Comprehensive Standard 3.7.5

 

The institution publishes policies on the responsibilities and authority of faculty in academic and governance matters. (Faculty Role in Governance)

 

COMPLIANCE

 

Narrative:

 

Vernon College publishes policies on the responsibilities and authority of faculty in academic and governance matters.  The Vernon College Board Policy Manual, Section  EE Local (Curriculum Development) states that specific procedures involving input from faculty, administrative staff and the governing board, shall be followed in curricular development and revision. In addition, Section EJA Local (Academic Freedom) states that faculty members who have differences with existing or proposed policy or procedure should express these views through the standing committee structure of the College or to his/her supervising administrator.  And, finally, Section DI Local (Committee Member) states that responsibility as a working committee member is part of the professional assignment of each instructor. These same elements are echoed in the Vernon College “Instructor” job description which states that the major duties and responsibilities for a full-time faculty member include participating in program/discipline administrative and maintenance activities, communicating through appropriate channels in relating dissatisfaction or making positive suggestions and participating in policy making through service on task forces or committees as appointed or elected.

 

Most of the College’s decision making on academic and governance matters occur through the Vernon College Standing Committees. In an effort to promote campus-wide participation in the decision-making processes, the College has established and utilizes a standing committee structure. This structure is designed to assist the administration in making better decisions on given academic and governance issues with the advice and input of faculty, students, and staff. Committee recommendations from the standing committees’ chair are forwarded to the College President who takes final action on the recommendations or forwards the recommendation to the Board of Trustees if internal/external policy dictates.  At Vernon College, all faculty and staff are given the opportunity to state an interest in a preferred committee assignment.  Attempts to honor requests are made with final committee assignments approved by the President. Faculty members serve on 21 of the College’s 23 Standing Committees with the only exceptions being the Social Committee and the President’s Council.  Of the total 393 standing committee members (duplicated count), faculty hold 31% of those positions.  Five of the Standing Committees require two representatives from the Faculty Senate to be included in the committee membership; those committees include:  Planning and Assessment, Academic Council, Technology Committee, Calendar Committee, and Honors Convocation.  Four of the standing College committees are chaired by faculty.

 

Three of the more intensive ways faculty members are involved in college academic and governance matters are their service on three key standing committees:  planning and assessment, student core competencies, and academic council. 

 

Planning and Assessment Committee assists the president of the College in designing, implementing, and monitoring a continuous institutional planning and assessment process. Eight faculty members serve on this 21- member committee. 

 

Student Core Competencies Committee identifies college level competencies within the General Education Core and provides the framework for these core competencies to be integrated within each discipline/program. This committee also evaluates student attainment of core competencies and makes recommendations to disciplines/programs for changes/improvements necessary for students to attain core competencies. Eight faculty members serve on this 14 member committee.

 

Academic Council makes recommendations to the President in the following areas:  academic policies; credit and non-credit program and course additions, deletions, and modifications; college catalog changes regarding instructional programs, procedures, and policies; preliminary evaluation of instructional programs and teaching disciplines; teaching loads for faculty, minimum class size and under load remedies; faculty work week; course and degree plans as presented in the Vernon College Catalog; and conversion formula, and lab/special fees for courses listed in the Vernon College Catalog. Eight faculty members serve on this 18 member committee.

 

Documentation

 

1.    Vernon College Board Policy Manual, Section EE Local (Curriculum Development)

2.    Vernon College Board Policy Manual, Section  EJA Local (Academic Freedom)

3.    Vernon College Board Policy Manual, Section  DI Local (Committee Member)

4.    Vernon College Standing Committees