Academic governance is a complex web of decision-making and responsibility that translates academic goals and values into university policy and action. Authority in the modern public university derives from two quite different sources: (a) from the power vested by public law in governing boards and administrators and (b) from the substantial knowledge and pedagogic expertise of the faculty; from the voluntary engagement of students; from the continuing support of staff, and finally the essential involvement and support of the greater community
Collegiality consists of a shared decision-making process and a set of values which regard the members of the various University constituencies as essential for the success of the academic enterprise. These constituencies include students, faculty, staff, alumni and representatives of the greater community all within the established processes and customs of the University.
After consultation, recommendations come to administrators who are responsible and accountable ultimately to the CSU Board of Trustees for policy on the campus and for the well-being of the institution. Collegiality includes the timely engagement of all constituents of a university community in discussions about the significant issues before the University. The pattern of these discussions will vary with subject matter and with the locus of final decision making and responsibility.
Collegial governance allows members of the University community to work together to find the best answers to issues facing the University. Collegial governance assigns primary responsibility to the faculty for deliberation about the educational functions of the institution in accordance with basic policy as determined by the CSU Board of Trustees, though not to the exclusion of other constituencies. These include establishing the conditions of admission, degree and graduation requirements, the curriculum and methods of teaching, academic and professional standards, and the conduct of creative and scholarly activities. Collegiality rests on a network of interlinked procedures jointly devised, whose aim is to assure the opportunity for timely advice pertinent to decisions.
The Board of Trustees, through its administrative officers, makes sure that there is continual consultation with appropriate student, faculty and community representatives on these matters. Recommendations are normally accepted in a healthy university, except in rare instances and for compelling reasons. That is because the collegial processes and values provide for deliberation and reasoning among the representatives of those affected by decisions which finally must be made and policies which must be enacted by a president. The collegial process also recognizes the values of participation in budgetary matters. Indeed, because resource matters have such a significant impact upon the substance of the life of the University, all of the constituencies need participation because the University is a community.
Central to collegiality and shared decision-making is respect for differing opinions and points of view and actively sponsoring those opinions. The collegium must be nurtured and celebrated as a public bastion of respect for all individuals.
Approved by Alexander Gonzalez, President
October 14, 2008