Frequently Asked Questions
The Faculty Organization’s role in the University’s shared governance process can be briefly explained as follows: Issues, proposals, motions, etc., are brought to the Rules Committee from the administrators, the UFE, the faculty, and the councils and committees within the FO structure. The Rules Committee decides whether to send the item back for more work or on to a council for their review and/or recommendation; they could also choose to form a special committee or a task force to handle it, and they can also send it directly to the Academic Senate. Policies and proposals from the councils are routed through the Rules Committee either as action or information items; if accepted by the committee the items are either forwarded to senate for action or noted in the mini-minutes. Mini-minutes are a condensed summary of what has happened at each of the councils and Rules Committee meetings and are distributed to the Academic Senators as one way to communicate information. The senators are to bring to the attention of their peers issues relative to their areas.
The collegial model of shared governance, which was adopted by EWU in 1984, formally recognizes that the planning and development of university-wide policy is a responsibility delegated by the Board of Trustees to be shared between the administration and the faculty. The administration fulfills its part of this shared responsibility through the administrative hierarchy, which is designed to administer policy and programs through EWU’s system of departments, schools and colleges. The faculty fulfills its responsibility in two ways: 1) through a system of departments, schools, and colleges designed to plan, develop and implement policies and programs inherent to the unit and to express judgment on personnel matters; and 2) through the Academic Senate, which, by a network of representative committees and councils, articulates formal faculty positions on policy matters along with the United Faculty of Eastern.
Generally, serving on a council, committee, the Academic Senate or the Rules Committee means attending 12-13 meetings during the academic year, discussing with your colleagues whatever agenda items come up, bringing back and voicing their views, and, of course, voting. There are exceptions; for instance, GAC requires that one faculty member also sit as a member on one of the two Course and Program Approval Committees (CPAC), Program Development and Review Committee (PDRC) or the Academic Appeals Board. Committee membership does NOT imply that there are 12-13 meetings a year; some committees are only called together when an issue comes forward. All meetings are conducted following Robert’s Rules of Order. All councils, however, meet twice a month during the academic year. All councils and committees must also maintain a balance of representatives from each college of the university.
The Faculty Organization (FO) is the name given collectively to the structure of the Academic Senate, its councils, committees, and subcommittees. Their purposes are to maintain and strengthen the concept of shared governance and represent the views of the faculty in all matters pertaining to shared governance, and to benefit the faculty and the institution of Eastern Washington University, through working toward achievement of the following specific aims: to advance faculty standards, with emphasis on continued learning in order to constantly improve knowledge and teaching, and to advance faculty welfare by implementation of academic freedom.
The Faculty Organization is one part of Eastern’s system of shared governance, the others being the United Faculty of Eastern (UFE) and the Administration of the university. The agreement which details Eastern’s system of shared governance is outlined in Academic policy 301-21 Faculty Organization and the Academic Senate; Chapter 1, Section 1-4 Faculty Organization. Faculty Organization is the name given collectively to the Academic Senate, its councils, committees, and subcommittees.
The membership of the Faculty Organization comprises all full time employees of Eastern Washington University whose principal responsibilities are as academic instructors, academic researchers, professional librarians, department chairs and/or elected officers within the Faculty Organization or any combination of the above.
Any person performing administrative functions as the principal part of their work assignment with authority to hire/fire or discipline other employees is not a member of the Faculty Organization. Special members are members who do not qualify as regular members but who are full-time employees and have appealed for special membership status which was approved by the Academic Senate.
No payment of dues is required, although voluntary payment of dues is encouraged. EWU is the only four-year institution in the state which does not rely on the administration for funds which provides a more independent faculty voice in shared governance. The funding comes from a dues structure and is used to provide faculty support for the Legislative Fund, General Fund and the Legal Fund. The Faculty Organization exists to serve you, to look after the interests of EWU faculty to legislators and help to keep our issues at the forefront of legislative deliberations, discussions and planning. Dues can be automatically deducted from your paycheck and usually range from $1.00 up to $20.00 per pay period (a form is distributed to all faculty in September).
