University Governance Statement

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This statement is a call to mutual understanding among the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty, and students (operating within the laws and agreements of the legislative and executive agencies of the State of New Jersey and the collective bargaining units) regarding their roles and responsibilities in the governance of William Paterson University. It is recognized that the participation of these constituent bodies in University governance is an integral part of the institution's decision-making process. Therefore, the cooperative and collaborative resolution of problems and addressing of issues is a shared value for all members of the community. There is mutual responsibility to assure that in all institutional matters and deliberations, regard for the welfare of the University is of the utmost importance. Each constituent group supports and affirms the roles and responsibilities of the others in University governance.

Roles and Responsibilities

The governance of William Paterson University is vested in the Board of Trustees pursuant to statute 18A:64-2-6 of the State of New Jersey. The Board of Trustees is the final institutional authority overseeing the affairs of the University. While maintaining a general overview, the Board entrusts the management, administration, and conduct of William Paterson University to the President and his/her designees. In consultation with and/or upon the recommendation of the President, as necessary, the Board adopts policies in support of the mission of the University and provides general direction on matters including but not limited to planning, curriculum, instruction, research/scholarship and service, funding and budgeting, student development, enrollment management, human and physical resources, and institutional advancement. The Board appoints the President through a process that can include participation by faculty, staff, students and other appropriate constituents. In developing, adopting or amending its bylaws, the Board may consult the President, faculty and staff. The Board takes all appropriate actions to assure and protect the integrity of the University and its mission.

The President is the Chief Executive Officer of the University and has responsibility for the operation and general management of the University as defined by acts of the state legislature (NJSA 18A:64-2-6) and the bylaws of the William Paterson University Board of Trustees. He/she is responsible directly to the Board. The President shall exercise all the powers requisite for the overall leadership and administration of the University, and shall develop, execute and enforce the policies, rules and regulations relating to that responsibility through his/her designees. The President, with the approval of the Board of Trustees, appoints members of his/her administrative team including the Provost, Vice Presidents, Deans and others with the advice and consultation of the appropriate faculty, staff and students. He/she represents the University to the public, and with his/her designee, presents the views of faculty, staff and students, when and if appropriate, to the Board, and transmits the Board's response and views directly back to the faculty, staff and students.

The faculty is responsible for developing and making recommendations regarding academic and curricular matters, policies and requirements. This includes but is not limited to instruction, research, scholarship, creative activity, service, course content/subject matter, student advisement, classroom standards, grading standards, assessment, course assignments and schedules, degree requirements and initiation of academic programs, continuing education and distance learning offerings, standards for academic freedom and procedures and/or agencies for handling conditions of employment. Action on some of these responsibilities (i.e., curriculum, academic standards, standards for academic freedom and assessment) is more properly recommended to the President or his/her designee through the Faculty Senate. Faculty and staff should also be accorded the opportunity to participate in formulating policies on such issues as admissions standards, standards for student conduct and discipline, planning, marketing, resource allocation, the structure of the various academic units, and other items as negotiated with the appropriate collective bargaining unit. The faculty of each department elect their chairperson at a department meeting, or as specified in the department's bylaws and established University policy subject to approval and appointment by the President. The faculty elect their department committees and recommend course assignments and schedules through their chairperson and dean of their respective college. The faculty recommend to the administration on the perquisites of faculty status, including tenure, the allocation of faculty positions, appointment, retention, and promotion of colleagues in their department.

The Faculty Senate is the elected representative body of the faculty, librarians and professional staff, and acts in an advisory capacity to the University administration on matters of campus-wide concern to faculty. The Senate will have discussions and input, both from committees and the Senate forum, that will provide a mechanism to foster the goals, objectives, policies, and procedures of the University community. The Senate has the authority to appoint its own standing and ad-hoc committees in accordance with its bylaws. Matters pertaining to collective bargaining are the responsibility of the bargaining units, and are not within the purview of the Senate.

The respect of William Paterson students for the University will be enhanced if they are given at least these opportunities: (1) to be heard in the classroom without fear of institutional or faculty reprisal for the substance of their views; (2) to be free to discuss questions of institutional policy or operation within the formal governance bodies of the institution, i.e. representation on the Board of Trustees, Faculty Senate, and other campus committees; (3) to have access to due process when charged with violations of University regulations; (4) to have the same right to hear speakers of their own choice based on the principles of the University's mission as is enjoyed by other constituencies of the institution.

The Student Government Association (SGA) is the elected representative body of the students and serves in an advisory capacity to both the University administration and faculty. Students of William Paterson University are encouraged to participate responsibly in the governance of the University. Their participation should be recognized as a claim to opportunity both for educational experience and for involvement in the affairs of their University. Ways should be maintained, explored and expanded whenever possible to permit significant participation by students. If institutional support is to have its fullest meaning it should incorporate the strength, vitality, and idealism of the University student body.

Generally, all constituent groups as defined in this statement affirm their commitment to work and cooperate with one another for the fulfillment of the University's mission, including long range planning. The Administration, colleges, departments and the Faculty Senate have the right to appoint committees to perform various tasks. Efforts should be made, if and when appropriate, to ensure that appointed and/or advisory committees are inclusive and representative of the University community, and that they are complementary to rather than duplicative of one another. Care should be taken to preserve the rights of individuals.

The faculty, staff, and students expect to make recommendations before final action is taken on the matters herein, but acknowledge that these recommendations are subject to the final decisions of the President and/or Board of Trustees.

February 24, 2001