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2.2 Basic Governance Principles

Approved by Academic Council on October 14, 1999; Faculty, November 30, 1999; President, March 6, 2000

The Regents Policy Statement on Governance establishes the fundamental principles of governance of the University. These basic principles acknowledge the initiating capacity and decision-making participation of all constituencies. They recognize that the greater or lesser degree of responsibility of a constituency for a given decision determines the weight that its voice will have in the decision-making process. In addition, the Regents have mandated that there shall be timely access to all relevant information by all involved constituencies so that they will be informed and have the opportunity to be heard. The President is responsible for ensuring that these principles are followed.

The Board authorizes the President to appoint a staff of Vice Presidents and through them other members of the administration of the University. The administrative structure of the University is developed at the direction of the President.

As indicated above, the process of governance is consultative, involving all relevant constituencies. Within this broad context, each constituent group isalso granted certain rights and responsibilities. These constituencies includethe faculty, students, alumni and staff. In consultation with the administration,a structure is developed through which each constituency participates in the decision making process in an appropriate way. In the case of the faculty, the Academic Council functions as a representative body; for the students, undergraduate, graduate, and professional students have representative bodies on each campus. Where bodies are representative, the members of each constituency select their own representatives. Alumni organizations on each campus express alumni concerns and each campus adopts procedures through which staff concerns may be expressed.

Each constituency has the right to initiate consideration of significant issues of concern to their constituents and to respond to issues raised by others. Relevant information should be communicated in order that constituents' voices may be formulated and expressed in the deliberations of the University.

In academic matters, responsibility for design and conduct of educational programs and courses of instruction is delegated to the faculty. In order to carry out this responsibility, the Academic Council has established Faculty Committees. Committee membership, charges, method of election, and reporting functions are set by the Council. The Council acts on the recommendations of its committees. The actions of the Council are communicated to the President and to the Provost. Ordinarily, the President and Provost will accept the recommendations of the Council. If there is disagreement, the reasons for the disagreement should be clearly stated and a mutually acceptable policy developed.

Many of the functions of the University are joint responsibilities of the faculty and the administration. The faculty or the administration may initiate the formation of University Committees with joint faculty and administrative membership to address these functions. Membership, charge, reporting function, and schedule are negotiated jointly by the Council and the administration. Method of selection of faculty members is determined by the Academic Council. Administrative members are selected by the appropriate administrator. Members of the committees consult with their constituencies in the process of developing recommendations. Recommendations of these committees are reported to the administration and the Academic Council for comment, approval or further consultation as appropriate.

In some cases, the administration forms committees which require participation of members of the faculty with specific expertise. In such cases, the administration should present the Academic Council with a statement of the charges to the committee and request recommendations from the Council of qualified faculty to serve on the committee. Selection of the faculty participants is by the administration from the Council recommendations.

Faculty, Joint or Administrative Committees may be standing committees to address normal and continuing areas of concern or ad hoc committees to address specific issues. Ad hoc committees should be formed following the same procedures as standing committees.

Student interests on each campus are represented through local student associations. Student associations represent the diverse interests of undergraduate, graduate and professional students. These associations carry out their functions in consultation with the appropriate administrators on each campus.

Staff participation and the expression of staff concerns vary from campus to campus. Various forums are created for the expression of staff issues and interests. In other cases, consultation with staff is more informal. Consultation is carried out with the appropriate administrators on each campus.
Alumni participation is an integral factor on each campus. Alumni are involved in support for and assessment of programs and preservation of the traditions of schools and colleges. Alumni interact with and are consulted by the administrators of each campus.

Financial management of the University is primarily the responsibility of the University administration. The President mobilizes a planning and budgeting structure and process which embodies the general principles of consultative governance. In accordance with these principles, all constituents have appropriate input into the formulation and adoption of budget priorities and in the formulation and revision of annual budgets. The Vice President for Finance assists the President and Provost in preparing the budget. The Provost, working through the deans of the colleges and schools, has primary responsibility for the academic budget. The Vice Presidents for Student Life, Institutional Advancement, and Finance have primary responsibility for the budgets of their areas. The Board of Regents gives final approval to the annual budget.