Faculty Senate election features familiar duo
Batman and Robin, the Lone Ranger and Tonto, Laurel and Hardy, Pezeshki and Struckmeyer. Okay, the last two aren’t as well known as the first ones, unless you follow Washington State University’s Faculty Senates.
It appears this well-known duo — Chuck Pezeshki and Ken Struckmeyer — will be appearing for a third time on the Faculty Senate’s annual ballot, running for the chair and vice chair positions. (As of April 26, no one else had filed to run for the vice president’s position.)
For those new to WSU, the tale began in April 2004, when Pezeshki, an associate professor in mechanical engineering, took the Faculty Senate by surprise when he submitted a self-nomination, campaigned aggressively and captured the chairmanship. That upended an unwritten but unbroken Faculty Senate tradition in which the sitting vice chair was routinely voted in as the next chair.
At the same time, Ken Struckmeyer, a professor in horticulture and landscape architecture and a faculty ombudsmen, won the vice chairman’s post.
Shortly after a new Faculty Senate rule was put in place stating the vice chair will automatically advance to the chair position, uncontested.
Wanting to continue their work together, the two switched positions in 2005, with Struckmeyer advancing to the chair, and Pezeshki gaining approval as vice chair.
Fast forward to April 2006, the two have decided there are a number of major projects in the works that they would like to see completed, and will run again to provide “continuity.” Also urging their candidacy is the fact that no one else was volunteering to run.
That situation, Struckmeyer said, is due to a number of circumstances including sabbaticals, tenure, promotion and knowledge of the system. “There are a lot of good faculty members who will be in a good position to run a year or two from now. These positions tend to be held by people who are full professors or are toward the end of their career.”
Projects underway, include:
Struckmeyer — Helping begin the building a coalition of Pac-10 Faculty Senates to work toward collaboration on research, international programs, sharing library resources, salary issues, etc.
Pezeshki — Helping create an early childhood education/care facility and helping create a leadership development program for faculty.
The Faculty Senate hopes to have the election completed before summer semester begins.
If elected, Pezeshki said with a laugh, “I will not run again. Nothing can happen to make me change my mind.”