As the spring semester begins, I wanted to update you on the activities of the Faculty Senators Council.
For the past year and a half, the FSC has been working to revivify the principles and practices of shared governance at NYU. I’m pleased to report that at its December meeting the Board of Trustees endorsed a joint resolution of the administration of New York University and the Faculty Senators Council on five principles of shared governance, which will now be included in the Faculty Handbook. The first principle is representation for faculty senators (or designees) on University committees, and like bodies, convened by the administration to advise on matters that affect faculty in educational and administrative policy. The second principle is information, specifically transparency with respect to information that affect faculty in educational and administrative policy, as well as a commitment to reduce the use of “deliberative privilege”. The principle of consultation will ensure that FSC is given sufficient time to advise and comment on all educational and administrative matters affecting the faculty. Finally, the principles of reasoned justification and communication will ensure that decisions affecting the faculty are given a clear rationale, and that faculty senators will have the capacity to keep their constituents well-informed.
I’d like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the leadership of the FSC Governance Committee and especially its chair, Christine Harrington, in articulating and advocating these principles for enhancing the role of faculty in governance at the University level.
As a result of this commitment to shared governance, the FSC now has representatives on a wide array of university committees including:
Updates on the work of the FSC’s ten standing committees are available on the Committee Reports page. Here I’d like to highlight the on-going partnership between the Teaching and Student Affairs Committee and the Student Senators Council who are now collaborating on a review of the cost of course materials and developing recommendations on best practices to ensure that course materials remain accessible and affordable to our students. One other measure that reveals something of the broad scope of our work is the Benefit Committee’s successful advocacy for the newly implemented tax assistance program for same sex married couples to mitigate the discriminatory effects of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
I encourage you to contact committee chairs or the Executive Committee of the FSC with any questions, comments or concerns. You can also send remarks via our comment form.
Tuesday, February 5, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm is the FSC’s lively and much enjoyed annual faculty reception at the Torch Club. I hope you will be able to join us in celebrating the start of the new semester and meeting old and new faculty colleagues. I look forward to seeing you there.
On behalf of the Faculty Senators Council, I wish you all the best for the spring semester.