VI. Responses to the Subcommittee’s Charge.



Academic Council
Faculty Meeting
Curriculum Committee and Curricular Planning
Relationship to the Board of Trustees
Relationship to the President
Budget Committee
Research and Development
Professional Status, Promotion, and Tenure Committee
Other Committee
Concluding Remarks
Status of Academic Support Faculty

Academic Council.
The Academic Council and Standing Committees

It is important to note that the most direct, efficient way for teaching and academic support faculty to participate in governance is by working through the existing standing committee structure. Indeed, these committees are strategically constituted to serve such a purpose, encompassing every aspect of the academic program. As a result, it is difficult to imagine any issue or initiative that would not intersect in some way with the stated mission of one of the existing standing committees. Ideally, then, both faculty and administrators should see these committees as the natural setting for working out the sharing of institutional responsibilities.

Thus, the standing committees play a critical role as the front line in the effort to promote shared governance. The Academic Council, in turn, becomes a crucial link in this process by virtue of its position as the "coordinating committee of the Faculty" (Article VI, Section 3(a) of the Faculty Bylaws). In fact, the most meaningful action the Academic Council can take in the effort to promote shared governance is to begin using more effectively the authority it already possesses as the coordinating committee of the faculty.

The first and most obvious way that the Academic Council can do so is to communicate closely with the existing standing committees. Faculty members on standing committees should see the Academic Council as their most important resource in the governance process, and it is essential that there is frequent and active communication between such committees and the Council. Standing committee members who have concerns about the degree of participation in decision-making on issues falling within their purview should report those concerns to the Academic Council.

In such cases, the Council can take action to encourage senior administrators to follow practices more in keeping with the principles of shared governance. Through its function as an advisory committee to the President (Section 3(d)), the monthly Academic Council meeting can become a forum for expressing its concern to senior administrators and negotiating an appropriate solution. If necessary, the Academic Council can use its authority to plan the agenda for monthly faculty meetings (Section 3(b)) to bring problems with shared governance to the attention of the entire faculty. Of course, in order for this system to work properly, the Academic Council must be prepared to respond promptly to standing committee members' concerns and to do so in ways that protect the faculty members involved.

In addition, the practice of asking the chairs of every standing committee to report to the Academic Council becomes an important resource in the governance process, for it provides a written record of the extent to which collaboration occurred. Standing committee chairs should take seriously their obligation to provide an accurate accounting of the activities of their committee. If the Academic Council suspects that a decision or initiative was undertaken by the administration in a way which seemed to violate the principle of shared governance, it needs only check with the written records of the standing committee (or committees) whose mission would include the issue in question. If administrators have indeed proceeded without including the standing committee in the process, these written reports will provide substantive evidence of that fact. It then becomes the responsibility of the Council to insist that the process become more collaborative or, if necessary, report to the faculty in a monthly faculty meeting or other forum that senior administrators have chosen not to follow the principles of shared governance.

These comments should not be taken to imply that the only method of promoting shared governance is for concerns and questions to flow from standing committees to the Academic Council, nor that the latter body is where problems are routinely resolved. Standing committees should be the initial point of contact between administrators and other members of the faculty. Normally, issues involving faculty governance should be dealt with at that level.

Furthermore, it should not be assumed that the Academic Council’s sole responsibility as the coordinating committee of the faculty is to monitor the behavior of senior administrators. Faculty members of standing committees have important responsibilities in order for shared governance to be achieved, and it may be necessary at times for the Council to take steps to ensure that members of standing committees take their responsibilities more seriously. Thus, in its role as coordinating committee of the faculty, the Academic Council must be willing to respond to perceived lapses on the part of members of the teaching and academic support faculty as well as of the administrators. In this sense, then, faculty members who have concerns about the conduct of their colleagues on standing committees should report those concerns to the Academic Council, concerns to which the Council should respond decisively.
 

Recommendation #4. In order to emphasize the Academic Council’s role as the coordinating committee of the faculty, the subcommittee proposes the following change to Article VI, Section 3(c) of the Faculty Bylaws.
Existing language:
c) The Council may request that Standing Committees consider and report to the Faculty on matters of general concern.

Proposed language:
(c) In its role as coordinating committee of the Faculty, the Academic Council shall communicate regularly with members of standing committees. Faculty representatives of standing committees who have concerns about issues of shared governance in areas relevant to their committee should report those concerns to the Academic Council. The Council shall consider these concerns and, where it deems appropriate, formally address them in regular Council meetings. On matters deemed to be of general concern, the Council may report directly to the Faculty, or request that Standing Committees do so. In addition, the Academic Council shall collect formal reports on a yearly basis from the chairs of all standing committees.

The successful implementation of this idea requires a change in institutional culture as well as the implementation of these specific amendments to the Bylaws. Specifically, it presupposes that the Academic Council and each of the standing committees consist of faculty members who understand the importance of their responsibility in promoting shared governance. They must be willing to invest the time and effort to understand the issues in the area they represent and to successfully monitor activity in that area. In addition, faculty members of standing committees must be willing to express their concerns if and when they believe the principles of shared governance are being compromised. The Academic Council must keep these considerations in mind as it functions as the nominating committee for standing committees.

In short, faculty must change the way they approach our responsibility to serve on standing committees and Academic Council. Instead of seeing this service as an unpleasant but necessary prerequisite for tenure, professionalization, or promotion, they must recognize it as a crucial way of representing their colleagues in matters of institutional governance. This is especially true of the Academic Council given its central role in the preservation of shared governance. It is crucial, therefore, that, as a rule, faculty members who feel circumstances will prevent them from speaking or acting freely should refrain from service on the Academic Council. Thus, the years preceding a faculty member’s tenure, professionalization, or promotion decision may be precisely the wrong time to serve on Academic Council.
 

