University Senate                                                                      Proposed: May 4, 2007

 

                                                                                                Adopted:

 

 

RESOLUTION TO PUBLISH

 

A SENATE-APPROVED POLICY IN THE FACULTY HANDBOOK

 

 

WHEREAS       the University Statutes state that “Subject to the reserve power of the Trustees. . . .the University Senate shall be a policy-making body which may consider all matters of University-wide concern. . .”, and

 

WHEREAS      the University Senate on March 7, 2003 unanimously adopted a set of guiding principles for the conduct of deans and department chairs at Columbia University, to be published in the Faculty Handbook, and

 

WHEREAS      the Trustees did not exercise their prerogative under Section 25 of the Statutes to reject the Senate resolution enacting those guiding principles, and  

 

WHEREAS      these guidelines have not been published to this date;

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED       that the University Senate request the publication of this University-wide policy in the Faculty Handbook without delay.

 

 

                                                                                    Proponent:  Executive Committee                     

 


EXCERPTS FROM THE STATUTES OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Chapter II – The University Senate

 

 

 

§22. Duties   It shall be the duty of the University Senate:

a.   to report to the Trustees its opinion as to any exercise of power proposed by a faculty under Section 35;

b.   to submit such proposals to the Trustees or to the president or to the several faculties as in its judgment may serve to increase the efficiency of University work;

c.   to consider any question that may arise as to the conduct or efficiency of any officer of administration or instruction, and to report thereon to the Trustees through the president.

 

§23. General policies   Subject to the reserve power of the Trustees and the provisions of Section 25, the University Senate shall be a policy-making body which may consider all matters of University-wide concern, all matters affecting more than one faculty or school, and all matters pertaining to the implementation and execution of agreements with the other educational institutions that are now or may hereafter become affiliated with the University. Without limitation by enumeration the University Senate shall

a.   develop and review plans and policies to strengthen the educational system of the University;

b.   work on the long-range master plan for the physical development of the University; recommend ways in which it can be improved; and keep the same under continuing review;

c.   work for the advancement of academic freedom and the protection of faculty interests;

d.   work for the promotion of student welfare and the enhancement of student life;

e.   initiate and review policies to govern the University’s relations with outside agencies for research, instruction, and related purposes;

f.   foster policies for cooperative and mutually beneficial relations with the neighboring community;

g.   review by broad categories the annual budget of the University after its adoption and advise the Trustees as to its general conformity with the goals of the University;

h.   consider and recommend policies relating to the awarding of University prizes and honors, and assist the Trustees in the selection of recipients of such prizes and honors;

i.   promulgate a code of conduct for faculty, students, and staff and provide for its enforcement;

j.   initiate proposed changes in Chapter II of these Statutes which have been passed by a vote of at least three-fifths of all incumbent members of the University Senate.

 

§25. Limitations of powers

a.   Unless Trustee concurrence is required, acts of the University Senate under Sections 22 and 23 shall become final on passage. In all matters involving a change in budgetary appropriations; involving the acquisition or disposition of real property, affecting contractual obligations of the University, or as required by law, such concurrence shall be required. In all other matters, the action of the University Senate will be final unless the president shall advise the University Senate not later than its next regularly scheduled meeting that Trustee concurrence is necessary. Acts of the University Senate under Sections 22 and 23 shall be concurred in or not concurred in by the Trustees by the second stated meeting of the Trustees following the submission of the University Senate’s action to the Trustees, except when the Trustees shall advise the University Senate of their need for a longer specified period of time to consider such actions. Whenever the Trustees do not concur in an act of the University Senate under Sections 22 and 23, they shall return the measure to the University Senate with an explanation of the reason for their action.

b.   No exercise of the powers conferred on the University Senate by Section 24 which involves a change in the educational policy of the University in respect to the requirements of admission or the conditions of graduation shall take effect until the same shall have been submitted to the Trustees at one meeting and another meeting of the Trustees shall have been held.

c.   Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (a) and (b), the president may convene a special meeting of the University Senate within fifteen class days of any University Senate action, and may request it to reconsider such action.

 

 

 


University Senate                                                                      Proposed: March 7, 2003

 

                                                                                                Adopted:

 

 

 

REVISED RESOLUTION TO ADOPT GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR THE

 

ADMINISTRATIVE CONDUCT OF DEANS AND DEPARTMENT CHAIRS

 

 

WHEREAS      administration, faculty and staff of all academic units of the University constitute a scholarly community with a sense of a shared mission, and

 

WHEREAS      the increased complexity of academic administration poses significant challenges for those who hold administrative positions in the University, and

 

WHEREAS      it is the responsibility of all members of the academic community to fulfill the mission of the institution in an atmosphere that fosters collegiality in research, teaching and learning, and

 

WHEREAS      the unique leadership position of a Dean or Department Chair raises additional expectations concerning the proper discharge of such responsibilities, especially in balancing academic and financial considerations, issues of shared governance, the use of power in relationships with faculty, and the pivotal role in nurturing young faculty in their careers;

 

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED       that the University Senate adopt the attached statement as a set of guiding principles for the conduct of deans and department chairs at Columbia University, to be published in the Faculty Handbook.

