The Faculty Senate at USC Upstate, created by direction of the university faculty to act by and for that body, is endowed with all the powers and responsibilities of the university faculty except for those powers specifically reserved by that body to itself, provided that the University faculty may amend or repeal any actions of the Faculty Senate. Powers specifically reserved by the faculty, include, but are not limited to, election of faculty officers and committee members.
The Faculty Senate membership is composed of voting members of the university faculty elected from each division, each College, and the Library. Representation on the Faculty Senate is one representative for every seven faculty members (or portion thereof) per academic unit. Representatives of academic units are elected by secret ballot by the members of that unit. These representatives are elected prior to the September faculty meeting, unless a vacancy occurs in mid-year and a new member is elected.
The Faculty Chair designates terms of one, two, and three years for Senate members so that approximately one-third of the members will be elected each year. This designation will be made so that each electoral unit will have a reasonable balance of members with each of the terms. Thereafter, members of the Senate will have terms of three years, unless chosen to fill unexpired terms
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Dr. Carmen Harris is a professor of history who teaches African-American, U.S., Southern, and Latin American history. Her research and teaching interests include African-American, Southern and South Carolina history. Dr. Harris served a six-year term as a member of the Board of Directors of the South Carolina Humanities Council, and has served on the Membership Committee and Minority Committee of the Southern Historical Association. Dr. Harris has published several articles and book chapters on various subjects related to African Americans in agricultural extension programs. Additionally, she has shared her scholarship as a public historian on issues related to African Americans and agriculture for news articles, television documentaries, and podcasts She provided background on African Americans in the turn of the century rural South and on-air talent for the documentary When Harry Met Meghan and for Andrew Morton’s book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess.
Dr. Harris has served in several capacities in faculty governance including as a Senator, as the chair of the Academic Affairs Committee (twice), the Assessment Committee, and the Admissions and Petitions Committee, the responsibilities of which now fall under the Student Services Committee.
Past Faculty Chair
Dr. Lisa Johnson is a Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Directs the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies. She teaches courses in feminist theory, feminist disability studies, girlhood studies, LGBTQ studies, and other electives in the Women’s and Gender Studies minor. Dr. Johnson has received grants from the South Carolina Humanities Council and the Spartanburg County Foundation, and she has been the recipient of several awards at USC Upstate, including four Tapestry awards for Multicultural Program of the Year. Her current research on neurodivergence and feminist psychiatric disability studies is forthcoming in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. She served as Chair of the Promotion and Tenure committee in 2018-2019 and is currently Faculty Chair.
Dr. Shorter received a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of South Carolina and completed her postdoctoral work in molecular psychiatry at the McKnight Brain Institute at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine. She is an Associate Professor of Biology and is the Pre-Health Professions Coordinator and faculty advisor for the Eta Delta Chi chapter of the Tri-Beta Biological Honors Society. Dr. Shorter’s research is on the effects of microRNAs and B-vitamin overexposure on epigenetic changes in neurons with relevance to neurodegeneration and autism spectrum disorders.
Dr. Trevor Rubenzer earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2007. He has taught many courses at the University of South Carolina Upstate since 2007, focusing on international politics, U.S. foreign policy, and research methods. His research interests center on the impact of ethnic minority interest groups on U.S. foreign policy. Dr. Rubenzer has published articles in several top political science journals including the American Journal of Political Science, International Studies Quarterly, and Foreign Policy Analysis. He is currently completing a book that explores the partisan nature of U.S. foreign policy.
Faculty Governance Webmaster
Dr. Shuang Liu Hundley has been an assistant professor of mass media and digital studies at USC Upstate since Fall 2018. She earned her doctorate in communication from Washington State University. Her research is focused on learning about how media, especially new media technologies, improve health and how such information is processed and understood. Her research has been published in Health Communication, Journal of Health Communication, Computers in Human Behavior.