2011 Faculty Elections – Sample Ballot and Candidate Statements

March 16th, 2011 by Christian

Nominees for 2011 faculty elections are invited to use this space to post statements concerning their nominations for faculty committees or other elected positions. This is purely voluntary and is intended primarily as a means for newer faculty to introduce themselves to the wider faculty prior to the election (although any faculty nominee should feel free to post a statement). This space is not intended as a Q & A forum.

On the first line, please post your name, department, and the committee or position for which you are running. Follow that with your brief statement.


The Nominating & Balloting Committee
Elaine Allard, Christian Roberson, Kurt Schroeder

P.S. The current list of nominees and candidate statements follows.

Sample Ballot

Academic Affairs Committee

There are three (3) openings on the Academic Affairs Committee.  The Academic Affairs Committee meets 3rd Mondays 3:45-5:15 and 4th Fridays 2:30-4:00.  In addition, the committee meets on two weekdays in January and again in June to write Probation Contracts and review Severance Appeals.  These terms are for three years (2 highest vote-getters) or one year (3rd highest vote-getter).

  • Ann Berry
  • Roger Blake
  • Annette Holba
  • Zhizhang Shen

Athletic Council – Male

There is one (1) opening for a male faculty position on the Athletic Council.  The Athletic Council meets 1st Mondays at 2:30. This term is for three years.

  • Paul Rogalus
  • Zhizhang Shen

Athletic Council – Female

There is one (1) opening for a female faculty position on the Athletic Council.  The Athletic Council meets 1st Mondays at 2:30. This term is for three years.

  • Bonnie Bechard
  • Chantalle Forgues
  • Wendy Palmquist

Curriculum Committee

There are three (3) openings on the Curriculum Committee.  The Curriculum Committee meets 3rd Fridays at 2:30.  These terms are for three years (2 highest vote-getters) or two years (3rd highest vote-getter).

  • Bob Egbert
  • Barbara Lopez-Mayhew
  • Holly Oliver
  • Christine Rine
  • Lisa Spradley

Faculty Welfare Committee

There are three (3) openings on the Faculty Welfare Committee.  The Faculty Welfare Committee meets 2nd Fridays at 3:30.  These terms are for three years (2 highest vote-getters) or one year (3rd highest vote-getter).

  • Nick Sevigney
  • Zhizhang Shen
  • Evelyn Stiller
  • James Whiting

Frost School Council

There are two (2) openings on the Frost School Council.  The Frost School Council meets 2nd Tuesdays at 3:30. These terms are for three years.

  • Dana Ernst
  • Bill Haust
  • Barbara Lopez-Mayhew

General Education Committee

There are two (2) openings on the General Education Committee.  The General Education Committee meets 2nd and 4th Mondays from 2:30 to 4:00.  These terms are for three years.

  • Jeremiah Duncan
  • Elliott Gruner
  • Robyn Parker
  • Francis Williams

Grievance Resolution Committee

There are two (2) openings on the Grievance Resolution Committee.  The Grievance Resolution Committee meets as needed. These terms are for two years.

  • Bob Heiner
  • Anne Lebreche
  • Trish Lindberg

Planning/Budget Leadership Group

There are two (2) openings on the Planning/Budgeting Leadership Group.  These terms are for three years (highest vote-getter) or one year (2nd highest vote-getter).

  • Bonnie Bechard
  • Katharine Harrington
  • John Krueckeberg
  • Vedran Lelas
  • Sheryl Shirley

Observers to the Student Senate

There are two (2) openings for Faculty Observers to the Student Senate.  These terms are for one year.

  • Eric Cintron
  • [Nominee needed]

Representative to the PAT Senate

There is one (1) opening for a Faculty Representative to the PAT Senate.  This term is for one year.

  • Lourdes B. Aviles

Representative to the Board of Trustees

There is one (1) opening for a Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees.  This term is for one year.

  • Pat Cantor

Representative to the Board of Trustees – Financial Affairs

There is one (1) opening for a Faculty Representative to the Board of Trustees’ Financial Affairs Committee.  This term is for one year.

  • Barbara McCahan

Faculty Speaker Elect

There is one (1) opening for the Faculty Speaker Elect.  This term is for three years (one year as Faculty Speaker Elect, one year as Faculty Speaker, and one year as Parliamentarian).

