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Applied Sciences Faculty Member Named Faculty Senate Chair

Daniel Durkin

Daniel Durkin, an associate professor of social work at the University of Mississippi, has been named chair of the Faculty Senate for the upcoming three-year term.

The Faculty Senate makes recommendations to the chancellor, provost and Council of Academic Administrators on policies affecting the university and provides guidance on such matters when asked. It also keeps the faculty informed of its recommendations and reports these recommendations at regular faculty meetings.

As chair, Durkin represents the faculty as a voting member of the Council of Academic Administrators. As directed by the Senate, the chair acts as an adviser in administering the university’s affairs.

“In 2019, I served on the Faculty Senate, and one of the committees I served on was the governance committee,” Durkin said. “Then for the second year, the previous chair of the governance committee became the secretary of the Faculty Senate, and I became the chair of the governance committee.

“That became a very high-profile position because there were lots and lots of instances that came up that required the governance committee’s attention.”

In his position with the governance committee, Durkin was charged with revising the grievance policy.

“While we were holding listening sessions and meeting with different people, we found out that there was a whole lot that that really needed to be done,” he said. “Our final recommendation that we’re going to work on the summer is coming up with the flowchart to determine where faculty should go according to the issue at hand.

“There was just a lot of confusion about where you should go when you had a particular issue, and then what the responsibilities are of equal opportunity and regulatory compliance, Title IX, the provost’s office or H.R.”

Peter Grandjean, dean of the School of Applied Sciences, is thrilled to have Durkin represent the school.

“I congratulate Daniel for being elected to serve as the chair of Faculty Senate,” Grandjean said. “He has a heart for serving others and will be a strong advocate for UM faculty.”

Durkin received his Master of Social Work with a concentration in mental health in 2002 and a doctorate with an emphasis in gerontology in 2010 from the University of Alabama. Following his doctoral studies, he completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Center for Quality Aging at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in 2012.

From 2012-19, Durkin was a social work faculty member at the University of West Florida.

Durkin’s research has examined many issues concerned with aging: family caregiving for older adults with dementia in the community, the male caregiving experience and assisting families with the transition to nursing home care. He also earned the Distinguished Teaching Award from UWF’s Student Government Association in 2015.


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