Committee on College and University Governance

Faculty Communication with Governing Boards: Best Practices

From its initial statement of principles in 1915 and its earliest investigations into violations of academic freedom, the AAUP has emphasized the necessity of effective communication among those who participate in academic governance. Based on a consideration of relevant AAUP documents, the current climate in higher education, and feedback on an earlier draft, the final statement urges greater communication between faculties and governing boards in colleges and universities.

University of Virginia Governance Investigation Update

The Committee on College and University Governance, in a statement presented to the Ninety-ninth Annual Meeting, condemned the deplorable actions of the University of Virginia Board of Visitors under its outgoing rector. The committee sees reason to hope that principles of shared academic governance will prevail under the board’s incoming rector.

Confidentiality and Faculty Representation in Academic Governance

This statement argues that requiring faculty members to sign confidentiality agreements as a requirement to serve on university committees is in most cases inconsistent with widely accepted standards of shared governance and with the concept of serving as a representative.

Report of the Committee on College and University Governance, 2012–13

The Committee on College and University Governance has been active in three areas this past year: a governance investigation at the University of Virginia, the publication of three policy statements, and the holding of a governance conference last fall.

Report of the Committee on College and University Governance, 2011–12

The major activity of the Committee on College and University Governance this past year was the holding of the second annual AAUP Shared Governance Conference and Workshops. The event took place November 11–13, 2011, in Washington, DC,and was attended by well over two hundred people. The governance committee took advantage of this event to meet both immediately before and after the conference to discuss other items of business.

Report of the Committee on College and University Governance, 2010–11

Issues of governance continue to beat the heart of the AAUP’s concerns and activities. Attacks on legitimate faculty involvement in college and university governance have resulted not only in increasing challenges to the role of faculty senates, especially in regard to restructuring and program elimination, but also in efforts to deny faculty the right to engage in collective bargaining.

Report of the Committee on College and University Governance, 2009–10

Issues of shared governance have always been central to the AAUP’s concerns, and at no time have these issues been more critical than during the present economic crisis. Too often administrations have used the recent economic recession to justify layoffs, furloughs, and restructuring without involving faculty in the decision making process. In these circumstances, the president and general secretary of the Association in the past year authorized the first face-to-face meeting of the Committee on College and University Governance since 2006. In addition to a meeting held in Washington on April 2–3, 2010, the committee also met by conference call on May 18, 2009, and on May 5, 2010, and during these meetings considered various ways of highlighting the importance of involving faculty in college and university governance. Without such involvement, crucial decisions affecting faculty members’ ability to carry out their teaching and research functions are made without adequate consideration of academic concerns.


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