ADVOCACY BY AAUP OFFICERS LEADS TO FACULTY REPRESENTATION ON PRESIDENTIAL SEARCH COMMITTEE
The Presidential Search Committee was established by the Board of Regents in Spring, 2018. It consisted only of members of the Board of Regents. Representatives of this committee met with focus groups in May, 2018. Faculty members attending focus groups representing GSEP, Seaver, and the University Faculty Council presented our request to add faculty to the Search Committee. Our request was declined: the Search Committee intended to include faculty in the process only after selecting three finalists (without faculty input).
Maire Mullins and Barbara Ingram (Vice President and Secretary of the Chapter for 2018-2019) met with President Benton and Provost Marrs and presented our arguments for inclusion of faculty in the Search Committee. The inclusion of faculty in a presidential search committee is widely viewed as a required element of shared governance. We presented supportive documents from the organization of American Governing Boards https://www.agb.org/briefs/leadership-roles-in-a-presidential-search as well as from AAUP https://www.aaup.org/issues/governance-colleges-universities/presidential-search. We also urged the development of ongoing channels of communication between the Board of Regents and faculty.
Andy Benton passed these requests to the Chair of the Board of Regents. At the September board meeting, the regents agreed to expand the search committee to include two faculty (one representing Seaver and one representing the graduate/professional schools) and one administrator. Each of these new members, in addition to their strong academic and administrative record, are active members of the Churches of Christ. The new members include Dr. David Holmes, Dr. Cary Mitchell, and Dr. Connie Horton. Another decision by the Board of Regents is to create a task force with 3 Regents, 3 Administrators, and 3 Faculty (hopefully ELECTED) to address the topic of shared governance.