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Volume 70, Issue 79, Thursday, January 27, 2005

News

Group's study delayed until fall

Committee on shared governance requests more time for report

By Angela Stokes
The Daily Cougar

A Faculty Senate committee designed to study shared governance gave a draft report at Wednesday's Senate meeting -- and asked for a few months to continue its work.

The Faculty Senate Commission on University Governance was created last spring and asked to give a report after one year's work looking at ways to improve the faculty's role in University policymaking.

The group's initial report said an ideal governance system would encourage faculty involvement in all decision-making across campus and help eliminate "siloization" -- a lack of communication between different elements of the University.


Allen Warner took office as president of the Faculty Senate on Wednesday, promising to build communication within the University and encourage the recruiting and retention of quality faculty members.
Pin Lim/The Daily Cougar

"We have a fairly complex organization that has evolved over time," FS-CoUG Chairman Jerome Freiberg said. "That tends to isolate decision-making."

The commission was originally set to expire after one year, but members asked the Senate for an extension until Sept. 30, when FS-CoUG will suggest one or more governance models to the University community.

"We really wanted this to be a process," Freiberg said. "We didn't want this to be another report that would sit on a file cabinet somewhere."

The Senate voted to extend FS-CoUG's life, but not without a discussion of exactly how many proposals the commission should present this fall.

Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Sen. Steven Craig said the group should only present one governance plan, saying having several proposals would dilute the plans' effectiveness.

Other senators, including Natural Sciences and Mathematics Sen. Ernst Leiss, disagreed.

"I think it would circumscribe the work of the commission unduly if we (limit the proposals)," Leiss said.

Freiberg said the group may not give more than one plan, but it needs the freedom to do so.

"We'd like some latitude," he said.

Senators agreed not to limit the number of proposals the commission may make in its final report.

For information on the commission and its work so far, visit fscoug.uh.edu.

In other business, the Senate inaugurated its new president, Allen Warner.

Warner, of the College of Education, said he will focus on four main issues during his year as president: creating a partnership between students, faculty and administrators; improving faculty recruitment and retention; supporting the University's coming capital campaign; and making the most of time during Senate meetings.

"We have work to do, and I ask for your support," Warner told senators.

The Senate will next meet at 12:15 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Farish Hall Kiva.
 

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