USC Academic Senate
Winter 2002/2003 Edition 

Volume 4, Number 1, 2002-2003


 In This Edition

  A Letter from the President
  Open Letter to Senators and Other Colleagues
  Health Care Costs, Preferences, Risks and Equity
  Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Faculty
  Non-tenure-track Faculty at USC
  Marshall Online Teaching Evaluation System
  Concerning Terminations of Tenured Faculty
  The University After 9/11

Open Letter to Senators and Other Colleagues
Frances Feldman, Senate Historian & Distinguished Professor Emerita

Last year the Senate created the position of Senate Historian, along with a committee comprising individuals who have been close to the senate in any of its various incarnations. In order to know the history of the role of faculty in the governance of the University, we identified two beginning tasks with which we can proceed only with your help.

The first task was to ascertain the nature and continuity of existing records of the respective senate bodies. The University Senate was established in 1946; the Faculty Senate took over in 1972; the present Academic Senate structure followed. During a few years in the 1970s there also was the President's Advisory Council, which included not only senate and other faculty representation, but also representatives of the deans and administrators, staff, and students.

With the help of Sion Lee, data have been compiled regarding the continuity of minutes, reports and resolutions, newsletters, and other materials. There are some gaps, which are identified on the attached sheet. If you have any of these in your own files, will you make them available to us? They then can be returned to you or placed in the University Archives, whichever you prefer.

Our second task is to conduct oral history interviews with past presidents of the respective senates, as well as with others who were close to the operation of these senates: executive committee members, chairpersons of committees, or others who come to your mind. What we hope to learn from these interviews is not only something about the senate role of these individuals, but also their recollections and perceptions about the actual or potential influence of the senate, as well as their views of what might else should have been done, or what would better have been done differently--or not at all. We think that these composite views of our senate history can usefully illuminate the effectiveness of the contemporary senate role as well as its future roles.

Will you identify for us persons who might serve on a panel of interviewers on whom we can call? (Include yourself!) Our Historian Committee is prepared to provide any needed instruction regarding conducting these interviews, as well as guiding questions.

And: will you also identify for us persons who should be interviewed? We have compiled a list of living presidents, but need you help to pinpoint other potential interviewees.

Attached is a sheet on which you can:

1) note the gaps in minutes and indicate if you can fill any of these gaps--or have other materials, such as reports, resolutions, and correspondence that can be made available to us;

2) list persons (including yourself) who might do some interviewing; and

3) list persons (including yourself) who should be interviewed.

[Please visit the senate website at to download a copy of the open letter, with the aforementioned attached sheet -Ed.].

Your help in carrying out these two activities is very much appreciated. If you have any questions, feel free to direct them to me or to any member of the committee.

Frances Lomas Feldman, Senate Historian
Distinguished Professor Emerita