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Senate Summary | November 2019

If you missed the November Academic Senate meeting, then read all the highlights here.

If you missed the Academic Senate meeting on Nov. 4, 2019, or need a refresher, then keep reading for the highlights from the meeting. For more information on the Academic Senate, click here.



President Ruth V. Watkins informed the Senate of the $150 million gift from the Huntsman family for the creation of the Huntsman Mental Health Institute to bolster the existing University Neuropsychiatric Institute and psychiatry department with a focus on improving public awareness of mental illness, research into genetic causes and access—especially for college-age and rural patients. The wrap-up of SafeU Month was also discussed.


ASUU President Anna Barnes informed the Senate of the success of the October student listening session and of how active ASUU has been.

Debate Calendar

Undergraduate Certificate in Computational Linguistics

Scott Jarvis presented on the proposed certificate. The Department of Linguistics, in partnership with the School of Computing, proposes a new undergraduate certificate in Computational Linguistics that will provide students with specialized training in a growing area of data science where jobs are abundant and salaries are relatively high. This is the field of research and industry that has created language translation applications, speech recognition software, text-to-speech tools, plagiarism detection protocols and many other useful language-related technologies.

The certificate was approved by the Senate.

Information and Recommendations Calendar

Senate Advisory Committee on Diversity Update

After hearing from Dr. Robert Flores regarding the charge and scope of the committee, four initial subcommittees were formed that will research, develop recommendations then report back to the SACD each month. Those subcommittees are the following:

Review of sister institutions and the literature

Michelle Peets (Chair) and Alex Steele

Creation of statements that link diversity with hiring, RPT and other annual evaluations of campus staff, faculty and administrators.

Mo Laguan (Chair), Clare Lemke, Mary Anne Berzins, David Derezotes

Land acknowledgment

Kate Mattingly (Chair), Shami Kanekar, Kalani Raphael, and Mary Burbank

Student safety and university culture

Michael Gills (Chair), Enfany Ngo, Taha Benabdallah, Clare Lemke, Marcia Cook de Wolfe and Gregoria Alegria

For more information on this, contact David Derezotes at

CIB2 Committee Update

Andrea K. Rorrer and Robert Flores provided an overview and progress report of the Draft Guidance Document for University Academic Centers and Institutes. They extended the opportunity for input to refine the Draft Guidance Document and guide the university policy revision, which will be available for review by spring 2020.