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WesternU / About WesternU / Governance / Academic Senate

Academic Senate

The Academic Senate is a representative committee of the Academic Assembly. In discharging this function, the Academic Senate has the authority to conduct studies, make reports and recommendations on all matters which have a significant bearing on the work of this faculty. The Academic Senate is a channel of communication between the Academic Assembly and administration of the University.

1. Members and officers of the Academic Senate are elected by the Academic Assembly in accordance with the rules and regulations set forth in the Constitution and By-Laws of the Academic Assembly and the Academic Senate (Appendix I, Articles I and II).

2. The Academic Senate will hold a minimum of eight meetings per academic year on an established monthly schedule, August through May. Special meetings of the Academic Senate may be called at the request of any faculty member. Approved minutes of each meeting are distributed to the Faculty and all administrative officers of the University. Any faculty member may submit agenda items to the Chair of the Academic Senate for consideration by the Academic Senate.

Mission Statement for the Academic Senate

  • To maintain academic excellence, integrity and quality within WesternU and all of its programs
  • To represent a voice for the faculty in promoting fairness, equality and academic freedom among all the colleges of the university
  • To maintain a spirit of collegiality, civility and respect between the administration and the faculty
  • To develop policies that ensure the standards of WU are met by all colleges, while respecting each college ‘s approach to health science education
  • To provide a voice from the faculty regarding recommendations for the direction and policies of the university at large
  • To encourage transparency and improve flow of  information between the faculty and administration
  • To promote collegiality between the colleges by creating a collective voice for the faculty
  • Elected Committees

    Faculty Senate: 3 year term, 2 members per college

     

    Members Length of Term Colleges
    Chair– Raj Kandpal 2021-2023 COMP
    Past Chair– Malika Kachani 2021-2023 CVM
    Vice Chair– Hyma Gogineni 2021-2023 COP
    Steven Snyder 2019-2022 CHS
    Janet Konecne 2021-2024 CHS
    Linda Flores 2019-2022 CGN
    Khoa (Joey) Dang 2021-2024 CGN
    Arbi Nazarian 2020-2023 COP
    Menmeet Singh 2021-2024 CDM
    Christopher Nosrat 2020-2023 CDM
    Beatrice Saviola 2020-2023 COMP
    Craig Kuehn 2019-2022 COMP
    Joe Bertone 2020-2023 CVM
    Yvonne Drechsler 2019-2022 CVM
    Pinakin Davey 2020-2023 CO
    Joshua Cameron 2021-2022 CO
    Saba Sadra 2021-2024 CPM
    Matthew Wedel 2020-2023 CPM
    Fanglong Dong 2020-2023 GCBS
    Miou Zhiou 2021-2024 GCBS
    Nicole Biltz 2020-2023 CHS LEBANON
    Brion Benninger 2021-2022 COMP-NW
    +Kelly Park/Rebecca Moellmer CPM
    +Maisie Dawes CVM
    +Jasmine Yumori CO
    +Rosanna Bravo CHS
    +TBD CGN
    +TBD COP
    +TBD GCBS
    +TBD CDM
    +TBD COMP

    + ALTERNATES

  • Senate Committees
    Members University Faculty Affairs Academic Standards and Policy Academic Support Services and Planning
    1 Raj Kandpal Hyma Gogineni* Yvonne Drechsler*
    2 Malika Kachani Craig Kuehn Miou Zhou
    3 Joshua Cameron Christopher Nosrat Linda Flores
    4 Beatrice Saviola* Joe Bertone Pinakin Davey
    5 Arbi Nazarian Steven Snyder Janet Konecne
    6 Fanglong Dong Saba Sadra Menmeet Singh
    7 Matthew Wedel Khoa (Joey) Dang Nicole Biltz
    8 Brion Benninger
    9 Elizabeth Rega** David Dikter** Jonathan Daitch**

    *Denotes Committee Chair; **Denotes Ex-officio (Provost’s nominees)

