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Law professors to assume top two leadership roles in KU Faculty Senate

Monday, May 14, 2012
Chris SteadhamSteadham

LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas Faculty Senate will have a decidedly legal influence for the next two years.

Professor Andrew Torrance and Christopher Steadham, the two KU Law representatives on the Senate board, will serve as president and president-elect for the 2012 academic year. Torrance currently holds the president-elect position, and Steadham learned of his selection at the most recent Senate meeting on April 26.

“I was deeply humbled by my election as president-elect,” said Steadham, associate director for the Wheat Law Library. “I believe university governance is more important now than ever and I take the responsibilities associated with this post quite seriously.”

All of the professional schools, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, and the libraries are represented on the governing body, but Steadham will be the first Wheat Law librarian to serve as president. The president is the ultimate representative for faculty at KU, presiding over meetings of the Faculty Senate and serving as chair for the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. The president also serves as the representative of both the Lawrence and Edwards campuses to the Board of Regents’ Council of Faculty Senate Presidents.

Steadham plans to soak up as much knowledge as possible over the next year before he steps in as president in 2013.

“The law school also has a strong tradition of service in the Senate, and I will be lucky to follow Andrew Torrance,” he said. “I would hope to encourage increased participation in university governance and increased visibility for all of the important aspects of KU that it impacts.”

The Faculty Senate acts on behalf of the university faculty and reports at each meeting of the University Senate. Senators also recommend rules, regulations and policies for the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations, one of the official university policies. They serve staggered three-year terms, and one-third of the 39 members are elected each spring by the faculty at large through mail ballot. The group meets once a month during the fall semester, and twice a month during the spring semester.