Welcome to the Senate
The Academic Senate is the voice of the faculty in the University of California. The Senate is the one organization that enables the faculty, through shared governance, to exercise its right to participate in the University's governance. To that end, faculty and administrators depend on a high level of consultation, trust, mutual respect and a tradition of collegial collaboration. It is for these reasons that the Academic Senate seeks wide faculty involvement for all of its councils and committees.UC Systemwide Academic Senate (Academic Council)
UCSB in the News
Chair of the Academic Senate
Duncan Mellichamp Receives Oliver Johnson Award
The Oliver Johnson Award for Distinguished Leadership in the Academic Senate is given every two years to a faculty member who has provided outstanding service to the Academic Senate. It is the highest honor given by the Academic Senate, at the systemwide level, to one of its members.
Professor Emeritus Duncan Mellichamp is a worthy and appropriate recipient of this award, both for his service as Chair of the systemwide Academic Senate in 1996-97 and his service as Chair of UC Santa Barbara's Academic Senate in 1990-92. Professor Mellichamp was one of six founding faculty members of the Chemical Engineering Department in 1965. Professor Mellichamp has amassed an exceptionally dedicated record of service to both UCSB and the UC for over the past 50 years. During his time as Academic Council Chair, he initiated processes to assess how effectively the Senate represents faculty interests in areas where administration has primary responsibility. The Task Force on Governance, established by the Academic Council in November 1996, represented the first full-scale review of the organization and operations of the University- wide Senate to be conducted in more than three decades.
Professor Mellichamp’s service in the University-wide Senate is perhaps most remembered by his very strong advocacy with the Regents for the inclusion of “same-sex” domestic partners in UC employee benefits. To quote from the November 1997 issue of the Notice of the Academic Senate. "The Regents’ September consideration of this proposal was an outgrowth of an extended discussion they had regarding domestic partners in July. That discussion, in turn, was prompted by an earlier plea from last year’s Academic Council Chair, Duncan Mellichamp, that the board take the issue up.” Professor Mellichamp’s early (and ultimately successful) advocacy for this position is yet another testimony to his exceptionally strong ethics and sense of academic community.
The systemwide Senate website has more information about the Oliver Johnson Award.
Council on Faculty Welfare, Academic Freedom and Awards
The Council on Faculty Issues and Awards (CFIA) has been renamed as Council on Faculty Welfare, Academic Freedom and Awards (CFW). The Council's standing Committee on Faculty Welfare and Academic Freedom has also been renamed as Committee on Academic Freedom (CAF). These changes are intended to clarify that the entire council is charged with addressing a broad spectrum of faculty welfare issues, while the subcommittee focuses on academic freedom only.
Posted: March 8, 2018
UCSB Graduate Council Statement on Proposed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
Posted: December 13, 2017
Discussion of Regents’ Special Meeting of Nov. 16, 2017
Academic Council held a special meeting on Nov. 17, 2017 to discuss the ramifications of the interference in a State Audit by UC President Napolitano and her staff. Our concerns are summarized in the posted minutes of the meeting.
The Regents have publicly released an investigative report by former California supreme court justice Carlos Moreno (Moreno Report), a statement of reprimand, and an apology by President Napolitano. The Moreno Report is worth reading in its entirety. The Academic Senate will carefully consider all courses toward improvement in University governance.
Letters Regarding Retiree Health
This summer, the UC Office of the President proposed changes in retiree health benefits for faculty and staff to reduce the University’s cost and liabilities for retiree health. Notably, a proposal was placed on the July Regent’s agenda to remove the 70 percent floor for the University’s annual aggregate contribution to the retiree health benefit program. The Regent’s item was pulled after the Academic Senate (and others) objected strongly. I have been involved in the ensuing systemwide discussions as member of the Task Force on Investment and Retirement (TFIR) as well as Academic Council. I am pleased to report that President Napolitano has agreed to defer changes and to form a Working Group with Academic Senate members that will make recommendations for 2019. The Academic Senate’s position is well summarized in two letters, dated Oct.5, 2017 and July 6, 2017, respectively.
Posted: October 5, 2017
Classroom Protocol Survey
The Undergraduate Council is conducting a survey to collect data about faculty experiences and observations in the classroom. We are especially interested in the use of electronics, academic integrity, student engagement, and academic preparation. Your response will inform discussions of possible revisions in education policy, changes in orientation materials, and communications to students regarding classroom expectations. You will receive an email with a unique survey link during the week of May 22. We would deeply appreciate your help.
All responses are confidential and results will be reported only in the aggregate.
Posted: May 18, 2017
Academic Council Statement Opposing President Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration
Posted: February 6, 2017
Chancellor’s Letter – Update to Our Campus Community on Immigration Executive Order
Posted: February 2, 2017
Academic Council Support of UC Statement on President Trump’s Executive Order
The Academic Council released a letter of support (dated January 30, 2017), on the UC Statement on President Trump’s Immigration Executive Order (dated January 29, 2017).
Posted: February 2, 2017
Academic Council Endorsement of Principles in Support of Undocumented Members of the UC Community
Posted: December 6, 2016