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Physics Department Seeks Faculty Senate’s Help

Amanda Webster

The Faculty Senate passed a resolution on Monday that will aid the physics department with finding solutions to long-standing problems that have hindered the department and faculty members.
Sadanand Nanjundiah of the physics department brought a resolution before the Senate to create an Ad Hoc committee to investigate the ongoing problems the department faces.
“Over the last two years we have had several issues related to faculty lines which have been denied [to] us even though they were promised initially,” explained Nanjundiah. “Our space is being constantly encroached upon, we have tremendous requirements for space,” he continued.
The resolution requested that the committee specifically look into the hiring of at least one new full time faculty member as soon as possible, the maintaining of a space allocated to teaching and conducting experiments in Copernicus Hall and the granting of the request for the physics faculty to operate as a separate and independent department.
“We have requested over the past two years incrementally through various levels of administration, that all of these issues be addressed. Unfortunately none of them have.”
The resolution was passed with a 21-5-5 vote. Cindy White of the communications department asked who the Senate would report their findings to and Faculty Senate President James Mulrooney clarified that the committee would report its finding to the Senate and the Senate would then speak to the administration.
The ad-hoc committee on campus safety measures for faculty presented their report on campus security measures in the event that an armed intruder were to come to campus. David Blitz of the philosophy department read the report and stated that the committee has 15 recommendations for future safety procedures.
Some of the recommendations that Blitz presented included taking more precautionary measures such as making more regular discussions about societal violence on campus and making sure that all faculty members are aware of the mental health services available on campus so that students can be informed.
During the campus lockdown last summer, Blitz noted that although he and his secretary could lock themselves in their office, there is a big window that allows people in the hallway to see inside. Blitz recommended that the University install blinds so that in a case of an emergency, classrooms and offices can make it so that an intruder would not be able to see the people behind closed doors.
After the presentation the Senate voted to renew the committee so that the members could oversee the implementation of the recommendations made.