Committee List, Descriptions, and Individual Appointments

Occidental College has a strong tradition of faculty governance. To carry out its responsibilities, the faculty is organized into committees under the general supervision of the Faculty Council. With the exception of the Advisory Council, the Faculty Council and the elected members of the Academic Planning Committee, faculty are appointed to all other committees by the Faculty Council in consultation with the Dean of the College.  In addition, Faculty Council annually establishes a panel of faculty members available for assignment to Faculty Hearing Boards, Sexual Misconduct Hearing Boards, and Judicial Hearing Boards. Ad Hoc Committees may be appointed by the President or Dean of the College (after consultation with the Faculty Council) or by the Faculty Council itself.

Faculty Council

Sharla Fett (President), Susan Grayson, Mary Beth Heffernan, Aleem Hossain, Ryan Preston-Roedder, Marci Raney

Faculty Committees Membership List 2021-22 will be posted on the Faculty Council Moodle site.

Elected Committees

Committees are listed with the names of chairs.  For a complete list of faculty membership see the Faculty Committees Membership List.

Advisory Council: Wendy F. Sternberg (chair)

The Advisory Council meets regularly with the President, gives advice on matters relating to the status of individual faculty members, conducts regular and systematic reviews of faculty members, and makes recommendations regarding promotion, granting of tenure, reappointment, termination, and the approval of sabbatical leaves.  The Dean reviews applications for sabbatical leaves and consults with the Advisory Council as needed.  The Council consists of eleven members: eight tenured faculty members elected at large by the entire faculty for staggered three-year terms; two tenured faculty members appointed by the President for three-year terms after consultation with the elected members of AC, the Dean of the College, and the President of the Faculty Council.  The Dean of the College serves as chair with voting privileges.

Academic Planning Committee (APC): Ron Buckmire (chair)

The APC considers the overall direction of the College’s academic program, including proposals generated by APC itself and proposals submitted to the committee.  The APC makes recommendations to the Dean of the College regarding faculty hiring, faculty expansion, allocation of faculty resources, and long-range faculty and curricular planning following guidelines established by the Dean.  The APC also receives and makes decisions about proposals for new courses, oversees general education (CORE) and curricular policy, and makes recommendations to the faculty regarding academic requirements, new department and programs, and substantial changes to existing departments and programs. APC consists of the Dean of the College, the Associate Dean of Curriculum, three elected faculty members (representatives of the divisions of Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, and Science and Mathematics), two faculty members appointed by the FC, the Chair of the Affirmative Action Committee, and the Faculty Council President. The Dean of the College appoints the Chair of the APC.

Standing Committees and Appointments


Affirmative Action/Diversity Committee: Kerry Thompson (chair)

The Affirmative Action Committee oversees the college’s commitment to and compliance with stated policies of affirmative action in regard to its faculty hiring decisions. The committee reviews faculty job announcements and a committee member serves on each faculty search committee. As called upon, the committee advises on other matters pertaining to diversity such as in administrative level- hiring, and the Chair of the committee is an ex-officio member of APC.  In 2013-2014 two members of the Affirmative Action/Diversity Committee will also serve on the college Diversity Advisory Committee (DAC).  The DAC works with the Dean of the College (VPAA), Associate Deans, and other Senior Staff to develop, and implement, college-wide policies and practices related to diversity and the college’s multicultural mission. 

Campus Committee on Sexual Responsibility & Misconduct
Thalia Gonzalez
Mike HIll

This committee will conduct ongoing review of policies, practices, procedures and programming relevant to sexual misconduct using data on reporting and outcomes from the offices of the Title IX Coordinator, the Dean of Students office, and Campus Safety, and will make evidence-based recommendations for changes to policies and practices to the President and Vice Presidents at the end of each academic year.

Campus Safety
G. Elmer Griffin
Warren Montag

Community Based Learning and Research Committee: Martha Matsuoka (chair)

This committee focuses on enhancing curriculum-connected community engagement and community based research referring to recomendations from the 2013-2014 Community Engagement Working Group consultation process report.  This committee works with the Center for Community Based Learning (CCBL) to provide guidance on faculty development and support needed for faculty to implement and sustain community based learning within their courses and research, often serving as peer mentors.  This group examines and makes recommendations for policies related to community based learning to other college committees and constituencies. A member or two might also serve on the Working Group on Community Engagement.

Core Steering Committee: Ron Buckmire (chair)

Faculty Athletic Representatives
Lynn Mehl

The two representatives help ensure the proper balance between athletic opportunities and academic excellence, working with the Athletic Director to certify the eligibility of all student athletes to compete for the college. They represent the college at meetings of their peers from colleges belonging to the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). In this capacity they promote the college’s interests within the larger organization, and also oversee Occidental’s compliance with rules, regulations and other stipulations of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and SCIAC.

Health Professions Advisory Committee: Cheryl Okumura (chair)

The Health Professions Advisory Committee supports the success of our health professions students and OPHA (Office of Pre-Health Professions Advising).  Specific responsbilities are to:  assess ad advise on the curriculum for all pre-health professions, including medicine, dentistry, public health, physical therapy and veterinary medicine; continue to evaluate Occidental student MCAT preparation and OPHA assessment data; serve as an advising resource for faculty outside the sciences who have students interested in any of the health professions; participate in major health professions advising events; and act as a vehicle for effective communication between OPHA and faculty and administration. 

