“Threats to Shared Governance” Languishes in Faculty Senate


As a matter of concern, the Faculty Senate for years has been discussing an agenda item called “Threats to Shared Governance.” Watching Adams reported on this in November 2015 with Faculty Senate Challenges Threats to Shared Governance. However, this issue appears to have languished in the Faculty Senate.

A previous idea of sharing a list of examples of threats to shared governance with ASU President Beverlee McClure “was watered down to nothing, indicative of the role of faculty senate” according to one report. When asked about this, President McClure reportedly stated that she didn’t want to see specific examples.

By March 2016, Faculty Senate went from a list of specific examples to voting on prioritization of the items from the most recent shared governance survey. At this point, there was no consensus, so the Faculty Senate decided to let the current Faculty Senate President, Dr. Christina Miller, present the shared governance items and prioritizing the biggest discrepancies between the ratings from faculty and administrators.

Dr. Rob Demski had already presented the shared governance survey results widely. This was a January 2016 report titled, “Issues of Shared Governance That Need To Be Addressed: The Faculty Perspective.” It is believed that President McClure has already seen these results.

“In the end, Faculty Senate basically did nothing” one observer concluded.

“It’s amazing to me,” another observer stated “that I look at the agenda items from a year ago and see almost the same issues in almost the same status at the most recent meetings.”

One observer noted, “if there are indeed ‘Threats to Shared Governance’ at ASU, Faculty Senate doesn’t appear to act as though these threats are urgent, or that they are so intractable that addressing them more directly seems too difficult. Or quite possibly, the palpable fear of administrative retaliation on campus has made more direct action too risky for Faculty Senate to undertake.”