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Faculty governance is the process of integrating the organizational units of the faculty for decision making and execution of faculty responsibilities as outlined in section 301.2. The organizational units involved in the governance process are Faculty Meeting, committees, divisions, and departments.

The central tools of faculty governance are the Faculty Governance Committees. Faculty Governance Committees are decision-making bodies that govern issue areas. The bylaws of each committee (found in the handbook appendices) specify the Purpose of each committee and a Committee Charge: Responsibilities & Accountabilities, which outlines the responsibilities of each committee. Furthermore, committee bylaws specify Reporting Relationships, the processes available for executing committee decisions. These bylaw specifics are fundamental for the efficient execution of the responsibilities of the faculty because many types of decisions may be made directly by committees based on the authority delegated to them by the faculty. Other types of decisions are subject to a review process, such as being sent to Faculty Meeting or to the Vice President for Academic Affairs for approval. In order for committees to function efficiently, it is essential that the members of committees clearly understand the bylaws of their committees. As committee membership changes on a yearly basis, it is recommended that each committee review its bylaws at the beginning of the academic year to ensure that members understand the purpose, jurisdiction, and reporting relationships of their committees. Detailed descriptions of the Faculty Governance Committees may be found in the committee bylaws appendices of the Faculty Handbook. A brief overview of the Faculty Governance Committees, including descriptions of purposes and responsibilities follows:

FAC 321.1 Faculty Executive Committee (FEC)

Faculty Executive Committee is the point of leadership for faculty governance. FEC sets agendas for the faculty, both in a narrow sense of setting schedule for faculty meeting and in the broader sense of establishing goals for the faculty governance system and monitoring the work of the committees to ensure that those goals are met. It is the responsibility of FEC to be informed on the progress of deliberation and decision making within faculty committees and to ensure that faculty deliberation translates into faculty action in a timely manner. The membership of FEC makes it especially well suited for this task. As FEC is composed of the division chairs, the faculty chair, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs, FEC is well positioned to coordinate decision making within the academic program.

purpose
To serve as a coordinating group for Faculty Meeting and faculty committees and functions; to monitor the flow of work among various levels of faculty organization and to evaluate the effectiveness of faculty governance.

responsibilities
Plan fall faculty retreat. Plan faculty meetings. Serve as nominating committee for faculty committee positions. Delegate members to serve as liaisons to EPC, IRC, EPC, and other campus committees. Monitor workflow within the faculty committee structure, suggesting alternatives for revision of structure or process. Oversee ad hoc faculty committees and task forces. Review and refer items from committees to Faculty Meeting, from committee to committee (faculty or joint), or to administrative offices from faculty governance entities. Process appeals from committee to Faculty Meeting.

FAC 321.2 Educational Policy Committee (EPC)

purpose
To provide oversight of the academic program, curriculum, and academic policies.

responsibilities
Approve new courses and changes to courses. Approve individualized interdisciplinary programs, the academic calendar, and the course schedule. Recommend additions, alterations, or deletions of programs of study and academic departments. Interpret academic policy, recommending new policy as appropriate. Recommend changes in academic requirements—e.g., general education curriculum or graduation requirements.

FAC 321.3  Instructional Resource Committee (IRC)

purpose
To provide oversight of instructional resource needs and use, including library, classrooms and other facilities. To oversee efficient use of resources and acquisitions.

responsibilities
Review academic computer usage and the plan for maintenance and update of academic computing systems. Review other technology-related needs for the academic program. Serve as liaison between library personnel and faculty. Advise on library acquisitions and priorities, library services, and long-range planning. Assess classrooms and educational facilities. Recommend institutional priorities for funds available for instructional resources.

FAC 321.4 Faculty Policies Committee (FPC)

purpose
To provide oversight of policy concerning faculty personnel, faculty hiring, sabbaticals, faculty evaluation and promotion, faculty compensation, and other such matters as the President may request.

responsibilities
Review the Faculty Handbook, faculty hiring process, and faculty evaluation policies. Review tenure, promotion, and sabbatical policy. Review compensation policies and the structure of the salary plan.

FAC 321.5  Faculty Review Committee (FRC)

purpose
To provide oversight of the performance of individual faculty members.

responsibilities
Oversee faculty evaluation process. Evaluate faculty effectiveness and make recommendations regarding continuation of contracts, promotion and tenure, and the granting of sabbaticals for individual faculty members. Recommend the awarding of emeriti status and honorary degrees.

 

Approved by Faculty on 11 March 2010