 

 

Proponent: Faculty Affairs Committee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guidelines for the Administrative Conduct of Deans and Department Chairs at Columbia University

 

 

Introduction

The shared traditions and basic values of an academic community empower its members to discharge their responsibilities to fulfill the mission of the institution in an atmosphere that fosters collegiality in research, teaching and learning. A complex administrative structure is required to support this mission. Top administrators of schools and departments must be able to strategically manage a complex budget, obtain external support, engage in fundraising activities, and resolve complex personnel issues.

           

It may be expected that a Dean or Department Chair, who has come from the academic tradition, will make an effort to assure that his (her) basic values are in harmony with those of the faculty, and will support their academic aspirations. Similarly, these administrators would be expected to observe the common norms of civility, as outlined in the Faculty Handbook (p.222, Columbia University, 2000).

 

However, the unique leadership position of a Dean or Department Chair raises additional expectations concerning the proper discharge of such responsibilities, especially in balancing academic and financial considerations, issues of shared governance, the use of power in relationships with faculty, and the pivotal role in nurturing young faculty in their careers. These guidelines are intended to outline such expectations, the observance of which will enable all members of this academic community to discharge their responsibilities in a harmonious atmosphere in order to fulfill the mission of the university.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guidelines for administrative conduct

 

 

1. Relationship with faculty and staff

Deans and Department Chairs are members of the scholarly community of Columbia University and are expected to adhere to the basic guidelines on faculty and staff relationships, which have been published in the Faculty Handbook (p.222, Columbia University, 2000). Indeed, they should exercise strong leadership in ensuring at all levels that “an atmosphere of scholarship and rational discourse” is preserved in their unit.

 

Paraphrasing the Handbook: (Deans and chairs) may not use (their) position to cause interference with personal security, property, or freedom of movement, expression, or assembly in (their units). Under no circumstances should deans or department chairs verbally assault, insult, or publicly humiliate any faculty or staff member.

 

 

2. Collegiality in governance

 

Deans and department chairs are expected to provide democratic leadership, keeping in mind that their position is a transient one and that members of the faculty share a lasting responsibility to fulfill the mission of the university, along with a responsibility for the governance of the University. It is important that all units have clearly stated, regularly updated by-laws posted on their websites, with the date of the last revision. It is also important that these by-laws be strictly adhered to and all their provisions observed. It is essential, for example, to schedule regular meetings, and to assure input for faculty members in setting policy, in planning, and in decision making. 

 

Furthermore, in accordance with the recorded by-laws, deans and chairs are expected to consult with faculty on policy matters that affect their school or department, including the recruitment of new faculty prior to the conclusion of negotiations, and to report regularly and fully to the faculty.

 

 

3. Familiarity with University policies and organizational structure

 

In order to be effective administrators, able to act for the benefit of the faculty members in their units, deans and department chairs are expected to familiarize themselves with University policies, particularly those that pertain to appointments and promotions, leaves of absence, termination and grievance procedures. In this regard it is particularly important for deans and chairs to understand the steps to be taken in preparation for an ad-hoc review for an appointment with tenure, and to present the most effective case possible for the candidate.

 

Similarly, it is reasonable to expect deans and chairs to be thoroughly familiar with the organizational structure of the University in order to function in a manner that is supportive of the faculty members in their units, and to represent their unit’s interests effectively to the central administration.

 

 

4. Impartiality in the use of power

 

To the extent that deans and department chairs control faculty workloads and salaries, they should be particularly mindful to exercise fairness at all times in assigning academic and administrative duties. They should not penalize dissenting faculty by withholding appropriate salary increases, blocking academic advancement, or withholding adequate space for them to perform their academic duties. Similarly, deans and chairs are expected to exercise fairness in allocating resources (funding, secretarial support, office equipment, supplies) to faculty members.

 

Deans and chairs should be open to hearing individual faculty needs and concerns, and when appropriate to act on them effectively. Annual salary discussions with members of the faculty and staff are among the responsibilities of deans and chairs, or their designated administrators.

 

 

5. Assistance in faculty development

 

Deans and department chairs are expected to foster faculty development, especially of junior faculty, to enable them to reach their full potential and be eligible for academic advancement. Deans and department chairs should assure that proper credit is given to junior faculty and research staff in publications reporting on joint research projects. Whenever possible deans and department chairs are expected to use their fiscal power and connections with colleagues in the field to help junior faculty gain access to all available opportunities for development and establish their own reputations.