Joint Senate-Union Resolutions
Posted on December 4, 2013
Strengthening the Faculty’s Role in Curriculum
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.
Given the crucial role of faculty curriculum committees in the future of Pratt, the Senate and the Union Executive Committees proposed joint statements to recognize and support the work of these committees. At its December 3, 2013 meeting, the Academic Senate approved, unanimously, the following resolutions:
RESOLVED, That the Senate and Union request curriculum committee documents from department chairs and assistant chairs; and it is further
RESOLVED, That the Union and Senate present findings to the community as documents are received; and it is further
RESOLVED, That the Senate and Union conduct outreach to faculty to discuss and facilitate development of departmental curriculum guidelines. Outreach shall include in-person meetings in individual departments.
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT (emphasis added)
ARTICLE III: ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY
3.1 Academic and professional freedom, creativity, and constructive dissent are essential to the functioning of the Institute as well as being a fundamental working condition. The Institute serves its community as an open intellectual forum where varying shades of opinion may be freely expressed and fairly debated. Departmental faculty shall have appropriate input related to new or revised curriculum within their departments. . .
PRATT INSTITUTE FACULTY HANDBOOK (emphasis added)
Part 1. Institute Organization and Governance
FACULTY GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE
The charter of Pratt Institute vests the Board of Trustees with the primary responsibility for the educational and financial well being of the institution. The Board, in turn, authorizes the president and administration to direct the Institute in its many and complex operations. The Board, the president, and the administration recognize the important role of the faculty in developing, implementing, and monitoring the content and quality of Institute programs, curricula, and courses. . .
THE FACULTY’S PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY IN CURRICULUM
AAUP STATEMENT ON GOVERNMENT OF COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES* (Section 5, emphasis 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.