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Senate communications

September 7, 2017

Presentation to the 2017 Faculty Fellows Program

UW Faculty Shared Values

As faculty members of a public university with a local footprint, a regional impact, and a global reach, we serve society through our teaching, research, and public engagement. At a time when institutions of higher education are facing increased scrutiny, we re‐affirm our commitment to academic research and teaching as an essential public good that transcends politics and strengthens democracy.

Democratic Tradition: Historically, universities exist as institutions for the creation and dispersion of knowledge. Americans have been committed to higher education since our founding, with nine colleges established before the American Revolution. The emergence of the public university also has a long history beginning with the Morrill Act of 1862, which provided for a land grant university in every state. Public universities have made higher education more accessible and the recognition that higher education brings with it enormous benefits has led to a greater diversity of faculty, staff, and students, as well as broader areas of research and teaching. Today, students and faculty come from all backgrounds and from around the globe to study and pursue research at our university. We are stronger and we serve the public more fully because of that diversity and growth.

Public Good: As faculty at a public institution of higher education, we teach and do research to expand knowledge and improve human and environmental health conditions around the world. As teachers and scholars, we are a valuable public source of knowledge, expertise and innovation. University‐led research and scholarship provide enormous social and economic benefits to our state, our country, and the world. Going forward, we commit to strengthening the presence and impact of public universities in our state and across the nation.

Access and Excellence: Universities build the future and this is nowhere more evident than in our work with students, both inside and outside the classroom. As teachers and researchers, we train leaders, thinkers, and innovative problem solvers who seek to build healthier communities here in the Puget Sound region and around the world. We nurture students as they engage with new ideas and develop the foundations of new knowledge in the sciences, humanities, arts, and professions. By welcoming students into our laboratories and libraries, we submerge them in the deep river of research that moves the world forward. The future of democracy is in our students and we have the sacred obligation of providing them with an excellent education.

Critical Thinking and Inquiry: As educators and learners we are dedicated to fostering bold inquiry and fearless debate by establishing strong foundations for critical thinking and analysis. We are responsible for creating learning environments that demand challenging explorations of ideas, concepts, and domains of knowledge. We are responsible for maintaining respectful communities. The value of honest, critical, and probing inquiry is essential in both our research and teaching, as we prepare the next generation of thoughtful leaders and lifelong learners. We commit to meeting the formidable challenge of creating an environment that supports free and critical inquiry, recognizing that such inquiry is not always comfortable or easy for any of us.

Inclusion and Engagement: Creating and dispersing knowledge that serves the public good is only possible in an environment in which a broad range of perspectives can be voiced and explored. Diversity is essential to our success in innovation and creativity as researchers, teachers, and faculty members.
Inclusion and full engagement are crucial to our mission as a public institution. Generating new knowledge to address the great challenges facing us all relies on a breadth and depth of engagement that reaches across all boundaries, including but not limited to those of geography, race, gender, class, sexual orientations, politics, disabilities, and religions.

Academic Freedom: As scholars, teachers, and members of the faculty community, we are firmly committed to Academic freedom as defined in “A Statement of Principle: Academic Freedom and Responsibility” (Section 24‐33, 2014). We re‐affirm “the freedom to discuss all relevant matters in teaching, to explore all avenues of scholarship, research, and creative expression, and to speak or write without institutional discipline or restraint on matters of public concern as well as on matters related to shared governance and the general welfare of the University.” We support every one of our colleagues and students who face harassment of any form in their pursuit of knowledge and understanding. We also recognize that the privilege of academic freedom creates important responsibilities. As teachers, mentors, and scholars, our collective power to generate and share knowledge is formidable, and we pledge to hold ourselves to the highest standards of truth and justice.

