Anthropology professor to lead Faculty Senate

Incoming Faculty Senate chair wants to empower cohorts



Jeannette Mageo talks about her plans as the new faculty senate chair.

YASMEEN WAFAI, Evergreen assistant editor

The Faculty Senate’s chair for 2018-2019 said she wants university educators to know they hold influence and can make a difference.

Chair-elect Jeannette Mageo, an anthropology professor, has been a senator for several years and said she was thrilled and surprised to be elected.

“I thought [being chair] would be an exciting opportunity to represent the concerns of the faculty to the administration,” she said.

Judi McDonald, current Faculty Senate chair, said chairs represent all faculty, a large and diverse group. She said the job demands a lot of listening to get a sense of what is important to constituents.

“I’ve really enjoyed being Senate chair,” McDonald said.

She said there have been many challenges and many opportunities, and she has appreciated taking on both.

During her time as chair, McDonald said, she has learned that the Senate deals with complicated issues. She said it takes time to develop the right approach, which can be frustrating. Thinking and acting carefully is important, but challenging, she said.

Mageo said her time as a senator, and particularly as chair-elect, has prepared her for the job. Chair-elects go to meetings with the current chairs and have a heightened role in committees.

“You get a real inside view,” Mageo said, “[of the] inside politics of what being the chair is all about.”

She said she thinks it will be exciting to see WSU from a new perspective. Faculty members are down in the trenches, she said, with a different view of the university.

“It is faculty research and teaching that over time establish the reputation and identity of a university and that draw high-quality students,” Mageo wrote in her letter to the Senate when she ran for chair.

Mageo said she wants to do everything she can to enhance the senators’ belief that they can have a genuine influence on the current state and future of the university.

The committees do the work of the Senate, she said, so one thing she wants to do early in her term is have the chairs talk about their committees at a meeting.

Mageo was elected last year after running against Brendan Walker and Matthew Carroll. Chemistry professor Greg Crouch is the 2019-2020 chair-elect.