The October 2015 Senator Spotlight is on Shari Collins
What unit do you represent?
The School of Humanities, Arts, & Cultural Studies
How many years have you served on the Senate?
How many years have you been employed at ASU? What other institutions have you taught at before coming to ASU?
I have been at ASU since Fall, 1994, 21 years. I also taught at Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Missouri, St. Louis.
What is your research and/or creative activities focus?
My main focus is applied ethics—environmental ethics, and business ethics. I also work on issues of racial discrimination (environmental racism, discrimination in the criminal justice system) and philosophy of sex and love.
Why did you decide to get involved with the Senate?
The West campus needed representation, and in all of my years at ASU I had not participated. I was also encouraged by colleagues.
Describe what you have learned during your time on the Senate.
First, the Senate is mostly a unified Senate in the sense that we do not have the issues between campuses here (that is, we all come together as equals and do not operate from a hierarchy where one campus is supreme). Second, my colleagues on the senate are motivated to take their representation quite seriously, and I’ve seen significant advocacy for our colleagues regarding policies and issues. Finally, I have found that our time with the Administration is helpful in clearing up issues that otherwise would fuel negativity and misunderstanding.
What committees have you participated in, or would like to participate in and what were you able to (or hope to) accomplish.
I chaired the Personnel Committee, and we represented non-tenure-track faculty in advocating for their ability to apply for promotion and receive multi-year contracts. The Administration changed course and developed a fair and significant policy for both issues.
What would you say to your peers who might be considering accepting a nomination or nominating themselves for a position on the Senate?
The Senate is a collegial gathering of all campuses that keeps one abreast of current proposed policy changes, important curricular development, and a resource for faculty responses to changes and developments at ASU.
Any final comments you might have.
I have greatly enjoyed working with Senators, campus presidents, committee members, and Pam Hoyle and Chuck Barbee. Thank you for making this service worthwhile.