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Shared Governance at work

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“Shared Governance at work”

Tamara Rounds

Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Social Work

and Chair of the Academic Constitution and Bylaws Task Force

Once every four years the University Senate Constitution mandates a review of the University Senate Articles and Bylaws. Simin Levinson, University Senate President established the Academic Constitution and Bylaws task force in October 2020. The 2020/21 University Senate Bylaws Review Task Force was charged with evaluating each of the articles and bylaws making up the University Senate Constitution (ACD 112-01). Task force members were selected from all four campuses with faculty representing all academic ranks.

Tamara Rounds had the privilege of chairing the task force that included University Academic Council (UAC) members Shirley Rose, Chris Kyselka, and Mary Burleson, and Senators Philip Vandermeer and Joseph Russomanno. The members of the task force were tasked to evaluate the current effectiveness of the ASU Senate governance system, both in its mechanism of makeup, and the operational components outlined within the constitution itself. This document identifies the principles and mechanisms by which the Academic Assembly and ASU administration seek to affect their commitment to the university's mission and fulfill the responsibilities of shared governance as mandated by the Arizona legislature and Arizona Board of Regents.

Three themes emerged around our proposed changes. Relevancy, Lived experience, Accuracy and Inclusion. Among some of the proposed changes: replacing words such as “teleconference” with “virtual” which is more relevant to our experience now at ASU. Other changes reflect the input and lived experiences shared by several task force members in the varying roles and responsibilities they’ve held. These experiences impacted how we viewed operational procedures and brought about the need for further clarification or language revision and updating. Keeping with ASU’s themes of innovation and being an enterprise of moving parts and units, the task force made recommendations that were more inclusive such as adding fixed-term appointments to already existing language; a term that accurately reflects representation of all ranks who make up the Academic Assembly. You can review ACD 112-01 and all of the proposed changes on the Senate dashboard.

The task force met its charge with the critical examination of the current constitution and has proposed amendments to the University Senate Constitution and Bylaws. The proposed changes have been reviewed by the UAC, Executive Committee and faculty Senate. There will be an opportunity for the Academic Assembly to ask questions and review the proposed changes via a Town Hall Zoom meeting March 30th from 3:00-4:00pm. See you there.

 

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