6. Governance Committees Definitions

A. Definitions

1. Governance committees: Committees by which the faculty fulfills its delegated duties in the areas of academic policy, curricular policy, and personnel matters. (The Constitution of the Faculty of Central College, FC.2.A – FC.2.C).

2. Ex officio members: Persons who are named members of a committee by virtue of their position rather than by election shall have a voice but not a vote in committee matters.

3. Student representatives: Representatives selected by Student Senate who shall have a voice but not a vote in committee matters.

B. Membership

1. The President will appoint one ex officio member with appropriate expertise to each of the following governance committees: Faculty Steering Committee, Academic Planning Committee, Faculty Planning Committee, Academic Program Review Committee, Curriculum Approval Committee, Faculty Development Committee, Faculty Personnel Committee, and International Education Committee.

2. A faculty member may serve on only one governance committee at a time.

3. The length of term on a governance committee shall be three (3) years unless otherwise specified.

4. Governance committee members will be elected by the Faculty via secret recorded ballot unless otherwise specified.

C. Election of Members

1. The Faculty Steering Committee will notify the Faculty of vacancies on governance committees whose members are elected at-large and solicit nominations from the faculty for such vacancies. The Faculty Steering Committee, in consultation with the VPAA/Dean of the Faculty, shall assume responsibility for determining eligibility.

2. Persons elected to governance committees shall assume office on the first working day of the next academic year in which they are elected. Governance committees may, at their discretion, invite newly-elected faculty to sit with them as non-voting participants prior to that time.

3. If a faculty member of a governance committee retires, resigns, or is unable to serve on the committee for any other reason, the Faculty Steering Committee will appoint a replacement for the remainder of the academic year. Normally, this will be a runner-up from the most recent election, subject to eligibility. A special election may be held if necessary.

4. When elected members of a governance committee are scheduled to be on leave – whether for a semester or a full year – the Faculty Steering Committee will appoint a replacement for the full academic year. Normally, this will be a runner-up from the most recent election, subject to eligibility. A special election may be held if necessary.

5. Members of the Faculty Steering Committee and the Faculty Personnel Committee will be elected prior to the elections for all other governance committees. After elections for governance committees defined by the bylaws, elections for other committees and groups may be held.

D. Organization and Procedure

1. A governance committee’s work for the year commences with the start of the academic year. Except in cases of extenuating circumstances, a governance committee’s work for the year ends at commencement.

2. Each governance committee elects its chair and secretary. These elections normally are held at the start of the academic year but may be held at the end of the previous spring. Members who will serve with the chair and secretary are the only ones who shall vote in the election for chair and secretary.

3. The chair of each governance committee shall set preliminary meeting agendas and give public notice of committee agendas and meeting times.

4. The secretary of each governance committee shall, in a timely manner, make meeting minutes available to the faculty and to the College Archives.

5. Whenever a governance committee is prepared to recommend to the Faculty any proposal involving changes in the catalog or changes in policy, it should take into consideration all affected and interested parties and solicit appropriate feedback. The committee shall consider the recommendation and shall compose and present its final draft to the Faculty Steering Committee for potential placement on a faculty meeting agenda.

6. Governance committees should conduct business with transparency and open lines of communication, seeking out expertise from interested and informed faculty and disseminating committee work in regularly published public minutes and/or reports at faculty meetings. However, principles of confidentiality prevail in circumstances as required by institutional policy or employment law.

7. Any faculty member has the right to attend any governance committee meeting except during discussions deemed confidential.

8. At the end of the academic year, each governance committee submits a written report to the chair of the Faculty Steering Committee on the year’s business.

