Five members of the Colorado State University executive committee of the faculty council resigned during a meeting Tuesday night over issues concerning shared governance, according to anthropology professor Mary Van Buren, who was one of the five people who resigned.
Shared governance is the idea that the CSU administration and the faculty council work together to make decisions that affect the faculty, especially anything that affects teaching, learning and research, according to Van Buren. The five members resigned after having issues with crafting a statement about shared governance to put into the faculty council agenda.
“Administration is not taking shared governance into consideration,” Van Buren said.
The executive committee was having trouble coming up with a statement that expressed their concern over the administration’s disregard for shared government. Van Buren said that after last week’s meeting, where they continued struggling, she and a few other members came together and decided to resign.
Faculty Council Chair Mary Stromberger responded to the resignation by saying that shared governance requires everyone to participate and share their views, and that sometimes leads to disagreements.
“Shared governance takes a lot of work,” Stomberger said. “I’m disappointed that (the members who resigned) have decided not to participate.”
The executive committee of the faculty council sets the agenda for the faculty council and decides what information is presented to the council. The faculty committee consists of representatives from each college and a few other places on campus, such as the library, according to Van Buren. Other members include the provost.
“The executive committee couldn’t function effectively,” Van Buren said. “(Getting an) independent faculty voice was hard with the provost (Rick Miranda) on the committee.”
CSU Provost Rick Miranda said that the faculty has mandated that the provost be at meetings, and that he is there to give perspective on University issues.
“I was disappointed that they alluded to me being on the the council as a problem,” Miranda said. “I think it’s a strength.”
Stromberger and Miranda said that CSU is committed to improving shared governance, and will continue to work on it with the faculty council.
“We think it is disappointing that several of our colleagues decided not to continue the debate around shared governance,” Miranda said. “But, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t going to move forward and make progress.”