  • [Nominee Needed]

Candidate Statements

Jeremiah Duncan, General Education Committee Candidate

Dear fellow faculty members:

My name is Jeremiah Duncan.  I teach chemistry in the Department of Atmospheric Science and Chemistry, and this is my second year as a faculty member at Plymouth State.  I have served as a non-voting member of the General Education Committee for this academic year, and I am now seeking a full term as a voting member of the committee.

When I think back to my undergraduate days, I am very grateful for the general education I received.  Though of course at the time I occasionally wondered why I was being “forced” to take classes so far outside my major (as I think many students do!), in the years since I have come to value them very highly.  I spent one of these undergraduate years as an exchange student in England, where the education system is designed to focus students early; most students graduate from university in three years without taking any courses outside those directly related to their major.  This may seem like a good system on some level, but I found that students were completely unable to discuss topics outside their major.  Most of my fellow chemistry students seemed to know less English history than I did!

Upon reflection, I have come to the conclusion that one of the things that makes the United States a great country–one known for its democratic system of government (yes, occasionally flawed, but envied nonetheless), its competitiveness, and its creative people–is the emphasis our institutions of higher learning put on general education.  Creative problem solving happens by approaching problems from numerous angles and making connections between previously unconnected ideas.  Democracy can only work when the population is educated enough to be effectively engaged.

The bottom line is this:  I feel very strongly that a a good general education program is vital to our University, our students, and our society.

The General Education Committee is in the midst of developing and enacting a multi-faceted assessment of PSU’s General Education Program, with the goal of improving said program.  In the last year, I have not only sat on the Committee as a non-voting member, but I have also been an active participant on a sub-committee that has met regularly to work on the assessment plan.  It will likely take a year or two to fully complete the assessment (although some portions will be completed much sooner), and I would like the opportunity to continue serving the University in this way and to see the task through.  Incidentally, I am sure you will be hearing more about this work in the coming months.

I would very much appreciate your vote and the opportunity to serve on the Committee as a full member.  Thank you for reading my statement.

–Jeremiah Duncan

Elliott Gruner, English Department, General Education Committee Candidate


Permit me to say a word or two about Jeremiah Duncan, whose statement you see above. As Chair this year, I had the pleasure of serving with Jeremiah, and I want you to know he has been a wonderful  addition to the Gen Ed Committee. He’s worked hard reviewing proposals, responding to issues, and developing better ideas as we proceed with our review of the Program. What’s more, he volunteered for subcommittee work, which committed him to weekly Gen Ed meetings this spring. We on the Committee have profited from his fresh approach to our sometimes vexing challenges. I’m proud of his work and proud to have had him as a colleague on the Committee this year.

Jeremiah has already pointed to the review we are doing. I am very much about that. We need to better understand how we are doing with Gen Ed, we need to better support what we all do as part of Gen Ed, and we need  to better promote what we do well in Gen Ed. Some might be surprised to hear me say this, but I’m not for the new Gen Ed, I’m not for the old Gen Ed—I’m for the best Gen Ed.

I’m concerned that our current processes and functions don’t foster and reward initiative and change that might allow our Program to evolve. This isn’t a problem unique to PSU; I learned at a recent national gen ed conference that few if any programs change well or gracefully. We shouldn’t have to have sometimes fractious up-or-down votes every few years. Our program should be flexible and thinking enough to grow and become better as a result of our hard routine work.  That’s the vision that our Committee is working on—that’s what I’ll continue if re-elected.

Best, –Elliott Gruner

Nick Sevigney, Art Department, Faculty Welfare Committee Candidate

Dear Fellow Faculty,

Since Fall 2008, I have been a faculty member in the Art Department and a non-voting member of the Faculty Welfare Committee since Fall 2010.  Prior to PSU, I was full time tenured faculty at The Community College of Rhode Island for nine years. In that time, I represented my department in numerous service initiatives and committees, and was chairperson for three years. I plan to take the same active role in service here at PSU. By serving on the Faculty Welfare Committee, I would be proud to represent the best interests of our active, supportive, and diverse faculty.

The FWC often has intended plans, such as a proposed tuition compensation package, that must be superseded for more immediate needs or issues. In the past months, the FWC has done its very best to question surveys from outside entities, evaluate cuts in benefits, and research pay equity with comparator institutions. Some of these situations took precedence on a moment’s notice and the committee quickly attained needed information to make an assessment. Being a non-voting member has allowed me to absorb the importance of these issues and I look forward to making faculty interests heard with my vote this coming year.

Thank You,

Nick Sevigney

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