International Programs Committee: Stuart Rugg (chair)

IPC is the primary advisory body to the Executive Director of International Programs. The Committee provides academic oversight of off-campus domestic and international study programs as well as conducting Richter processes.  Working in close cooperation with the International Programs Office, the committee participates in reviews of policy, programs, and faculty teach-abroad proposals. IPC no longer reads study-abroad proposals.

Judicial Examiner
Anthur Saint-Aubin (Fall 2021)
Chris Craney (Spring 2022)

The Judicial Examiner helps in the adjudication of cases of academic dishonesty such as accusations of cheating or plagiarism.  In order to insure consistency of procedure and penalties, as well as the accurate tracking of previous offense records, all cases of suspected academic dishonesty flagged by either faculty or students along with relevant evidence are forwarded to the Judicial Examiner. 

National and International Fellowships and Awards: Lan Chu (chair) 

This committee is an umbrella entity for a number of externally funded fellowship opportunities (Bienecke, Marshall, Rhodes, Fulbright, NSF, Truman, Luce, Boren, Pickering, Udall, and others). Some are for students during their Occidental career, while others are for post-graduate study and development. They organize fellowship fairs and recruiting lunches, coordinate fellowship opportunities and set up proposal writing workshops. Committee members singly or in teams of 2-3 recruit and interview eligible students, then assist them in navigating the application process from initial inquiry, through essay writing, to final selection. While not required, the committee works best wehn it has faculty members committed to staying on the committee for at least two years. 

Obama Scholars Program:
Ryan Preston-Roedder

Scholarship, Research, and Intellectual Community: Jennifer Piscopo (chair)

The Intellectual Community Committee has two primary goals. One, to facilitate faculty interchange regarding the intellectual commitments in our colleagues' research, teaching, and service. Two, to find ways to recognize extraordinary contributions by our faculty in their research, teaching and service (as well as in their intersections).

Subcommittee on Finance (SCOF): Movindry Reddy (chair) 

SCOF is a sub-committee of, and established by, the Faculty Council. The SCOF chair also serves on the Budget Strategic Advisory Committee. SCOF tracks, evaluates, and reports on faculty salaries, benefits, other financial issues of consequence to the faculty, and key performance indicators related to the quality of the college’s academic mission. It provides this information to the faculty and Faculty Council for its use in making recommendations to the administration and the Trustees. Please visit the Faculty Council Moodle site to access information pertaining to SCOF.

Student Affairs Committee: Caro Brighouse (chair)

The Student Affairs Committee facilitates projects and programs which require collaboration between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. Each year, the committee is responsible for the faculty participation in first year orientation's "Academics 101" session and mini-courses for parents. Additional projects are to be determined by the committee, in consultation with the Dean of Students.

Undergraduate Research: Clair Morrissey (chair)

The Undergraduate Research Committee reviews student proposals for summer research opportunities funded by a variety of different sources. After selecting the recipients of summer research support the Committee members serve as Area Coordinators for their respective disciplines during the 10 week summer research period.

Task Forces, Working Groups & Ad Hoc

Advising Advisory Group: Ed Johnosn (chair)

Advisory Committee on Naming: Sharla Fett (chair)

Course Evaluations: Linda Besemer (chair)

Faculty Advisory Committee for Admissions: Mari Martinez (chair)

Integrated Strategic Planning Steering Committee: Sharla Fett (co-chair), Marty Sharkey (co-chair)

Library Advisory Group: Kevin Mulroy (chair)

Pedagogy Wroking Group: Carmel Levitan(chair)

Trustee Committees

Faculty selected for these positions are ex-officio members assigned to standing committees of the Occidental Board of Trustees. They attend and offer input during quarterly meetings of the Trustee committees and inform Faculty Council about issues under discussion.

Academic Affairs & Technology: Justin Li

Budget and Finance: Brandon Lehr

Buildings and Grounds: Amanda Zellmer, Linda Lyke (Architecture Review subcommittee)

Honorary Degrees: Peter Dreier, Katarzyna Marciniak, Sharla Fett (FC liason) 

Institutional Advancement: Margi Rusmore

Investments: Seva Rodnyansky

Student Life & Enrollment Management: Will Power

Federally Mandated Committees

In compliance with federal regulations, the College has established three committees, listed below, responsible for overseeing research in specific areas. They are required to review and approve all proposed research in regulated areas that will be conducted under the College’s auspices. Approval is required regardless of funding status or sponsorship. Federal regulations on research practices are designed to protect the rights and safeguard the welfare of research subjects. Members are appointed by the Dean of the College, not the Faculty Council.

Human Subjects Research Review Committee: Michael Shelton (chair)

This committee reviews and approves research carried out by faculty, students and staff of Occidental College that involves human subjects.

Institutional Animal Care and Use: Nancy Dess (chair)

This committee, the institution's program for the humane care and use of nonhuman vertebrate animals, reviews and approves projects involving covered animals, and inspects all of the institution's laboratory animal facilities.

Institutional Bio-safety: Cheryl Okumura (chair)

This committee reviews and approves all research and teaching activities using infectious agents, recombinant DNA, and genetically altered organisms.