Katherine H. Tachau
Faculty Senate officers have the privilege and responsibility to
articulate and advance the interests of the entire faculty and thereby the
university itself. Faculty, after
all, are not mere “stakeholders” in a university, as contemporary critics
contend; we are its sine qua non, and
its strength lies in our strength and authority.
The quality of the education we offer our students, the research we
undertake, the care we provide patients, and the future colleagues we prepare,
all depend upon the faculty: our numbers, our abilities, our morale, our
resources, our academic freedom, and our unity.
These, however, are almost always precariously sustained, and require for
their vigor that faculty participate effectively at every stage in the direction
of the university. Few outside a
university appreciate the need, much less the centrality, of the faculty in
governing a college or university. Even
inside the academy, some are unaware that faculty governance has both existed
and been contested since the very first universities were created by professors
and students in early thirteenth-century Europe; but because the excellence of
universities has, from that time to the present, been rooted in vibrant
structures of faculty governance, I believe that reinforcing and extending these
structures is absolutely critical, especially in our own times. Current economic, political, and social forces are coverging
to distort, perhaps destroy, the academic missions of our university to which
we, as faculty, are committed; yet these pressures present us also with the
opportunity to clarify our values and rethink how we deploy the resources to
sustain them. To do so, we must
involve ourselves and our colleagues in enhancing genuinely shared governance
when it matters most. If elected
Vice President of the Senate, I shall to the best of my ability, work to
understand and advocate for the faculty’s varied interests in all their
Department of History, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences (current rank,
1993; Associate Professor, 1988; Assistant Professor from 1985).
Assistant Professor, Pomona College, 1982-85.
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Montana State University, 1981-82.
Education: B.A., 1972, Oberlin College
(Spanish and Medieval Studies)
M.A., 1975, Ph.D., 1981, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Teaching: I teach undergraduate and graduate courses each year,
have directed several Ph.D. students, and participate in the training of
medievalists in other departments as well as in History.
The courses I teach regularly include Ancient and Medieval Science,
Medieval Intellectual History, Medieval Universities, Medieval Manuscript Books,
and The Middle East and Mediterranean 330 B.C.E.-1566 C.E. (Alexander to
Suleyman the Magnificent).
Research: The books and articles that I have published concern the
history of the science of optics, medieval philosophy, and medieval art, and I
currently continue research in these areas.
Faculty Senate; Faculty Council; ad hoc Intellectual Property Policy Committee;
University Libraries Charter Committee; Co-ordinator, Medieval Studies; Center
for the Book, Advisory Board; Graduate College Council; College of Liberal Arts
Promotion & Tenure Committee; AAUP Executive Committee.