Final Report of the Joint Presidential-Faculty Senate Task Force
Danaya Wright, Chair of the Faculty Senate
On April 20, 2006 the Faculty Senate approved a resolution adopting the final report of the Joint Presidential-Faculty Senate Task Force on the Implementation of Shared Governance Structure. That report is available on the Senate website at www.senate.ufl.edu.
The report made a number of recommendations to further shared governance at UF, the most important of which is that each academic unit (colleges, departments, centers, institutes, the libraries, the museums, etc.) shall elect a “representative faculty body,” that shall elect its own chair, and which shall be charged with evaluating and developing procedures for shared governance in that unit. This body might consist of 25 or more faculty and might already exist, as in some of the larger colleges, or perhaps be a subset of that group. It might be comprised of 5 faculty members or even fewer in a small department or center. The critical requirement, however, is that this group is elected by the full faculty of the unit.
This representative faculty body is charged with evaluating the current procedures for shared governance in the unit. This might include, but is not limited to, evaluating the effectiveness of the committee structure, the appointment of committee chairs, the availability for faculty to have input into strategic planning for the unit, the faculty’s own structure and procedures for determining faculty policy or running faculty meetings. This evaluation should be sensitive to the different responsibilities of faculty and administrators and should consider the input of all participants in the academic mission of the unit.
Once the governance structure is evaluated, the representative body may decide to recommend changes in policies or procedures within the unit. Those recommendations should be determined with appropriate administrative input and they should be adopted by a vote of the full faculty and administration.
Faculty in some units may feel that the governance structure and their role in important decision-making are appropriate. Other units may recommend that by-laws be drafted or changed, and others may have already begun overhauling their governance structure. The Task Force has provided principles of shared governance that should help guide the faculty body in evaluating and developing procedures for effective shared governance. And the Task Force will be giving workshops to assist units in this task.