University Governance

Institutional Change Progress Report and Change Committee Response to Governance: Restructure the existing Academic Senate into a University-wide Senate (Cabinet Recommendation 2.1), Restructure the University Committee System (Cabinet Recommendation 2.2), and Eliminate the General Faculty Association (Cabinet Recommendation 2.3)

Cabinet Charge: Recommendation 2.1 of the Cabinet recommends a university senate that provides for voting representation for the four campus constituencies—students, faculty, staff and administrators—with faculty continuing as a majority group. It further recommends that this senate be action-oriented as opposed to being primarily a debating body, with details being worked out before recommendations reach the senate floor and with senators being active at this more preliminary level. Recommendation 2.1 outlines an additional 14 specific recommendations.

Progress to date: An October 18, 2010 report from Senate Chair Jay Verlinden indicates that the Senate's Faculty Affairs Committee (FAC) has been meeting regularly since the beginning of the academic year. FAC Chair Claire Knox has consulted with both the Senate Executive Committee and the Senate itself regarding key elements of the Constitution and Bylaws. The Senate has reviewed and responded to specific models for reconfiguring the Senate that are in keeping with the recommendations of the Cabinet. Recommendation 2.1.13 regarding a first- and second-reading structure for resolutions has been implemented.

Cabinet Charge: Recommendation 2.2 from the Cabinet outlines a restructuring of the university's committee system in order to create a coordinated university governance structure. All committees should be reexamined to determine if they should continue, be revised, combined, or disbanded. The new committee organization should consist of Councils, Standing Administrative Committees, and Temporary Committees (Task Forces).

Progress to date: Models for reconfiguring the Senate, as noted above, have contained recommendations regarding the configuration of Senate Standing Committees. The Senate has not yet addressed the broader committee framework, but has expressed its intention to do so once the reconfiguration of the Senate itself has been more clearly defined.

Cabinet Charge: Recommendation 2.3 from the Cabinet suggests the elimination of the General Faculty Association, noting that this Association predates the creation of the Academic Senate and its function has not been clear since the Senate's formation.

Progress to date: Senate models currently under discussion eliminate the position of General Faculty President and faculty as a whole would elect the Senate Chair who then would be in a position to assume the duties currently performed by the person holding the General Faculty President office. The disposition of other activities that now fall under the aegis of the General Faculty Association has yet to be determined.

Change Steering Committee Responses:

January 2011 Response:

The Change Steering Committee applauds the efforts of both the Academic Senate and Faculty Affairs Committee.

Faculty Affairs has worked diligently with the Senate to establish formal periods to discuss their proposals and obtain feedback. The committee has adjusted their drafts of the proposed Constitution, Bylaws, and committee structures in response to this feedback. These drafts must continue to be shared, scrutinized, and accepted by a significant portion of the faculty, staff, and students.

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