri-Campus Committee of the Senate Assembly shall be established [with a charge] to consider points of interest delegated to it by SACUA such as those that relate to the relationship between the three campuses or policies across the institution.

Resolution approved unanimously.


Considering the recent anti-Latinx graffiti, the University of Michigan’s Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs hereby affirms its support for the Latinx members of the University community. Our collective commitment to equity, inclusion, and mutual respect extends to all members of all ethnic communities. We call on all members of the University of Michigan to unequivocally oppose and condemn all attempts to discriminate against, marginalize, or denigrate students, faculty, and staff based on national origin or ethnic belonging.

After discussion of the wording, the motion as worded was approved 5-2-1.


Be it resolved, that the Tri-Campus Faculty Governance Task Force be reconstituted for one academic year by an election of the Faculty Assembly to elect 2 Faculty Assembly representatives from each campus. The motion was passed unanimously

We want to hear from you

Your input is important to us. If you have questions about Central Faculty Governance, about participating, or if you have questions or concerns about a specific topic, please contact us. The Faculty Senate Office will get back to you within twenty-four business hours.