Rutgers-Camden Faculty Senate
Academic governance is a shared responsibility between the governing boards, administrators and faculties of any academic institution. A joint effort is required to preserve and protect the educational mission of the university and to solve educational problems. Cooperative action thus depends upon open communication and mutual understanding of the appropriate roles and interdependence of the components of the university in setting educational policy and overseeing the internal operations of the institution.
This statement is a call to mutual understanding regarding the government of colleges and universities. It is directed to governing board members, administrators, faculty members, students, and other persons in the belief that the smooth running of the university is only possible with shared responsibility and cooperative action among the components of the academic institution.
Faculty Statement on Shared Governance
The faculty have primary responsibility for the curriculum, for admissions criteria and degree requirements and determining when they have been met, and for methods of instruction and research. New programs and new courses are the purview of the faculty. Any actions taken in these areas without faculty involvement should only occur in exceptional circumstances and for reasons discussed with the faculty. Faculty also exercise primary responsibility in determining faculty status, including in the areas of appointments, reappointments, decisions not to reappoint, promotions, the granting of tenure, and dismissal.
The faculty recognizes that the chancellor, as the chief administrative and chief academic officer of the institution, is responsible for planning, organizing, directing and representing the institution to the public. The chancellor is expected to lead with vision but share responsibility for the definition and attainment of goals with the governing board and the faculty. As interlocutor, the chancellor is responsible for maintaining the systems of communications central to the maintenance of mutual trust and cooperation between all components of the university. In particular, it is the chancellor’s duty to ensure that the views of the faculty are presented to the governing board.
The faculty also recognizes that the governing board is the final institutional authority. The board should function as the University’s greatest champion, protecting both its educational mission and the societal interests it represents. The board codifies policies and procedures and plays a central role in overseeing long-range planning and in securing resources to meet future goals, but these responsibilities are self-limiting. To ensure the smooth functioning of the university, the board must be available for support, and should delegate the conduct of administration to administrative officers and the conduct of teaching and research to the faculty.
Given these separate roles, shared governance must extend to financial matters. Each component of the university, in order to fulfill its distinct obligations, must have a voice in determining short- and long-range priorities regarding finance and budget, including faculty. Information concerning the institution’s budget and participation in decisions over the allocation of resources are critical if the faculty is to meet its responsibilities superintending general educational policy. The faculty therefore holds that a central responsibility of the administration is to ensure the faculty receive appropriate analyses of past budgetary performance, reports on current budgets and expenditures, and short- and long-range budgetary projections in a timely fashion..
This statement of the Rutgers University-Camden faculty’s vision for shared governance is intended to foster collaborative thought and action within the institution by acknowledging the importance of mutual respect for the different roles faculty, administrators and governing boards play in our shared commitment to achieving the University’s mission.