Academic Senate starts taking on the issues

The University Academic Senate discussed several issues from its agenda during its first meeting of the year Monday.

The Senate began with discussion of updates on university sexual assault policies since last spring. Provost John Pauly said university officials acted vigorously to update its sexual assault policies after they became aware of the noncompliance with state standards.

The Senate also discussed updates on Marquette’s Gender Resource Center. Pauly said the committee waited for approval from University President the Rev. Scott R. Pilarz before taking further action.

“He is more than comfortable with it,” Pauly said. “He supports it.”

James South, associate professor and chair of the philosophy department, said in his report that the Academic Senate would spend the year with a long-term goal of becoming a more effective body on campus.

Other issues discussed were plans for the inauguration of Pilarz and the altering of regulations of the criminal screening process while hiring university employees.

A recently updated policy regarding classification of MUID cards for university employees sparked debate among Senate members. Employee cards were previously categorized as having “administrator,” “faculty” or “staff” privileges, but the new system requires each of these to be narrowed into a unilateral “staff” card.

Janice Welburn, dean of the university library, said that certain privileges are reserved for administrators or faculty in university libraries, making the disambiguation necessary for MUID cards.

Others argued their status allows them access to resources when traveling to other universities as well.

“This is one of those things where the committee may not have considered this particular issue,” Pauly said.

Representatives from the Committee on Staff said the committee would review this issue.