Recommendation #5. In order to increase faculty members’ effectiveness in using standing committees to promote shared governance, the subcommittee recommends that the Academic Council take the following specific measures to enhance communication between the Council and standing committees.
Recommendation #6. In order for Academic Council to function effectively as the coordinating committee of the faculty, the standing committees must all follow a standard set of procedures in reporting to the Council. The subcommittee therefore recommends that Article VIII, Section 5, of the Faculty Bylaws be amended as follows.
Existing Language:

Section 5. Operating Procedures.

  1. Standing committees shall agree on procedures for carrying out their duties, including their method of reporting to the Faculty and the Academic Council, and shall publish these procedures as information in the Faculty Handbook.
  2. Standing Committees shall furnish the faculty and the Academic Council with regular reports of their activities.
  3. Administrative Officers are responsible for insuring that necessary information and clerical assistance are provided to the committees.


Proposed Language:

  1. Standing committees shall agree on procedures for carrying out their duties, including their method of reporting to the Faculty and the Academic Council, and shall publish these procedures as information in the Faculty Handbook.
  2. Administrative Officers are responsible for insuring that necessary information and clerical assistance are provided to the committees.
  3. Standing Committees shall furnish the Academic Council with regular, written, and substantive reports of their activities.
  4. Standing committee members who have concerns about the degree of participation in decision-making on issues falling within their purview should report those concerns to the Academic Council.
  5. Standing committee chairs shall communicate with the chairs of other standing committees as appropriate on issues of shared concern.


Changes in the Membership of the Academic Council

For reasons that will be described in this section, we propose three specific changes in the membership of the Academic Council: (1) that members be elected to three-year terms instead of the current two-year terms; (2) that academic support faculty be explicitly included as members of Council; and (3) that both the President and the Academic Vice President attend Council meetings as nonvoting members. All three involve a single section (Article VI, Section 1) of the Faculty Bylaws.

The first suggestion stems from the complexity and importance of the Academic Council in the faculty governance system. To a greater extent than most other elected committees, effective service on the Academic Council requires an understanding of the institution that simply cannot be internalized in a short period of time. Extending the term by one additional year will lengthen the institutional memory of the Council and make it possible for members to function more effectively. Instituting three-year terms can be achieved by electing members of Academic Council in a three-year cycle instead of the current two-year cycle.

The second suggestion results from our subcommittee’s recognition that academic support faculty play a vital role in the academic mission of the College. Despite their importance and status as faculty, this constituency is not currently represented in the faculty governance system. In order to include them on Council, the subcommittee suggests that academic support faculty be treated as a sixth division. To keep Council membership at ten, we further suggest that the number of at-large representatives be reduced by one.

Finally the issue of whether both the President and the Academic Vice President should routinely attend Academic Council meetings is clearly a complicated one, and opinions will no doubt be divided over our third suggestion. Some argue persuasively that restricting access of senior administrators to the Academic Council is the wrong step to take. We want to encourage, not inhibit, interaction and cooperation between faculty and administrators; after all, shared governance means that such cooperation occur. Furthermore, in practical terms, it is a great advantage for the Academic Council to have the opportunity to discuss important issues directly with senior administrators. Even so, there is overwhelming agreement that the presence of senior administrators changes the dynamics of discussion in Academic Council in ways that are not always positive. At times, it would be useful for faculty members of Academic Council to have the kind of unfettered discussion that comes only when administrators are not present.

In light of this, it seems appropriate to continue the practice of having two senior administrators present, but to change what has become the unstated rule that this will be the case for every meeting except the specific conditions outlined in Article VI, Section 1 of the by-laws. There may well be times when, in the opinion of the Council a meeting without administrators is in order, and such cases the decision to do so should carry no negative connotations. This option is, after all, granted explicitly in the by-laws.

These suggestions are all incorporated into the following specific recommendation.
 

Recommendation #7. In order to institute these three suggestions, the subcommittee proposes the following changes to Article VI, Section 1 of the Faculty Bylaws.
Existing Language:

Section 1. Membership. The Academic Council shall consist of nine [ten] members elected for terms of two years and the President, without vote, or a non-voting member designated by him. The President, or his designee, will not meet with the Council when it is serving as a nominating committee or as a hearing committee, or when the Council so requests. In even numbered years one member shall be elected from each of the following divisions into which the departments of instruction are organized: (1) Fine Arts and Humanities; (2) Mathematics and Natural Sciences; (3) Social Sciences; (4) Physical Education, Health, and Teacher Education; and (5) Love School of Business. In addition, five at-large members shall be elected by the Faculty in odd numbered years.

Proposed Language:

Section 1. Membership. The Academic Council shall consist of ten members elected for terms of three years, the President, without vote, and/or the Academic Vice President, without a vote. On occasions when the Council so requests, the President and the Academic Vice President shall not meet with the Council. Such requests may be made as a matter of course, and need not signify any exigency. In addition, the President, and the Academic Vice President will not meet with the Council when it is serving as a nominating committee or as a hearing committee. Elections to the Academic Council occur on a three-year cycle. In the first year of the cycle one member shall be elected from each of the following divisions: (1) Fine Arts and Humanities; (2) Mathematics and Natural Sciences; and (3) Social Sciences. In the second year of the three-year cycle, one member shall be elected from each of the following divisions: (1) HPLHP/Education; (2) Love School of Business; and (3) a member of the academic support faculty. In the final year of the three-year cycle, four at-large members shall be elected by the Faculty.

