Faculty Senate

The Columbia College Chicago Faculty Senate is an officially sanctioned body within the governance structure of the College. The Senate embodies the principles of shared governance and is driven by the collective will, expertise, and creative energy of its full-time faculty. The Senate empowers the faculty to provide authoritative communication and collaboration with the president of the College, chief academic officers, and others regarding policies and practices pertaining to academic excellence, creative and scholarly endeavors, and professional responsibility and conditions of employment. The Senate is the principle body responsible for deliberations, formulations and recommendations concerning academic policy at the College.


Faculty Senate currently has 34 seats. Senators represent either their department or their school and are elected each spring. Each senator is assigned to serve on a standing committee of the Senate. All full-time faculty are eligible for membership on the Faculty Senate.

There is a minimum of one senator from each of 16 academic units, with a second departmental senator representing those units with more than 19 full time faculty. There are also four school-wide, at-large senators from each of the three schools -- Fine and Performing Arts, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Media Arts.

Department Senators (2017-2019)

School of Fine and Performing Arts
Art and Art History, Paul Catanese (Fall 2018) / Deb Parr (Spring 2019) (Academic Affairs)
Business and Entrepreneurship, Clayton Smith (Fall 2018) / Jennifer Sadler (Spring 2019) (Faculty Affairs), Dawn Larsen (Financial Affairs)
Dance, Paige Cunningham (Academic Affairs, Chair)
Design, Sarah Faust (Academic Affairs)
Fashion Studies, Kate Schaeffer (Academic Affairs)
Music, Ilya Levinson(Academic Affairs, Vice-Chair)
Photography, Alison Carey (Financial Affairs)
Theatre, Paul Amandes(Faculty Affairs), Kendra Thulin (Faculty Affairs)

School of Liberal Arts and Sciences
American Sign Language, K Crom Saunders (Academic Affairs)
English and Creative Writing, Sheila Baldwin (Faculty Affairs, Secretary), Lisa Fishman (Fall 2018) (Faculty Affairs, Vice-Chair) / Tom Nawrocki (Spring 2019) (Faculty Affairs)
History, Humanities and Social Sciences, Katie Paciga (Executive Committee, Secretary); Sean Andrews (Executive Committee, President)
Science and Mathematics, Keith Kostecka (Executive Committee, Vice President)

School of Media Arts
Audio Arts and Acoustics, Xinya (Peter) Zhang (Academic Affairs)
Cinema and Television Arts, Carolina Posse (Faculty Affairs), Sharon Ross (Fall 2018) (Executive Committee, Parliamentarian Fall 2018) / Joe Steif (Spring 2019) (Academic Affairs)

Communication, Laurence Minsky (Faculty Affairs), Len Strazewski (Executive Committee, Parliamentarian Spring 2019)
Interactive Arts and Media, Joseph Cancellaro (Financial Affairs, Vice-Chair)

School-wide At-Large Senators (2018-2020)

School of Fine and Performing Arts
Business and Entrepreneurship, Cara Dehnert Huffamn (Academic Affairs), Loren Wells (Financial Affaris, Secretary)
Theatre, Frances Maggio (Academic Affairs)

School of Liberal Arts and Sciences
History, Humanities and Social Sciences, Jaafar Aksikas(Academic Affairs), Rojhat Avsar (Financial Affaris, Chair)
Science and Mathematic, Christopher Shaw (Executive Committee), Luis Nasser (Faculty Affairs)

School of Media Arts
Audio Arts and Acoustics, Florian Hollerweger (Academic Affairs, Secretary)
Cinema and Television Arts, Michael Caplan (Faculty Affairs)
Interactive Arts and Media, Ron Fleischer (Academic Affairs), Dave Gerding (Faculty Affaris, Chair)

Standing Committees


The Executive Committee sets the agenda for each senate meeting, manages senate business, communicates with internal and external stakeholders, and actively pursues the implementation of senate recommendations.​​

Academic Affairs

The Academic Affairs Committee considers issues relevant to graduate and undergraduate, in-person, hybrid, and online teaching and learning at Columbia College Chicago.​

Faculty Affairs

The Faculty Affairs Committee considers issues that impact workplace conditions for faculty at Columbia College Chicago.

Financial Affairs

The Financial Affairs Committee collaborates with the administration on fiscal matters that impact teaching, learning, and faculty affairs.

Bylaws and Responsibilities

The Senate Bylaws were written and approved by the faculty Spring 2011. They were approved by the Columbia College Board of Trustees on October 6, 2012.

Faculty Senate Bylaws

Senator Responsibilities​

The Columbia College Faculty Senate empowers “the faculty to exercise leadership and apply their expertise towards” the overall health and effectiveness of the institution (Bylaws 2.3.3). Rather than wielding power as individual members of the Senate, Senators work collectively as a representative body to leverage the expertise of faculty for purposes of shared decision-making and leadership.

To this end, consulting regularly with faculty constituents and representing the collective will of these stakeholders—at standing committee and full Senate meetings—is critical to maintaining the Senate’s position as “a mechanism by which the faculty can authoritatively communicate with the administration and constituencies both within and beyond Columbia College Chicago” (2.3.2).

The following summaries of Department/School Senator responsibilities are meant to provide general guidelines for the expectations associated with the Senator role:

Department Senator Responsibilities

  • Represent the collective will, expertise and authority of the faculty within your department regarding matters pertaining to teaching, learning and faculty life.*
  • Include a summary of Senate business at regular departmental meetings
  • Solicit input from faculty about Senate matters, especially those requiring an upcoming vote, in an effort to truly represent the voice of your department
  • Remind faculty of upcoming Senate meetings and invite them to attend
  • The above can be conducted via e-mail and in standing faculty meetings
  • Attend all Senate meetings
  • Attend all standing committee meetings

School Senator Responsibilities

  • Represent the collective will, expertise and authority of the faculty within your school regarding matters pertaining to school-wide concerns.*
  • Attend all Senate meetings
  • Attend all standing committee meetings
  • Introduce themselves as School-wide representatives at school-wide faculty and briefly update their colleagues on College or School-wide issues under review by the Faculty Senate

Standing Committee Chairperson Responsibilities

  • Schedule, create agenda, and document minutes for monthly meetings. Submit minutes via email to the Secretary of the Executive Committee
  • Meet with the Executive Committee on an as-needed basis to receive charges and discuss progress
  • Prepare a report of committee, subcommittee, and workgroup business and orally present at all scheduled Faculty Senate meetings
  • Prepare an annual written report summarizing work completed, outstanding actionable items, and future business, including the work of any subcommittees and workgroups, to be submitted via email to the Secretary of the Executive Committee by the final Faculty Senate meeting of the academic year
  • Establish sub committees or workgroups after a majority vote of those senators in attendance at the meeting such is proposed
  • Issue the subcommittee or workgroup a specific charge, a membership roster, and a project timeline

*Adapted from Faculty Senate Bylaws, 2.1, emphasis added


Add Senate meeting dates to your calendar using these links: XML  ICAL  HTML For help syncing the Senate calendar to your calendar, click here.

For additional infomation, including agendas and minutes, visit the Faculty Senate site in IRIS