YSU Excellence Steering Committee Memo

To: The University Community

From: Martin A. Abraham and Chester R. Cooper, Co-chairs, YSU Excellence Steering Committee

Date: April 20, 2017

RE: Shared Governance at Youngstown State University

In response to the Great Colleges to Work for Survey results released this past fall semester, the Office of the Provost and the Academic Senate jointly formed the YSU Excellence Steering (YES) Committee to address the concerns identified by faculty and staff. The YES Committee is composed of faculty, staff, students, trustees, and part-time faculty who have met biweekly for the past five months. The agendas and minutes of the committee’s deliberations and actions are available on the Academic Senate’s website.

One of the main issues identified was to improve shared governance at YSU. As the committee began to discuss this matter, it became clear that there were many different ideas about what constitutes shared governance. To this end, the committee concluded that a definition of “shared governance” was essential to serve as a foundation “to foster mutually reinforcing relationships that expand the opportunities for cooperation and leadership while facilitating judicious, yet creative, university governance.” Therefore, after much research and discussion, the committee generated a draft definition of “shared governance” that was adapted from a similar document originally developed by the University of Louisiana – Monroe. Specific YSU actions and policies could be developed or revised based upon this definition.

In order to engage our faculty and staff in this process of defining shared governance, the committee asks that the entire university community take time to read and comment upon the draft document*. We wish to hear from the university community no later than May 15, 2017. The Office of Assessment has prepared a response system, available online by which comments can be anonymously submitted and reviewed. The comments will be compiled by the Office of Assessment and presented to the committee, which will then work to incorporate the suggestions into the document. Following review by the Academic Senate, the document will then be presented to the Board of Trustees for final action.