  • Financial Aid Committee

    Financial Aid Committee: 3 year term, 1 per college

     Members Length of Term  Colleges
     Raj Kandpal  2020-2023  COMP
     Hooman Tabatabai Mir 2020-2023  CDM
     Karen Roback  2019-2022  CHS
     Patricia Shakhshir 2020-2023  CGN
     Helen Engelke  2019-2022  CVM
     Kabir Lutfy  2019-2022  COP
     Stacey Hu  2019-2022  CO
     Kelly Parks 2020-2023  CPM
     Christina Goode 2020-2023 GCBS
  • Library Committee

    2 year term, 1 per college
     

    Members Length of Term Colleges
    Adrienne Estes 2021-2023 CPM
    Katherine Mitsouras 2020-2022 COMP
    Meghna Patel 2020-2022 CHS
    Ruth Trudgeon 2020-2022 CGN
    Josep Rutllant 2020-2022 CVM
    Nataly Fahim 2021-2023 CO
    Jamie Prado 2021-2023 CDM
    Anne Kugler 2021-2023 COP
    Brion Benninger 2021-2023 COMPNW
    Nicole Biltz 2021-2023 CHS-Ore

     
    *Denotes Chair

  • Research Committee

    3-year term, 1 per college, 3 at-large
     

    Members Length of Term Colleges
    Harshavardhan Deoghare 2021-2024 CHS
    Hendrik Szurmant 2019-2022 COMP
    Simon Bulley 2019-2022 COP
    Yvonne Drechsler 2021-2024 CVM
    Patricia Shakhshir 2021-2024 CGN
    Naveen Yadav 2020-2023 CO
    Zohra Tumur 2021-2024 CDM
    Miou Zhou 2019-2022 GCBS
    Yixi (Kevin) Lu 2021-2024 CPM
    Vishwanath Venketaraman 2020-2023 AT LARGE
    Fanglong Dong 2020-2023 AT LARGE
    Yiling Hong 2019-2022 AT LARGE
    Anu Raisanen 2021-2024 CHS-Ore

    *Denotes Committee Chair

  • Grievance Committee

    3-year term, 5 members elected at large
     

    Members Length of Term
    Rebecca Moellmer, CPM Assistant Professor 2020-2023
    Peter Oelschlaeger, COP Associate Professor (TENURED) 2020-2023
    Mihai Covasa, COMP Associate Professor (TENURED) 2019-2022
    Mohammed Elsalanty, COMP Professor (TENURED) 2021-2024
    Joe Bertone, CVM Professor (TENURED) 2019-2022

    *Denotes Committee Chair

  • WesternU Esplanade Sunset

    Faculty Awards

    Faculty members of colleges at WesternU are encouraged to participate in selecting a faculty colleague who meets the criteria for each award: Leadership and Service, Distinguished Scholar, and Distinguished Teacher. Nominations are submitted by the faculty member’s dean or department/unit supervisor through the link on the Academic Senate webpage. Award recipients are announced and recognized during Convocation in August.

    Past award recipients are not eligible for nomination for five years following the year of their award. If there is no qualified nominee in a given year, the Committee may choose to make no award.
    Incomplete nominations will not be reviewed.
    Submit a nomination for a faculty award by completing the electronic.

  • Harriet K. and Philip Pumerantz Award for Leadership and Service

    Harriet K. and Philip Pumerantz Award for Leadership and Service recognizes a faculty member for exemplary leadership, service and contributions to University committees, the local and professional communities/societies, the development and implementation of University policies and programs through non-administrative roles, and for making documentable impact on the quality of the University and demonstrating a commitment to high standards of professional life. Examples of areas of leadership and service include, but are not limited to, faculty/shared governance, major curricular reform or program development, chairing an academic program, fostering collaboration between or among departments, divisions or schools, exemplary mentoring for other faculty, and exceptional contributions to achieving one or more goals of the University, while embodying the values of the University. Candidates are nominated by their college (one per college) and chosen by the University Faculty Affairs committee. Colleges are encouraged to develop a faculty driven process for selecting their nominees to this award. Award recipient will receive a medallion, plaque (or presentation case) and $1000 award. The award will be presented during the University Convocation ceremony, and the recipient’s name added to a cumulative plaque.

    The nomination packet should include a letter of nomination detailing the reason for the nomination, list and length of service for University committees the faculty member is serving on (member or Chair), service to the local communities, a copy of the nominees Curriculum Vitae (highlighting recent achievements), and other related evidence.

