FHASS’s LAC (Local Academic Council) during the 2023/2024 academic year introduced three new faculty working groups, with the long-term goal of encouraging faculty involvement across the FHASS community.   

In the absence of a faculty senate, the mission of the reimagined LAC (as described by the guiding framework for all Sheridan LACs), is to “play a fundamental advisory role in the realization of Sheridan’s strategic and academic goals and serve as a vital instrument for collegial engagement between faculty and administration regarding academic matters.”  

The response to this ambitious mission from the LAC for FHASS was to collaboratively brainstorm key areas of need and growth for the 2023-2024 academic year and then establish Working Groups to support that work.  

This semester, FHASS faculty members started receiving invitations to connect with these committees. On Friday, February 16, the FACE working group (FHASS Academic Culture and Engagement) hosted its first virtual “staff room,” a grassroots conversation seeking faculty ideas for improving FHASS academic culture. FACE conceives its mandate as a touchpoint for collegial consultation, “with the goal of transparency, engagement, and improved academic culture.”  

Designed as the online equivalent to the lost art of the “watercooler chat,” the inaugural virtual staff room brought together full-time and non-fulltime professors to share experiences, teaching tips, research interests and some much needed collegial conversation. A common theme amongst the attendees was the desire for connection and community building around a shared academic culture that transcends our diverse disciplines. The conversation was chaired by FACE committee members, professors Alex Hollenberg, Jaime Ginter and Tania Meridew.  

The other two LAC working groups will be connecting with faculty as the year goes on, seeking input and involvement. The first of those groups is the JEDDI working group (Justice, Equity, Diversity, Decolonization, and Inclusion), which is led by Alireza Sobhanmanesh and Anna Boshnakova. The second is the AI/AI working group, which focuses on the intertwined concerns regarding Academic Integrity and Artificial Intelligence. It is currently headed by Michael Baker, Jonathan Filipovic, and Sean Saunders. Each of the Working Groups also involves one member of the FHASS leadership team. 

A central goal of  the transformation in structure and mandate that LAC has seen in the last two years is to ensure faculty voices are heard in matters of local Faculty concern as well as larger college governance concerns. LAC members now participate and represent FHASS on a number of cross-college engagement committees focused on teaching and learning, policies, faculty engagement and research. Additionally, the long established internal standing PQA subcommittee (Program Quality and Assessment) continues to support curriculum and programming excellence through the review of new courses and program-related development (currently comprised of Jennifer Chambers, Sarah Sinclair, and the Management Team). 

Interested in Getting Involved? A new membership practice was implemented in fall of 2022 that will now see greater access to LAC for both fulltime and non-fulltime faculty.  The members of LAC are going to be rotating more often than in the past, so LAC will be seeking new members each year. The intention is that every school and program (ESL, GAS, CW&P) is represented on LAC and has a voice in FHASS. 

Attend a LAC meeting! All LAC meetings and minutes are open to the faculty at large, occurring virtually on the first Friday of every month. For meeting links or past minutes, reach out directly to or  

Watch for future invitations!  

…Lastly, if the volume of acronyms ever gets you down, we invite you to consult Alchemy’s newest Quiz: Sheridan Acronym, or TXT MSG abbreviation?