9. The faculty affirms the principles of student representation in college governance.

E. The Governance Committees of the Faculty

1. Guiding Principles

The Faculty at Central College affirm that shared governance, in alignment with the bylaws, provides an essential foundation for fulfilling the mission of the college. We affirm a governance structure that operates with integrity, honesty, and respect, working in the best interest of the Faculty in particular and college in general. We
believe our interdependence, facilitated by engaged communication within and between various constituencies, enables effective shared governance and joint action.
Our governance structure should be durable, yet flexible. It should facilitate efficient decision-making, while enabling time for meaningful, substantive, generative, and proactive work. In terms of composition, we aspire to construct governance bodies that are appropriately-sized, diverse, and representative (e.g., perspectives, demographics, disciplines, years at Central College). In terms of work processes, our expected roles, responsibilities, and procedures should be well-defined and efficient. Work between and within committees should be meaningful, reasonable, and balanced. Periodic review of, and adjustment to, our governance structure and practice is essential.
Structurally, to achieve these aims, governance should support the work of the Faculty as a whole (as defined in the Bylaws of Central College). For the sake of efficiency, faculty governance should be organized by a coordinating body of the Faculty that ensures the planning and implementation of formal and informal programs of instruction of the college. In addition, the Faculty establishes and implements, subject to approval by the Board of Trustees, principles and procedures governing appointment, promotion, rank, tenure, academic freedom, and faculty welfare.
We affirm that all faculty members have a voice that is valued and a responsibility to actively participate in faculty governance (e.g., faculty meetings, faculty forums, committee work, engaged stewardship). As we carry out our responsibilities with each other, we commit to working relationships that are respectful, forthcoming, transparent, and collaborative. We also commit to establishing a working environment that is collegial, professional, and open.
In keeping with the commitment to shared governance, the rights, responsibilities, and communication pathways with the Administration and Board of Trustees should be transparent. Our work in partnership with the Board and Administration should reflect the same principles we use to govern ourselves.

2. Governance Committee Structure

.a. The structure of Central College Faculty Governance consists of three interconnected and interdependent layers. This structure provides for both horizontal and vertical communication and ensures that we address both immediate and emergent needs. The layers are not intended as hierarchical, in which committees at one level have authority over committees at another, rather the difference rests in the focus of the work at each level (immediate/routine work vs. emergent/broader work vs. overall coordination). The committees should work in conjunction with each other while maintaining their assigned focus

Layer 1: Committees in this layer conduct work that necessarily flows through multiple Layer 2 committees. The committee here is: International Education Committee.
Layer 2: Committees in this layer tend to the necessary, routine work required for the Faculty to accomplish its charge. Committees here include: Faculty Personnel Committee, Faculty Development Committee, Faculty Welfare Committee, Curriculum Approval Committee, and Academic Program Review Committee.
Layer 3: Committees in this layer nurture the broader, long-range, and generative work of the faculty. Guided by our mission, committee work focuses on envisioning pathways forward with an eye toward appropriate and aspirational development. Committees here include: Academic Planning Committee and Faculty Planning Committee
Layer 4: The Faculty Steering Committee serves as the governance coordinating body that helps to steer the Faculty through its work by managing the setting of priorities and ensuring coordination and communication throughout the committee structure. The single committee in this layer is the Faculty Steering Committee.

b. In order to ensure broad representation from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, faculty members will be grouped into three divisions from which members may be chosen for faculty governance committees as deemed appropriate by the Faculty.

3. Faculty Governance Committees

a. Guidelines for All Committees

i. All faculty governance committees must establish charters which specify the responsibilities specific to their committee; these charters are subject to approval by the Faculty.
ii. Every faculty member has the right to attend and to be heard at any meeting of a faculty governance committee. However, if there is business which cannot be handled apart from strict confidentiality, a committee may, for that purpose only, vote to meet in private session.

