Welcome back to campus

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the Faculty Senate, I am thrilled to welcome you to the fall semester! This is an exciting time of year, as new students become part of our community, and we continue to learn about the groundbreaking work of our colleagues. This year, in particular, there is a lot to look forward to as we begin a year-long celebration of the University's sesquicentennial, kicking off on October 12, 2023. There will be many events throughout the year, and I encourage you to join the celebration. After 150 years of higher education in Nevada, there is a great deal to celebrate!

In service to each of you, as faculty, we have a highly-engaged Faculty Senate Executive Board (FSEB), elected by your representatives in the Faculty Senate. This year’s FSEB includes: Chair Elect, Aaron Hill; Past Chair, Eric Marchand; Parliamentarian, Jean Jeon; and Members-at-large, Wenzhen Li and Todd Ruecker. This team is already hard at work leading the engagement of the Senate in its various responsibilities. Among other activities, through the ongoing efforts of Senators from each major unit, the Faculty Senate has an essential role in contributing to shared governance at our institution. I look forward to working together with you this year to strengthen our collaborative approach to that work.

I am eager to work with Senators representing each major unit to foster collaboration across our campus community. As each of us helps build the culture of our University, I look forward to learning from you how we can best connect, and together, support new opportunities for individual and collective success. In that spirit, I have engaged the Senate in discussion about a strategic theme for this year of ‘working together to promote a culture of collaboration’ at every level. Any progress we can make in this regard will help strengthen our interdisciplinary research, teaching and community impact, as well as support productive and meaningful faculty contributions to important decisions made across the University.

As you are certainly aware, the recent Nevada Legislature’s 82nd Session resulted in a significant cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for University employees, which is both exciting and well-deserved. The Legislature, however, funded only a portion of the COLA for state-funded positions, appropriating approximately 61% of the total cost. Thus, leaders across campus have been diligently reviewing potential funding sources and planned expenditures to ensure we meet this obligation with minimal disruption to our respective budgets. As departments and University leaders continue this budget review, I am optimistic that all those involved are working to identify options to achieve positive outcomes for our entire community. The Faculty Senate looks forward to learning more as we transition from considering the FY’24 budget to discussing options for the expected FY’25 COLA. This is but one of many important conversations we will be having in this new academic year.

Throughout the year, we will be hosting monthly Senate meetings, and all are welcome to join us for these important conversations about pertinent topics of interest to faculty. Information about the Senate and its activities can be found on the Faculty Senate Website. Further, much of the work of the Senate is accomplished by its standing committees, with each committee having its own set of charges for the upcoming year. I encourage you to get to know your Senator(s) and engage with them to ask questions, as well as to voice your ideas and support for the issues of greatest interest to you.

It is truly an honor for me to be entrusted by you to serve as the 2023-24 Faculty Senate Chair. The Faculty Senate exists to represent the 2,200+ academic and administrative faculty at our University. Please reach out to your Faculty Senate representative(s), or email me, with any questions you may have related to faculty life at our great University. On behalf of the Faculty Senate, I wish each of you a meaningful, productive and collaborative academic year.

Best regards,

Peter Reed
2023-24 Faculty Senate Chair
Director, UNR Med Sanford Center for Aging
Professor, Public Health