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New president takes the helm at Faculty Senate


President and Chancellor Renu Khator addressed the Faculty Senate, touching on the subsidized community college that President Barack Obama has proposed. | Cara Smith/The Cougar

When Wynne Chin was appointed as president of the Faculty Senate on Wednesday, it was a familiar feeling — seven years ago, Chin was in the middle of his first term as Faculty Senate president. It’s not common for presidents to return for another term, but Chin spoke to the senate with goals for enhanced communication and student success.

He began his second presidential tenure during the Faculty Senate meeting held Jan. 21 in the Rockwell Pavilion at the M.D. Anderson Library. Chin replaced Maria Elena Soliño as president; Soliño is a professor of spanish literature and film at the University.

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Paula Short touched on the senate's priorities of student success.  |  Cara Smith/The Cougar

Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Paula Short touched on the senate’s priorities of student success. | Cara Smith/The Cougar

“I have a good understanding of how the University works, and I’m just looking forward to more continued success,” Chin said. Among other things, Chin hopes to integrate technology into the senate’s communication to better connect the senators to the faculty.

President and Chancellor Renu Khator and Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Paula Short addressed the senate. Short updated the senate on the search for a new College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences dean, following the resignation of Dean John W. Roberts.

According to Short, there are no prospective candidates being publicly considered for the position.

Khator also touched on President Barack Obama’s proposal for free community college, encouraging the senate to remember that “nothing is free.”

“The cost is $60 billion over the next 10 decades. However, the concept is intriguing,” Khator said.

She said that regarding rising national tuition rates, the President focused less on assigning blame to universities and more on the broader goal of giving institutional access to all, a topic she also spoke on during her time in at the Texas Tribune Festival last October.

The next faculty senate meeting is scheduled for Feb. 18 at 12:15 p.m. at Rockwell Pavilion.

-Additional reporting by Christopher Shelton

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