Comprehensive Standard 3.7.5: Faculty Role in Governance
The institution publishes policies on the responsibility and authority of faculty in academic and governance matters.
The University of South Florida (USF) System’s statement on shared governance and the responsibility and authority of the faculty is found in USF Regulation 10.100 (1d):
On the part of the Administration, Academic Responsibility implies a commitment actively to foster within the University a climate favorable to responsible exercise of freedom, by adherence to principles of shared governance, which require that in the development of academic policies and processes, the professional judgments of faculty members are of primary importance.
The USF Sarasota-Manatee Faculty Senate serves the interests of the faculty to ensure that the academic programs reflect commitments stated in the campus mission statement and that faculty are supported in the implementation of their professional commitments to teaching, research, and service. The Faculty Senate operates according to the principles of shared governance and serves as the main channel of communication between the faculty and the administration of USF Sarasota-Manatee. The Faculty Senate appoints such committees as are deemed necessary to address matters that arise among the members. Committees are either standing or ad hoc as determined by the membership. The Faculty Senate Constitution’s Article IV and Faculty Senate Bylaws, published on the Senate webpage, outline the responsibilities and authority of faculty in academic and governance matters. The webpage also contains agendas and minutes from all meetings (Faculty Senate Meeting Dates & Minutes Webpage).
The Senate constitutes the principal advisory body to the Regional Chancellor and Regional Vice Chancellor for Academic & Student Affairs. It has the responsibility to review and make recommendations to them concerning decisions of the university on all matters pertaining to the welfare of the university, focusing particularly on those related to the academic mission. Specifically, the Senate shall:
(1) be responsible for addressing issues and making recommendations pertaining to undergraduate and graduate courses, curricula, and instructional programs.
(2) review undergraduate and graduate policies related to admissions criteria, orientation procedures, academic standards, curriculum, and graduation requirements.
(3) be responsible for the ongoing development, implementation, and assessment of an effective and meaningful core curriculum.
(4) review the applications for tenure of tenure-track faculty and for the promotion of tenure-track/tenured faculty; access the progress towards tenure of candidates at mid-tenure point and make its recommendations regarding their continued employment as tenure-track faculty; evaluate and make recommendations for non-tenure-track instructor promotions; act as a review committee for sabbatical and professional development leave applications.
The President and Vice President of USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Faculty Senate also serve on the system-wide System Faculty Council. The purpose of the advisory System Faculty Council is to provide the various institutions of the USF System with a voice in the governance of system-wide issues of direct concern to the faculty and to ensure, through consensus, consistency in administrative practices across the USF System. The Council is charged with providing advice and recommendations to the USF System President, or her designee, with respect to academic and institutional matters directly affecting the faculty of the USF System. The advisory System Faculty Council may appoint subcommittees to address specific issues and report outcomes, as appropriate.
In addition, the President and Vice President of the Faculty Senate serve on the Regional Vice Chancellor’s Academic Council. The President also serves on the Academics and Campus Environment Advisory Council. The Vice President additionally chairs the Academic Programs Committee.
Faculty participation in governance is illustrated by the major role they play in the development and implementation of academic programs. The rigorous initial academic degree program approval process in combination with the subsequent systematic review by faculty ensures that all programs conform to commonly accepted standards and practices. Please see Comprehensive Standard 3.4.1 (Academic Program Approval) for detailed information on this process.
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