Campus & Community

Faculty senate president aims to make organization more proactive

DU’s new Faculty Senate president, Michael Levine-Clark, is an associate professor and the collections librarian with Penrose Library, which he thinks gives him a broad perspective on the faculty’s priorities.

“As a librarian whose responsibility is to oversee all library collections, a major aspect of my job is to understand research and teaching across the University,” he says.

Levine-Clark also thinks his new role will benefit library faculty as a whole.

“We are different and sometimes not remembered as being part of the faculty,” he says. “I thought it would be a nice statement to have a library faculty member serve as president.”

In fact, Levine-Clark is the first librarian to serve as president of the DU Faculty Senate. He says that he intends to carry on the work begun by outgoing President Dean Saitta, professor of anthropology.

“I would like to continue to increase the relevancy of the Senate,” says Levine-Clark. “For many years, we’ve been very reactive. We’ve responded to issues and concerns, but we certainly haven’t been very proactive.”

He says that the Senate is full of passionate people who care a lot about the University, which is a strength he can capitalize on.

The Faculty Senate presidency is widely considered a tough role because of the intense political issues addressed and the significant time commitment required.

Levine-Clark admits that when Saitta asked him to take the role, he said no. Twice.

But upon reflection, he decided that he had something important to contribute.

“Michael is one of my heroes because he stepped up to take on the presidency when no one else was willing to do it.” Saitta says. “All past presidents who’ve stepped up to take the job in the absence of a competitive election are heroic figures, in my eyes. It is a gratifying job, but also a demanding and at times a nerve-wracking one. The entire faculty owes Michael, and his volunteer predecessors, a debt of gratitude.”

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