The principles of academic freedom and shared governance have animated KSU faculty action for many years, stretching back many decades. KSU faculty have long been members of AAUP nationally and leaders at the state level, and participated in campus life as an informal body for many years. In 2005 the campus chapter (“AAUP@KSU”) adopted bylaws outlining our structure and the purposes of the local chapter.
In cooperation with the broader faculty and the university administration, AAUP@KSU worked to restructure governance bodies on campus. Prior to 2006 a University Senate comprised of faculty, staff, and administrators served as the formal voice of all three groups, despite the fact that each constituency’s voice was constrained by needing the approval of the other two. To facilitate greater focus on the interests of each, three bodies were created:three bodies were created: the Faculty Senate, the Staff Senate, and the Administrators Senate (renamed as Administrators Council). Two leaders from each of these bodies together with two from and the Student Government Association comprised the University Council.
The following years would see a number of AAUP@KSU initiatives realized, including the creation of Faculty Councils at the department and college levels (DFCs and CFCs). These bodies are designed to enhance communication and transparency between faculty and chairs (or directors) at the departmental level, and between faculty and deans at the college level.
The chapter also worked to improve processes for the review of faculty and administrators. To ensure appropriate bases for the review of faculty members under consideration for promotion and tenure, AAUP@KSU worked with the Faculty Senate and VPAA to recognize formally–and set forth explicitly in policy–the primacy of departmental guidelines, as these best reflect the standards specific to a discipline. To ensure accountability of deans of chairs, the chapter worked alongside the Faculty Senate, administrators, and the VPAA to institute a regular review process to solicit feedback and evaluation from faculty and staff. To fill another gap in KSU’s shared governance structure, chapter leaders also initiated and lead the effort to gain approval for the Part-Time Faculty Council.
Composed by founding members Tim Hedeen and Tom Keene