Endorsed by Faculty Senate: April 20, 2017 Class C Resolution 567

University Faculty and Shared Governance

A university is a community of scholars contributing, each according to his own talents and interests, to the transmission and advancement of knowledge. Because of its diversity of interests a university is a complex organization, not quite like any other in its management, which requires the understanding and good faith of people dedicated to a common purpose. A university administration must seek wisely and diligently to advance the common effort, and the strength of a university is greatest when its faculty and administration join for the advancement of common objectives. Much of the faculty − administration relationship has been established through long experience, and has the weight and good sense of academic form and tradition. But the terms of this relationship are essentially those of spirit, mutual respect, and good faith, and thus must be flexible to meet changing needs. Common understandings have meaning only to the extent that they reflect the integrity and faith of administration and faculty in the day by day accomplishment of their joint effort. [UW Policy Directory Chapter 13, Section 13‐20; Undated: About April 16, 1956]

2017‐2018 Faculty Senate leadership

The Faculty Code

The Faculty Code was adopted by a vote of the University Faculty and with the approval of the President in 1956; amendments and additions have followed via mutual agreement. This Code defines the rules under which the President (and their administration) and the University Faculty shall share responsibility for the governance of the University.

Relationships through which faculty governance is shared. Under the Faculty Code there are three relationships or sites through which governance is to be shared in particular and distinct ways. Each serves a different function.

  • The Faculty and the President. The Faculty Senate, as the legislative body of the University Faculty, proposes additions and amendments to the Code; if the President approves such legislation, it becomes a part of the Code and is binding upon the administration.
  • The Faculty and the Provost. The standing committees of the University (also known as the University’s Faculty Councils) deliberate issues and advise both the Provost and the Senate Executive Committee (SEC). While these councils may choose to identify an array of issues for consideration, considering the concerns of the Provost and the SEC is an important part of a councils’ effectiveness.
  • The Faculty Councils of the Schools, Colleges and UW Bothell and UW Tacoma and the Deans. In the 17 Schools, Colleges and Campuses of the University, the Code requires that these 17 separate faculty groups determine their own Code‐compliant bylaws, according to which they shall determine certain academic matters (see Section 23‐42) and advise their deans on others through their duly elected faculty councils (see Section 23‐45.C). In departmentalized schools and colleges, and at UWT and UWB, this relationship is to be “echoed” between the departmental faculties and their chairs.

The Faculty Senate

The Faculty Code (Section 13‐23) defines a mandate for the Faculty Senate to serve as the legislative body of the University Faculty, with whom the President of the University shares the responsibility of formulating regulations and procedures for the immediate government of the University on such matters as:

  • educational policy and general welfare;
  • policy for the regulation of student conduct and activities;
  • scholastic policy, including requirements for admission, graduation, and honors;
  • approval of candidates for degrees;
  • criteria for faculty tenure, appointment, and promotion;
  • recommendations concerning campus and University budgets.

Official Representation of the Faculty. “No person except an official representative of the faculty, appointed by the Senate, shall represent or speak for the University faculty, or purport to do so.” [Faculty Code, Section 21‐42.]

Official representatives include:

• the Faculty Senate Chair
• the Faculty Senate Vice Chair
• the Faculty Senate Past Chair
• the Faculty Legislative Representative

The Senate Executive Committee (SEC) is the faculty committee primarily responsible for the participation of the faculty in university government. Its main responsibilities are to assist the senate in the discharge of its legislative duties and to provide an effective channel of communication and consultation between the president and the university faculty with respect to their joint and several responsibilities in the immediate government of the university. The SEC membership includes senate leadership, the university president, three elected chairs of University Faculty Councils, and elected representatives from the various schools, colleges, and campuses.

The Senate Committee on Planning and Budgeting (SCPB) advises the administration and shall inform the Faculty Senate on long‐range planning and on preparation of budgets and distribution of funds with particular reference to faculty concerns.

The University Faculty Committees/Councils

The University Faculty Councils, the standing committees of the university, are one of the three sites of shared governance at the University of Washington. Faculty Councils serve as deliberative and advisory bodies for all matters of university policy, and are primary forums for faculty‐administrative interaction in determining that policy.

