Dietle steps down as University Senate president

The University Senate had a changing of the guard Thursday as senate president Robert Dietle resigned from his post to begin his sting as faculty regent.

Dietle, who was elected faculty regent Oct. 11, will be replaced by senate vice-chair Doug Smith.

Senate members thanked Dietle for his service as senate president Thursday and after his resignation was made official, the history professor was met with a round of applause.

Dietle said he looks forward to continued work with the senate through his role as regent. He will be sworn in at the Board of Regents meeting Oct. 25.

In his new role as regent, Dietle said he plans to work on many things. He said he would like to persuade the university to focus on improving employee salaries and protecting its academic budget. Dietle said he is also very concerned with the university health insurance situation.

“I don’t think it’s going to be easy,” he said.

Smith will face many similar issues as he takes over for Dietle as senate president. It is a responsibility he doesn’t take lightly.

“It’s an important job,” he said.

Smith said when the situation presented itself he was concerned about the effects the new job would have on his students and his research. But, in the end he decided to take over as president. He said he hopes to find a balance with his new schedule.

“There are times you look out for your own interest and there are times you look out for the community,” he said.

This time, Smith chose the latter. He said if everyone looked out for their own interests faculty government would not succeed.

Public Health professor John White was elected Thursday to take over as senate vice-chair, the position left open by Smith.

“I was glad to step forward and help (Smith),” he said.

White said one thing he would like to accomplish as vice chair is to make the list of senate members available online for those who are interested.

With his final meeting as president completed Dietle said he was pleased the new appointments had been made.

“I’m glad to have this phase wrapped up,” he said.

Reach Molly O’Connor at [email protected]