Officer Election: Spring 2023

The Faculty Assembly will elect Officers in Spring 2023.  The Faculty Council Officers serve on Faculty Council and University Council and represent all of the faculty in academic matters that are before the Administration.  They also serve on the Advisory Committee for Socially Responsible Investing for the Board of Trustees.

The current Assembly members will receive a Qualtrics poll on May 26 from the Faculty Assembly account  Voting is anonymous.  The poll will close on Friday, June 23 at 6:00 p.m.  The candidates are put forth to the Faculty Assembly for consideration by the Nominating Committee of the Faculty Assembly.

The Nominating Committee members are:

Chair: Gisela Hoecherl-Alden (CAS)
Hardin Coleman (Wheelock)
Terry Everson (CFA)
Jordana Muroff (SSW)
Shi Yang (MED)

The candidates for Vice Chair are: Kevin Smith (CAS) and Selim Ünlü (ENG).  Their statements are below.

Vice-chair serves a four-year term: one year as Vice-chair, two years as Chair of Faculty Council, and one year as Past-chair.  The Vice Chair elect will assume the role of Faculty Council Chair on June 1, 2024.  The Faculty Council Chair serves on the Board of Trustees.

The Secretary-treasurer serves a two-year term.  The candidate for Secretary-treasurer is: Luz Marilis López (SSW).

Vice Chair Candidates

Kevin E. Smith

Department of Physics
College of Arts and Sciences

It is an honor and a privilege to stand for election as Vice-Chair of the Faculty Council.  My goal is to represent all members of the faculty at Boston University at a very exciting time in the university’s history.  A native of Ireland, I came to the US in 1983 to study for my Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Yale University, having earned my bachelor’s degree from Trinity College Dublin.  From 1988 to 1991 I was a postdoctoral research associate with the University of Oregon, although I was based full time at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, New York.  I joined the faculty of the Department of Physics at Boston University in 1991 as an Assistant Professor, I was promoted to Associate Professor and tenured in 1997, and I was promoted to Full Professor in 2002.  I hold secondary appointments as a Professor in both the Department of Chemistry, and in the Division of Materials Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering.  From 2014 to 2017 I took a leave of absence from Boston University, and moved to New Zealand to serve as the Head of the School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Auckland.  I became a proud US citizen in 1999.

With regard to my scholarship, I undertake research in the area of high intensity x-ray studies of the properties of new materials with potential applications in energy storage, in energy generation, and in electronic devices.  I have so far published 196 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, and I am a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

I teach throughout the physics curriculum, from large introductory undergraduate service courses for non-physics majors, through courses for our undergraduate physics majors, up to advanced specialty courses for physics, chemistry, and materials science graduate students.  I also have supervised numerous masters and doctoral students, as well as eighteen postdoctoral research associates.  In 1999 I won the Boston University Metcalf Cup and Prize for Excellence in Teaching, and in 2001 I was named the Massachusetts Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

My administrative and committee service at Boston University features multiple departmental, college, and university roles.  Among the latter, I served as the founding Academic Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching, as the Academic Director of the Trustee’s Scholars Program, and as a Special Faculty Assistant to the Provost.

We are entering an exciting phase in the development of Boston University with the future appointment of a new President.  This is a period where faculty input into the decisions of the new administration can be both meaningful and impactful.  I am immensely proud of Boston University’s commitment to excellence in teaching and scholarship, and I will focus on expanding this commitment as the university enters this new phase.  I will advocate tirelessly for enhanced institutional support for faculty teaching and research in all the academic and professional disciplines that constitute Boston University.  I will also advocate for initiatives to improve both the academic performance of our students, and our efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion, bringing an immigrant perspective to these latter issues.  Thank you for considering my candidacy in this election, and I very much hope you will vote for me.


Selim Ünlü

Distinguished Professor of Engineering
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
College of Engineering

It is an honor to stand for election as Vice-Chair of the Faculty Council to represent all faculty at Boston University. I joined Boston University in 1992 as an Assistant Professor immediately after completing my PhD and BU has been my professional home ever since. I have been a productive faculty member as a researcher, an administrator, and an educator for more than 30 years. At this stage of my career, I feel a passionate commitment to serve the BU mission and community.

For decades, I have been running successful multi-disciplinary research programs with faculty appointments in ECE, BME, MSE, Physics and Graduate Medical Sciences.  I have supervised almost 50 PhD students as well as 15 postdoctoral associates. I served at the highest levels of my professional society, namely IEEE Photonics, as the Editor-in-Chief of their flagship journal IEEE Quantum Electronics, General Chair of the Annual Meeting and various committee chair positions. I am fellow of top societies in my field: IEEE, Optica, and AIMBE. In 2015, I was the recipient of Charles DeLisi Award and Lecture that recognizes “faculty members with extraordinary records of well-cited scholarship and extraordinary entrepreneurs who have invented and mentored transformative technologies that impact our quality of life.”

