Shared Governance in the CSU

AS-2489-00/FGA - March 9-10, 2000

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University recommend that the Chancellor, in collaboration with the Academic Senate CSU and Trustees, establish processes to ensure a) greater faculty involvement in shared governance at all levels, b) greater and more timely interaction with faculty representatives as initiatives are planned, developed, and implemented, c) candid and effective communication during decision making including explanations when decisions are contrary to faculty recommendations, and d) that an annual joint evaluation by the Chancellor and Academic Senate CSU Chair be conducted on the state of shared governance in the CSU; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU recommend that the Chancellor and the Academic Senate CSU Chair report on the evaluation of the state of shared governance at the ASCSU’s first meeting each academic year.

RATIONALE: Shared governance is necessary for the assurance of educational quality and the proper functioning of an institution of higher education. As the Board of Trustees' report on Governance, Collegiality, and Responsibility clearly states "collegial governance allows the academic community to work together to find the best answers to issues facing the university." CSU faculty point to the need for improved and more explicit procedures that enhance and ensure effective shared governance at all levels. The San José State University Academic Senate Out of Crisis paper (11/99) and subsequent campus senate resolutions express anxiety over a perceived isolation of the Chancellor and Trustees from campuses. Endeavors to offset this anxiety and promote understanding are essential to improving shared governance. The Asilomar Academic Conference (11/99) is an excellent example of the benefits to be realized when the Chancellor, faculty, and Trustees have an opportunity to interact. An annual meeting of faculty and Trustees to discuss the CSU’s needs, for example, could be one of many mechanisms employed to enhance shared governance. In addition, Trustee involvement periodically with Academic Senate CSU standing committees might be considered. Improved communication and collaboration are central to improving the level of trust and respect each of us holds for the other. The faculty seek tangible evidence that the Chancellor and Board of Trustees truly understand their concerns.


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