UNH Faculty Senate

Motion on Shared Governance

UNH Faculty Senate

Motion # IX-M10

Shared Governance


1.  Date of Faculty Senate discussion:  March 7, 2005

2.  Rationale:

Concern has been expressed about shared governance as it relates to attendance of the provost and vice provost at the senate’s Agenda Committee and Academic Affairs Committee meetings.  Enhanced communication with the provost and vice provost is important, in order to share information proactively, before problem decisions are made, and thus avoid the need for the time-and-energy-consuming reactive responses of the past.  This is balanced by the concern that faculty might feel pressured in the presence of a senior administrator.  At no time has an administrator been present during the deliberations of the Agenda Committee.  An administrator may come to the beginning of Agenda Committee or Faculty Senate meetings, to discuss certain matters and then leave prior to the deliberation by that body.  During the communication period of the Agenda Committee meetings, the Agenda Committee gives clear statements to administrators on how faculty prerogatives of shared governance should be respected and implemented.  The senate constitution indicates that senate committees are expected to consult with the administrators dealing with the issues under discussion by the committee.  It has always been the practice to connect with the person in charge of the issue under review.

This year because of the nature of the agenda items of the senate’s Academic Affairs Committee and the newness of the vice provost, the Academic Affairs Committee had decided to invite the vice provost to attend the whole meetings.  However, at their latest meeting, that committee decided that the vice provost should now attend only the beginning of each meeting and clarified that the invitation to the vice provost to attend a portion of each meeting covers this year only.

Since the provost has announced to the faculty that he would attend the Agenda Committee meetings and that the vice provost would attend the Academic Affairs Committee meetings, there is a need for clarification to the faculty of the constraints of that attendance.  Administrators are invited as guests for a specific portion of the meeting.  The senate should not let these matters slide into a different direction by accident. 

3.  Motion:

Clarification should be made by both the provost and the senate, to explain the senate’s procedures and inform its constituents that the relationship between administrators and the Faculty Senate and its committees should be purely for communication purposes.

4.  Senate Action:  passed, on March 7, 2005.

Vote:  seventeen ayes and eleven nays

Senate Chair’s signature:  Mimi Becker

Forwarded to:  President Ann Hart, on March 22, 2005
Forwarded to:  Bruce Mallory, on March 22, 2005


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