    Based upon the requirements for the Harriet K. and Philip Pumerantz Award for Leadership and Service, nomination materials should include:

    • Cover page (name of nominee, title, email, phone, nominator’s name and signature)
    • Letter of nomination detailing the reason for the nomination, and the impact of the faculty member’s leadership and service
    • A list and length of service for University committees the faculty member is serving on (indicate whether member or Chair), as well as list and description of service to the local communities
    • A curriculum vitae limited to ten pages with recent achievements highlighted
    • A letter (limited to two-three pages) of recommendation from the nominator (dean, or department/unit supervisor)
    • Other related evidence or documentation

    Previous Award Recipients

    2018-2019

    • Kierstyn Napier-Dovorany, OD, FAAO
    • Associate Professor, College of Optometry

    2017-2018

    • Malika Kachani, DVM, PhD, NAPF
    • Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine

    2016-2017

    • Bennett McAllister, OD
    • Associate Professor, College of Optometry

    2015-2016

    • Elizabeth Boynton, DVM. FNAP
    • Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine

    2014-2015

    • Fadi Khasawneh, PhD
    • Associate Professor, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences

    2013-2014

    • Wael Khamas, BVM&S, MS, PhD
    • Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Provost’s Distinguished Scholar Award

    Provost’s Distinguished Scholar Award recognizes exceptional scholarly and research accomplishments and achievements, contribution to the research mission of the University, and a commitment to high standards of professional life by a faculty member. Candidates are nominated by their college (one per college) and chosen by the University Faculty Affairs committee. Colleges are encouraged to develop a faculty driven process for selecting their nominees to this award. Award recipient will receive a medallion, plaque (or presentation case) and $1000 award. The award will be presented during the University Convocation ceremony, and the recipient’s name added to a cumulative plaque.

    The nomination materials should include a letter of nomination detailing reason for the nomination, the faculty member’s research and other scholarly accomplishments in the previous three academic years (e.g., extramural grant/contract funding; peer-and non-peer reviewed publications and book chapters; intramural grant funding; published abstracts; invited presentations; grant submissions; leadership in scientific societies), impact of the nominee’s research, a copy of their Curriculum Vitae, and other related evidence.

    Based upon the requirements for the Provost’s Distinguished Scholar Award, nomination materials should include:

    • Cover page (name of nominee, title, email, phone, nominator’s name and signature)
    • Letter of nomination detailing the reason for the nomination
    • A description of the faculty member’s research and other scholarly accomplishments in the previous three academic years (e.g., extramural grant/contract funding; peer-and non-peer reviewed publications and book chapters; intramural grant funding; published abstracts; invited presentations; grant submissions; leadership in scientific societies)
    • A curriculum vitae limited to ten pages with achievements in the last three academic years highlighted
    • A letter (limited to two-three pages) of recommendation from the nominator (dean, or department/unit supervisor)
    • Other related evidence or documentation

    Previous Award Recipients

    2018-2019

    • Vishwanath Venketaraman, PhD
    • Professor, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

    2017-2018

    • Edward Wagner, PhD
    • Professor, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

    2016-2017

    • Mohammad Mir, PhD
    • Associate Professor, College of Veterinary Medicine

    2015-2016

    • Pinakin Davey, OD, PhD
    • Professor, College of Optometry

    2014-2015

    • Kabir Lutfy, PhD
    • Professor, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences

    2013-2014

    No Recipient

  • WesternU Distinguished Teacher Award

    Western University’s Distinguished Teacher Award honors excellence in teaching, contribution to the educational mission of the university, demonstrated concern for students and their learning and a commitment to high standards of professional life by a faculty member. Candidates are nominated by their college (one per college) and chosen by the University Faculty Affairs committee. Colleges are encouraged to develop a faculty driven process for selecting their nominees to this award. Award recipient will receive a medallion, plaque (or presentation case) and $1000 award. The award will be presented during the University Convocation ceremony, and the recipient’s name added to a cumulative plaque.

    The nomination packet should include a letter of nomination detailing the reason for the nomination, nominee’s personal statement of teaching philosophy, faculty member’s teaching related accomplishments for which they are being considered  as evidenced by peer and/or student teaching scores/evaluations, scholarship of teaching, design of new and innovative teaching methods or modalities, description of new courses, and a copy of the nominees Curriculum Vitae (highlighting recent achievements).

