October 25, 2005
Academic Senate Executive Council
Council of Deans and Vice Chancellors
RE: Response to Academic Senate report on shared governance
The Academic Senate issued a report on shared governance at UC Davis entitled “Mending the Wall” during the 2004-05 academic year. The Academic Federation Executive Council felt obligated to respond to the document because we represent another group of academic employees that make critical contributions to campus and that could be significantly affected if the report were fully implemented.
The enclosed response of the Academic Federation to the Mending the Wall report outlines several basic areas in which we believe that the Senate has misrepresented or over-interpreted delegated authority. The Federation Executive Council was compelled to address these issues so that UC Davis Administration would be aware that there were alternative views on campus.
One particular issue, that of the role of the Senate in instruction, required further support than just disagreeing with the general statements made in Mending the Wall. The statement that the Senate controls instruction and by and large provides it as well, appears several times in the report. To support our position that non-Senate faculty are responsible for a significant portion of the instruction on this campus, we have posted, on the Academic Federation website, reports on teaching workload for the three most recent academic years. These data are available on the web from the Office of Resource Management. The posted summaries include the student credit hours (SCH) for each department/college that are sorted according to ladder and non-ladder FTE.
A review of these summaries shows that despite having only an average of 19% of the FTE on campus, Academic Federation faculty are responsible for an average of 33% of the student credit hours. In contrast, Senate faculty have 75% of instructional FTE and generate 56% of the student credit hours. These data would hardly appear to support the statements in the Mending the Wall report regarding the delivery of instruction.
In the future, the Academic Federation hopes that the Academic Senate and UCD administration can recognize the vital contributions made by non-Senate academic personnel in meaningful ways. We urge UCD administration to consider the benefits of more inclusive forms of shared governance, especially the participation in peer review at the department level.
Catherine VandeVoort, Chair
cc: Members of the Academic Federation