Principles of Shared Governance at Emory University

Principles of Shared Governance at Emory University

Background: The University Faculty Council Task Force on Shared Faculty Governance developed a set of first principles of shared faculty governance, and a set of essential elements of governance at Emory, through an exhaustive process of review of Emory’s governing documents (e.g., bylaws, handbooks); presentation and discussion within the University Faculty Council; and consultation with faculty in all campus Schools and Colleges, University Faculty Council/Senate leadership, the Senate Bylaws Review Committee, AAUP leadership and members, members of the campus administration, and others. Incorporation of these principles into the Faculty Handbook was approved by vote of the University Faculty Council on February 17, 2015.

Governance of the University is shared among the Board of Trustees, the administration, faculty, staff and students in an indispensable interdependence. Effective shared faculty governance requires striking a balance between broad consultation and timely decision making. The following principles underlie and guide the development of all structures of shared faculty governance at Emory:

  1. Interdependence: Governance of the university is shared among the Board of Trustees, the administration, and the faculty in an indispensable interdependence.
  2. Inclusiveness: Faculty governance includes participation by faculty members at all ranks and in all conditions of employment.
  3. Transparency and communication: Faculty governance requires transparency, which is best achieved through a reliable system of regular two-way communication between faculty representatives and their constituents.
  4. Accountability: Faculty who serve in governance roles are both directly accountable to their constituents and responsible for the welfare of the institution as a whole.
  5. Democratic: Whenever possible, direct election is preferred to appointment in the assignment of faculty representatives to governance roles.
  6. Deliberative: Faculty governance proceeds by the free exchange of ideas in fair, candid, and reasoned discussion, with the goal of efficiently arriving at a course of action.
  7. Consistent: As far as practicable, the structures of faculty governance across the institution will be approximately congruent.
  8. Collegial: Participants in faculty governance engage in respectful, constructive dialogue that promotes a climate of trust and cooperation.
  9. Fairness: Faculty governance exhibits fair treatment of all members of the campus community by incorporating in its work adequate notice, grievance procedures, clear, appropriate and accessible channels to appeal, and adjudication by peers.
  10. Recognition: Faculty governance is a recognized and valued form of service at the university, school and unit level.
  11. Plurality: Although these principles of faculty governance apply to all schools and colleges, the forms of faculty governance may vary among units.