This recommendation leads to two important issues that will need to be addressed, but which the subcommittee felt should be deferred pending the final report of the Presidential Task Force on Administrative Reorganization.

First, some have pointed to the demographic discrepancy caused by having only one divisional representative for the Arts and Humanities Division, which is significantly larger than the other existing divisions. Once the institution decides on an administrative structure, it will be appropriate for the Academic Council to reexamine divisional representation. At that point, it would make sense for the Council to ensure that all of the divisions are roughly the same size. In addition, the process of phasing in the three-year terms will mean electing some members to one-year terms to keep the membership at ten until one full cycle is achieved. The subcommittee feels these details are better left unresolved at this point, pending the acceptance of our recommendations and the reorganization of the administrative structure.
 

Course Release for the Chair of Academic Council

Recommendation #8. Given the importance of the Academic Council to shared governance, and in light of the additional responsibilities accruing to it under this report, the subcommittee recommends that the Chair of Academic Council receive one course release per semester during his or her term.
 
Faculty Meeting.
In any discussion with faculty about shared governance, the monthly faculty meetings inevitably come in for significant criticism. Among the complaints most often raised are the absence of dialogue at the meetings and the fact that senior administrators lead faculty meetings.

At the heart of the problem is the fact that monthly faculty meetings as defined in the Faculty Handbook (see Articles VI and VII) of necessity operate under formalized rules designed for the efficient conduct of official business. The Bylaws are explicit in requiring that the President preside over faculty meetings. After considering several possible ways of dealing with this central problem, the subcommittee decided to increase the Academic Council Chair’s report as a way expanding the teaching and academic support faculty’s role in the meeting. The most significant way of doing this is to give the Chair of Academic Council control over the "Reports of Standing Committees" agenda item in faculty meetings. Thus, the Chair of the Academic Council can organize this portion of the faculty meeting to discuss issues deemed important by the Academic Council. This is consistent with our recommendations that the Council increase its role as the coordinating committee of the faculty. In addition, the subcommittee proposes that the faculty meeting agenda include an item which explicitly invites faculty members to raise questions or concerns about any issue.
 

Recommendation #9. In order to increase faculty participation in the monthly faculty meetings while remaining consistent with the Bylaws requirement that these meetings be presided over by the President, the subcommittee recommends the following amendments to Article VII, Section 1 of the Faculty Bylaws.
Existing Language:
Section 1. Regular Meetings. The regular faculty meeting shall be held on the first Friday of each month during the academic year. The presiding officer shall cause to be prepared and distributed to each member at least three days in advance of regular meetings a written notice and an agenda accompanied by minutes of the previous meeting. The usual order of business for a regular meeting shall be as follows:
 
  1. Call to Order and Invocation
  2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting
  3. Reports of Administrative Officers
  4. Report of Academic Council
  5. Reports of the Standing Committees
  6. Reports of Special Committees
  7. Unfinished Business
  8. New Business
  9. Announcements
  10. Adjournment with Prayer

Proposed Language:
Section 1. Regular Meetings. The regular faculty meeting shall be held on the first Friday of each month during the academic year. The presiding officer shall cause to be prepared and distributed to each member at least three days in advance of regular meetings a written notice and an agenda accompanied by minutes of the previous meeting. The agenda shall be prepared jointly by the presiding officer and the Chair of the Academic Council. The usual order of business for a regular meeting shall be as follows:

  1. Call to Order and Invocation
  2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting
  3. Administrative Business Items
    • Reports of Administrative Officers
    • Reports of Special Committees
  4. Academic Council Business Items (Led by the Chair of the Academic Council)
    • Report and Resolutions of the Academic Council
    • Reports and Resolutions of Standing Committees
  5. Unfinished Business
  6. New Business, Questions, or Concerns
  7. Announcements
  8. Adjournment
Curriculum Committee and Curricular Planning.
The lifeblood of any institution of higher learning is its curriculum. This most important part of the College is the responsibility of all members of the faculty—administrative, academic support, and teaching. While recognizing the role of each part of the faculty in this responsibility, the subcommittee strongly believes that the primary ownership of the curriculum should lie in the hands of its practitioners—the teaching faculty. Specifically, the ownership mainly resides within the departments and divisions which make up the College. The Curriculum Committee as a body should function in a campus-wide oversight role.

Three main concerns arose with regards to the current structure of the Curriculum Committee—representativeness, size and communications. The main thrust of the subcommittee’s recommendations is to address these issues. The Curriculum Committee should be an elected body, and avenues of communication across committees should be recognized and enhanced. While the subcommittee believes the current listed duties as found in the Faculty Bylaws to be complete and appropriate, there was some concern as to a disparity between the meaning of these duties in spirit and in the reality of practice. The subcommittee believes this disparity can be reduced through the recommendations found here regarding the Curriculum Committee and those found in several other areas.
 

Recommendation #10. The subcommittee recommends the following changes to Article VIII, Section 8(a) of the Faculty Bylaws (I-5).
Existing Language:
Section 8. Curriculum Committee
  1. Membership
    1. Vice President for Academic Affairs, Chair
    2. Head Librarian, without vote
    3. Registrar, without vote
    4. Department Chairs or their designees for the academic year, one of whom shall be elected each September as vice-chair
    5. Two voting student members
  2. Duties.
    1. To study and make recommendations to the Faculty in regard to all areas of the instructional program of Elon College, including the content, methods, and objectives of all courses, major fields of study.
    2. To evaluate proposed additions to or deletions from the curriculum and to report to the Faculty recommendations for curricular changes.
    3. To be responsible for periodic studies of the curriculum in order to provide an instructional program which is consistent with the aims and objectives of Elon College and which will meet the needs of students who are currently enrolled.
    4. To review and make recommendations on major changes in the curriculum in early planning stages.
    5. To review and make recommendations on all major grant proposals with curriculum implications.
    6. To review and approve independent major proposals submitted to the Director of General Studies.


