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Faculty Senate elects new leadership, welcomes first-time members

Susan Powers-Lee, right, was elected chair of the Senate Agenda Committee at Wednesday's inaugural meeting of the 2017-18 Faculty Senate. Elizabeth Howard, center, was also elected to serve on the committee. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Susan Powers-Lee, professor and director of the biochemistry program in the College of Science, was elected chair of the Senate Agenda Committee by the Faculty Senate on Wednesday at the first official meeting of the 2017-18 session.

Powers-Lee, who ran unopposed, succeeds Carmen Sceppa, professor and chair of the Department of Health Services. Sceppa served two terms in the position.

“A major reason I’m willing to do this is that a hard act to follow is a great act to follow,” Powers-Lee said, adding that she was excited to take on the role.

The Senate Agenda Committee’s many responsibilities include arranging meeting agendas, submitting standing committee assignments, and maintaining an open channel of communication between faculty and university administration.

Scenes during Faculty Senate on Wednesday. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Sceppa, who declined a nomination for a third term as chair, said she was stepping down to pursue a larger role within her college.

“I appreciate the work, and the past two years. It’s been a privilege to work with all of you and with Provost (James C.) Bean, who has made our work easier, more cordial, and more collaborative,” Sceppa said.

Robert Hanson, Matthews Distinguished University Professor in the College of Science, was re-elected secretary of the Faculty Senate and will continue to serve on the Senate Agenda Committee. “I’m looking forward to it,” Hanson said. “There are a lot of things to do, but it’s an exciting time to be here.”

Four other senators were elected to the Senate Agenda Committee for the first time: Elizabeth P. Howard, associate professor in the Bouvé College of Health Sciences; Nicol E. McGruer, professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering; Peter Desnoyers, associate professor in the College of Computer and Information Science; and Jennie C. Stephens, Dean’s Professor of Sustainability Science and Policy in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs.

Professor Emeritus Gerald H. Herman honored for exceptional leadership, collaboration

Following the elections on Wednesday, the Faculty Senate held its final meeting of the 2016-17 academic year, during which it presented Professor Emeritus Gerald H. Herman with the Gerald Herman Shared Governance and Leadership Award.

Members of the Faculty Senate on Wednesday recognized Professor Emeritus Gerald H. Herman, center-right, with the first-ever Gerald Herman Shared Governance and Leadership Award. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Herman was the first recipient of what is expected to be an annual award to honor a faculty member who, like Herman, has provided exceptional leadership and collaborative qualities throughout his or her tenure at the university.

“My life has been committed to seeing the university as a partnership. It works best when we work together,” said Herman, who retired in 2015 after 50 years of service to Northeastern. During that time, he chaired 10 different committees on the Faculty Senate and served in numerous administrative and leadership roles throughout the university.

“For all my years on the Faculty Senate, my goal was to ensure that we were all student-oriented and concerned with building the best community we could,” Herman said. “I’m terribly moved by this award.”

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