10.4 ACADEMIC GOVERNANCE
The institution (a) publishes and implements policies on the authority of faculty in academic and governance matters, (b) demonstrates that educational programs for which academic credit is awarded are approved consistent with institutional policy, and (c) places primary responsibility for the content, quality, and effectiveness of the curriculum with its faculty.
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Faculty governance exists at both the University of North Carolina System (UNC System) and at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (N.C. A&T). At the UNC System level, the Faculty Assembly advises the Board of Governors, the General Assembly and the President of the University of North Carolina on matters of system-wide importance. Each campus has at least two representatives on the Faculty Assembly.
At the N.C. A&T level, the Faculty Senate is the primary agent of faculty governance at the university. The Faculty Senate has primary responsibility for academic programs and policies and for maintaining standards of academic freedom. N.C. A&T follows published system-wide policies and also publishes and implements university-level policies on the authority of faculty in academic and governance matters.
(a) Published Policies on the Authority of the Faculty in Academic and Governance Matters
The following is published on the university’s website:
The Constitution of the Faculty Senate is outlined in Chapter IV of the N.C. A&T Faculty Handbook, the primary resource for published policies on the responsibility and authority of faculty in academic and governance matters. Faculty are encouraged to download the Faculty Handbook as needed and keep it in a binder that can be easily updated when changes are approved. It is also available on-line through the N.C. A&T Academic Affairs website and the Legal Affairs website.
In the N.C. A&T Faculty Handbook, Chapter IV, Article IV establishes the Faculty Senate as the premiere body of institutional faculty governance and as the legislative body of the faculty, describes its membership, and states the responsibilities and rules of its operation. One senator and an alternate are elected from each academic department, the Graduate College, the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering and Library Services. The Chancellor and the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs serve as ex officio members. A key role of the Faculty Senate is to review, analyze, and approve all proposed curricular changes and new programs recommended by academic departments. The Faculty Senate also makes recommendations regarding admissions, the establishment or discontinuance of undergraduate or graduate degree programs, and issues of long-term and short-term planning for academic growth and development of the university.
Faculty members further exercise their responsibility in academic matters and governance by service on Committees of the Faculty or other university-wide committees. A listing of the 32 Committees on which the faculty serve and the duties and membership of each is available in Chapter V of the Faculty Handbook.
Faculty involvement in policy making was very evident in the updating of the Faculty Handbook, which was completed in 2018. The Minutes of the Senate Meeting of April 24, 2018 shows final vote of approval on most of the Chapters of the Handbook, with the others done at later meetings. Faculty also contribute significantly to the Reappointment
Tenure and Promotion Processes as well as to the Post-Tenure Review Process.
(b) Approval of Academic Programs
Most significantly, faculty lead the change in educational programs. Each educational program for which academic credit is awarded at N.C. A&T is approved in accordance with N.C. A&T policies and with the university’s focus on shared governance. The curriculum approval process, described in Section 9.1 is a critical component of all new programs approval.
Section 400.1.1[R], subsection I.B, of the UNC System Policy Manual states:
Each institution must have a clearly defined process for the review and approval of proposals to plan or establish new degree programs, including online or site-based distance education, off-campus, or alternative delivery of degree programs. All constituent institution processes must be followed and constituent institution approval must be received before a proposal may be submitted to the UNC System Office.
The university follows its internal process and then seeks approval from the UNC System, through the Board of Governors. Recent program approvals include the BS in Health Care Administration (which was also recently approved by SACSCOC) and the MS in Health Psychology, which will next go to SACSCOC for approval.
Procedures for establishing a new degree program are set forth by the UNC system in Section 400.1.1[R], subsection I.C, of the UNC System Policy Manual, and are followed by the university. These procedures require two-step process, as outlined in Section 400.1.1[R].
· A new degree program must first be approved for planning by completing the University of North Carolina Request for Authorization to Plan a New Degree Program, now called the Letter of Intent.
· Once the UNC System approves the formal request to plan, the institution must complete the University of North Carolina Request for Authorization to Establish a New Degree Program.
The UNC System puts each degree program Request for Authorization to Establish through a very rigorous process that includes review by other UNC institutions with similar programs. Graduate programs also include peer review beyond the UNC system.
(c) Faculty Responsibility for the Content, Quality, and Effectiveness of the Curriculum
A new degree program or certificate is proposed by faculty or a group of faculty from an academic department in one of the university’s eight colleges and school. After thorough discussion about the demand for the program and value of the new program, the group requests support from the appropriate/relevant Dean or group of Deans. Deans discuss new programs with the Provost prior to initiating a formal request for approval using UNC System Academic Program Planning documents.
While faculty contribute to the development of the UNC documents for new program approval, they are more engaged in the development of new courses that are approved through the university’s curriculum approval process described earlier in this Section.
1. The Faculty Assembly of the University of North Carolina
2. The N.C. A&T Faculty Senate
3. Faculty Senate Constitution
4. Chapter IV of the Faculty Handbook
5. Committees of the Faculty Senate
6. Listing of Committees on which Faculty Serve—Faculty Handbook—Chap. V
7. Minutes of the Senate Meeting of April 24, 2018—Approval of Revisions to the Faculty Handbook.