Michigan Tech is governed by a Board of Control appointed by the Governor of the State of Michigan (see Appendix 1: GIR 58). The Universitys Vice President for Governmental Relations serves as Secretary to the Board, and the Universitys Chief Financial Officer serves as Treasurer. Current board members include:
James A. Mitchell, Chair;
The Board has enacted bylaws and establishes policy for the University. The board policy on academic freedom published in the Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty Handbook (hereafter referred to as the Faculty Handbook) [1.2A, p. 121] establishes freedom of inquiry: Both students and faculty are free to pursue scholarship in an open and creative environment.
The President of the University is selected by the Board of Control. The President has chosen to implement shared governance, which is defined in the Faculty Handbook [1.2A, Section 1.4] and on the Administration web page as "the faculty, staff, and the administration participating cooperatively in developing policies for governance of the University." Effective governance is considered a product of trust and shared responsibility. Shared governance is also stated as an objective in the strategic plan: Involve the faculty fully in the governance of the University (subgoal 4.2.2).
The primary internal mechanisms for shared governance include the University Senate, Staff Council, Undergraduate Student Government, Graduate Student Council, and University, college, school, and departmental committees. The University Senate [3.3] consists of 40 senators elected from faculty and professional staff. After a two-year trial period under a new constitution which broadened participation by professional staff in the Senate, the 1995 Senate constituents voted in Spring 1997 to affirm the new constitution and it was approved by the Board of Control in June 1997. This constitution clarified and expanded the role of faculty and professional staff in governance of the University. The level of involvement of the University Senate in shared governance activities increased under the new Senate constitution. The Senate continued to approve new academic programs and revise instructional policies, but also became more active in other areas such as academic policy, administrative structure, and University finance. Since 1992, some accomplishments which exemplify shared governance and agreement between the Senate and University administration include:
Shared governance also makes use of University committees and task forces for advice in decision making. These task forces and committees have become a regular mechanism to address significant issues such as writing a new faculty handbook and revising the sabbatical leave and promotion and tenure policies.
Additionally, the University has extended the concept of shared governance to include external constituencies in identifying issues of importance to the University, especially opportunities and threats. Mechanisms for involving external constituencies include the National Advisory Board, the Alumni Board, the Michigan Tech Fund Board, and industrial advisory boards at the department, school, and college levels.
© 1997. Michigan Technological University. All Rights Reserved.
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