Academic Senate has final input on requirements

Margaret Bendorf

Margaret Bendorf

The Academic Senate, a group of 32 elected representatives, who decide on issues like core curriculum changes and technology in the classrooms, has a bigger impact on our day-to-day lives than most students realize.

“The responsibility for the Academic Senate is to discuss and make recommendations on the academic portion of the university,” said the senate’s chair Joel Hefling, also an associate professor in the communication studies and theatre department.

The senate, which meets twice a month, has final input into such issues as core and graduation requirements, Hefling said.

Senators are elected to three-year terms from each of the eight colleges on campus, the library and the administration. Senators serve on rotating terms so as not to have a new senate with each election.

Representation is proportional to the size of the college or facility; so, for example, the college of arts and sciences has more senators than the library staff.

“At other universities, they might call it a faculty senate and it would only include faculty,” Hefling said. “This concept generally does not include administrators, research faculty, library staff or any support staff.”

The Academic Senate also represents Cooperative Extension Service personnel, administration and the Student Association.

When the senate addresses issues or possible changes, no voice goes unheard, and that is where Amanda Mattingly steps in. President of SDSU Student Association, Mattingly stands for the voice of the students.

“I’m like one of the senators on my senate,” Mattingly said.

The Nov. 9 meeting will address curriculum changes.

Students may attend meetings. However, if a student feels he or she has an idea the senate should address, it should be taken first to one of the senators from that student’s department, Hefling said.