Proposed Language:
Section 8. Curriculum Committee

  1. Membership
  1. Provost/Academic Vice President, or designee, with vote
  2. Head Librarian, without vote
  3. Registrar, without vote
  4. Director of General Studies, without vote
  5. The faculty shall elect five members as Divisional representatives (one each from the five divisions into which the departments of instruction are organized), as well as five at-large members (with not more than 2 at-large members from the same Division). Elections to the Curriculum Committee occur on a three-year cycle. In the first year of the cycle one member shall be elected from each of the following divisions: (1) Mathematics and Natural Sciences and (2) Fine Arts and Humanities; as well as two at-large members. In the second year of the cycle, one each from the following divisions: (1) Social Sciences and (2) Love School of Business; as well as an at-large member. In the final year of the cycle, one each from the following division: (1) HPLHP/Education; as well as two at-large members. One of these ten members shall be elected each May as Chair.
  6. Two student members, with vote
Recommendation #11. The subcommittee further recommends that Section II-12 on Committees of the Faculty--Policies and Procedures (p. 4 of 18) of the Faculty Handbook be amended as follows:
Existing Language:
Section 7. Curriculum Committee (II-12, p. 4 of 18)
  1. Areas of Committee Concern

  2. The Committee is concerned with (1) all areas of the instructional program of the College, (2) additions to or deletions from the curriculum, (3) periodic studies of the curriculum, and (4) reviewing major grant proposals with curriculum implications.
  3. Procedures and Policies
    1. Committee meetings are usually scheduled by the chair monthly at a time convenient to Committee members, unless Committee business necessitates more frequent meetings.
    2. The Chair informs members of meetings at least one week in advance with a written agenda, materials to be discussed, and a copy of the minutes of the previous meeting.
    3. The Committee elects a vice-chair each September. The vice-chair presides in the absence of the chair and helps develop the meeting agendas.
    4. All decisions on Committee business are made through normal parliamentary procedure and a majority vote of members present. A quorum consists of a majority of the Committee membership.
    5. The chair appoints another Committee member to record the minutes of each meeting.
    6. See Faculty Handbook (Section III) for Committee expectations regarding new course and/or programming proposals.
    7. On curriculum proposals involving more than one department, the Committee may conduct inter-departmental or faculty-wide forums.
    8. For independent major proposals, the Vice-Chair shall appoint an ad-hoc subcommittee of three department chairs from areas other than those included in the proposal. Approval by this subcommittee will constitute approval of the proposal.
  4. Methods of Reporting to the Faculty

  5. All major curriculum proposals are presented at regular faculty meetings for discussion and approval. In addition, the Committee makes occasional reports to the faculty regarding curriculum trends and instructional issues.

Proposed Language:
Section 7. Curriculum Committee (II-12, p. 4 of 18)
 

  1. Areas of Committee Concern

  2. The Committee is concerned with (1) all areas of the instructional program of the College, (2) additions to or deletions from the curriculum, (3) periodic studies of the curriculum, (4) reviewing and recommending major curriculum changes, (5) reviewing and evaluating independent major proposals, and (6) reviewing major grant proposals with curriculum implications.
     
  3. Procedures and Policies
    1. Committee meetings are usually scheduled by the Chair at least once a month at a time convenient to Committee members, unless Committee business necessitates more frequent meetings.
    2. The Chair informs members of meetings at least one week in advance with a written agenda, materials to be discussed, and a copy of the minutes of the previous meeting.
    3. The Chair is elected by majority vote of the Committee each May. The Chair presides over the meetings and reviews the agenda with the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs prior to distribution.
    4. All decisions on Committee business are made through normal parliamentary procedure and a majority vote of the members present.
    5. Attendance.
      1. A quorum consists of a majority of the Committee’s voting membership.
      2. Attendance by non-members
        1. The Chair of any Department, or Program Coordinator, making a proposal is expected to attend.
        2. The Chair of the Committee may solicit the attendance of other faculty, and any other faculty members with significant relationships to the proposal(s) under consideration may request the permission of the Chair to attend.
      3. The Chair appoints another Committee member to record the minutes of each meeting.
      4. See the Faculty Handbook (Section II-15) for Committee expectations regarding curriculum and curriculum changes.
      5. On curriculum proposals involving more than one department, the Committee may conduct inter-departmental or faculty-wide forums.
      6. For independent major proposals, the Chair shall appoint an ad-hoc subcommittee of three Committee members from areas other than those included in the proposal. Approval by this subcommittee will constitute approval of the proposal.
  4. Methods of Reporting to the Faculty

  5. The Committee can decide by majority vote on any proposal before it to:
    1. approve the item and forward it to the Faculty as a whole,
    2. not approve the item and send it back to the Department(s) in question,
    3. delay the item for further consideration.
The minutes of each Committee meeting will be disseminated to the Faculty in a timely fashion, either on the Web, through e-mail, and/or hard-copy.
 
