Senate Officers Election 2016
Candidate Statements

For Chair-elect

Daniel J. Svyantek

Department of Psychology
College of Liberal Arts

We are entering a period in which a new budget model is being tested and is moving towards implementation at Auburn University.  The development of this budget model requires the University Senate and its leadership influence this process. It is imperative that the University Senate chair have both a presence in these discussions and the knowledge to provide informed input.  My experience as department chair came during a period of budget issues at Auburn University.  I became very acquainted with how decisions on one budget area impacted other areas with often unforeseen consequences.  I hope I can represent the University Senate and its membership groups well on these issues.

The department chair also represents a linking-pin position.  She or he is responsible for dealing with different groups in an organization and representing each group to these other groups.  Here the department chair represents the link between the department and upper administration. My experience as department chair, I believe, provides me with the experiences necessary to represent the University Senate to the different groups with which the Senate deals.

Auburn has just released a survey to assess its organizational climate.  I believe this is an important issue.  During my work on the recruitment and retention of women and minority faculty members, the importance of climate and culture was paramount.  Changes in the overall university climate, college climate and departmental climates were all seen as important.  My area of specialization is I/O Psychology and I have done research and applied work which addresses issues of diversity and inclusion; the impact of hostile climates on individuals and groups; and ways to change and improve climate and culture.  I feel I can provide both questions and answers as the university seeks to improve its climate.

I was honored to be asked to put my name forward for the position of Chair-elect of the University Senate. I believe that I have a set of experiences and skills which will be important in the near future at Auburn University. I hope to be able to represent you all in an effective and productive manner during my term.


For Chair-elect

Jared Russell

Associate Professor
School of Kinesiology
College of Education

It is an honor and privilege to be considered for Chair-Elect of the Auburn University Faculty Senate. Having been a faculty member at Auburn since 2002, I’ve seen this institution grow and flourish in a number of ways that are a direct result of the leadership, vision, and perseverance of the membership of the Faculty Senate. Shared governance, whether at the academic unit level or university-wide, is not possible without the continuous support of the senators and officers. To be considered for a position of leadership within Faculty Senate is a tremendous honor and I am very thankful for the opportunity.

As a faculty member and administrator I’ve had the privilege of serving the University in a number of ways as a member of various university-wide committees or working groups including the Faculty Senate, Curriculum Committee, Diversity Leadership Committee, and Faculty Success Implementation Committee (Provost’s Office). Additionally, through my service on a variety of faculty and administrator search committees, both within and outside of the College of Education, I’ve had the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the priorities, concerns, and strategic initiatives of academic units across the campus. Lastly, I am currently the Presidential Administrative Fellowship recipient (Spring 2016), which allows me access to various university-wide academic and administrative units. The campus conversations I’ve engaged in have provided me with a greater understanding of the necessity for mutually beneficial relationships between the faculty and administrative units across campus.

My goal as Chair-Elect is to build on the current agenda of the Faculty Senate and continue to cultivate a “working relationship” with the administrative leadership. I foresee three key initiatives on the horizon that will require the support, guidance and leadership of the Faculty Senate. The first is the University’s upcoming transition to the new budget model, which requires the engagement of faculty in appropriate decision-making processes. Second, continuing to work with University constituents to effectively address the concerns and issues of faculty related to maintaining a climate of equity, inclusion, and diversity as expressed by AU’s administrative leadership and faculty and outlined in the AU Strategic Plan. Lastly, addressing the strategic initiatives related to supporting the timely progression of junior faculty through the promotion and tenure process. Initiatives such as these will need a strong Faculty Senate to show leadership and facilitate the guiding principles of shared governance with administration.  

Again, it is an honor to be considered for the position of Chair-Elect of the Auburn University Faculty Senate. I am motivated and committed to providing leadership that will support the Faculty Senate’s mission to facilitate the University’s shared governance procedures, principles, and agenda. My record of service to Auburn University, my academic discipline and the greater AU community is evidence of this commitment. Thank you for your consideration.


