Senate Officers Election 2018
Candidate Statements

For Chair-elect

Nedret Billor

Deptartment of Mathematics and Statistics
College of Sciences and Mathematics

It is truly an honor to be considered for Chair Elect of the Auburn University Senate. I can think of no more important time to be actively engaged across the University at all levels. I have served numerous committees as member or chair, but none is quite like this one. The Auburn University Faculty Handbook states that: “Faculty members at Auburn University are involved to a significant degree in the formulation and review of institutional policies that affect the academic and professional welfare of the University and the faculty. This involvement is achieved primarily through the organizations of the University Faculty and the University Senate.” Therefore, I believe the chair‐elect for the Auburn University Senate has tremendous responsibility to further promote this involvement successfully and efficiently. Auburn University, as well as our peer institutions nationwide, will be facing many challenges in the coming years. Recent practices, such as public funding models for university operations, faculty tenure, and even specific teaching methods are being questioned by various groups, resulting in pressure to make major changes. In many areas, changes are needed and will make us much more effective as an institution. Effective decision‐making requires that the leadership of the University pursue counsel from a variety of viewpoints including faculty, staff, and students. The University Senate is designed to serve that role.

Keeping this in mind, if elected, I would:

  • ensure that every faculty member’s voice is heard and respected,
  • provide speedy and effective communication between the Senate Executive Committee and various standing committees,
  • work on improving the flexibility with which the Senate considers issues and makes decisions,
  • further the mission of Auburn University,
  • address issues facing higher education,
  • create a transparent and collegial environment.

Auburn University has been my professional home for 15 years, the place that has been and continues to be the source of inspiration for my teaching and research. I feel a strong desire to give back to the University that has given me so much. I believe my service at many university, college, and department‐level committees has prepared me for the position of Chair‐Elect in the University Senate. I would be deeply honored to serve as the Chair‐Elect for the University Senate if the opportunity is given and, if elected, I will do my best to further strengthen the principle of shared governance in the academic life of our University.


For Chair-elect

Herbert Jack Rotfeld

Depatrment of Marketing
Harbert College of Business

Compared to twenty years ago, these are quiet times on the Auburn campus. Shortly after his selection was announced to the campus community, President Leath mentioned in his meetings with a faculty group the mixed interests in expanding Auburn’s graduate programs and increasing our research visibility, while at the same time maintaining the quality of undergraduate education. During his interview presentations last Fall, Provost Hardgrave mentioned the important “portfolio” of different ways faculty contribute to the jobs of the university. Recently, AU was announced to have earned the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s (FIRE) highest rating for free speech, and this can only start and be retained with the support and mutual respect of the university leadership and the faculty. The Senate and University faculty are important components to assist the President and Provost as the campus grows and develops, while also defending and supporting the values for which the organization of higher education attains recognitions.

These might be quiet times, but that does not mean they have to be boring.

The elected officers of the University Faculty and Senate serve the academic welfare of the university through a shared governance process with faculty providing primary authority over academic programs and the administration directs financial management under the broad policy directions of the Board of Trustees. As stated by past chairs, University Faculty officers must be both vigilant in protecting faculty rights, strong in supporting faculty obligations, and resourceful in promoting effective participation in broader realms of governance, of budgeting, planning and recognition of priorities.

The missing element is that opportunities can be lost as the faculty wait for committees to suggest small changes to policies or committees wait for some problem to confront the members. Quiet does not mean lower level problems or opportunities don’t exist. A proactive faculty can support research and education by consideration of possible issues previously overlooked. For shared governance to become reality, faculty must participate in the committee system where much of the university work occurs, on either university or Senate committees. The elected leaders of the University Senate need to provide leadership to these committees, working to improve the welfare of faculty and other university employees that support the education missions of the campus.

Clark Kerr, President of the University of California system in the mid-20th century, is credited with the sarcastic comment that the real purpose of a university is to provide “sex for the students, sports for the alumni and parking for the faculty.” Elected officers representing the faculty attend many meetings, serve on innumerable committees and respond to media questions, but past University chair and not-honored-enough faculty leader Conner Bailey felt that the elected officers could take a stronger role in promoting the importance of higher education to the state, an effort that is a common interest among alumni and faculty in working for the betterment of Auburn University. 

