Sandra J. Weiss, PhD, DNSc, FAAN of the UCSF School of Nursing will receive the 2012 Oliver Johnson Award for Distinguished Leadership in the Academic Senate on July 25, 2012. The award is presented every other year by the University of California Academic Senate to honor faculty who have shown sustained excellence in serving the Academic Senate at both the divisional and systemwide levels, exceptional abilities in working effectively with different university constituents, and whose contributions have had a demonstrable and significant impact on faculty governance.
Professor Weiss’ record of distinguished service and leadership spans a broad range of involvement in the Senate over the last three decades. Notably, she has demonstrated exceptional leadership in strengthening the Senate’s stature vis-à-vis the Office of the President and the Regents. While Chair of the systemwide Academic Council, she enhanced the Senate’s voice with the Regents by acquiring Senate representation on all key Regent committees and establishing a time for discussion with different Regents at monthly Academic Council meetings. During that time, she also acquired support for development of a Senate Health Sciences Committee to advise the President’s office and Academic Senate on key academic issues facing health sciences in the University. Among her many responsibilities at the systemwide level, she chaired a Task Force on the Research Climate that developed specific strategies to support the faculty’s research mission. Their report has served as a resource to UC as well as other universities throughout the country. As Chair of a consortium of Academic Senates of California’s public colleges and universities, she led a unified response to the California legislature when a blue ribbon commission proposed that tenure be abolished. She also chaired the Council of Research, a Task Force on Senate Governance, and the Health Sciences Committee. She was a founding member of the UC Digital Library as well as a member of the President’s Council on the National Laboratories and the Task Force on UC’s Relationship with the State of California.
Professor Weiss also has a strong record of accomplishments at the divisional level. As Chair of the UCSF Academic Senate, she worked with the Chancellor’s office to develop a joint Senate-administration Strategic Planning Board that made ongoing recommendations about allocation of campus resources. She increased Senate representation on key administrative committees, including the Chancellor’s Executive Committee. While Chair of the Committee on Academic Personnel, she spearheaded new policies for greater involvement of clinical faculty in appointment and promotion reviews and more effective procedures for stewardship reviews of Deans, Department Chairs, and Institute Directors. Her record of service within the UCSF Senate also includes membership on the Committee on Academic Planning and Budget, the Committee on Committees, the Committee on Privilege and Tenure, the Coordinating Committee, and the Graduate Council, among others. Professor Weiss continues to be an active voice within the Senate. We congratulate her on this award.