SACUA seeks earlier faculty inclusion in university decision making


University of Michigan faculty governance leaders are urging university administrators to consult faculty members earlier in the process of policy development.

In the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs’ annual report, presented at Thursday’s Board of Regents meeting, Vice Chair Joy Beatty said faculty members could bring vast experience to bear on issues that affect the community as a whole.

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“Elected faculty representatives need to be included early in decision-making processes so that there is time to offer constructive and thoughtful feedback,” said Beatty, associate professor of management studies at UM-Dearborn’s College of Business.

“If we are consulted after decisions have already been made, or too late in the process for substantive feedback, the administration risks becoming entangled in conversations which miss key points of community concern,” she said.

SACUA is the executive arm of the U-M’s central faculty governance system. The system also includes the Senate Assembly, 74 elected faculty members from the Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses, and the Faculty Senate, made up of professorial faculty, librarians, full-time research faculty, executive officers and deans.

Beatty highlighted the processes by which the university developed two new policies: the prohibition of romantic relationships between faculty members and students, and employees’ disclosure of felony charges or convictions.

She said while SACUA was asked to provide input late in the process of developing the policy on romantic relationships, Beatty said the body was not consulted at all for the felony-disclosure policy.

“We remind the regents and executive officers to maintain open communication with faculty governance, follow proper processes to allow input, agree to meet with us when we make requests, and consider us as both partners and stakeholders in the administration of our world-class university,” Beatty said.


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