November 24, 2008

Faculty Committee Seeking Feedback on Potential Change to Governance of Undergraduate Education

On the recommendation of an ad hoc committee of Case Western Reserve University's Faculty Senate, undergraduate school leadership and student government are reviewing recommendations to streamline the current model of faculty oversight for undergraduate education and life.

The University Faculty has delegated governance of matters related to undergraduate education to a separate body, the University Undergraduate Faculty (UUF). With no authority other than to advise, the UUF has seen its effectiveness wane, Kenneth Loparo, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and chair of the senate's ad hoc committee on undergraduate education and life, reported to the Faculty Senate.

"The goal is, first of all, to make governance of undergraduate education and life more effective and, secondly, better connected with broader faculty governance—including that of research and graduate education throughout the university—while ensuring the process remains essentially democratic," said Glenn Starkman, professor of physics and chair of the Faculty Senate.

The UUF consists of faculty members only from the schools and departments with undergraduate degree programs: the Case School of Engineering, College of Arts and Sciences, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and Weatherhead School of Management and the departments of nutrition and biochemistry in the School of Medicine and department of physical education and athletics.

The ad hoc committee expects to recommend the UUF be dissolved and become a standing committee of the Faculty Senate. As such, a senate committee on undergraduate education would have the authority to create subcommittees and submit resolutions to the senate for approval. It also would be on par with the senate's committee on graduate education.

After review by the UUF executive committee, undergraduate school executive committees and undergraduate student government, among others, the ad hoc committee's recommendations will be presented first to the Faculty Senate's bylaws committee, then to its executive committee, the full senate and then the University Faculty. Because changes to the governance process would require amendments to the faculty constitution, the resolution will ultimately need to be forwarded to the university's Board of Trustees for final approval, possibly in spring 2009.

The senate's ad hoc committee on governance of undergraduate education and life, which has worked throughout the past year, includes representatives from the UUF executive committee; chairs of the arts and sciences, engineering, management and nursing schools' executive committees; designees from the deans of those same four schools; designees from the Faculty Senate chair and university president and provost; and an undergraduate student delegate.

Posted by: Kimyette Finley, November 24, 2008 12:00 PM | News Topics: Case School of Engineering, College of Arts and Sciences, Faculty, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, School of Medicine, Students, Weatherhead School of Management

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.