Home Campus The five Ohio University senates and how they cooperate

The five Ohio University senates and how they cooperate

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Student Senate opposes Athens County Board of Election move. Photo by Bo Kuhn.

Five governing bodies represent Ohio University. Here’s what they do and how they do it.

Ohio University has five governing bodies, each representing a different portion of the student body: Student Senate, Graduate Student Senate, Faculty Senate, Administrative Senate, and Classified Senate.

Each Senate acts on its own accord with its own constitution and constituents, but how do they interact with each other?

Student Senate:

Student Senate represents undergraduate students. Whether or not it also represents graduates students has caused some controversy, as Graduate Student Senate has recently asserted its independence. Senior Maddie Sloat is the president. They meet every Wednesday at 7:15.

Graduate Student Senate

Graduate Student Senate represents graduate students. They meet every Tuesday at 7:00, and the senate’s president is Maria Modayil.

Faculty Senate

Faculty Senate aptly represents the faculty; they meet on a monthly basis. In describing the Faculty Senate, President Joe McLaughlin referred to the Faculty Handbook:

“The Senate maintains primary jurisdiction over curriculum and academic policies, and is an advocate for faculty views on all other University policies and practices.”

Student, Graduate Student and Faculty Senate all meet in Room 235 in Walter Hall.

Administrative Senate

Administrative Senate represents administrators, as defined by Ohio U Human Resources. According to their constitution, an “administrator” is either an exempt-unclassified or non-exempt-unclassified position.

Exempt employees aren’t eligible for overtime pay while non-exempt employees are; unclassified employees are paid a salary, rather than an hourly wage.

Administrative Senate meets on the third Thursday of every month except August and December. Its president is Timothy Epley.

Classified Senate

Classified Senate’s name can cause some confusion.

“The name of their body is definitely misleading!” Sloat said. “Classified Senate is not secretive; they actually represent classified employees at the university.”

Classified employees are paid an hourly wage and their jobs are regulated by state code. They meet monthly during the school year on the third or fourth Thursday. Its president is Amanda Graham.

The five governing bodies convene frequently, and the five presidents see each other several times per month.

“The heads of the five Senates meet once a month to talk about matters of general interest.  We are also, with the addition of a dean, the ‘Committee on Committees,’” McLaughlin said. “We see each other quite a bit on other University committees. All of them serve on the Budget Planning Council which meets approximately every other week. There is lots of interaction.”

The five presidents also serve on the President’s Cabinet, which is a group of university leaders that meet with Ohio U President Duane Nellis every month. They also cooperate at Budget Planning Councils and Senate Chair meetings specifically devoted to ensuring the cooperation of the different bodies.

“I will say that some common issues we have been discussing this year include the renovation of Walter 235; …technology and resources to better connect with our constituents on regional campuses; and common issues with parking and transportation services,” Sloat said.

Sloat went on to say that the bodies did not use to meet as often as they do, but in recent years have made increased cooperation a priority.

“This is a relatively new development as previous senate leadership teams did not meet outside of committee work,” Administrative Senate President Epley said. “We hope that we can continue this practice while still serving our individual constituencies.”

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