b. Faculty Committees

i. Faculty Steering Committee

The Faculty Steering Committee oversees the effective administration of the responsibilities delegated to the Faculty in the Bylaws of Central College. It serves as the primary voice of the Faculty, representing its perspective, views, and wishes to the administration seeking to ensure effective communication between the administration and the Faculty. In keeping with this role, the Faculty Steering Committee may serve as an advisory council for the President and VPAA. The Faculty Steering Committee leads the Faculty in thoughtfully articulating and advancing Central College’s academic mission. Serving as a coordinating body, and in conversation with other committees, the Faculty Steering Committee sets the agenda for faculty work and faculty meetings and ensures the planning and implementation of formal and informal programs of instruction of the college. Additionally, it coordinates
with the Faculty Trustees to ensure effective communication with the Board of Trustees given the Faculty Steering Committee’s role as advocate for the Faculty. The Faculty Steering Committee reserves the right to meet in a closed session in which the ex officio members would absent themselves (see Faculty Bylaws FB.3.C)

ii. Academic Planning Committee

The Academic Planning Committee provides leadership regarding the present and future academic vision of the college. It provides a venue for faculty members to think about the “big picture,” a space for our articulation and pursuit of our collective hopes for the future regarding the curriculum and associated areas—including the core, international programs, integrated learning, etc. It identifies, prioritizes, and addresses both emergent concerns and generative ideas concerning the curriculum, and facilitates the student appeal process. The work of the committee includes analyzing our current context and realities and exploring what the future portends for liberal arts colleges as it relates to Central College. The committee works in conjunction with the Academic Program Review Committee and the Curriculum Approval Committee.

iii. Faculty Planning Committee

The Faculty Planning Committee identifies, prioritizes, and addresses emergent concerns and generative ideas concerning the general welfare of faculty. It provides a venue for faculty members to think about the “big picture,” a space for our articulation and pursuit of our collective hopes for the future regarding faculty interests. The committee works in conjunction with the Faculty Personnel Committee, Faculty Welfare Committee, and Faculty Development Committee to advocate for faculty and work on behalf of faculty interests.

iv. Academic Program Review Committee

The Academic Program Review Committee facilitates the periodic internal review of academic programs, including majors, interdisciplinary programs, international programs, and the core. Carried out as a self-study at the departmental and programmatic level, these reviews provide the faculty in these departments and programs with the opportunity to take a step back to examine past accomplishments, review current practices, and explore future possibilities.

v. Curriculum Approval Committee

The Curriculum Approval Committee provides guidance and oversight in the implementation of our curriculum to ensure that the curriculum is academically sound. The committee reviews proposed curriculum changes, including new courses, majors, minors, and programs, including those in core and international programs, along with revisions of same, to ensure that they are in alignment with the policies and programs we adopt.

vi. Faculty Welfare Committee

The Faculty Welfare Committee ensures that the general welfare of faculty members is monitored and addressed. The committee serves as the entry point to faculty governance for concerns including, but not limited to, grievances, appeals, benefits, workload, and gender equity. As a means to strengthen and maintain communication and establish a positive and invigorating climate and culture of the college, the committee oversees the gathering and analysis of yearly feedback from all faculty, including full time lecturers. The committee will work in conjunction with the Faculty Planning Committee to identify emergent issues, advocate for faculty interests, and address concerns.

vii. Faculty Development Committee

The Faculty Development Committee supports and facilitates faculty development opportunities. The Committee oversees the research and development grant proposal process and reviews sabbatical leave proposals, making recommendations to the administration as appropriate. In coordination with the Faculty Planning Committee and other faculty committees, the Faculty Development Committee explores possibilities for new faculty development programming.

viii. Faculty Personnel Committee

Oversee the faculty personnel evaluation process. The Faculty Personnel Committee conducts faculty evaluations: and makes recommendations for promotion and tenure, renewal of appointment, and termination.

ix. International Education Committee

The International Educational Committee promotes international education to the Central College community and advocates for study abroad to all students and faculty.

c. Faculty Coordinators and Advisory Councils

i. Faculty Coordinators
The faculty may identify coordinators to oversee programs and otherwise assist with the effective conduct of its work. Their primary task is to ensure the implementation of programming in areas that the Faculty identify as requiring additional and ongoing oversight and support.
ii. Advisory Councils
In consultation with the Faculty Steering Committee, Faculty Coordinators may opt to form an advisory council consisting of a small group of faculty members interested in a specific program. Faculty members who serve will provide feedback to the coordinator on programmatic matters and serve as an avenue for faculty input.