There are a number of other places in the Faculty Handbook which address curriculum issues. In order to be consistent and complete with the proposed changes listed above, the following areas are relevant. Any proposed changes are enumerated. The duties of the Department Chair as listed in Section I-5, Article XI, are consistent with these proposed changes. However, a description of the curriculum development process is required. The most important ingredient of this process is a dialogue within the Department, and also between the Department Chair and the respective Dean of the Division. Section II-15A provides a rationale for the appropriate channels, while Section II-15B provides the channels.
 
Recommendation #12. In order to be consistent and complete, the subcommittee recommends the following curriculum development procedures.
Existing Language (Section II-15 B):
B. Summary of procedures for new course/program proposals
  1. All course proposals and major/minor requirement changes having budget implications must be cleared with the Vice President of Academic Affairs prior to presentation to the Curriculum Committee.
  2. All course proposals and major/minor requirement changes should not be submitted to the Vice President of Academic Affairs until they have first had department-wide action. Such proposals should not be the action of individuals or sub-department groups.
  3. New course proposals should be carefully developed, including the following:
    1. Catalog number, title, description and number of semester hours of credit
    2. Number of sections nticipated per academic year
    3. A statement regarding staffing and/or budget implications
    4. A statement justifying the course or changes (rationale and objective)
    5. Course outline
    6. f. Bibliography
    7. g. A statement from the Librarian regarding needed library resources
    8. h. Signature of department chair whose departments are involved.
  4. Course proposals involving content pertinent to more than one department should be joint proposals.
  5. Major curriculum proposals approved by the Curriculum Committee will be presented to the entire faculty for consideration.


Proposed Language (Section II-15 B, and a newly-created Section II-15 C):
B. Summary of procedures for curriculum development and curriculum proposals

  1. The Chair of the department shall involve all department members in discussions regarding new courses or program proposals
  2. The Chair, the department and the respective Divisional Dean should work in concert in the development of curriculum changes and proposals until there is an agreement by consensus
  3. Once consensus has been reached, the Department Chair, with support and documentation provided by the Chair and the Divisional Dean, presents the proposal to the Curriculum Committee
  4. The Curriculum Committee evaluates the proposal(s) following the procedures outlined in Section II
  5. Based on the decision to approve or disapprove the curriculum changes or programs, the decision is presented to the Faculty for their consideration
  6. The decision of the Faculty is then presented to the President subject to review and recommendation
  7. The recommendation of the President is taken to the Board of Trustees, with the final action communicated back to the Faculty as a whole


C. New course proposals should include the following:

  1. Catalog number, title, description and number of semester hours of credit
  2. Number of sections anticipated per academic year
  3. A statement regarding staffing and/or budget implications
  4. A statement justifying the course or changes (rationale and objective)
  5. Course outline
  6. Bibliography
  7. A statement from the Librarian regarding needed library resources
  8. Signature of Department Chair whose departments are involved.

  9.  

     

Recommendation #13. While most curriculum proposals will be developed within existing Departments or Divisions and therefore will as a matter of course follow this procedure for curriculum development and curriculum proposals, the reality is that some proposals will come from outside this structure. In those cases, the subcommittee strongly recommends that the Curriculum Committee and the appropriate department(s) and/or Divisions be involved as early as possible. This is consistent with the intent of Duty 4 of the Curriculum Committee (Section I-5), which provides for review and recommendations on major changes in the curriculum in early planning stages.
Recommendation #14. In order for the enumerated duties of the department Chairs, Divisional Deans and the Vice President for Academic Affairs to be brought into concert with the changes proposed above, the subcommittee recommends the following changes to Section V-3 of the Faculty Handbook.
Existing Language (Section V-3, Academic Vice President, Division Deans, and Department Chairs Responsibilities, p. 6 of 8):

Curricular Programming, Planning and Assessment
Dean:

Oversees the quality of the curriculum and the effectiveness of teaching within the division
Recommends changes in departmental curriculum to AVP and prepares material for Curriculum Committee
Reviews departmental goals and assessment procedures
Coordinates interdivisional or interdisciplinary programs
Monitors curricular offerings for compliance with accreditation requirements
Approves independent studies
 
AVP:
Oversees long-range curricular planning
Establishes guidelines for curriculum development and assessment
Supervises periodic college-wide assessments (e.g., accreditation)
Approves changes in curriculum recommended by chairs and deans for submission to Curriculum Committee
Supervises annual changes in the college catalog
Facilitates interdisciplinary programming (e.g., general studies)

Proposed Language (V-3, Academic Vice President, Division Deans, and Department Chairs Responsibilities, p. 6 of 8):

Curriculum Programming, Planning and Assessment
Dean:

Oversees the quality of the curriculum and the effectiveness of teaching within the division
Discusses changes in departmental curriculum with the VPAA and prepares material to aid department chairs presentations to the Curriculum Committee
Reviews departmental goals and assessment procedures
Coordinates interdivisional or interdisciplinary programs
Monitors curriculum offerings for compliance with accreditation requirements
Approves independent studies
 
AVP:
Oversees long-range curriculum planning
Establishes guidelines for curriculum development and assessment
Supervises periodic college-wide assessments (e.g., accreditation)
Supervises annual changes in the college catalog
Facilitates interdisciplinary programming (e.g., general studies)
 
Relationship to the Board of Trustees.
The Elon College Board of Trustees is a formal organization established to manage the property and business of Elon College and to carry out those functions assigned to it by the College By-Laws. Currently, the Board consists of 41 persons. 36 of these are members elected for four years in classes of nine each. Two other members are Youth Trustees, elected in classes of one each. The final three representatives are ex-officio Trustees, specifically, the President of the Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ; the Conference Minister (Executive Vice President of the Conference), and the President of the College. These officers serve without vote. The duties of the Board include such matters as the appointment and removal of the college President, authorization of the annual budget, review and approval of educational programs, and authorization of capital projects. A more detailed explanation of the Board and its role is found in Appendix 2.
 

