Shared Governance: Recurring ProblemsPosted: January 26, 2011
So Shared Governance, granted to us uniquely by Wisconsin law (36.09(5) ), is both the lifeblood and the bane of all Wisconsin SGA’s. It’s where we derive our power and where we spend much time frantically trying to assert that power on sometimes deaf ears.
Madison is certainly no exception. We have a wealth of Shared Governance committees but something fundamental is lacking: we still don’t have the equal respect from the Faculty Senate which continues to treat students as if we are not interested parties in the happenings on campus.
We still have to run to the Faculty Senate every time we want to establish a meaningful committee, submitting to their whims, and if it IS accepted as a committee, faculty majority memberships and chairship of the committee. That’s not how Shared Governance is supposed to work, folks. Look HERE for how our Faculty Senate makes committees. What is stopping student governments from simply copying and pasting these into their own bylaws with the appropriate language changes? How could the Chancellor oppose such a measure without also saying the Faculty Senate’s procedures are wrong too? I think this is a HUGE structural change we can make that will help tremendously.
Specifically, this semester we have hit a few major issues that I will briefly go over here and will be going over more in depth in the future:
- University Alcohol Policy: The Chancellor has an “advisory” group of top administrators including the Dean of Students, Head of University Health Services, The UW Chief of Police, Director of Housing, etc. These are big name people, folks, that we were told “don’t make policy”? Two weeks later, we received word that a Madison Initiative proposal came from this group and mentioned that they ARE A POLICY MAKING GROUP! Fool me once… This is a blatant violation of Shared Governance regarding a student centric issue. We’re fighting this.
- Research Oversight Committee: This committee is being set up by the Faculty Senate to oversee research. A graduate student seat HAS BEEN FLAT OUT REJECTED by the committee even though more students do research than faculty on this campus. Legal? Not really, we’re fighting this.
Well, I have to run to a New Badger Partnership Meeting but I’ll write more tomorrow.