A biweekly publication for faculty and staff

Staffer Brings Poli-Sci Background to Academic Senate

March 25, 2014

Simrin Takhar should feel right at home at UC Merced — she was born and raised here in town and although she has traveled around, her roots, family and all, are here.

Now a senior analyst for the Academic Senate office, Takhar has filled several positions in her six years on campus. She started with the Senate, worked for a while in the Academic Personnel Office, then the School of Natural Sciences and now she’s back home with the Senate.

She earned her bachelor’s in political science and history at California State University, Stanislaus, and her master’s from California State University, Sacramento, in international affairs with a concentration in Middle East politics.

Please tell us what your job entails.

I staff four committees of the Academic Senate: the Committee on Academic Personnel, the Committee on Academic Planning and Resource Allocation, the Committee on Research, and the Committee on Faculty Welfare, Diversity and Academic Freedom. The Academic Senate is the faculty’s governing body on campus. Each committee is chaired by and composed of faculty members, so I work almost exclusively with the faculty. 

What’s the most rewarding thing about your job?

Working with faculty and the administration to help carry out the university’s mission of research, teaching and service. The Senate office is under the provost’s umbrella and it is exciting to have a front-row seat to the myriad issues that make a campus run. The excellent faculty members I work with make my job that much more fun.

What are some of the biggest challenges of your position?

Sometimes, we feel the effects of being a “startup” university with the creation of new policies seemingly every year. But with the 2020 Project, we are moving forward with a more concrete, long-term strategic vision for the campus.

What new projects is your department looking forward to this year?

I am looking forward to Senate faculty members taking a large role in the 2020 Project and the Strategic Focusing Initiative.

Tell us something people on campus might not know about you.

I am a big Anglophile (and “Downton Abbey” fan). I caught the travel bug early and have been to some exotic places but I keep returning to England. It’s an infatuation.