Standard 6.D - Faculty Role in Governance
Two groups provide faculty leadership and faculty involvement in governance. The Academic Senate is the highest curricular authority on campus. Subcommittees of the Academic Senate provide venues for involvement in various aspects of program development and review. The Committee on Committees assures faculty representation on each of the Academic Senate subcommittees. The Academic Senate role is providing guidance and advice to the administration. The Academic Senate Budget Committee, dormant for several years while the campus implemented a University Budget Committee, was reinstated spring 2008. Review of the Budget Committee by-laws allowed for equal representation across campus constituencies with consensus opinions the goal.
The faculty and staff professional associations/unions negotiate working conditions and compensation with the administration. Between formal negotiating sessions, held every two years, ongoing association representatives meet with upper administration for contractual interpretations through the East Campus Faculty Administration Collaborative Committee and the West Campus Unit/Management Committee. The 12 ad hoc committees currently in operation include faculty representation, Partners for Change Taskforces, Provost Council Retreat Discussion Groups, and FACC Study Groups.
A review of BOR meeting minutes demonstrates the process of MUS budgeting and shows that ultimate decisions are often not made at the university level, whether on overall budgets or specific to employee compensation. The process involves the Governor’s Office, the Montana Legislature, the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education, the BOR and the individual units of the MUS. The following excerpt is from the May 2008 BOR meeting held in Helena.
“Present Law Pay Plan.
(Regent) stated we need to move the present law budget estimates into the Executive Planning Process.
- Assumes the State will fund the increase in cost for the resident and
- Assumes resident enrollment will remain steady.
Assumptions: Salary increase 4%; Health insurance 7%; Promotions and merit increases are campus specific and are in addition to the 4% salary increase; Termination coasts are campus specific.
The Montana University System (MUS) will begin meeting with the Gov Budget office soon to begin the process…
75% of costs are for personal services on the campuses. Expenditures are increasing 5.3%, with a total increase of $21.5 M for the first year of the biennium…(Regent) stated there would be a consistent process for all the campuses…”
- 6.9 Academic Senate By-laws and Committee Structure,
- 4.7 and 6.10 University Committee Membership Lists