For Secretary-elect

Donald Mulvaney

Associate Professor
Department of Animal Sciences
College of Agriculture

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing” is a quote of Teddy Roosevelt that captures my sentiments for service as Secretary-elect. I am running to make a difference for fellow faculty and Auburn, definitely a job worth doing and working hard at it!  Service through faculty governance provides opportunities to make a meaningful difference as we observe, assess and learn from the broadened wisdom of the collective university community. The Senate is not designed to be a forum where faculty, administrators, students or other constituencies assemble to defend turf, but rather a place where all of us participate in mutual purpose and respect to strongly advise the university leadership of faculty views.

My service on the Steering Committee, several other senate assignments plus chairing the Teaching Effectiveness Committee have availed opportunity to work with Senate leadership to gain insight into and appreciation for the essential importance of shared governance at Auburn toward achieving excellence in its diverse endeavors.

I believe the core values of Auburn are conveyed through our healthy and systematic form of shared governance which fosters collaboration, transparency and collegial interaction among faculty. It is critical for faculty from across our entire campus to be accurately informed on issues and to view each other as part of a larger university community for which we have stewardship responsibilities and a strong representative voice. I will be a representative of that voice.

Consistent with the challenges facing higher education as a whole, our campus has increasing complexity around the educational, research and outreach missions. Collectively, this makes the process of university governance more important yet potentially more difficult than ever before. Our strategic future depends on robust faculty input and active involvement in finding solutions to the challenges confronting the university and faculty.

I bring leadership experience and expertise of service from editorial boards of professional journals along with scholarship in research, teaching and outreach. The secretary’s role is a serious responsibility, and I promise to serve you, the faculty, to the best of my ability especially as the Senate team continues to move forward on the important forthcoming work ahead emanating from many fronts.

It would be an honor and privilege to serve and work for you as your secretary-elect on the Senate team to make a difference through protection and enhancement of shared governance surrounding critical issues of the day potentially ranging from faculty welfare and vitality, student retention, campus diversity and safety, scholarship within RCM budgeting, to specific progress on the strategic plan to name but a few. As we face emerging challenges, I pledge to communicate with objectivity and accuracy to keep faculty informed and ensure your voices are heard.  If elected, I promise to work diligently to execute the duties of secretary to foster effective communication, creativity and leadership to the role.


For Secretary-elect

Anthony Moss

Associate Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
College of Science and Mathematics

I joined Auburn University in 1992 and have become keenly aware of the importance of clear and timely communication between the faculty and the University as a part of my service to the University at a wide variety of levels. I have served on the (previously Zoology but now Biological Sciences) Departmental Awards Committee (7 years) , seminar Committee (6 years), Semester Transition Committee (Principles of Biology), Curriculum Committee, multiple Faculty Search Committees, Gopher Administrator, Senate Rules Committee, University Faculty Senate Nominations Committee Chair, Biochemistry and Molecular Interdisciplinary Graduate Science Minor Steering Committee, LSAMP/AGEP Judge, and multiple award committees (see Bio), Treasurer and then President of the Auburn Chapter of Sigma Xi, cofounder of the Undergraduate Research Forum, the Senate Faculty Welfare Committee and many other yearly and ad hoc committees, as well as multiple society, journal and grant agency committees. In all of these situations, the key element is clear, succinct and rapid communication.

If I am elected as Secretary to the Faculty Senate, I pledge to provide rapid and effective communication of the Senate Leadership and Administrative actions. This is exceptionally important considering that the University is currently implementing new Strategic Priorities which require clear identification and accurate reporting. It is my goal to help faculty, students and administrators understand clearly what is happening as the University transitions to this new functional model. I will achieve this through transparent, collegial and effective and rapid communication.  There will be many unforeseen issues that will arise during this transition and it is key that all parties are competently and appropriately informed. In these ways I hope to help keep Auburn moving effectively forward into the 21st Century.





Last Updated:March 4, 2016

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