DATE: March 9, 2015

TO:  Voting Members of the General Faculty

FROM: Nick Materer, Chair, OSU General Faculty and Faculty Council

SUBJECT: General Election for the OSU General Faculty and Faculty Council

The candidates for Vice Chair of Faculty Council are Carol Jones, Louise Siddons and Jeanmarie Verchot.  The successful candidate will serve as Vice Chair from June 1, 2015 through May 31, 2016, Chair for 2016-2017 and Past Chair for 2017-2018. 
The following information on the candidates may be helpful to you.
Electronic voting will be available beginning Monday, March 23, 2015.

The deadline for receipt of your electronic ballot is 5:00 p.m. Monday, March 30, 2015.

The following information on the candidates for Vice Chair may be helpful to you.

Carol Jones  Carol is a native Oklahoman (graduating from Edmond High School) and a graduate of Oklahoma State University (BS, Agricultural Engineering and PhD, Biosystems Engineering).  Like many students from rural areas, she is a first-generation college graduate. After many years of working as an engineer in the manufacturing and energy industries, Carol joined the Biosystems and Ag Engineering Department at OSU in 2006.  She has taught a variety of classes including Physical Properties of Biological Materials for nine years and Technology of Italy (two years) and Technology of Brazil (seven years)….both study abroad experiences for undergraduate and graduate engineering students.  Her research focuses on the storage and handling of agricultural materials and the equipment and processes required to maintain quality from field to fork.  Her work has included the design of an electromagnetic sensing system to detect insects in stored grain, modeling of lignocellulosic biofeedstock logistics, design of force detection systems for particle analysis in the stored grain environment, and the establishment of new rescue protocols for emergency technicians responding to human entrapments in particulate matter such as grain.  Carol has one of the few three-way faculty appointments.  Along with research and teaching, she has a very active and internationally known extension (outreach) program that allows her to deliver learning opportunities and assist with unusual engineering design work in grain and agricultural product storage and safety training.  Since 2006, she has graduated eight PhD students, two MS students and has served on numerous committees.  Carol has authored 32 peer-reviewed journals, seven books and book sections and provided over 100 professional papers and invited presentations.  Her international work focuses on appropriate technology and product standards particularly in developing countries. She has received the Alpha Epsilon Outstanding Faculty award, the President’s Outstanding Study Abroad Instructor Award, and the USDA Partnership Biofuel Products and Energy Group Award.  She is an associate editor for three professional journals and has been an invited reviewer for six different publications.

Carol is currently the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources representative to Faculty Council and has been the chair of Academic Standards and Policy committee for 2014-2015.  Additionally, for the last two years she has served on the Campus Safety and Security committee and on the OSU Grade Appeals Board.  She has chaired several technical committees with the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers and serves on the farm safety committee for extension. 

Position Statement from Carol Jones

It is indeed an honor to be nominated for Vice-Chair of OSU’s Faculty Council.  If elected, I will serve with pride, energy, honesty and commitment to represent your best interests.  For our faculty to enjoy a working environment that embraces creativity, academic freedom, professionalism and achievement, our Faculty Council must be strong and must work to build consensus among our different interests.  My primary goal will be to establish and promote partnerships with Administration, Staff and our student representatives that embrace transparency, honesty, and a fair voice for our concerns.  The challenges for faculty are many but the mission of a Land Grant University provides opportunities that no other type of institution can offer for meeting our goals and those of our students and constituents.  We will have the conversations about benefits, faculty salaries, RPT, appraisals and shared governance; about campus safety and a secure environment; about academic freedom, policy and expectations of excellence; and about developing and enhancing opportunities for expression through the work we do.  Faculty challenges continue to move counter of budget availability so we must be targeted with our actions and our efforts must be supported by data and fair consensus when we communicate with Administration.   My leadership approach is one of listening, collecting facts and ideas, building consensus, providing tools when needed, and ultimately promoting a culture of excellence.  In that culture, we can reach our personal and professional goals and offer the same to our students.  Your consideration is very much appreciated and I look forward to serving you and Oklahoma State University.

Louise Siddons Louise Siddons is an assistant professor, currently in her sixth year in the Department of Art, Graphic Design and Art History. She received her Ph.D. in art history from Stanford University. Before coming to OSU she was a faculty member at San Francisco State University and Michigan State University, as well as a curator at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Her research has been supported by grants from the Newberry Library, the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, and the Oklahoma Arts Council, among others. From 2009-2014, in addition to maintaining her faculty position, Siddons was the founding curator of the OSU Museum of Art, for which she authored Sharing a Journey: Building the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art Collection (OSU, 2014). Her research focuses on the history of printmaking and photography in twentieth century American art, paying particular attention to questions of marginal identities and alternative modernisms. In addition to her many exhibition and related publications, while at OSU she has published five peer-reviewed journal articles and currently has a book manuscript under contract with the University of Oklahoma Press.
While working with the OSU Museum of Art, Siddons developed several programs for undergraduate and graduate research, and she continues to work closely with students researching the museum collection. In addition, she coordinated collaborative projects with faculty and students in several colleges, including Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Engineering, Architecture and Technology, Human Sciences, the Spears School of Business, and Arts and Sciences. An award-winning teacher, Siddons strives to foster the same spirit of inquiry in her students that drives her own research.
Siddons’ service commitments at the university level include Faculty Council (and its Budget Committee) and the committee for Allied Arts. She is an active member of several statewide organizations including the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition and the Oklahoma Arts Council’s Leadership Arts program, and is a board member of the Scissortail Traditional Dance Society (for historic dance practice and education). Nationally, she is a member of the Association of Historians of American Art, the American Alliance of Museums, the American Association of University Professors, and the College Art Association, and is on the board of the Martin Wong Foundation.