Current Relationship of Faculty to the Board.

Currently, Faculty-Board communication occurs in a number of ways. These include: attendance of specified faculty members at the twice-yearly committee meetings of the Board, occasional presentations to the full Board by invited faculty, and occasional informal lunches or gatherings. In addition, two faculty members recently served on the trustee group that conducted a search for a new College President. Notably, no current or past faculty are members of the full Board itself.

The special committees of the Board (which designated faculty attend) include:
 


These three faculty (and three students) attend the business session of the Board as do senior administrators. When the board goes into executive session, all faculty, staff, and students are excused.

Analysis of the Current System

To some extent, the membership and organization of the Board is consistent with the tasks assigned to that group by the College By-Laws. If the overall purpose of the Board is to guarantee financial stability, facilities growth, good public relations, and conformity with the broad mission of the college - then the assemblage of prominent alumni and business people makes sense. Furthermore, the absence of Elon Faculty and Staff from the Board insures that the Board will not be subject to special pleadings or conflicts of interests that such potential members might have.

However, it is striking that the Board has relatively little systematic contact with the group charged with conceiving and enacting educational programs, i.e., Faculty. Indeed, there is more formal contact with students (i.e., the three students who attend Board committee meetings and the two Youth Trustees) than with Faculty. Nor has a "faculty viewpoint" been represented on the Board historically by faculty members from other colleges and universities, who presumably would have no conflicts of interests While recent attempts to increase Board-Faculty communication are to be praised, current policies and practices are inadequate for the kind of wide-ranging dialogue that would enrich the perspectives of both Trustees and Faculty.
 

Recommendations

For the above reasons, the subcommittee recommends the following:

Recommendation #15. That the Board of Trustees institute a practice of twice-yearly meetings between its Educational Affairs Committee and the Faculty’s coordinating committee, the Academic Council. These meetings would be held during the periods established for the meetings of the full Board, i.e., in October and March of each academic year. The purpose of these meetings would be to share perspectives and concerns about the academic directions of the college.
This focused discussion would not replace the current pattern of attendance of that meeting. That is, the Vice-Chair of the Curriculum Committee (now Chair as proposed in this report) and SGA Vice-President would continue to present and discuss curricular changes and related matters. Instead, the proposed discussions between the Board and Academic Council would occur as a separate meeting or segment of that meeting
Recommendation #16. That the Board evaluate its current membership structure and/or pattern of appointments in a way that recognizes the importance of specifically academic and faculty perspectives. Such an analysis would include consideration of the following:
As in the case of the other ex officio members, the Academic Council Chair would not vote. As noted above, matters requiring unusual confidentiality might be restricted to voting members of the Board only.
Recommendation #17. That the Board evaluate the membership and practices of its other various committees in order to find other appropriate ways to include Students, Faculty, and Staff.
Recommendation #18. That the Board continue to seek ways to build relationships with the Faculty as a whole. Such practices could include informal lunches between the groups, systems of electronic correspondence, inclusion of selected Faculty in Trustee planning activities and task forces, etc. The inclusion of faculty in the recent hiring of the College President represents a good model for this new pattern of collaboration.
Recommendation #19. That the Board extend its practice of receiving regular reports from pertinent faculty committees and task forces, including the Academic Council, on matters germane to its work.
Recommendation #20. That Board members be invited to attend the monthly meetings of the faculty or other college-wide discussions of special importance.
Recommendation #21. That faculty meetings include reports from Faculty who have participated in meetings of the Board.
Relationship to the President.
The new college President has done well to develop contacts with faculty and to seek their advice regarding educational affairs. While informal conversation is extremely important for promoting a sense of community and for developing sound institutional policy, it is also important to have formal processes of consultation. To this end, the subcommittee recommends the following:
 
Recommendation #22. That the President, as ex officio member of the Academic Council, participate in the regularly scheduled meetings of that body as frequently as possible.


In other words, while the delegation of this responsibility is sometimes necessary, this practice does not substitute adequately for the presence of the President himself. It is important that Council members and the President develop a sound working relationship, a project dependent upon regular rather than sporadic attendance.
 

Recommendation #23. That the President establish a pattern of regular private consultation with the Chair of the Academic Council
Many policies are developed initially through informal conversation. It is important that the President and the Chair of the Council have conversations about the broad directions of the college and that they establish a relationship of trust and mutual respect.
 
 
Budget Committee.
This year, the college’s Budget Committee was altered by the appointment of a teaching faculty member, Brad Hamm, to a three-year appointment on that body. That action expanded the committee to three members: the AVP/Provost, the Vice President for Business and Finance, and the faculty representative.

Because this change was just implemented this year, the subcommittee feels that it would be inadvisable to recommend further changes at this point. However, it does seem prudent to evaluate the new arrangement at some point. To this end, the following recommendation is made:

Recommendation #24. The Academic Council requests that the college evaluate the effectiveness of the new pattern of membership of the Budget Committee during the 2001-2002 academic year.
The above year represents the third and final year of Professor Hamm’s tenure on that committee. At that point, the relative strengths and weaknesses of the current system can be evaluated more effectively.
 
