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NLU Faculty Senate

The Senate is the board of the Faculty Association, the principal agent of faculty governance at National Louis University.

Faculty Senate Sharepoint Site: CLICK HERE 

Contained here you will find:

  • Important documents related to shared governance at NLU
  • Brief summaries of recent Senate meetings
  • A roster of senators and Senate committees

Minutes of Senate meetings and other documents related to the work of the Senate can be found through the links at left. We hope that you will use this to keep informed about faculty affairs at NLU. We also encourage the full participation of faculty and other interested persons in the deliberations of the Faculty Senate and Faculty Association.

All Senate meetings are open and held on the third Wednesday of every month from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.


2017-2018 Senator Profiles

Gale Stam, Senate Chair

Dr. Stam is serving her second term as Senate Chair, having previously served in 1994-1995. She is a Professor of Psychology in the College of Professional Studies and Advancement. Dr. Stam joined National Louis University in April 1985 as an Adjunct Professor and became a full-time Assistant Professor in September 1986. Since 1986, she has served on and chaired numerous college and university committees as well as served as the chair of two departments (Department of Applied Language, 1999-2004, and Department of Psychology, 2010-2013) and as Interim Dean of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Management and Business (August 2012-November 2012). Dr. Stam holds a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree with Honors in Political Science from the University of Illinois, Chicago (1974), a Master’s of Arts Degree in Linguistics – TESL from Northeastern Illinois University (1985), and a Ph.D. in Psychology – Cognition and Communication from the University of Chicago (2006). Her research interests include language and culture, language and cognition, gesture, and first language and second language acquisition. She has published articles on changes in thinking for speaking, the importance of looking at gesture in the second language (L2) acquisition, gesture and lexical retrieval in an L2, and language teachers’ gestures. She is a member of the editorial boards of the journals Gesture and Language and Sociocultural Theory and has co-edited two volumes – Gesture: Second Language Acquisition and Classroom Research (Routledge, 2008)and Integrating Gestures: The Interdisciplinary Nature of Gesture (John Benjamins, 2011). For more information about Dr. Stam’s work and her CV, see

Daniel C. Buckman, Senate Past Chair

Daniel C. Buckman (Dan) joins National Louis University in the Department of Educational leadership after a distinguished 30-year career with Orange County Public Schools in Orlando, Florida. During his career, he served as Biology Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, and Associate Superintendent for Governmental Relations. Dr. Buckman received his Bachelor of Arts degree with a science education major and Doctorate of Education degree with an educational leadership major at the University of Central Florida. Dr. Buckman has been a part of the NLU family since 2001 as an Adjunct Professor. He then was hired in 2008 as a full-time Assistant Professor in the Educational Leadership Department (EDL) within the National College of Education and serves as Program Administrator for the Florida EDL Program.

Leslie E. Katch, Senate Co-Chair Elect

Leslie Katch is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at National Louis University and director of the Early Childhood Administration Master’s Program since 2011. Dr. Katch completed a BS in Social Work from the University of California, Berkeley, a Masters of Social Work from Loyola University and a Ph.D. in Child Development from Erikson Institute.  She conducts research on infant regulation, pediatric post-natal screenings, parenting self-efficacy, and best practice for infant/toddler group care settings. Her clinical work has focused on direct practice with families concerned about their infant’s behavior and supporting early parent/child relationships. Dr. Katch currently provides consultation for infant/toddler programs in Chicago and surrounding suburbs. 

Sharon McNeely, Ph.D.  Senator, Chair Adjunct Faculty Council.  

Dr. McNeely joined the adjunct faculty at NLU after retiring from a professorship at Northeastern Illinois University.  She currently serves as a Professional Adjunct Lecturer in CPSA.  She applies her doctorate in educational psychology, her research background, and her many years of work consulting in education and business, in her teaching.  As a member of the Senate, she serves to try to bridge between concerns of full-time faculty, and those of adjuncts, reminding everyone that teaching faculty is all involved in serving our community of learners. 

