Chapter 4: Faculty Roles in Governance

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4.D The Structure of Central Faculty Governance (Bylaws 4.01-4.08)

There are many ways in which the faculty can exercise its responsibilities to the larger University community, both by serving as elected members of various bodies and by volunteering to participate in University-wide committees. Broad-based faculty participation in central faculty governance activities is essential to the health of the University and the protection of faculty prerogatives. Organizations at the core of central faculty governance at the University of Michigan are the Faculty Senate, the Senate Assembly, and SACUA (Senate Assembly Committee on University Affairs).

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4.D.1 Faculty Senate

The Faculty Senate consists of all members of the professorial staff, the executive officers of the University, the deans of the schools and colleges, and those members of the research and library staff designated in accordance with standards and procedures approved by the Senate Assembly (Chapter IV. The University Senate, bylaw 4.01). The Senate may adopt rules concerning its own government and procedure and concerning its officers and committees (Chapter IV. The University Senate, bylaw 4.02). The Senate is authorized to consider any subject pertaining to the interests of the University and to make recommendations to the executive officers and to the Board of Regents. Decisions of the Senate with respect to matters within its jurisdiction constitute the binding action of the University faculties.

Generally, jurisdiction over academic policies resides in the faculties of the various schools and colleges. However, when actions by the several faculties affect University policy as a whole, or schools and colleges other than the one in which they originate, the Faculty Senate has jurisdiction. The Senate meets at least once a year.

4.D.2 Senate Assembly

The Senate Assembly is a central forum for representatives from all schools and colleges. It consists of members elected by the various schools and colleges on the Ann Arbor campus and the UM- Dearborn and UM-Flint campuses, apportioned according to the number of Faculty Senate members in each unit (Chapter IV. The University Senate, bylaws 4.03 and 4.05).

The Senate Assembly serves as the legislative arm of the Faculty Senate. It considers important, central, and controversial issues of general interest to the University community. The Assembly has power to consider and advise regarding all matters within the jurisdiction of the Faculty Senate that affect the functioning of the University as an institution of higher education, that concern its obligations to the community at large, and that relate to its internal organization and involve general questions of educational policy (Chapter IV. The University Senate, bylaw 4.04). The Assembly meets eight times a year on a monthly basis. Its meetings are open to all faculty members.

4.D.3 Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA)

The Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs (SACUA) is the executive arm of the Faculty Senate and of the Senate Assembly. SACUA meets on a weekly basis and consists of nine members elected by the Senate Assembly for staggered three-year terms. On behalf of the Assembly, SACUA advises and consults with the president, the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and the executive officers of the University on matters of University policy. SACUA also coordinates and initiates governance activities and serves as an instrument for implementing the actions of the Faculty Senate and the Senate Assembly (Chapter IV. The University Senate, bylaws 4.06, 4.07 and 4.08).

The Chair of SACUA is also the Chair of the Senate Assembly and the presiding officer of the Faculty Senate. In addition to responsibility as leader of the faculty, the Chair of SACUA meets regularly with the executive officers and serves as the faculty representative in their deliberations. Other SACUA members provide additional leadership for faculty governance activities and serve as liaisons with the various Senate Assembly committees. Under the provisions of bylaw 5.09 in Chapter V. The Faculties and Academic Staff, SACUA, together with the Faculty Judicial Committee (Standing), exercises certain designated responsibilities in cases of dismissal, demotion, or terminal appointment of tenured and tenure- track members of the faculty.

Last updated July 2020.