Chairs and members of University Faculty Councils are appointed by the Senate Executive Committee and confirmed by the Faculty Senate. Councils meet regularly during each academic year to provide oversight on the areas within their charges, and to advise the provost and the Senate Executive Committee on proposals, challenges, changing conditions, needs and opportunities that arise throughout the university. Where warranted, Faculty Councils may also propose legislative changes to the university Faculty Code.

With representatives from the breadth and depth of the university faculty, administration, students – both graduate and undergraduate − and staff at the table, the councils are uniquely positioned to propose thoughtful solutions and innovations that benefit all aspects of university life.

The current University Faculty Councils are:

  • Faculty Council on Academic Standards (FCAS)
  • Faculty Council on Benefits and Retirement (FCBR)
  • Faculty Council on Faculty Affairs (FCFA)
  • Faculty Council on Multicultural Affairs (FCMA)
  • Faculty Council on Research (FCR)
  • Faculty Council on Student Affairs (FCSA)
  • Faculty Council on Tri‐Campus Policy (FCTCP)
  • Faculty Council on University Facilities and Services (FCUFS)
  • Faculty Council on University Libraries (FCUL)
  • Faculty Council on Women in Academia (FCWA)
  • Faculty Council on Teaching and Learning (FCTL)

School, College, and Campus Faculty Governance

Today, over 4000 University of Washington faculty educate nearly 70,000 students per year in the schools, colleges, and campuses in Seattle, Bothell and Tacoma. Each school, college, and the UW Tacoma and UW Bothell campuses have elected faculty councils or committees that share with the administration the governance of their units; faculty are governed by school, college, and campus by‐laws that are consistent with the Faculty Code.

The UWT Faculty Assembly and UWB General Faculty Organization chairs are voting members of the Senate Executive Committee and the UW Faculty Senate. The campus level faculty assembly and general faculty organization deal with local issues and advise their respective campus chancellors while the Faculty Senate addresses university-wide faculty issues such as Faculty Code changes. Faculty on all three campuses have representation on university faculty councils, and regardless of campus, there is an elected senator to the UW Faculty Senate for every 40-faculty members in a department level unit. This is in addition to the UWT and UWB faculty governance bodies. Currently there are 122 senators serving the UW Faculty Senate. Find the senator representing you and make sure they are communicating regularly with you on university governance issues.

The Secretary of the Faculty

The Secretary of the Faculty is one of the two officers of the university faculty (the other being the university president). The Secretary is a tenured member of the faculty and normally serves a five‐year term. The Secretary of the Faculty is elected by a majority vote of the Senate Executive Committee and confirmed by a majority vote of the Senate.

Responsibilities of the Secretary of the Faculty include:

  • Administering the Office of University Committees, including providing for appointments to University Councils and Committees, providing support to the Faculty Senate, Senate Executive Committee and University Faculty Councils and Committees.
  • Advising the senate leadership, Faculty Senate, Senate Executive Committee, University Faculty Councils and Committees, and elected Faculty Councils of the schools, colleges, and campuses on matters within the Faculty Code.
  • Advising individual faculty and administrators on faculty rights and responsibilities and other matters within the Faculty Code, include dispute resolution.
  • Maintaining the records of the Faculty Senate, Senate Executive Committee, University Faculty Councils and Committees, and bylaws of the schools, colleges, and campuses

Dispute Resolution

What would you do if you found yourself entangled in a conflict with a colleague that seemed to defy resolution? Where would you go if you felt you’d been treated unfairly by your department chair or dean with regard to a salary or promotion decision? When the prospect of resolving conflicts directly with your colleagues seems unlikely, you are encouraged to consult with any of several offices on campus that provide a variety of problem‐ solving and dispute‐resolution services. The link above provides a guide to these services.