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Task Force on Shared Governance

Updated October 2, 2018

In spring 2017, the Ad Hoc Committee on Shared Governance made its final report to the A&S faculty, which recommended the formation of a taskforce to carry out the following eight items: 

(a) Create a unified governance document for the A&S faculty, such as bylaws. 

(b) Clarify the duties of the Dean and the relationship of the Dean of A&S, the Associate Deans of A&S and the A&S Faculty concerning matters of governance. 

(c) Clarify the relationship of A&S governance structures with those of the University Faculty Senate. 

d) Review the current A&S Committee (and Academic Council) (i) organization, (ii) areas of responsibility, and (iii) reporting protocols for inefficiencies and omissions and recommend an updated committee/governance structure. 

(e) Review whether the current practices for the selection of A&S committee members (egs., tripartite/quadripartite elections, elected vs nominated, election of partite members by entire faculty, etc.) are sufficient for (i) the equitable distribution of committee assignments and (ii) insuring a diverse representation of faculty interests and viewpoints, and recommend an updated set of committee selection processes. 

(f) Develop protocols and templates for uniform recording, presenting, and accessing of A&S governance documents and actions. 

(g) Work with the A&S Dean’s Office to (i) restore, as much as possible, and make accessible, past governance documents and actions, such as A&S faculty meeting minutes and agendas, and (ii) develop a method of archiving (in an easily accessible manner) these documents and actions and any future documents or actions that may be subsequently approved. 

(h) Work with the A&S Dean’s Office to ensure proper training of A&S faculty in the governance procedures recommended in tasks (a) – (f), which might include training in Robert’s Rules of Order, training for Committee chairs, orientation training for new faculty, and workshops for existing faculty. 

In spring 2018, the Taskforce on Shared Governance shared its recommendations with the A&S faculty and, during the summer, converted the recommendations into governance language.

Below are the two documents that represent the culmination of the work of the Shared Governance Taskforce.  Together these two documents constitute the Taskforce’s proposed shared governance language for the School of Arts & Sciences.   

The first document, the A&S Shared Governance Bylaws, provides a framework for shared governance. It explains how the Dean and the faculty relate to one another in the process of governing as well as how A&S governance relates to University governance institutions, specifically the University Faculty Senate. Much of the language in this document is taken from Appendix II of the Faculty Handbook, formerly the Guide to Faculty Governance. In writing this document, the Taskforce operated with the understanding that nothing in this document would contradict the Faculty Handbook or any other University governing document. If and when the A&S faculty has approved this document, the Taskforce will request that the Board of Trustees endorse it. Subsequent revisions will necessitate Board approval. 

The second document, the A&S Faculty Governance Policies, explains how the faculty of A&S govern themselves – that is, how the faculty will conduct meetings, take votes, populate committees, and so forth. Much of the detail in the document was taken from the recommendations that the Taskforce brought to the A&S faculty in spring 2018. The policy document includes annotations that indicate areas where the Taskforce invites feedback or where the Taskforce would like to explain the reason behind a particular provision. If and when the faculty has approved this document, the Taskforce will make it available to the Board but it does not require Board approval. Subsequent revisions to it can be made by a simple majority vote of the faculty.  

With these proposals, the Taskforce has addressed items (a)-(e) of its charge. Items (f)-(h) will be carried out once the shared governance framework has been approved. Specifically, following approval, the Taskforce will begin work on items (f) and (g) in spring 2018 and continue its work during the last year of its three-year charge 2019-2020. Item (h), training of A&S faculty and committee chairs, will be done by the Taskforce members and the first Steering Committee members, in conjunction with the A&S Dean’s Office, in spring 2018 or fall 2019. 

During the fall semester, shared governance will be placed on the agenda for discussion during the Academic Council meeting of Tuesday, October 9, and during the A&S faculty meeting of Thursday, October 18.  In addition, a townhall will be held on Wednesday, October 24 at 3 p.m. in Gottwald Auditorium.

If you cannot attend these events, you may submit your feedback or questions via the Google Form below or speak to or email any member of the Taskforce.  

Jennifer Erkulwater (jerkulwa@richmond.edu)
Lewis Barnett (lbarnett@richmond.edu)
Tim Barney (tbarney@richmond.edu)
Michelle Hamm (mhamm@richmond.edu)
Lynda Kachurek (lkachure@richmond.edu)
Jenny Pribble (jpribble@richmond.edu)
Dean Simpson (dsimpson@richmond.edu)
Dixon Abreu (dabreu@richmond.edu