Research and Development
Given the nature of the work of this committee it is appropriate to clarify that the faculty serving on this committee will be teaching faculty. It is suggested that the term teaching be inserted before the word faculty (requiring a change in the bylaws, section a1). It is also suggested that the specific number of divisions be deleted so that section a1 does not need to be revisited if the number of divisions at the college changes.

At present the Research and Development Committee only makes recommendations to the AVP concerning faculty professional development and research activities. It is recommended that this committee serve as a decision-making body (requiring a change in the bylaws, sections b5 and b6). In light of this, it is also recommended that the Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee be a voting member of the committee rather than an ex officio member (requiring a change in the bylaws, section a2). The change from Grants Coordinator to Director of Sponsored Programs (section a3) reflects the official title of the individual in this position. Changes are noted above.

Although many past and present members of the Research and Development Committee have expressed concern over the system of reviewing sabbaticals and the lack of clarity in the professional sabbatical review process, restructuring of this process is beyond the charge of the Subcommittee on Shared Governance. It is suggested that the R & D Committee examine this process and make recommendations.

Recommendation #25. The subcommittee recommends the following changes to Article VIII, Section 15 of the Faculty Bylaws.
Existing Language:
  1. Membership.
    1. Eight faculty members elected for two-year terms, four elected each year. In odd numbered years one member shall be elected from each of the five divisions. Four at-large members shall be elected in even numbered years. The Committee shall elect annually in May a chair from among these faculty members.
    2. Vice President for Academic Affairs, ex officio
    3. Grants Coordinator, without vote.
  2. Duties
    1. To recommend criteria for the administration and evaluation of individual proposals related to faculty development
    2. To receive, evaluate and recommend approval of such proposals
    3. To receive, study and evaluate proposals for research and advanced study submitted by members of the faculty, and recommend to the Vice President for Academic Affairs those proposals which, in the judgment of the Committee, should receive financial assistance
    4. To receive, study and evaluate requests for financial assistance in the completion of the doctorate; and recommend to the Vice President for Academic Affairs those which, in the judgment of the Committee, should be granted
    5. To receive, study and evaluate requests for sabbatical leaves, recommend to the Vice President for Academic Affairs those requests which, in the judgment of the Committee, should be granted


Proposed Language:

    Membership
    1. Teaching faculty members elected for two-year terms. In odd numbered years one member shall be elected from each of the divisions. Four at-large members shall be elected in even numbered years. The Committee shall elect annually in May a chair from among these faculty members.
    2. Vice President for Academic Affairs, or his/her designee
    3. Director of Sponsored Programs, without vote
  1. Duties
    1. To devise criteria for the administration and evaluation of individual proposals related to faculty development
    2. To receive, evaluate and approve such proposals
    3. To receive, study, and evaluate proposals for research and advanced study submitted by members of the faculty, and approve those proposals which, in the judgment of the Committee, should receive financial assistance
    4. To receive, study and evaluate requests for financial assistance in the completion of the doctorate; and approve those which, in the judgment of the Committee, should be granted
    5. To receive, study and evaluate requests for sabbatical leaves, and approve those requests which, in the judgment of the Committee, should be granted
 
Professional Status, Promotion, and Tenure Committee
The Promotions, Tenure and Professional Status Committee is an example of successful shared governance at Elon College. The committee has a recommending role, but the recommendations are taken seriously by the administration, which has been thoughtful in its consideration. Significant steps have been taken to address and improve clarification of criteria and communication between candidates, committee members and administrators. The recent restructuring of the committee’s membership to include professionalized members appropriately mirrors the changes in the evaluation process at Elon.

Two significant structural issues need to be addressed, but recommendations cannot be made until the larger administrative structure is established in terms of the redefinition or elimination of the office of Academic Vice President, and the subsequent possible new roles of deans. The first of these resulting issues will deal with how the deans or other new voices in the evaluation process are weighted in deciding promotion, professional status or tenure, and what the interrelated structure between the committee and various administrative voices should be. The second area of possible future recommendations may result from an increased annual load of cases to be reviewed by the committee, as candidates for professional status join the process. Perhaps this committee will not be able to handle this increased load, and will need to delegate some of the responsibility to another group or address it in a separate time frame.
 

Other Committees.
As directed by its charge, the subcommittee also discussed the status of several other standing committees. That conversation focused not only on the structure and duties of each unit but also on the propriety of its classification as a standing committee. In general, the subcommittee determined that standing committee status was most appropriate for those committees which are elected by the faculty and which report their activities to the Academic Council, or through its direction, to the faculty as a whole. Furthermore, such committees typically select their chair from among these elected members. In this light, the committee examined specific committees which seemed to deviate from these principles.Committee on Athletics.

As currently defined in the Faculty Bylaws, the Committee on Athletics is composed entirely of appointed members. Specifically, these members are six faculty appointed by the President, the Athletic Director (without vote), and two students who are not members of an intercollegiate athletic squad. Included among the faculty members is a committee chair appointed by the President, who serves as a Faculty Athletics Representative for the college. As noted above, this structure contrasts with the pattern established in other standing committees.

The current composition of the committee is described in the Faculty Bylaws as follows (I-5, Section 14)
 

Recommendation #26 That the Committee on Athletics be revised to read as follows.
Existing Language:
 
    Membership.
    1. Director of Athletics, without vote
    2. Six faculty members appointed for three-year terms by the President; two appointed each year in May. The President shall designate one of these six as chair each year.
    3. Two student members who are not members of an intercollegiate squad.

Proposed Language:

    Membership.
    1. Director of Athletics, without vote.
    2. Faculty Athletics Representative, with vote, appointed by the President
    3. Six faculty members elected for three-year terms; two elected each year in May. The committee shall elect a chair from among these members.
    4. Two student members who are not members of an intercollegiate athletic squad, with vote.


Teacher Education Committee and Academic Appeals Committee.

Two other committees were seen as conspicuous departures from the prevailing pattern for standing committees. Both of the above committees are composed solely of appointed members and have ex officio administrative faculty as chairs. The composition for each committee is described below (Faculty Bylaws, Section I-5):

Section 13. Teacher Education Committee.
  1. Membership.
    1. Dean of the Division of Education/HPEL, Chair
    2. Eleven faculty members are appointed annually in May by the President, one to represent each of the following areas: Elementary Education, English, Foreign Languages, Health Education, Mathematics, Middle Grades Education, Music, Natural Sciences, Physical Education, Social Studies, and Special Education.
    3. Two representatives from public school personnel
    4. Two non-voting student members.

Section 17. Academic Appeals Committee.

    Membership.
    1. Vice President for Academic Affairs, Chair
    2. One member of the faculty, appointed by the Vice President for Academic Affairs
    3. President of the Student Government Association or another member of the executive officers; only one serving at a time
Although each committee is composed of appointed members, it was decided in these instances that the committees neither report typically to the Academic Council nor establish policy for the academic program as a whole. Furthermore, the pattern of appointment here may satisfy certain needs for specialized expertise or efficient, confidential operation. For such reasons, the subcommittee recommends the following:
Recommendation #27. That the Teacher Education Committee and the Academic Appeals Committee be removed from the category of Standing Committees and established instead as Advisory Committees.


Concluding Remarks on Other Committees.

Although it was not charged to review all standing and advisory committees, the subcommittee became aware of various discrepancies and errors (e.g., the continued reference to the Vice President for Academic Affairs) in the descriptions of committee membership and duties. The Council may wish to correct these irregularities and inconsistencies in subsequent reviews of this material. Furthermore, it was noticed that certain committees, such as Honors Advisory Committee, International Programs Committee, and Interdisciplinary Writing Committee, may have more appropriate status as Standing Committees.

In this regard, the following recommendation is made:

Recommendation #28 That the Academic Council establish principles for the classification of Standing and Advisory Committees and evaluate the appropriate status of each committee in these terms.


Status of Academic Support Faculty.

Status of Academic Support Faculty. As defined previously (page 8), academic support faculty "are members of the college who have supervisory responsibility for specific programs that provide educational opportunities for students, implement academic procedures, or otherwise support the educational mission of the college." In addition to their status as voting members of the faculty, academic support professionals fulfill roles as "staff" in such areas of the college as library, academic computing, advising and career services, student affairs, and athletics.

Historically, the faculty status of this group has not been fully developed. As noted above (p. 7), the criteria for appointment to faculty rank and the possibilities for promotion within rank have not been clearly defined. Furthermore, although academic support faculty are entitled through the Faculty bylaws to vote for candidates to the standing committees, they have not been nominated (with the rarest of exceptions) to serve as members of those committees. In certain cases, of course, committee membership is restricted by definition to teaching faculty and ex officio administrators. However, for the most part, this practice results from some unexamined assumptions about appropriate membership for these bodies. Finally, academic support faculty have not met regularly as a group to discuss common interests and perspectives.

Such issues were addressed at an October 1999 meeting of the Academic Support Services Committee. That committee supported the proposed delineation of faculty into three categories. It also emphasized the importance of clarifying the eligibility of academic support faculty for service on both standing and advisory committees. It was acknowledged that membership on certain committees (e.g., on the Faculty Research and Development Committee and on the Promotion, Tenure, and Professional Status Committee) is not appropriate at this time; however, membership on other committees, including the Academic Council, was thought to be appropriate.

Some of these concerns have been addressed by two previous recommendations in this document. Recommendation #3 proposes that the college develop criteria and procedures for appointment and promotion in faculty rank for administrative and academic support professionals. Recommendation #6 proposes that the Academic Council include an academic support faculty member drawn from and elected by that group. However, several additional issues have not been addressed. For this reason, the subcommittee recommends the following:

Recommendation #29. That the Academic Council consider nomination of academic support faculty to standing committees of the faculty, except in instances where that membership is specifically prohibited.
To accomplish such an objective, the Academic Council would extend its practice of soliciting committee preferences from teaching faculty to include preferences from academic support faculty as well.
 
Recommendation #30. That the college re-evaluate the role of academic support faculty on advisory committees.
There are numerous committees across the college with appointive membership, including those listed in the Faculty Handbook as Advisory Committees. It is the subcommittee's understanding that the special perspectives of academic support faculty would be useful on several of these committees. Extending membership in this way would broaden the conversations of these groups and potentially diminish the heavy committee obligations of teaching faculty.
Recommendation #31. That the college establish an evaluation system for academic support faculty that recognizes the importance of professional development and broader service to the college. This evaluation system should be supported by an appropriate professional development system that assists academic support faculty in meeting these expectations.
Current evaluation procedures for academic support faculty (and for administrative faculty as well) have focused on their management abilities. While this remains an important focus, evaluation procedures should also recognize the wider contributions of support faculty to the college as well as their commitment to external professional communities. Like other faculty members, this group should be asked to develop plans for their own professional growth. A narrative statement (similar to the Unit I completed by teaching faculty) may be appropriate. However, any altered expectations for professional development or service should be accompanied by appropriate financial resources or other institutional support for career growth.


Return to Report to the Academic Council Subcommittee on the Role of Faculty in Shared Governance.