This month's Senator Spotlight is on David Wells
What unit do you represent?
Leadership and Interdisciplinary Studies in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts
How many years have you served in the Senate?
How many years have you been employed at ASU?
What other institutions have you taught at before coming to ASU?
Glendale (CA) Community College, Whitman College, Denison University and Earlham College
What is your research and/or creative activities focus?
Arizona politics and public policy
Why did you decide to get involved with the Senate?
I have been involved in state and local politics for years and avoided campus politics, but my colleagues thought otherwise. While I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into, I agreed to serve and now they don’t want me to stop serving.
Describe what you have learned during your time in the Senate.
I’ve learned what shared governance means practically and the important role the Senate and Senators can take in both working with the administration as well as seeking ways to make sure administrators are responsive to the concerns from faculty and what faculty know from their direct connection with students. Leaders from our University President and Provost to Arizona Board of Regents members address us every year, and we have a direct opportunity to praise good work, make them aware of concerns and ask important questions in a public setting—which I’ve done with all of them during my time as a Senator.
What committees have you participated in, or would like to participate in and what were you able to (or hope to) accomplish?
University Services and Facilities Committee, Personnel Committee (3 years)-chairing the Non-Tenure Eligible Subcommittee the last two years. My chief focus is on improving transparency and fairness in the distribution of resources at the university and finding means for the university to appropriately recognize the professional stature of NTE faculty through personnel policy enhancements.
What would you say to your peers who might be considering accepting a nomination or nominating himself or herself for a position in the Senate?
The Senate is the means by which shared governance works. ASU can be an excessively hierarchical institution. The Senate, while not an equal partner, is where dialogue can take place to find ways to improve the university.