The University of Southern Maine is a dynamic learning community that seeks to function as a comprehensive university dedicated to meeting the academic aspirations of all its members: students, staff, faculty, and administration.
The University administration is charged with providing the physical, financial, and organizational infrastructure to enable the faculty to execute faithfully the University’s academic mission. The potential for conflict between the professional independence of University faculty in the pursuit of academic excellence and the governing organization of the University restrained by financial and political forces may be reduced, though not eliminated, by the practice of shared governance and collegiality in the administration of the University.
Shared governance is used here to describe faculty involvement in University administration through two primary tenets. First, the chief administrative officers of the University, its President, Provost, Deans, and other academic officers, must be as aware of and as positively responsive as possible to the needs of the University in fulfilling its academic mission. Second, the administrative officers of the University should consult with the faculty and rely on advice and assistance from the faculty in the performance of their administrative responsibilities, particularly where administrative officers are called upon to make decisions bearing directly on the central academic functions of the faculty.
The faculty of the University of Southern Maine affirms its commitment to shared governance and collegiality as the most effective basis upon which to manage the affairs of and maintain excellence in this University. The By-laws of the Faculty Senate should be interpreted in this light.
At the same time e acknowledge that the University, its administrative officers, and its faculty are subject to rules of law and social policies that impinge on the principles of collegiality. These By-laws are to be read in such manner as to be consistent with applicable law, while at the same time giving the greatest possible weight to the faculty commitment to sharing with its colleagues in administrative office the burdens and benefits of cooperative management and development of this University.
The purpose of the Faculty Senate shall be to advise the President and the Provost on matters affecting the welfare of the University and to ensure effective faculty participation in the shared governance of the University as a whole.
The Faculty Senate shall be responsible for academic policy recommendations applying to the University as a whole, and may make recommendations on any matter of concern to the faculty not reserved to other bodies by the Governance Constitution.
The Faculty Senate shall assess the impact of proposed programs and proposed changes in existing programs that affect more than one faculty or school, college, or independent degree program or significantly affect the University's resource allocation or educational mission. The Faculty Senate will evaluate the impact of University plans on educational policy, admissions policy, student affairs, personnel policy, and resource allocation within the University.
The Faculty Senate through its Executive Committee shall provide faculty liaison to the University’s Board of Visitors and shall provide faculty representation to all long-range planning committees, including the University Planning and Budget Advisory Committee (UPBAC) and its successors.
The Faculty Senate shall recommend appointment of faculty representatives to all University-wide appointed committees.
The Faculty Senate may review and make its own recommendations on policy changes proposed by standing or ad-hoc University-wide committees.
The Faculty Senate shall have timely access to the agendas of the University’s Board of Visitors, the University of Maine System (UMS) Board of Trustees, reports of all University-wide committees, and preliminary drafts of the University budget.
The Faculty Senate's jurisdiction shall not supersede the authority of the constituent faculties as provided in their by-laws and approved by the UMS Board of Trustees.