United’s Academic Dean Dr. David Watson was recently elected by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The UMC to serve on The University Senate of The UMC.
“I was surprised and delighted to have been selected,” Dr. Watson said. “I certainly didn’t see it coming.”
He said he is honored to represent United on The University Senate.
“It’s a great opportunity to give United a voice at the table that we haven’t had for a while and to represent what I see to be the interests of the broader church,” he said.
As a member of The University Senate, Dr. Watson will be one of the 25 voting members.
“They make legislative decisions about higher education within The United Methodist Church,” Dean Watson said. “It’s really an office of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.”
He said he will attend his first meeting as a member of The University Senate in late January.
The University Senate is composed of members who are actively engaged in the work of education through employment in an educational institution and are fitted by training and experience for the technical work of evaluating educational institutions.
It follows the following objectives:
To establish the criteria that must be met by schools, colleges, universities and theological schools to achieve and retain listing as institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church.
To support the development of institutions whose aims are to address and whose programs reflect significant educational, cultural, social and human issues in a manner reflecting the values held in common by the institutions and the Church.
To provide an effective review process to ensure that schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools listed by the University Senate and qualifying for Church support have institutional integrity, well-structured programs, sound management and clearly defined Church relationships.
To establish effective annual reporting procedures that will provide the senate with the data necessary to complete its review of the institutional viability and program integrity of member institutions.
The University Senate of The United Methodist Church is an elected body of professionals in higher education created by the General Conference to determine which schools, colleges, universities and theological schools meet the criteria for listing as institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church.
In addition to Dr. Watson, there were five additional new members elected to The University Senate of The United Methodist Church: J. Cameron West, president of Huntingdon College; Albert Mosley, president and dean of Gammon Theological Seminary; Laceye Warner, executive vice dean of Duke Divinity School; Bishop Larry Goodpaster, resident bishop of the Western North Carolina Annual Conference; and Beth Downs, director of Clergy Excellence, Virginia Conference.