Academic Senate proposes shared governance committee

Some of the Central Michigan University community's concerns about shared government principles and transparency may be answered with a new Academic Senate committee.

The committee, proposed to consist of 13 members, would be composed of students, faculty, administrative staff and a board of trustees member. The committee will examine the shared governance matrix, university communication and transparency issue on campus and then will submit a semester report and make recommendations to university administration.

At Thursday's board of trustees meeting held in Bovee University Center's President's Conference Room, University President George Ross announced the committee formation had been proposed. Ross said similar committees dedicated to university governance were established in previous years.

"The essence of the charge is for this committee to take a look at shared governance on campus ... to take a look at communication channels on campus, the transparency issues, how we are communicating and how we can be more effective at communicating," Ross said.

Ross said he expects the committee to have a report by the end of the semester on the current state of shared governance and transparency throughout the university and will take recommendations from the committee.

"We want to make sure that the matrix as we now understand it, if it needs to be modified, I can look to that committee to make recommendations," Ross said.

A-Senate's executive council met with board of trustees members in a private meeting Wednesday afternoon, though board Chairman Sam Kottamasu said the meeting did not influence the development of the committee.

"The purpose of the meeting was to listen to the Academic Senate executive board's comments and concerns and work with them to improve the student success on the campus," Kottamasu said. "This was not a decision-making meeting."

A-Senate Executive Board member Michelle Campbell, a Grand Rapids graduate student, said the committee will be able to provide a solution to some of the communication and governance issues at the university. Campbell said of the 13 members, two student representatives will be selected.

"I think that the shared governance committee, which is an ad hoc committee, is a positive step in bridging all members of the campus community in trying to do some problem solving about the issues that have been going on on campus," Campbell said. "I'm very pleased with the way members will be selected"


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