    Based upon the requirements for the WesternU Distinguished Teacher Award, nomination materials should include:

    • Cover page (name of nominee, title, email, phone, nominator’s name and signature)
    • Letter of nomination detailing the reason for the nomination
    • A copy of the nominee’s personal statement of teaching philosophy
    • A description of the faculty member’s teaching related accomplishments for which they are being considered as evidenced by peer and/or student teaching scores/evaluations, scholarship of teaching, design of new and innovative teaching methods or modalities, description of new courses, etc.
    • A curriculum vitae limited to ten pages with recent achievements highlighted
    • A letter (limited to two-three pages) of recommendation from the nominator (dean, or department/unit supervisor)
    • Other related evidence or documentation

    Previous Award Recipients

    2018-2019

    • Colleehn Talbot, PhD
    • Professor, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

    2017-2018

    • Donald Hsu, Pharm.D.
    • Associate Professor, College of Pharmacy

    2016-2017

    • Vishwanath Venketaraman, PhD
    • Associate Professor, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

    2015-2016

    • Jasmine Yumori, OD, FAAO
    • Associate Professor, College of Optometry

    2014-2015

    • Janice Blumer, DO
    • Assistant Professor, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

    2013-2014

    • Frank Spors, MS, PhD, FAAO
    • Associate Professor, College of Optometry
  • Provost’s Shared-Governance Travel Stipend Award

    Shared-governance is the term that describes the procedures, and structures of organizational control, influence and decision-making processes that academic institutions develop to achieve an effective balance between the role of trustees and administration (legal authority) and the faculty (professional authority) and articulates the relationships between these authorities. A well-structured and efficiently-organized Academic/Faculty Senate, with clearly-designed standing committees are essential components of a sound system of academic governance and are essential for the effective representation of faculty in shared-governance. The Academic Senate serves as the vehicle for shared-governance.

    The Provost’s Shared-Governance Travel Stipend Award is designed encourage faculty participation in the governance of the University, thereby not only promoting but also strengthening our systems and processes of shared-governance. An informed faculty, who understand the principles of faculty and shard-governance, are an empowered faculty and will serve as a strong foundation and a valuable partner for effective governance on our campus.

    Ultimately, the primary objective of this travel stipend is to develop faculty members’ leadership capacities in the governance of the university through their involvement and seeking election to the Academic Senate or the standing committees of the faculty handbook. At this institute, you will learn about topics such as shared-governance in academia; faculty advocacy through understanding and strengthening faculty handbooks; effective meetings and parliamentary procedure, how to increase faculty participation in academic decision-making, amongst others.

    Eligibility for this award is open to all voting members of the Academic Assembly, which is defined in the faculty handbook as follows: “A voting member of the Academic Assembly is any faculty member, employed for no less than 50% of full-time work, who performs non-administrative academic duties at least 50% of his/her contractual time. Academic duties include any combination of teaching, research, scholarly activities, clinical responsibilities and/or service.” The recipient of this award will receive a travel stipend to cover the costs of attending the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Summer Institute

    The nomination packet should include a copy of their Curriculum Vitae, as well as a nomination letter (no less than 500 words, but no more than 750 words) describing the reasons for the nomination, and how they intend to contribute to, and their future goals/vision for shared-governance at WesternU. Submit the packet as an email attachment to AcademicSenate@westernu.edu by May 1, 2021. The 2021 Summer Institute will be held online and is scheduled for June 14 – 18.

    Previous Award Recipients

    2018-2019

    No Recipient 

    2017-2018

    • Edward Goering, DO, DVM, MSHPE
    • Assistant Professor, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific – Northwest

    2016-2017

    • Shalechia Hunt, MSHS, PA-C
    • Assistant Professor, College of Health Sciences

    2015-2016

    • Valerie Wren, OD, FAAO
    • Associate Professor, College of Optometry

    2014-2015

    • Brian Tessier, PA-C
    • Assistant Professor, College of Health Sciences

    2013-2014

    • Michelle Hovorka, M.S.
    • Instructor, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific – Northwest