Smith ends his term as Faculty Senate president
He described it as “the toughest job, you will ever love.”
Despite the challenges, outgoing Faculty Senate president Kelly Smith reported that it has been a “very good year for shared governance at Clemson.” Additionally, Smith said that he is very happy with the new president, Jim Clements. “Next year will be even better,” he said.
In his final speech as president to the Faculty Senate, Smith stressed that shared governance is difficult to build up and very easy to destroy, so it is essential that the senate work hard to keep that alive.
Smith also outlined issues that the Faculty Senate will still face, including Clemson’s proposed tobacco-free policy, academic freedom and the university’s “transition point.”
“Clemson faces a transition point on what kind of school it is going to be,” said Smith. “The university needs to make some strategic decisions on what kind of school it wants to be. You can do amazing research and be an amazing educator, but it’s not true that there’s no trade-off between the two.”
Smith suggested that if Clemson preserves its teaching culture, it should incentivize that.
“Because if we don’t,” he explained, “the pressures are all in the direction of more research and less of an teaching emphasis.”
Regarding advice to incoming Faculty Senate president Antonis Katsiyannis, Smith said, “First, you have to find an organizational system that will allow you to deal with an enormous number of demands on your time and energy without letting anything important fall through the cracks. For me, just learning to manage the volume of email was a huge initial challenge. Second, you have to realize that the primary job of the Faculty Senate president (representing faculty) can only occur effectively when you have good personal relationships with the various movers and shakers at Clemson. I didn’t appreciate this aspect of things at first, but you quickly realize that, if people don’t know you and trust your judgment, then they may not tell you things you need to know or solicit your advice, which can be a real problem.”
The now former Faculty Senate president will serve the senate in an advisory role. As such, Smith will attend all Faculty Senate meetings, help the new Faculty Senate president with the transition, and may lead a special task force.
In other business, the Faculty Senate recognized:
- Retired Faculty Senate administrator Cathy Sturkie with the 2014 Alan Schaffer Faculty Senate Service Award;
- The 2013-2014 outgoing Faculty Senate senators; and
- The incoming Faculty Senate vice president/president-elect Jim McCubbin and incoming Faculty Senate secretary Peter van den Hurk.