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The University Forum
The University Forum
An essential dimension of the governance structure is The University Forum, which allows an opportunity for deliberation and information gathering; provide an essential democratic component; assure a mechanism for review of present and proposed university policies, procedure and issues. A representative University Forum Secretariat will insure the efficient coordination of The University Forum business.
The Forum interfaces with standing committees that report directly to the appropriate vice-presidents and a Planning and Budget Committee, which reports to the president. The committees are empowered to create sub-committees for in-depth examination of issues. The chairs of the Middle States Steering Committee and the Middle States Periodic Review Committee will provide informational reports to both the Secretariat and The Forum during their terms of office.
The framework meets the requirements of a successful governance model and the needs of our university community. The decision-making process is streamlined; propriety interests of various constituencies are reflected in the committee structure; major groups on campus are given representation.
The intent is the structure functions for the benefit of the entire university. While representation is granted various constituencies, participants in the structure should place the larger interests of the university foremost in their deliberations.
Role of the Administration
The president of the university is the chief executive officer of the institution. The provost stands second to the president and serves in the president's place upon the president absence. The committees created in the document report their recommendations directly to the appropriate vice-presidents; the Planning and Budget Committee reports to the president. Specific concerns of the president relating to the committee business should be directed to the committee through the appropriate vice president.
The structure is intended to interfere in no way with the rights of vice presidents, deans or other administrative officers to form committees for specific purposes or to call meetings of various constituent groups on campus. Committees formed by vice presidents or other administrators should be tied to the structure. Vice presidents, deans, and other administrative officers should be sensitive to issues, policies, and procedures which cut across committee and/or constituency responsibilities, and they should take appropriate action to keep all affected groups informed and aware of recommendations being made in proposed policies and procedures.
Collective Bargaining Agreements
The structure on governance is not intended to contradict or interfere with agreements reached between the state of Pennsylvania, the State System of Higher Education, and all recognized collective bargaining units. Committees called in for those collective bargaining agreements, such as committees on tenure, promotion, and sabbatical leave will continue to function as required in those agreements.
Other Existing Committees
The structure supersedes all current committees dealing with campus government. Existing committees not specifically addressed in this document, such as committees on Space and Facilities, Athletics, and Human Relations, should be reformulated when necessary as part of the proposed governance structure.
Members of campus governance committees should be elected rather than appointed. When the need exists for an election to governance committees the Chair of the University Forum/Secretariat should request the election to be held by the appropriate electing body, i.e., CGA, AFSCME, APSCUF/BU, or the Graduate Council. The Chair should forward appropriate election information, such as the date of elections, procedures, methods of determining winners, tiebreaker rules, and so forth, to the head of the appropriate body at the time the election request is made.