University Of Wyoming Reaches Agreement On Shared Governance

May 24, 2018

Credit Tennessee Watson / Wyoming Public Radio

The University of Wyoming Faculty Senate, the administration and the Board of Trustees have reached an agreement on changes to regulations regarding how the university will respond to financial challenges in the future.

 

This is following push back on campus that the trustees were looking to enhance their authority to eliminate programs, positions, and change policies without input from faculty, staff or students.

 

Instead of voting on the contested regulations at their May meeting, the trustees formed a sub-committee with representation from faculty and administration to reach a compromise.

 

UW professor Christine Porter said what came out of those meetings are regulations that promote shared governance, which is an improvement.  

 

“But what is less positive is that this ever came to this point,” said Porter. “The Board of Trustees was poised to have phone calls whenever they wanted and completely change university regulations without consultation and without notice either.”

 

Porter said while the trustees, as of late, have been more receptive to feedback, she’s not confident that threats to shared governance and faculty input have gone away.

 

“To even have dreamt of writing that, and proposing it, and to have come so close to voting on it still indicates there is an issue,” said Porter. “Especially because the Faculty Senate had been working with [the trustees] on it for eight months.”

 

The Faculty Senate had been consulted about the regulations previously, Porter said, “making the same points I assume that they made more recently but were not heard.”

 

The delayed vote and the sub-committee could have been avoided, according to Porter, had the faculty’s previous feedback on the regulations actually been incorporated.

 

In July, the trustees will vote on whether to adopt the new language in the regulations.