Academic Senate Nomination

On Tuesday, April 15 at 10:30 am there will be an extraordinary Faculty of Arts and Sciences meeting to elect a new member for the Academic Senate. I am one of two nominees for this position and would like to express what I have to offer the faculty of Arts and Sciences if elected.

  1. While communication from the academic senators and the faculty has improved dramatically in recent times, I feel that there is still room for improvement. I am skilled with a number of online tools that can facilitate the flow of information to and from the faculty, and can result in improved communication and transparency. Some of these tools are blogs, RSS feeds, forums, document sharing with multiple authors, and other Web 2.0 tools. For samples of my work in this area, you can visit my blog, which will provide links to my course and other blogs, and the English Department Blog, which is an ideal example of how the way our faculty receive and publish information can improve. I recently gave a presentation on this topic at an Arts and Sciences Department Chairs meeting. Here is a copy of the Web 2.0 Tools Presentation handout for more information on what Web 2.0 tools are all about and how they offer solutions to current problems with electronic communication at the University.
  2. The Liberal Arts have traditionally been underrepresented in the Academic Senate, with a representative body that consists primarily of faculty from the sciences. The representation and contributions our senators who belong to the sciences are very valuable and appreciated, but I feel that the Arts have much expertise and input to contribute to the discussions occurring in the Academic Senate. Currently, out of our six senators, two are from the Arts (Hector Huyke and Anayra Santori, both Humanities professors specializing in philosophy). To have three out of seven total representatives belonging to the Arts would be a fair distribution to represent the Arts and Sciences population. As a literature professor in the English Department with experience in course and curriculum development both at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and as a member of the Personnel Committee, I have the preparation to be an active participant in the discussion and decisions in the Academic Senate.
  3. There is a population of faculty members that is not yet fluent in Spanish, both in our faculty and in the rest of the university, who find it difficult to keep up with what is happening at the level of the Academic Senate. I offer to place my bilingual language skills at the their service, through translation and summary of important communications from the Senate. It is for their benefit that this statement is written in English.
  4. We are in the midst of a major paradigm shift in information technologies, in the classroom, with our research, and in the ways the University gathers and disseminates information. The Academic Senate is a forum that needs to address these changes, make recommendations for immediate and future action, and create policies that will improve the way the University employs these technologies.

These are the main contributions I bring to the table for my candidacy as academic senator. If you have any questions or would like to comment or provide input on any of these or other topics, feel free to e-mail me or comment on this blog posting.

And if you are an Arts and Sciences faculty member in the UPRM and wish to give me your support, I urge you to attend the extraordinary faculty meeting on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 10:30 am.