Vaibhav Sharma, Photo Editor

The Faculty of Arts & Sciences-School of Engineering and Applied Science Senate, Yale’s advisory body for faculty members, will resume work this fall after holding its annual elections in May, and its new slate will include seven professors joining the Senate for the first time.

Just 12 faculty members threw their hats in the ring for Senate seats last May. Though there were more candidates than seats available, two seats remain unfilled because they are designated by academic discipline and faculty rank — in this case, both will need to be filled by faculty in the humanities. 

“We expanded the number of seats last year, and I think faculty are just burned out, so it was a struggle to get interest,” outgoing Senate Chair Valerie Horsley said. 

The Senate now has 25 seats, up from 22. The seats were added last spring to recalibrate representation to match the Faculty of Arts & Sciences proportionally, and to designate specific seats for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, a newly-distinct unit. The body, formerly the FAS Senate, was also renamed the FAS-SEAS Senate. 

For now, Horsley said, the Senate has procured tentative interest from two faculty members, who will be officially voted on at the Senate’s next meeting. The Senate is slated to hold hybrid meetings for the first time in two years, with the in-person component in the Humanities Quadrangle.

Chemical engineering professor Paul Van Tassel was elected as the Senate’s chair for the upcoming year. Professor of physics Meg Urry will serve as vice chair. Their first round of meetings for the year will be held in the coming weeks, according to Van Tassel.  

Faculty are elected to two-year terms, with around half of the seats up for re-election each year. 

Seven senators chose not to run for re-election or met the Senate’s term limit of three consecutive two-year terms. Retiring senators included Matthew Jacobson, Sterling professor of American studies, who chaired the Senate twice and served a record seven years in the Senate. 

Maria Kaliambou, a first-time senator and lecturer in the Hellenic Studies Program, said her interest in running was sparked by observing her colleagues’ advocacy, both in and out of the Senate.

“They worked hard for me to get some privileges,” Kaliambou said. “I want to do that too, to offer my time, my effort to work on our problems together. There are some broad issues that unify all of us.”

Kaliambou said she would be interested in working on a variety of issues, including increased accessibility on campus and environmental issues. 

The Senate will hold an internal meeting on Sept. 15 followed by a faculty-wide meeting on Oct. 13. Despite the Senate’s largely advisory role, Kaliambou and several other senators said they were optimistic about opportunities to collaborate more closely with administrators.

“I certainly look forward to working with them,” Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences Gendler told the News.

The Senate last met on May 19.

Isaac Yu was the News' managing editor. He covered transportation and faculty as a reporter and laid out the front page of the weekly print edition. He co-founded the News' Audience desk, which oversees social media and the newsletter. He was a leader of the News' Asian American and low-income affinity groups. Hailing from Garland, Texas, Isaac is a Berkeley College junior majoring in American Studies.