Perhaps one of my distinguishing qualities among research active BU faculty relates to my experience in intellectual property development and technology translation. I have mentored many students with training in entrepreneurship that led to several BU spin off companies. In addition to teaching many graduate students across multiple departments and colleges, I taught undergraduate courses in engineering, and I was awarded a Faculty Teaching award in my primary department (ECE) in 2002.

I also have substantial experience in administration. In 2006, following a four-year tenure as  ECE Associate Chair for Graduate Programs, I was awarded College of Engineering Service Award. As the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs in Engineering (2007-2014), I played a significant role in growing the college research portfolio and funding and college funding has risen by two-fold from $26M to more than $52M.  During the same period, Engineering Graduate Program has enjoyed a remarkable advance of reputation evidenced by a jump in USNews rankings from 50+ to 37th in the country by 2014 (currently tied at 34 for 2023). During 2012-2014, I worked as the Special Assistant to the Provost and the President for the India Initiative. I have co-founded a university-wide Center for Nanoscience and Nanobiotechnology and served as the associate director for 10 years.

Over the last 25 years, I have served on numerous university-wide committees and gained perspective on university matters and processes, including member of Research Compliance Advisory Board, Patent Committee, President’s Council on BU and the Global Future, and University Council Grievance Committee, as well as serving on and chairing Research Activities, Libraries and Support Services committee. Perhaps, one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences was serving as an ENG Faculty Council Representative for many years (alternate 2001-2002, voting 2003-2004, voting 2017-present). The decision to become a candidate to become Vice-Chair of the Faculty Council was not easy and I have previously declined a nomination about 20 years ago at an earlier stage of my career. At this stage of my career, I feel that I have not only the experience and leadership qualities but also the responsibility to serve at the highest levels at Boston University. I have been a dedicated member of the BU faculty for decades and I pledge to listen to diverse opinions and to work hard  to build consensus if I am elected. I strongly believe that I can be a strong advocate for the diverse faculty perspectives and communicate effectively with university administration.  I hope that you share my enthusiasm and I ask for your vote for this honorable service opportunity with immense impact.


Secretary-treasurer Candidate

Luz Marilis López

Clinical Professor
School of Social Work

It is a privilege to be considered for the role of secretary-treasurer of the Faculty Council. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and I came to the mainland United States for graduate education, completing both a PhD in Social Work and a master’s degree in Public Health at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. I joined the faculty at Boston University School of Social Work 18 years ago and I have enjoyed serving and contributing as part of the Faculty Council since 2011, when I first served as representative for our School. I represented our school again in 2014-2016 and in 2018-2020.

Since 2016, I have been part of the Faculty Council Equity and Inclusion Committee and have witnessed significant University wide improvements in this area, such as the creation of the following new positions and resources 1) Associate Provost for Community and Inclusion 2) the BU LGBTQI+ Center for Faculty and Staff and 3) the Newbury Center for first generation students.  In the Fall of 2016, I was a member of the BU Hub Satellite Committee on Diversity, Civic Engagement, and Global Citizenship. In spring 2019, I was a member of the inaugural Inclusive Practitioner Cohort, Office of the Associate Provost for Community and Inclusion, which gave me the opportunity to meet and collaborate with various members of the faculty staff, and administration at Boston University. From 2019-2021, I was a Faculty Council Liaison for the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground and from 2020-2023, I was happy to serve as the Faculty Council member for President’s Brown and Senior Diversity Officer’s Anti-Racist Working Group (AWG). This spring 2023, I became a member of the Faculty Council Ad hoc Committee on Professional Behavior in the Workplace.

In my scholarly and practice work, I am proud to be the Director of the Global Health core for our Center for Innovation in Social Work and Health (CISWH), as well as Director of the dual degree program in Social Work and Public Health. Prior to these positions, I served as the chair of our BU School of Social Work Equity and Inclusion committee from 2013-2019. These leadership positions have provided opportunities to develop national and international university and community partnerships and allowed me to collaborate with a wide range of Units, Schools and Departments at Boston University.

It would be an honor to serve as the Secretary-Treasurer, and to represent and advocate for the interests of BU faculty during this crucial time of transitions, as we welcome a new President and a new Provost to our Boston University community.  Muchas Gracias!