I have served the campus in many ways over the decades, repeatedly demonstrating a personal commitment to the best interests of all faculty, students and academic programs. With a new president and the university moving forward, I would be honored to serve as chair-elect and to represent the interests of campus during the coming interesting times.


For Secretary-elect

Daniela Marghitu

Coordinator, COMP 1000
Department of Computer Science and Sorfware Engineering
College of Engineering

As a proud Auburn University faculty member since1996, I continue to be involved in numerous University and Senate committees, such as the Multicultural Diversity Commission, International Student Committee, Non-tenure Track Instructors Committee, and Core Curriculum Oversight Committee; chair of Persons with Disabilities Committee, and as a Faculty Representative on the Board of Trustees. Additionally, since 2015, I have been a member of the National Science Foundation congressionally mandated advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE).
I hold twenty-two years of professional experience and expertise of service as a fellow of two international professional organizations, International Academy, Research and Industry Association and Society for Design Process System. I am the author of seven IT textbooks, and engage scholarship in teaching, outreach, and research, in my work as an institutional partner of the National Center for Woman in IT, Access Computing, AccessCS10k and Access Engineering NSF funded Alliances; CO-PI of NSF INCLUDES: South East Alliance for Persons with Disabilities in STEM; CO-PI and Technology Coordinator of the NSF Alabama Alliance for Students with Disabilities in STEM, and PI of NSF Computer Science for All project.

Our university continues to thrive in an ever growing complex educational, research and outreach mission, which requires now, more than ever, constant faculty input and dynamic involvement in finding constructive and creative solutions to the new challenges confronting the university while maintaining the traditional Auburn Spirit. I strongly believe in the need of transparency in these matters and an open platform for discussion toward fostering collegial collaboration and interaction among faculty across university campus.

I am honored for this nomination and if elected, I pledge to execute my commitment to the duties of secretary-elect and secretary, to keep faculty objectively and accurately informed, and ensure their voices are heard.


For Secretary-elect

Adrienne Wilson

Associate Professor
Department of Theatre
College of Liberal Arts

It is an honor to be considered for the position of Senate Secretary-Elect. My goals for this position strongly reflect my goals and philosophy in pedagogy. The underlying foundation is creating and making connections, supported by team work, problem solving and critical thinking. Although dance is traditionally considered a physical activity, there are many opportunities to make connections. There are connections to history, to anatomy, to working on group projects.  Students are challenged with improvisational and composition assignments to develop skills for working with others, finding solutions to problems as a team, and applying critical thinking towards the outcomes. Most of the students in my courses are pursuing non-performing arts majors. The exercise science major can make connections to how the body moves, the psychology major may want to pursue dance therapy in the future, the business major may want to open a dance studio or consider arts administration. Within the theatre, part of the training for actors is being connected to their bodies with further emphasis on working in ensemble situations.

Theatre/performing arts are inherently collaborative. As theatre faculty, it is crucial to be able to apply concepts of connection with colleagues in production that thrive on team work and problem solving to facilitate performance. Listening, negotiating and respecting the voices of others are necessary to reach common goals.

With my service activities, I have discovered connections to departments beyond the theatre, volunteering whenever there has been a need, specifically exploring beyond the performing arts environment as a way to create new relationships and developing greater understanding of the work of the academy.  Meeting and working with faculty from different colleges and departments has given me greater understanding and sense of the larger community that is integral to the university.

Serving as Senate Secretary-Elect feels like a natural progression in what is referred to in movement theory as ‘the whole is the sum of its parts’. This is an opportunity to use the ‘parts’ of shared governance that I have participated in since arriving at Auburn University in 2006 to create a bigger connection with the ‘whole’; and to use that connection to the whole to advocate for shared governance across the university. I believe in being part of the solution, in team work and problem solving.

Connecting with the past to inform the present as we move into the future.


Last Updated:February 27, 2018

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