November 14, 2018

Rao Attends Meeting of Nationwide Faculty Governance Leaders

On Oct. 27, Anand Rao, professor of communication, vice chair of the Mary Washington’s University Faculty Council and president of the Faculty Senate of Virginia, attended a meeting of faculty governance leaders from across the country.

Rao participated in creating a National Council of Faculty Senates at the Austin, Texas event.

The National Council of Faculty Senates will help ensure various faculty senates nationwide play a coordinated, decisive role in university faculty members’ shared governance with their university administrations.

The Texas Council of Faculty Senates organized the daylong organizational meeting that attracted the faculty members to Austin, where they discussed plans to develop mission and vision statements, a constitution, and bylaws. Faculty senates advise university administrations and boards of trustees or regents on all matters of policy and decision-making that affect the faculty.

“Most associations in the United States have not only a statewide or a regional presence but also a national one,” said Trevor Hale, a professor of operations management at Texas A&M University and a convener of the meeting. “Therefore, we asked ourselves why not move beyond the state level to a national one.”

In welcoming the faculty members to Austin, Jim Woosley, president of the Texas Council of Faculty Senates and a professor of health and kinesiology at Texas A&M University, said that it was imperative that the voice of faculty members nationwide be well coordinated and presented in a meaningful and an effective way to university administrators and to broader audiences.

Attendees identified areas for immediate action. They included developing a database to support one another and to weigh in on evolving issues, creating a communication system with boards of regents or trustees, and identifying a medium for disseminating widely best practices in shared governance and in academic freedom.

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