The end of the year is often a time for reminiscing, and on Dec. 17, 11 former presidents of Arizona State University's Senate got the chance to reminisce together.
Invited by the current president, Shirley Rose, the former presidents gathered for lunch and conversation in the Graham Room at the Memorial Union. Only a few of those present were still active members of the ASU faculty, but a number remain linked to ASU, thanks to the connections of the Emeritus College.
Each attendee talked about a few key experiences of their presidencies.
One major topic was how the aspects of service in the Senate and as president have shifted due to university changes during the past 30 years. From a university of roughly 42,000 students on one campus, ASU has grown to four campuses with over 70,000 students and nearly 40,000 online students. In 2008, a single Senate with representatives from all campuses was formed, and a massive revision of the ACD policy manual was completed, now applying to all campuses.
While noting the different issues they worked on, the former presidents also highlighted the common experience of working for shared governance at ASU.
For example, each Senate president promoted active faculty participation in working with the administration and the Board of Regents to improve the university. The former presidents also described their presidential service — with the opportunities to benefit the institution and to work closely with colleagues on these issues — as a high point of their careers at ASU.
Rose also sought advice about moving ahead in the future, with the aim to make the luncheon an annual event to provide a sounding board for future presidents.
Written by Philip VanderMeer, Senate President 2008-2009
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