Strengthening The Faculty’s Role in Curriculum
Posted on November 22, 2013
Meeting of the Academic Senate, Pratt Institute
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Steuben 215, 12:50 to 2 PM
Recognizing & Strengthening the Role of the Faculty in Curriculum
A Joint Union-Senate Statement
This is to announce and invite your participation in the continued discussion about the role of the faculty in curriculum. This will take place at the next and last regular Senate meeting on Tuesday, December 3, from 12:50 to 2 pm in Steuben 215. Special guests include the United Federation of College Teachers (UFCT) Executive Committee: President Kye Carbone and Vice-President Suzanne Verderber. Secretary Holly Wilson has a previously scheduled commitment.
To insure the quality of education, the process of curriculum development must include strong faculty representation at every level, and regular consultation with support staff and administration. Faculty representatives on committees, task forces and any working group are in the best position to make informed decisions about curriculum in their areas. The role of the faculty in curricular development is profoundly important because of what they bring from their practice, professions and direct interactions with students. An essential part of the discussion is, what constitutes “faculty representation.”
Given the crucial role of faculty curriculum committees in the future of Pratt, the Senate and the Union are drafting a joint statement to recognize and support the work of these committees. We’d love to hear your views. Please join us.
THE FACULTY’S PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY IN CURRICULUM
(Section 5, emphases added)
The faculty has primary responsibility for such fundamental areas as curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, research, faculty status, and those aspects of student life which relate to the educational process. On these matters the power of review or final decision lodged in the governing board or delegated by it to the president should be exercised adversely only in exceptional circumstances, and for reasons communicated to the faculty. It is desirable that the faculty should, following such communication, have opportunity for further consideration and further transmittal of its views to the president or board. Budgets, personnel limitations, the time element, and the policies of other groups, bodies, and agencies having jurisdiction over the institution may set limits to realization of faculty advice.
Agencies for faculty participation in the government of the college or university should be established at each level where faculty responsibility is present. An agency should exist for the presentation of the views of the whole faculty. The structure and procedures for faculty participation should be designed, approved, and established by joint action of the components of the institution. Faculty representatives should be selected by the faculty according to procedures determined by the faculty.
The agencies may consist of meetings of all faculty members of a department, school, college, division, or university system, or may take the form of faculty-elected executive committees in departments and schools and a faculty-elected senate or council for larger divisions or the institution as a whole.
The means of communication among the faculty, administration, and governing board now in use include: (1) circulation of memoranda and reports by board committees, the administration, and faculty committees; (2) joint ad hoc committees; (3) standing liaison committees; (4) membership of faculty members on administrative bodies; and (5) membership of faculty members on governing boards. Whatever the channels of communication, they should be clearly understood and observed.
* Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities, 2006, AAUP Policy Documents & Reports, p. 139. Originally formulated in conjunction with the American Council on Education (ACE, the body devoted to preparing future academic administrators) and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB, the association promoting best practices in serving on governing boards), this AAUP policy document embodies standards of governance widely upheld in American higher education. It rests on the premise of appropriately shared responsibility and cooperative action among the different components of institutional government and specifies the areas of primary responsibility for governing boards, administrations, and faculties.