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With ‘Insufficient Business,’ March Meeting of the Faculty Cancelled

By Steven R. Watros, Crimson Staff Writer

The March meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, originally scheduled to take place Tuesday, was cancelled last week because of “insufficient business ready for action,” according to a notice from the Faculty Docket Committee, the body responsible for creating the meeting’s agenda.

Faculty meetingsgenerally held on the first Tuesday of each month that classes are in sessionfeature votes on faculty policy, discussions of proposals and FAS affairs, and question-and-answer sessions in which professors may address administrators.

The cancellation is the first since the 2011-2012 academic year, when two meetings were omitted, according to Secretary of the Faculty Susan L. Lively. She said that cancellations are not uncommon.

According to the rules of Faculty procedure, if “no business is in need of immediate action” then “the Dean of the Faculty, with the approval of the Faculty Council, may omit any regular meeting.”

At last Wednesday’s Faculty Council meeting, the Docket Committee, which is chaired by FAS Dean Michael D. Smith, “suggested that there was not enough business to fill the agenda for the scheduled March 4 meeting,” FAS spokesperson Jeff Neal wrote in an email. As a result, he said, the Council voted to cancel.

The Council also voted to change the name of the Organismic and Evolutionary Biology concentration to Integrative Biology. In addition, members heard a presentation on the University’s financial status as well as a report from the Committee to Study the Faculty Council Election Procedures.

Sociology professor Christopher Winship, vice-chair of the Docket Committee, wrote in an email that “It would be a mistake to have faculty meetings if there weren’t significant issues and work to be done.”

“Business tends to pile up toward the end of the year as committees finish their reviews and proposals,” computer science professor Harry R. Lewis ’68, former dean of the College, wrote in an email, explaining why a meeting cancellation in March was not out of the ordinary.

—Staff writer Steven R. Watros can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @SteveWatros.

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