Governing Concepts of the University Senate

Endorsed by University Senate Bylaws and Governing Concepts Committee 02-22-06

Endorsed by the Executive Committee 09-12-06

Approved as MOTION 0607.EC.001.O by the University Senate on 09-25-06

Approved by President Leland on 09-25-06

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The governing concepts of the University Senate listed below serve as ideals for shared governance and provide a means by which shared governance can be periodically evaluated.


1.  Shared Sense of Purpose

A shared sense of purpose for institutional governance is the university community's shared understanding of and commitment to its values, mission and goals through shared decision making.


2.  Collegial Leadership

Shared governance requires capable and competent leaders from among administrators, faculty, staff, and students.  Such leaders are characterized by the ability to critically evaluate how well they have performed, work to improve the leadership capabilities of themselves and others, and encourage and foster mutual respect among governance participants as they thoughtfully and thoroughly debate issues before the University Senate and its committees.  They should be proficient, dependable, and above all else trustworthy as they faithfully guide and direct the development of policies and procedures that are widely understood and supported by members of the University community.


3.  Transparent Decision Making

University policy, to be easily understood and widely supported by all constituencies, is readily available in a unified and consistent format and developed by full and complete vetting of issues using transparent processes of decision making.  Decision making is respectful of how the process affects the confidence and trust of the university community and of the distinct, yet interdependent roles the administration, faculty, staff and students have in developing and implementing university policy.


4.  Investment in Shared Governance

Members of the university community, by nature and profession, are invested in continual teaching and learning.  University policy based on vision, core values, and governing concepts invites all members of the university community to take responsibility for educating themselves and their colleagues in order to make informed decisions. 


5.  Shared Information

Timely and adequate information is readily available to all members of the university community.  Information is conveyed through multiple portals to promote broad access to enhance communication across campus. 


6.  Positive Motivators

Motivation of stakeholders in shared governance is impacted positively by identifying, confronting, communicating and debating policy issues, and building trust in an intelligent, respectful manner


7.  Adequate Resources

Shared governance requires adequate human, temporal, and fiscal resources to draft and review university policy, fully vet university policy under consideration with the University community as well as formulate voting positions in consultation with constituencies.  Adequate resources provide support for current senators, develop future senators, and provide a culture characterized by confidence, familiarity, trust, and participation in the shared governance process.