Faculty Senate announces new president, CARES ACT funding, and combined degree programs in final semester meeting

The Faculty Senate bid farewell to their president, discusses use of library funding, and combined degree programs.


Photo courtesy of the Faculty Senate website.

Natalia Ribeiro, News Editor

The Faculty Senate-governing body for matters of general university educational policies- held their final meeting on the semester Tuesday, using the gathering to formally name a new president. For the upcoming school year, the president will be accounting professor Kimberly Dunn.

She replaces political science professor Kevin Wagner, who was Senate president for four years.  “It was an honor and a privilege to serve as a senate president,” Wagner said. “I learned a lot about the university [and] about all the different elements of the university.” 

Dunn said that Wagner was a great role model and a great president. “I know everyone is truly grateful for all that you’ve done for the faculty.”

CARES ACT funding

Shirley Gordon, a nursing professor, talked about the library receiving $55,000 in CARES Act funding that was used to purchase 32 laptops for students to use throughout the school year. 

The CARES Act, passed by federal lawmakers in May 2020, provided financial aid to universities to help bolster them during the pandemic.

In choosing who received the laptops, university staff prioritized students who had entered college for the first time, and those who were already receiving some type of financial aid.

Dean of the Library Carol Hickson, who served as dean of University Libraries since fall 2015, resigned last month. Amy Kornblau will serve as the interim dean.

Combined programs

The Faculty Senate also discussed six new bachelor’s to master’s combined degree programs. 

New combined programs include a bachelor’s to master’s in economics, mechanical engineering to artificial intelligence, biological and physical science to mechanical or ocean engineering, health science to exercise science and health, and exercise science to exercise science.

Effective Fall 2021, nine to 12 credits of graduate courses at the 5000 level or above may be shared between the graduate and undergraduate degree. Departments must establish a minimum undergraduate grade point average for students to be admitted to the combined program. 

Students must meet the established grade point average in order to qualify for the combination program

In a combined degree program, students that meet a criteria set by the university are allowed to start masters level classes in their junior or senior year.

Should a student pass them, they would receive class credit for their bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Essentially, it would cut down the number of classes a student would have to take in order to obtain their master’s degree.

Natalia Ribeiro is a News Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories email [email protected] or tweet her @nataliar_99.