UT Tyler Faculty Senate President

Message from the President of the Faculty Senate

The University of Texas at Tyler

Greetings to the University of Texas at Tyler community, 

On behalf of the Faculty Senate and its leadership, it is my pleasure and privilege to welcome you all to this new year at UT Tyler.  Before we chart this course, I would like to express my gratitude to our immediate past-President, Harrison Ndetan.  Dr. Ndetan’s leadership over the past year has focused on listening to and learning from the wide-ranging concerns of faculty from our recently merged institutions.  Moreover, he has shown us that the faculty, staff, students, and administrators of UT Tyler make up one institution, and we rise together as one. 

As a social scientist who appreciates history, it is my hope that the coming year builds upon the past while allowing us to seize opportunities for productive change. We have seen, for example, the value of shared governance throughout the Covid-19 pandemic as all members of our community have collaborated to ensure these unsettled times were met with mature responses that kept us all as safe as possible. In the same spirit of shared governance, faculty input influenced the creation of the new strategic plan which, in the words of Dr. Calhoun, recognizes that “Every significant accomplishment we reach is realized through collaborating both internally and externally and innovating together.”  In the context of Faculty Senate this means listening to each other and looking for all the possibilities even if we may occasionally disagree.   

We have built this institution of Faculty Senate through persistence, patience, and open-mindedness.  The recognition of this hard work comes in a variety of ways.  When our senate representatives meet with peers from other UT system schools, we are often praised for our implementation of shared governance. Shared governance requires not just faculty input, but also buy-in by our administration.  When faculty shared their concerns about end of course evaluations during the pandemic, the administration granted leeway for tenure and promotion.  Similar grace was given when it was shown that faculty research agendas had to be put on hold during lockdown.  And, when it was shown that faculty compensation was below CUPA median, the administration committed to addressing this problem.   

I believe that a spirit of shared governance is the key to our institution’s continued growth and success.  This means active engagement by faculty in raising issues and finding constructive solutions.  Higher education is going through many changes at present, and I believe it is important for faculty to recognize and realize their potential to help sculpt those changes. 

Amentahru Wahlrab 
UT Tyler Faculty Senate President, 2023-2024