Commending and Honoring of Shawn Whalen, SF State Academic Senate Chair, 2008-2011

Resolution Number: RS11-291
January, 2011





















WHEREAS     Over the past three years Shawn Whalen selflessly, and temporarily, stepped away from a vaunted career in Communications Studies and as Director of SF State’s award-winning Forensics Team in order to advance and defend the principles of shared governance as Chair of the Academic Senate of San Francisco State University; and





WHEREAS     Shawn Whalen has been a role-model for the campus community in his dedication to complete and open consultation with faculty, staff, students and administrators on a broad range of matters; and





WHEREAS     Shawn Whalen has been an active participant in the Education Budget Advocacy Committee, working tirelessly to advocate in Sacramento on behalf of higher education and stave off further cuts to San Francisco State University, and coordinating a statewide collaboration of CSU Senate Chairs on a letter writing campaign to impress upon elected officials the importance of adequately funding public higher education in California; and





WHEREAS     In an era that appears to have abandoned the long-held civic and rhetorical virtues thought to underlie the sound functioning of democratic governance, Shawn Whalen displays a deeply-felt 18th century sensibility in his persistent belief that rational argumentation can produce decisions acceptable to the majority in a community; and





WHEREAS     Shawn Whalen has found ways to actualize this belief, along with the arts and skills of his academic discipline, to the benefit of the SF State community; and





WHEREAS     Shawn Whalen has given to the SF State community a gift of time and sustained effort far exceeding the value of the assigned time granted to Senate chairs, and at cost to his family life, his customary leisure activities, and his peace of mind; and





WHEREAS     Chairing the Academic Senate of San Francisco State University -- a congeries of colorful, occasionally intemperate, tenaciously independent characters with diverse levels of political acumen and rhetorical ability --is a labor of love, an act of devotion to the university, and a mitzvah of unquestioned magnitude; therefore be it





RESOLVED   That on behalf of the entire SF State community, the Academic Senate declare its enduring gratitude to Shawn Whalen for the work he has done for its students, faculty, and administrators; and further be it





RESOLVED   That the Academic Senate, SF State, honor Shawn Whalen by continuing to practice the principles and rhetorical virtues he has brought to it during the past three years; and further be it





RESOLVED   That Shawn Whalen be declared a man for all academic seasons; and further be it





RESOLVED   That Shawn Whalen be granted a substantial measure of post-Senate free time and dignity with which to pursue aforesaid leisure activities, even including golf; and further be it





RESOLVED   That Shawn Whalen be universally recognized as a “guy who rocks” and therefore entitled to the use of special epithets including, but not limited to, vir optimus, ánthropos kallistós, Mekhunakh, Huttuck Thlampko, Gentilhomme, Aziim, fēicháng hăo nánrén, and Mensch.


***Approved by the Academic Senate at its meeting on May 10, 2011***