Faculty elects new senate president

Gary Renz
Gary Renz

Professor Gary Renz has been elected Webster Faculty Senate’s next president, after running against current president Gwyneth Williams.

Renz, whose areas of teaching include organization, leadership, law and human resources, will begin his three-year tenure as senate president on June 1. He said he ran for the position because he believes the faculty can have a bigger voice at Webster.

“I felt there was an alternative way we could try to work together to influence the direction of the university,” Renz said.

The Faculty Senate president is elected through a process where faculty members cast votes.

In an email to faculty, Renz wrote that he appreciated the faculty’s support and thanked Williams for her service.

“I think president Gwyneth Williams and I shared the goal of increasing faculty influence at Webster University, but our approaches may differ,” Renz wrote. “Going forward, working as a unified faculty, I hope we can influence the future of Webster University and our own futures.”

Williams said she believes Renz will do a fine job leading the faculty, and congratulated Renz on his appointment to the presidency.

Renz said it is important the faculty have a voice and a seat at the table while Webster goes through difficult financial times. On Jan. 20, Webster announced it is expecting a $7 million budgetary shortfall.

“I ran for Faculty Senate president to increase the faculty’s influence at Webster University in these difficult times,” Renz said. 

Faculty Senate presidential terms last for three years. Associate Professor John Aleshunas, who oversaw the election, said there has been discussion on moving the presidential election process to late in the fall semester. He said moving the election’s time frame in the future will decompress the tight schedule that includes other senate elections.

Renz will begin his presidency June 1, after Williams finishes her term.

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