Terry Jo Smith, Senator

Terry Jo Smith is a professor of special education and disability studies. She received her BA in psychology and MA in special education from the University of Miami. She taught middle school and high school for students with psychological disabilities for ten years before completing her doctorate in special education at the University of South Florida. She is the author of three books that focus on the social, emotional, and political components of schooling and curriculum and how these foster and nurture children’s development. Currently, she is the director of the Disability and Equity in Education Doctoral Program.

James Fitzpatrick, Senator, (Senate Secretary)

James Fitzpatrick (Jim or Fitz) is an Assistant Professor in the Educational Leadership Dept. at NLU.  He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from St. Ambrose University in 1975; his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Iowa; in 1980, and his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership Policy Analysis (ELPA) from the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1999. In the course of a forty year career in Catholic and Public school PreK-12 systems, Jim has served as a social studies teacher, coach, high school principal, and superintendent in the states of Iowa and Wisconsin.  He retired from PreK-12 service in July of 2013 after serving as Superintendent for Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin for fourteen years.  Jim’s motivation in working with his educational leadership candidates at NLU is to inspire the passion for school leadership along with mentorship in giving back to the profession as his wonderful mentors did for him.   

Judith Kent, Senator.

Judith Kent, Associate Professor, is chair of the Undergraduate Psychology Program and faculty in the doctoral program in community psychology in CPSA. She joined NLU in 1989 after seven years spent in Florence, Italy teaching English as a foreign language. She has been full-time faculty at NLU since 1990 and has served as member and chair of a number of college and institutional committees. Dr. Kent holds BA and MA degrees in French from Indiana University and the University of Michigan, respectively, and earned her Ph.D. in community psychology from NLU. For the past ten years, she has been a member of the University Round Table, an advocacy group for underrepresented students that works in collaboration with Pilsen Neighbors Community Council of Gamaliel of Metro Chicago; she is currently serving a second term as co-chair. Two areas of her research focus are the relationship of language and identity and persistence through higher education among Latino emerging adults, and multi-disciplinary collaboration in Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and community resilience.

Amy LeFager, Senator.

Amy LeFager, Associate Professor, is the Instruction and Electronic Resources Librarian in Library & Learning Support for National Louis University, and she has been a member of the NLU faculty since 2010. Amy has experience in both public and academic libraries and has worked as a librarian in the Education, Philosophy, and Religion Department at the Parkway Central Library of the Free Library of Philadelphia. While at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Amy developed and taught introductory computer skills classes for adults and ran a gaming program for teens. After graduating from Northern Illinois University with a BA in English and minor in Philosophy, Amy served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer from 2001 to 2003 where she ran a tutoring program for Kindergarten through Third graders at O.W. Holmes Elementary School in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago.

Richard Schak, Senator

Richard Schak is the Founding Chair of NLU's Criminal Justice Program, which offers two majors for students, namely, administration and forensic social justice. Richard holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science from Lewis University, and, has received the Illinois F.B.I. Hostage Negotiation and Psychological Profiling Risk Assessment Training. He served in the Chicago Police Department from 1968 to 2000 as a homicide detective. In 2000, he was the recipient of the Chicago Police Department Blue Star for commendable bravery in the line of duty; subsequently, he retired as a Sergeant of Police. He also served in the U. S. Army for approximately 21 years, both as active duty and reserve status.

Marlene Suvada, Senator

Marlene Suvada (MHPE RRT) is an Assistant Professor Health Studies.  Marlene started teaching at National Louis University in 1991 as Director of Clinical Program in the Respiratory Care Program.  In 2002 she started teaching in the Health Studies Programs.  Programs and classes taught include Introduction to Health Care Leadership, Team Building in Health Care, Overview of Health Care, Educational Delivery and Ethical and Legal Issues in Health Care.  Areas of Expertise include Respiratory Care, Asthma Education, Smoking Cessation and Patient Education.  I continue to maintain active in Respiratory Care with licensure in the State of Illinois.  




    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
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    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
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    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
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    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
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    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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