Daily Egyptian

Clay Awsumb elected as GPSC president, to begin term in fall

By Emily Cooper and Amelia Blakely, Staff Reporters

Clay Awsumb was elected as the new Graduate and Professional Student Council president at Tuesday’s regularly scheduled GPSC meeting.

Awsumb is the currently the Vice President for Graduate School Affairs for GPSC and is a PhD student in the Sociology department. 

“I [have] witnessed first hand the significance, the value, the impacts leadership within student government can and does have on the experiences of students,” Awsumb said.

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As president, Aswumb said he would make sure graduate students receive the required academic opportunities and fair treatment.

“Next year needs to be a transformational year of building for GPSC, the students we represent, and the university generally,” Awsumb said. “In effect our leadership included must take direct and aggressive action to invest in and build this institution’s capacity to develop, expand and improve the core areas of academic opportunity, establish substantive support of graduate and professional students to reach excellence in our professional development.”  

Dianah McGreehan was elected uncontested to continue her position as the vice president for administrative affairs after Derrick McDowell pulled out from the election.

Lauran Schaefer was voted as the Vice President for Graduate School Affairs.

Jordan Maddox, Derrick McDowell, Emilia Russo, and Rachel Steiger were voted to serve as Graduate Council Representatives for the upcoming 2018 to 2019 school year.

During the meeting, GPSC President Johnathan Flowers said the College of Liberal Arts council is in violation of their operating papers by having an internal search for an interim dean position without fulfilling their student co-chair position on the council.

Meera Kommajaru, the interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs was previously the COLA dean before being appointed to her current position by Chancellor Carlo Montemagno.

Flowers said for the COLA council to not be in violation of their operating papers there needs to be a student co-chair appointed before a new dean is selected.

“I did inform Robert Fox, who’s the current chair of the COLA council, that they’re currently in violation of their operating papers and have received no response as to whether or not that violation has been remedied,” Flowers said.

The memo, which outlined the proposed pilot project of recruiting alumni for “volunteer” adjuncts positions was addressed at by Flowers at Tuesday’s meeting.

In a memo sent by Michael Molino, associate dean of liberal arts to chairs and directors in COLA, it said the administration would be reaching out to alumni with terminal degrees in their fields to serve as adjunct graduate faculty with no pay.

The memo also applied to the College of Applied Sciences, Arts, and College of Science.

Flowers said he was not told of the initiative during alumni association meetings, which he sits in on as GPSC president.

According to Flowers, the Director of the Alumni Association Michelle Suarez said the association came up with this idea using the associations’ resource, to increase mentoring opportunities.

Suarez said academic matters were in the hands of the provosts’ office, according to Flowers.

Flowers said the provosts’ office said this was an initiative that had been talked about for numerous years.

“They [adjunct volunteers] would not be performing any university service, teaching classes for credit, or other such duties of continuing graduate faculty,” Flowers said.

In Molino’s email, teaching and university services are used as examples of work that adjunct faculty could perform, Flowers said. 

Those appointed to be adjunct faculty would be picked the same way people outside of the university are who sit on PhD thesis committees Flowers said.

Staff writer Emily Cooper can be reached at [email protected] 

Campus editor Amelia Blakely can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @AmeilaBlakely.

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