Position Statement from Louise Siddons

Faculty Council plays a vital role in the governance of the university. If elected to the position of Vice Chair to the Faculty Council, I will work hard to ensure that faculty from across the campus are participants in the conversations that guide Oklahoma State University, and that our input is effective. Because the faculty is the heart of the university, it is in a unique position to understand the interrelated value of research, teaching, and other university activities. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that Oklahoma State University excels on a national and international level, and I believe that Faculty Council must play a role in that excellence through its comprehensive attention to all levels of university governance, from the details of policy to the expansiveness of our long-term vision as a land-grant university in the twenty-first century and beyond. More specifically, if elected to be Vice Chair of Faculty Council, I will:
• Strive to make Faculty Council a relevant, engaged part of faculty experience at Oklahoma State University across the board. An educated constituency is an invested one, and I would like to see OSU faculty making strong use of the Faculty Council as a venue for discussions of university policies and practices.
• Seek to enhance the visibility of undervalued academic programs at the university, both in terms of teaching and research, in order to clarify their proportional contributions to the long-term success of students and the fulfillment of the university’s mission.
• Take President Hargis’s lead in continuing to encourage faculty to support the university’s pursuit of social and environmental leadership. We are becoming a green university, we are becoming a university that recognizes the value of the arts and humanities to a complete liberal arts education, and we are positioning ourselves as a role model in Stillwater in terms of conscientious and strategic development and expansion. Faculty Council must support the University as it continues to be a leader in these respects, and we must encourage it to pursue leadership in areas of emerging importance. The expertise of our faculty is a key resource for the university as it educates our students and community at the local, state, and national levels about ethical and sustainable citizenship.

We are in a dynamic moment of change at Oklahoma State University and in American higher education more broadly. As a land grant university, our impact reaches far beyond the edges of our campuses. How can we leverage our existing strengths to create new opportunities? A powerful Faculty Council will create a genuine sense of investment in the university among individual faculty members, enhancing our ability to retain new faculty and creating a stronger institution as a result. Faculty Council brings together faculty, students, staff, administration, and other members of the OSU/Stillwater community in order to facilitate the clarity, transparency, and cooperation that are essential to the success of our organization. As such, we have a powerful opportunity to foster conversations and spark productive action. Fundamentally, Faculty Council has two primary responsibilities: to ensure widespread awareness of university practices and how they affect faculty; and to represent and articulate the best interests of the university faculty to the administration and the university community.


Jeanmarie Verchot I have been in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Oklahoma State University since February 1998.  I received my Ph.D. in 1995 from the Texas A&M University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Sainsbury Laboratories in the United Kingdom.  I completed a Bachelor of Science in Genetics at Rutgers University in New Jersey.  I have published over sixty papers in peer-reviewed journals, several book chapters and extension reports.  My research program has two focus areas.   The first area is fundamental research in virus-host interactions.   This is a cell biology focused initiative to understand how viruses manipulate cellular membranes and signal transduction to promote infection and suppress immune responses.  The second area is on virus diseases in canna lilies.  This is an applied program to help an industry that is seriously affected by viruses that have not been characterized.   We are interested in how viruses are transmitted, virus control measures that can be taken, and the emergence of viruses from wild species to cultivated hybrids.  A range of organizations, including the National Science Foundation, USDA, and OCAST has provided funding.  In addition to the traditional research role, I am also working on commercializing technology developed at OSU.  In term of teaching, I have taught graduate level courses in Plant Pathology and guest lectured in undergraduate courses in Microbiology, where I am an adjunct member of the faculty. 

Position Statement from Jeanmarie Verchot

As Vice Chair of the Faculty Council, I will work hard to promote shared governance on campus, encourage transparency in decision-making at all levels, and help promote faculty involvement.  I have been active in Faculty Council since 2010.  Currently, I am a member of the Long Range Planning and Technology Committee.  I have served as Secretary of the Ag Faculty Counsel, I have chaired the Department RP&T committee, and I have served on the University Grade Appeals Board.  These service roles have provided me with an in-depth understanding of the issues facing the University.  If elected, I will work collaboratively with faculty, staff, students, and administrators to solve problems on campus.

Faculty governance is important at OSU and this also puts stress on faculty time and workload.  Faculty are expected to participate at the Department level and University level in policy building.  An important part of shared governance is having well informed faculty of how shared governance can be carried out at the Department level.  At the same time, there is growing pressure on faculty to expand teaching loads and pursue grants in the face of shrinking state and federal budgets.  The faculty counsel is in a unique position to ensure the well-being of the faculty and success of Departments in carryout their missions. 

The Faculty Council acts through faculty involvement and is the voice of the faculty to administration.   Engagement of faculty in shared governance is vital to the success as administrations change, new deans and department heads are brought into OSU.  My role as Vice Chair would be to work to keep the faculty informed of issues facing the University and bring to to the administration issues that are most on the minds of the faculty.