Texas A&M Faculty Helps Launch National Council Of Faculty Senates
Texas A&M University Faculty Senate members joined 41 of their peers from universities across the United States last month to launch a National Council of Faculty Senates (NCFS). The group will work to ensure that various faculty senates nationwide play a coordinated, decisive role in university faculty members’ shared governance with their university administrations.
The Texas Council of Faculty Senates organized the daylong organizational meeting that attracted the faculty members to Austin, where they discussed plans to develop mission and vision statements, a constitution, and bylaws. Faculty senates advise university administrations and boards of trustees or regents on all matters of policy and decision making that affect the faculty.
“Most associations in the United States have not only a statewide or a regional presence but also a national one,” said Trevor Hale, a professor of operations management at Texas A&M University and a convener of the meeting. “Therefore, we asked ourselves why not move beyond the state level to a national one.”
In welcoming the faculty members to Austin, Jim Woosley, president of the Texas Council of Faculty Senates and a professor of health and kinesiology at Texas A&M, said that it was imperative that the voice of faculty members nationwide be well coordinated and presented in a meaningful and an effective way to university administrators and to broader audiences.
Woosley and Hale will serve as initial officers for at least the first year of the newly formed NCFS.
Attendees identified areas for immediate action. They included developing a database to support one another and to weigh in on evolving issues, creating a communication system with boards of regents or trustees, and identifying a medium for disseminating widely best practices in shared governance and in academic freedom.