Recognition and Support of Faculty Service in Governance

AS-2781-06/FA (Rev) - November 9, 2006

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate California State University (CSU) affirm its commitment to and appreciation for faculty who engage in shared governance as part of their faculty service activities; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge campus academic senates to review their retention, tenure, and promotion documents to ensure that they encourage faculty at appropriate stages of their academic careers to engage actively and productively as contributors to academic governance; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge campus academic senates to consider establishing campus award programs, if they do not already exist, to recognize exceptional faculty contributors to academic governance at each stage of their academic careers; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU encourage local campus senates to establish and support formal or informal mentorship programs that encourage new faculty members, at appropriate stages of their careers, to become full, well-rounded academic citizens of their campuses through participation in shared governance; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU urge campus administrators, including presidents and provosts, to provide active and material support for such mentorship programs and award programs, as well as sufficient assigned time to fairly compensate faculty for their governance activities; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate CSU forward this resolution to campus senates, presidents, and provosts.

RATIONALE: This resolution focuses on faculty governance rather than the broader category of service. Retention, tenure and promotion (RTP) processes, as implemented, often undervalue service, particularly as fewer and fewer tenured and tenure-track faculty are available to provide service to the university. This resolution advocates for service to be meaningfully considered with a particular emphasis on mid-career and senior-level involvement in faculty governance.

Typical Ph.D. programs do much to train scholars in their disciplines. Few programs train Ph.D. recipients in skills appropriate to teaching and even fewer provide guidance for potential faculty members in service and governance. Sometimes Ph.D. advisors and later the new faculty members’ CSU faculty mentors explicitly discourage a strong commitment to service, which is seen as providing fewer benefits than research or teaching endeavors, and/or benefits that are less portable across institutions.

As the demographics of faculty in the CSU change, there is concern that academic governance responsibilities are being undertaken by fewer and fewer faculty members. This concern was explicitly noted in a report submitted to the Academic Senate CSU in 2001 (Shared Governance Reconsidered: Improving Decision-Making in the CSU) and is exacerbated by the lack of progress that the CSU and the Legislature have made in implementing ACR 73. The importance of service was reinforced in “Faculty Service in the California State University (CSU): An integral component in the retention, tenure, and promotion of Faculty” (December 19, 2002). The Academic Senate CSU has addressed the issue on at least two occasions: “Shared Governance in the CSU,” AS-2489-00/FGA - March 9-10, 2000; and “Encouraging the Establishment of Faculty Leadership Awards,” AS-2306-96/FA - January 18-19, 1996.

Mentoring new faculty in the demands of service, and to their role and responsibilities relative to shared governance is an often neglected aspect of faculty development. The modern realities of increased expectations regarding research as well as a continuing expectation regarding effective teaching create a high level of workload commitments. These conflicting demands on time often lead to passive neglect of faculty involvement in service in general and faculty governance in particular.

As an institution valuing shared governance, the CSU relies heavily upon the work of committed faculty members to conduct the business of the university beyond the classroom. This resolution urges campus senates to apply their own standards to the balance among teaching, research and creative activity, and service (including governance) in reviewing their RTP policies so as to encourage and recognize appropriate faculty participation in academic governance. It also urges campuses to consider the creation of awards, if such do not already exist, to highlight exceptional faculty contributors to academic governance, as well as providing the resources required to implement these initiatives.

Approved Unanimously – January 18-19, 2007

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