What is Shared Governance?

Shared governance is the means by which faculty and staff participate in the decision-making process within UNLV. Universities have a unique mission: to create and disseminate knowledge and ideas. To do this, academic policy and philosophy need to be independent of short-term managerial and political issues. Faculty are in the best position to determine curriculum, establish research policy, select their colleagues, and subsequently judge their work. Faculty are on the front line, and that perspective is essential to many choices made in a university.

Shared governance was codified in the Statement on Government of Colleges and Universities, a statement jointly formulated in 1966 by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), the American Council on Education, and the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges. Several years ago, the American Federation of Teachers developed six principles that summarize the responsibilities and rights of shared governance:

  • Faculty set academic standards and curriculum.
  • Faculty require academic freedom.
  • Faculty should have primacy in decisions on academic personnel and status.
  • Participation in shared governance should be expanded.
  • Representative assemblies and faculty senates all have significant roles in shared governance.
  • Accrediting agencies should support fully the concept of shared governance in their standards.

At UNLV, these six principles are protected and embodied through the work of the Faculty Senate. This requires that faculty be proactive, reactive, interactive and collaborative.  When people are granted participation in decision-making, they become more vested in the institution