Faculty Senate finished counting ballots Friday, filling its nine open positions for next year.
Eight new officers and one chair-elect were voted into the Senate, completing the total 22 positions.
Dr. Neal Coates, chair of the Department of Political Science, served as the past chair and ran the elections for the Senate this year.
He will move out of his position to allow Dr. Phil Vardiman, associate professor of management, to rotate in as past chair. Tom Lee, professor of biology, was voted in as chair-elect.
Dr. Joe Cardot, chair of the Department of Communication and Sociology, served as the chair of the Faculty Senate and helped to run the conversations this year.
“We had a busy year and that’s true of every year,” he said. “Some of the things we’ve talked about that I think are probably the most significant this year are related to the university’s faculty hiring practices.”
For the past several years, the university has been in discussion about the regulation and policy requiring a full-time faculty member to be an active member of a local Church of Christ congregation.
Dr. Robert Rhodes, provost, put forth a policy to the Board of Trustees this year, which was accepted and affirmed, requirimg those primarily responsible for teaching undergraduates in their appointment to continue to be members of a Church of Christ congregation. But Cardot said “a few variations or exceptions to that rule could be sought and granted by the provost,” and a more flexible policy would be written to relate to graduate-only faculty.
The establishment of ACU Dallas is a main component of this development.
Cardot said he is on a committee responsible for helping develop policies for what would be the faculty and/or administration governance system at the campus.
“What does it mean to be a faculty member either full-time or part-time in programs that are online,” he said. “And everyone recognizes that we have to have some full-time faculty but that we will probably have a lot more part-time faculty. So how do these things get administered? What is the role of the faculty and all?”
He said the committee is still working out, among other things, whether there will be a faculty senate over in Dallas or if it will solely meet here.
General education requirements of the university were also discussed in Faculty Senate this year, and will continue to be worked out.
Cardot said with Texas universities dropping their requirements to about 120 hours, ACU is feeling pressured to lower its 128 requirement.
He said ACU requires an additional 15 hours for Bible classes that state school do not, but dropping those courses would place the hour requirement at 113.
The focus then turned to Core classes, and whether to cut back on B-Core, Core 210, Cornerstone classes, or to keep them the same.
“We took several years to get to what we have so I’m not sure we can make a decision about how to move forward if it involves change,” he said. “If it does involve change and we say ‘No, we’re happy,’ then I think we can make that decision by the end of the fall. I’m not sure if we can make another decision by that time.”
This was Cardot’s second time to serve as chair. He said the issues the Senate dealt with recently have become more complex in his opinion than just 11 or 12 years ago when he last served.
“The issues seemed to be more intense, more significant to the future of the university so I’m not sure if that’s good or bad,” he said. “I’ve been amazed at the spirituality of our board of trustees and how seriously they take their job. You think of them being businessmen and women, which they are, but they are also very spiritually focused and have only the best that they can help provide for the university at the core of their decision making.”
The other Senators are as follows: