Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Shared Governance and the UVU "White Paper"

13 September 2011

The “White Paper” charges the Academic Affairs Council with reviewing and prioritizing new degrees, emphases, and minors. In addition, it states the following:

A proposal for an Academic Program Review Committee will be developed in collaboration with the VPAA, Academic Affairs Council and Faculty Senate. This committee should establish data-driven criteria for the review of current degree offerings. In determining the criteria, the committee should build off of the criteria for new programs developed by the Academic Affairs Council. A program review process should yield recommendations regarding the status and ongoing viability of current degrees. These recommendations would be reviewed and approved by the VPAA and respective dean and then be implemented accordingly. The Associate Vice President of Academic Programs will play an active role in the review process.

The UVU Chapter of the AAUP has traditionally deferred to the Faculty senate in issues of shared governance, stepping in only to question specific cases of failed shared governance or infringements of academic freedom.

In this case, we wish to suggest that it is the faculty’s role to establish curriculum and that part of the curriculum process involves the development of new degrees. Depending on the makeup of an Academic Program Review Committee and depending on the role of the Faculty Senate in such a committee, this proposal may or may not further the kind of shared governance that is critical for a healthy institution.

Scott Abbott
President of the UVU Chapter of the AAUP