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Pieces of Eight


Taggart Assesses ECU Shared Governance

Following are remarks from Mark Taggart, Chair of the Faculty, to the Faculty Senate, Dec. 4, 2007; submitted by Marianna Walker, Secretary of the Faculty.

“As Chair of the Faculty, it has been my privilege to represent you as a member of the UNC Faculty Assembly. At these meetings, it has been my pleasure to learn that ECU is regarded as a leader in applying the standards of shared governance within the UNC system. One of the responsibilities given to me this year is to serve as Chair of the Faculty Assembly’s Governance Committee, and as a member of the Executive Committee. The Faculty Assembly’s Governance Committee was recently charged with the task of creating a Handbook on Shared Governance, which would outline the standards and best practices in shared governance that all campuses of the UNC system should employ.”


“While I have been engaged in this activity, I have been asking myself if ECU has been living up to its reputation as a leader in applying these standards, and if there is room for improvement of our current practices. I believe that we are practicing the “Standards of Shared Governance” as outlined by the Faculty Assembly of the University of North Carolina. We have a fully functioning Faculty Senate that holds regularly scheduled meetings throughout the academic year. Our 26 academic committees are engaging in activities and giving advice on matters of academic policy, curriculum, degree requirements, academic standards, and the like. Our committees have been active in reviewing and recommending campus policies of reappointment, tenure, promotion, and of post tenure review.”

Taggart stated that the faculty senate agenda reaffirms that the faculty has been active in reviewing and approving unit codes, and other policies in the Faculty Manual.

“Currently, faculty members have a candid, collegial and cooperative relationship with the top administration. Our chancellor and vice chancellors understand and embrace these principals of shared governance. They have sought faculty input on issues such as university mission and strategic plan, enrollment growth, student discipline, intercollegiate athletics, faculty benefits, and libraries and other research facilities. This chancellor has been exemplary in sustaining the recommendations of faculty tenure, hearings and grievance committees. I believe that, in these areas, the state of shared governance at ECU is strong. Yet we aspire to strengthen it further. ECU continues to be the standard bearer of shared governance within the UNC system. We appreciate working with a board of trustees that exercises due respect for the governance prerogatives of the faculty.”

“The Standards of Shared Governance as outlined by the Faculty Assembly state, ‘the faculty of each college, school, or department should be consulted in the appointment or reappointment of the dean or department chair either through majority membership on the search or evaluation committee or by direct consultation with the appointing administrator either in person or by other means approved by the faculty senate.’ Further, ‘the chancellor or provost, in consultation with the faculty senate, should establish effective procedures that enable members of the faculty having the voting privileges to regularly evaluate the performance of senior administrators. This evaluation should be in addition to and independent of the mandated periodic evaluation of administrators by the chancellor or the board of trustees.’

“So despite some areas of improvement,” Taggart concluded, “The state of shared governance here at ECU is strong. We enjoy a mutually collaborative relationship with our administration that could be summed up with the phrase - ‘We are all in this together.’”


This page originally appeared in the Jan. 25, 2008 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at