Shared Governance Principles and Guidelines

Faculty and Academic Staff

November 15, 2007

 

 

Background:

The respective responsibilities of the Board of Regents, President, Chancellors, Faculty, Academic Staff, and Students arise from Chapter 36 (Wisc.Stats.36.09) and longstanding Wisconsin tradition.  This system of shared governance, as it is commonly understood and practiced within the UW System, is based on the premise that the above-mentioned parties all contribute to the leadership of the System and the understanding that inclusiveness leads to better decision-making.  It calls for a process of Regent and UW System policy development that includes faculty, academic staff, and students, as appropriate to the nature of the policy.  Effective policy development comes from early, active, and wide collaboration and consultation.  The purpose of this document is to establish workable guidelines for the process of shared governance; it is neither an interpretation of Chapter 36 nor intended to cover policy development at individual UW System institutions.

 

The UW System Faculty Representatives Advisory Council and Academic Staff Representatives Council are liaison groups that exist to make communication as seamless as possible between and among the Board of Regents, UW System Administration, and governance groups at each UW System institution.  They are not official governance bodies. 

 

Recognizing the role of the Board of Regents, President of the UW System, Chancellors, and Students in shared governance, the following guidelines are intended to outline the involvement of Faculty and Academic Staff as Regent and UW System policies are developed.  

 

Guidelines:

Faculty and Academic Staff governance should be included in the development of Regent and UW System policies in the following areas:

 

Personnel Policies (for example, and without limitation by enumeration, UWS Unclassified Personnel Guidelines; related personnel policies that pertain to both Faculty and Academic Staff roles and rewards; Faculty and Academic Staff compensation & benefits policies)

 

Academic Policies (for example, and without limitation by enumeration, curriculum, admission, retention, and graduation policies; program review policies)

 

Absent an emergency situation, Faculty and Academic Staff governance should be involved in the development of Regent or UW System policies pertaining to the above areas early in discussions.

 

Process:

We describe here a process of liaison between governance groups that fosters effective and broad collaboration and consultation, and effective and rapid collaboration and consultation when appropriate. The primary channels of communication are between the Board of Regents President, the UW System President, and the chairs/facilitators of the UW System Faculty Representatives Advisory Council and Academic Staff Representatives Council, or their designees as appropriate.  The UW System President will designate a position in System Administration to facilitate this communication.  At the same time, the Chancellors also play an important role in this collaborative process.

 

Whenever practical, the members of the UW System Faculty Representatives Advisory Council and Academic Staff Representatives Council will be the chairs of the executive faculty and academic staff governance bodies of each campus. In this way, the chairs/facilitators of the UW System Faculty Representatives Advisory Council and Academic Staff Representatives Council can have more direct access to the respective executive governance bodies at each campus.  

 

In normal situations, shared governance business will be carried out through UW System Faculty Representatives Advisory Council and Academic Staff Representatives Council meetings.  For issues of a more minor nature, the chairs/facilitators of the UW System Faculty Representatives Advisory Council and Academic Staff Representatives Council have discretion to work directly with the Board of Regents President and/or the UW System President or their designees.  For issues requiring urgent response, the UW System and or Board of Regents Presidents can gain access to the governance system through the chairs/facilitators of the UW System Faculty Representatives Advisory Council and Academic Staff Representatives Council. 

 

Generally, policy development in the areas enumerated above will involve drafting committees or task forces.  Faculty and Academic Staff governance will be represented on these committees and task forces.  Faculty and Academic Staff campus governance will be contacted through the UW System Faculty Representatives Advisory Council and Academic Staff Representatives Council to request nominations to systemwide committees and task forces.  Faculty and Academic Staff Representatives will consult with their respective governance leaderships to identify appropriate individuals in a timely manner to provide nominations.  Committee membership will be based on such nominations wherever practicable.  Leadership of the UW System Faculty Representatives Advisory Council and Academic Staff Representatives Council will be consulted in the process of finalizing committee membership.   

 

In addition, input will be sought from Faculty and Academic Staff governance groups at UW institutions during the development of draft policies, The nature of this institutional review, i.e. whether by Faculty/Academic Staff senates, governance executive committees, or Faculty/Academic Staff campus leaders, will vary based on institutional governance practices and time constraints.

 

 

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