Restoring the proper role of faculty in the governance of your unit: What you need to know

The development of new Internal Governance policies—the formal procedures by which units make decisions and set policies–is in full swing across campus.
 
The new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between United Academics (UA) and University administration gives faculty a stronger, unit-specific, and more formalized voice in governance at the unit level. The CBA requires that faculty be afforded a substantive role in the development of these governance policies.
 
We encourage all faculty to be proactive in their involvement in this process.
 
In most units, everything is proceeding relatively smoothly – we hope this is the case in your unit.
 
The Internal Governance policy in the CBA is intended to preserve, and in some cases restore, the proper role of faculty in the governance of the University. It is the first step toward developing a series of polices that provide all bargaining unit faculty an opportunity for their voice to be heard on academic and employment matters in their department or unit.
                                  
If unit administrators develop the governance framework on their own and then present it to faculty for comment and approval, they are not following the spirit and expectations of the CBA.

If you’d like to set up a meeting with a United Academics representative to understand how best to engage in this process, or if top-down governance models are being presented without avenues for substantive faculty participation and influence, or if you are not being included in discussions about your unit’s Internal Governance policy, please contact Ron Bramhall, VP for Instructional NTTF – bramhall at uauoregon dot org or Gina Psaki, VP for Tenure-Track Faculty psaki at uauoregon dot org.
 
WHAT GOES INTO AN INTERNAL GOVERNANCE POLICY?
 
There are many potential components within an Internal Governance policy. While all the provisions below are not required by the CBA, we believe units should consider these components:

  • Establishing guidelines for how a meeting agenda is set, approved or modified. A simple rule allowing approval of prior minutes, additions to agenda, and approval of agenda may be considered.
  • Rather than tasking work or decisions to the faculty as a whole, some departments or units may want to consider developing a system of elected committees charged to work with the head or director in making decisions on departmental duties, such as evaluation and promotion, merit raises and workload.
  • The policy should contain a list of committees with their charges, powers and responsibilities. The list should also include how committees are constituted – including makeup by membership, which members are elected or appointed, and how they are elected or appointed.
  • The policy should describe how decisions are made – including notice of motions, voting procedures, categories of decisions that require full faculty vote versus those that can be made at the committee level, and the organizational structure that outlines the flow of decisions between committees or other constituencies.
  • The policy should describe how decisions are to be documented and communicated.
  • The policy should describe how policies that have been approved ­– including the internal governance policy itself – could be modified.

Each unit should also ensure their governance policy can easily incorporate specific policies on the following issues in the near term:

  • Internal Governance (CBA Article 4)
  • Workload Definition (CBA Article 17)
  • NTTF Review and Promotion (CBA Article 19)
  • TTF Review and Promotion (CBA Article 20)
  • Merit Raises (CBA Article 26)
  • Summer Session Appointments (CBA Article 18)
  • Professional Development Fund Distribution (CBA Article 35)
  • At our request, Academic Affairs has posted sample pre-CBA governance documents from various departments: https://academicaffairs.uoregon.edu/example-governance-policies. Past unit policies, the CBA, and these guidelines from Academic Affairs should all be considered as reference points in developing internal governance policies in your unit.

 
As you craft or revise your internal governance policy, please anticipate the longer timeline of policy development expected of departments and units.
 
EQUITY POLICIES

In addition to those specifically directed by the implementation of the CBA, we encourage all units to develop an equity protocol or policy for their department or unit. Such a policy would specify procedures for identifying issues of internal and external equity and methods to fund from department, college or university sources any appropriately determined equity adjustments, including any future resources negotiated between United Academics and University administration.
 

Posted in Contract Implementation.