Information Item# 2 - Submitted by the Faculty Affairs Committee (2017/2017 - Dec)


Prompted by concerns raised by the UNF faculty over administrative decisions made during the past several years, a task force was organized by the Faculty Association in 2016 to draft a document on shared governance. The document produced by that task force is included below. The document was not meant as a formal contractual agreement, nor intended to conflict with the collective bargaining agreement. However, faculty leadership hoped that the administration would consider working with faculty in the spirit of the principles and recommendations articulated in this document.

Recommitting to Shared Governance
at the University of North Florida

The Principle of Shared Governance


Advisory Council of Faculty Senates: “Shared Governance is the participation of faculty, staff and students as applicable, administrators, the president and board of trustees in the decision and policy‐making process to promote the institutional vision and mission, academic integrity and sustainability of the dynamic academic environment while retaining public accountability.
(See http://www.unf.edu/uploadedFiles/committee/unffa/Information_Items/2013-2014/January/ACFS%20on%20Shared%20Governance.pdf)

The UNF Constitution: Collegial governance provides faculty with mechanisms and procedures, independent of the collective bargaining process, for the development and implementation of recommendations in areas of traditional faculty concern. Within the shared system of academic governance, the Faculty Association shall be concerned with faculty appointment, retention, promotion, and development; academic programs, organization, and standards; academic services and continuing education; and such other matters as may pertain directly to the University instruction, service, and research programs.

Decisions reached by the Faculty Association regarding its concerns and support shall be forwarded to the Vice President for Academic Affairs, who shall act on them where authority to do so has been delegated by the President and otherwise shall transmit them to the President of the University for action. The Vice President for Academic Affairs is to process items so transmitted from the Faculty Association within 10 working days of receipt from the Association. When approved by the President of the University, the decisions shall become the policies, practices, and regulations of the University.

The Faculty Association shall adopt such general standards of governance of academic units as may be necessary to guide Department and College faculty. These standards shall include such matters as conflicts of interest and collegial ethics. To assure responsiveness to new developments in the art and science of collegial governance and administration, each academic unit shall review the appropriateness of its organizational form and administrative mechanism every five years, beginning with the academic year following the adoption of this Constitution.

Faculty Association: The Faculty Association at the University of North Florida is committed to promoting civil discussion of and critical thinking about the full range and complexity of governance issues and that are involved in sustaining the multifaceted educational mission of the University of North Florida.

Guiding Principles

Faculty are invested in the success of the university. They are not only employees of the university, but, to a large degree, they are the university. Faculty value and deserve shared and transparent decision-making with the administration on all issues related to academics and the direction of the university.

As such, a means shall be established for faculty, individually and collectively, to express their approval or disagreement with an administrative action or an administrator him/herself. This means shall protect civility and protect the faculty member(s) expressing their views while at the same time offering a meaningful and effective way of voicing concern.

Faculty recognize the importance of a meritocracy in all aspects of the university, whether it be regarding performance, reward structure, hiring, or ideas. Furthermore, faculty recognize the importance of integrity, collegiality, and civility in all aspects of the university.

Faculty recognize the importance of democracy and diversity in all aspects of the university, whether it be in regards to personnel or ideas. Diversity of thought and perspective underpins faculty’s rightful desire for meaningful input into decision-making.

Committing to the Letter and Spirit of Shared Governance

 

  1. The UNF Constitution, Collective Bargaining Agreement, and all Department/College bylaws (or operating procedures or guidelines) shall be binding, exceptions to be negotiated between the upper administration and the Faculty Association or United Faculty of Florida, as appropriate. 

  2. Through the Faculty Association, faculty shall be consulted on the hiring, including any searching, for all academic and administrative positions and promotions where such positions are supervisory in nature. These positions include but are not limited to deans, chairs, directors, executive directors, and assistant/associate vice presidents within the Academic Division. Search procedures for these positions will be collected – or created where they do not yet exist – and published in appropriate places as well as on the Faculty Association’s website.

  3. Through the Faculty Association, faculty shall
    1. As recognized in the UNF Constitution, the faculty shall have primary responsibility for the curriculum and curricular issues.
    2. Have formal, participatory representation in academic budgeting, such representation to be appointed by the President the Faculty Association. These representatives shall be included by Academic Affairs in all budget meetings.
    3. Have participatory representation in academic strategic planning, such representation to be appointed by the President of the Faculty Association. These representatives shall be included by Academic Affairs in all academic strategic planning meeting. 
    4. Have participatory representation on upper administrative committees, task forces, or other forums that are focused on developing strategies for dealing with performance-based funding metrics, such representation to include, or be appointed by, the President of the Faculty Association.
    5. Have a representative appointed by Faculty Association to attend all collective bargaining sessions.

     
  4. In an effort to resolve disagreements in a collaborative fashion, the Provost shall first meet with FA leadership to discuss any Faculty Association decision or resolution, he/she intends to reject.

  5. FA Leadership shall meet with the President and the Provost, as well as with United Faculty of Florida leadership at least once per semester or anytime the UNF President, Provost, UFF, or FA President calls for such a meeting. Such meetings shall be for the purpose of candid conversation concerning issues that any party may raise, as well as for the dissemination of information and consultation before decisions are taken.