ACADEMIC UNIT GOVERNANCE
Senate Policy 710.1
Academic Unit Governance:
Being necessary for the conduct of shared governance, every department, school, college
departments), library, and other academic units (hereafter all called “academic units” or “unit”) will
establish and maintain a written charter. The charter should address issues that cannot constructively
be defined in a university-wide manner, specifically including required policies and practices defined
A unit’s charter cannot conflict with University or Senate policies and in cases where
this occurs the
higher-level governing document has priority and the lower-level document must be brought into
compliance. Any language found not to be in agreement will immediately be considered invalid, but this
will have no effect on the rest of the charter’s language.
A new unit may approve their provisional charter with a simple majority vote of the
constituency of that unit. The unit may send representatives to serve as voting members of the
University Senate as soon as it begins operating under their provisional charter. Those representatives
should be selected by a simple majority of the voting members in the unit, as defined in section 1.a
below. These representatives serve while the provisional charter is under review by the administration.
When a new unit creates its first charter or an established unit revises their current
document is registered with the University Senate and advanced, without further discussion or debate,
to the administration as a senate proposal. The administration has 90 days to provide a written response
to the proposal (as defined in Senate Constitution). If after that time the charter proposal is neither
vetoed nor approved by the president, the proposal is considered approved and goes into effect.
A. Required Charter Contents to be Stated in the Following Order:
1. Procedures for updating the charter
a. A procedure for changing and approving the charter, including a definition of the
members of a unit and the procedure for changing eligibility.
b. Procedures and responsibilities for updating the charter and keeping it in compliance
with University-wide and Senate policies. Units should propose conflict resolutions in a
timely manner once one has been identified.
2. A clear definition of the duties and responsibilities of the Department Chair,
or Director or for
Colleges without departments, the Dean.
3. Procedures for recommending promotion, tenure, and reappointment among their members.
Specific areas that must be addressed in the charter are found in Appendix I. (Tenure,
Promotion and Reappointment Procedures): Section 1. (Responsibilities of Each Academic Unit)
of the Faculty Handbook which implements the Board of Trustees (BOT) Policy on Academic
Tenure and Promotion as decreed in the BOT’s Bylaws and Policies, Chapter 6.4 Academic
Tenure and Promotion.
4. A definition of the role of professional staff and other non-tenure/tenure-track
members in unit
5. A procedure for obtaining advice from the unit faculty regarding recommendations
sabbatical leaves. Senate Procedure 706.1.1)
6. A procedure for recommending Emeritus/Emerita status to the President for presentation
Board of Trustees. This procedure shall include approval by unit faculty and an appeal system
and may be initiated by the retiree or their unit. (Senate Policy 703.1)
7. A procedure for unit grievance. (Senate Policy 704.1, Procedure 704.1.1)
8. Units may include other policies or practices to cover unique aspects of their unit.
Proposal 16-92: Adopted as Amended by Senate: 29 September 1993, Approved by President: 15
February 1994, Approved by Board of Control: 18 March 1994.
Proposal 5-11: Introduced to Senate: 10 November 2010, Revised and reintroduced: 23 November 2010, Senate Returned to Committee: 08 December 2010, Revised and reintroduced to Senate: 19 January 2011, Slight editing (in red ) done at Senate meeting: 19 January 2011, Adopted by Senate: 02 February 2011, Amended by Administration (in green): 11 March 2011, Amendments Adopted by Senate with Friendly Amendment (in purple): 23 March 2011, Senate Amendment Approved by Administration: 31 March 2011, September 2015: Name changed from Board of Control to Board of Trustees.
Proposal 42-21: Introduced to the Senate 2/3/21; Approved by the Senate 2/17/21; Approved by the Administration 2/22/21