Senator Spotlight February 2022

Name: Stephen Toth

What unit do you represent?  

I represent the School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

How many years have you served in the Senate?

This is my third year of service in the Senate.

How many years have you been employed at ASU?

I have been at ASU for twenty-one years. I came here in 2000 as a Visiting Assistant Professor of modern European history and was hired on a tenure-line the following year.

What other institutions have you taught at before coming to ASU?

I taught a bit at Indiana University which is where I completed my Ph.D. and I also did some community college work while I was ABD. Basically, I’ve spent my entire academic career at ASU.

What is your research and/or creative activities focus?  

I’ve written two books which explore the history of incarceration, most particularly the evolution of the prison in theory and practice, in modern France and the Francophone world. I’m currently at work on a book which will examine the subject of convictism (i.e., the forced migration of convicts overseas) from a global perspective.

Why did you decide to get involved with the Senate?

While I have served in a number of different service capacities on behalf of my unit and New College, I wanted to better understand how ASU (writ large) operates and I was eager to collaborate with colleagues from other schools, colleges and campuses. Being involved in the Senate is an opportunity to serve the greater university community.

Describe what you have learned (or hope to learn) during your time in the Senate?

I have a better understanding of governance at ASU as well as new insight into issues facing colleagues from across all of our campuses.

What committees have you participated in, or would like to participate in and what were you able to (or hope to) accomplish? 

I have served on the University Senate Personnel Committee for the last two years. We have worked on a number of initiatives related to issues facing faculty and staff regarding Covid-19 as well as compensation levels and workload expectations for NTE faculty.

What would you say to your peers who might be considering accepting a nomination or nominating himself or herself for a position in the University Senate?

It’s hard to see the big picture from the confines of our respective comfort zones (i.e. unit, college).  If you want to see how the university operates, learn more about the issues that impact faculty, staff and students, and take part in processes that have the potential to bring about meaningful change, consider becoming a Senator.


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