Beginning in January 2007, an additional expense facing the Faculty Organization is the establishment of a Faculty Organization Representative in Olympia. This representative resides in Olympia during the legislative session and will present the interests of the Faculty Organization to legislators and help to keep our issues at the forefront of legislative deliberations and planning. The Faculty Organization exists to serve you, to look after your interests and to represent your concerns.
The council/committee structure is the method by which the Faculty Organization serves its purpose of strengthening the shared governance system and ensures that the views of the entire faculty are represented in that system. Currently, the Faculty Organization is comprised of the Executive Committee, the Academic Senate, the Rules Committee, the Legislative Committee, and five Councils, the standing Council, Committees and Subcommittees, and numerous task forces and special committees formed to deal with policy in specific areas.
The Faculty Organization has four elected officers: president, vice-president/president-elect, secretary, and treasurer. These four elected officers, plus the previous FO President, comprise the Executive Committee. The president of the Faculty Organization is also the Chair of the Academic Senate.
Faculty Organization the groups are detailed on the Faculty Organization website
The purposes of the Faculty Organization, as given in its Constitution, are to maintain and strengthen the concept of shared governance, to represent the views of the faculty in all matters pertaining to shared governance, and to benefit the faculty and the institution of Eastern Washington University, through working toward achievement of the following specific aims:
- To advance faculty standards, with emphasis on continued learning in order to constantly improve knowledge and teaching;
- To advance faculty welfare by implementation of academic freedom and by constantly acting to strengthen tenure;
- To advance faculty welfare by working for improved salary schedules, professional leaves, sick leaves, and improved working conditions for the faculty; and
- To advance faculty welfare by the consideration of problems or grievances related to academic freedom, academic rank, tenure, professional leave, sick leave, and salary schedules.
The Academic Senate represents and acts on behalf of the faculty. Representatives from academic units, usually departments, meet to discuss current issues, approve or disapprove proposed policies, and share information with the Faculty Organization Executive Committee, administrative officials, and a representative from the ASEWU who attend Senate meetings on an ex-officio basis. During the academic year the Senate meets on the 2nd and 4th Mondays from 3PM-5PM in TAW 215 A, B, C.
There are three Councils of the Senate: the Graduate Affairs Council (GAC), the General Education Council (GEC), and the Undergraduate Affairs Council (UAC). In brief, the functions of the Councils are as follows: GAC advises on matters involving the graduate programs of the university. GEC advises on general Education requirements. UAC advises on matters involving the undergraduate programs of the university.
The Rules Committee sets the agenda for Senate meetings and prepares lists of nominees for Council and Committee membership and offices. The Rules Committee membership is made up of the Executive Committee, Council chairs, three at-large members, and one administrative officer (usually the provost). Proposed policy changes are discussed at Rules Committee meetings and sent to appropriate councils for more detailed discussion prior to being presented to the Academic Senate. The Rules Committee meets on the alternate Mondays of the Senate also during the academic year.
In the spring of 1995, the university negotiated a contract with the United Faculty of Eastern (affiliated with both the NEA/WEA and AFT/WFT), and since then the UFE has been an important part of the university governance process. The contract (or collective bargaining agreement (CBA)) initially covered the period from April 1995 to August 1999, but was extended in July 1997 by the Board of Trustees until August 2001. It has been renegotiated and ratified regularly since.
The union represents the entire faculty in negotiations with the administration and the Board of Trustees in matters involving the welfare of the faculty and, more specifically, relating to working conditions and terms including tenure, teaching loads, professional responsibilities, appointments, assignments, rank, promotion, development, compensation, personal and professional leaves, and dispute resolutions. The UFE is also responsible, on behalf of the entire faculty, for the enforcement of the CBA. Issues covered by the union contract are collaboratively bargained and, thus, are no longer considered as shared governance issues. The faculty in the bargaining unit are defined as those whose primary role is teaching. Faculty membership in the UFE is not required, but highly encouraged in order to have a full voice in the decision-making process.
Monthly joint UFE/administration labor/management meetings are held to interpret and clarify the contract. Copies of the contract can be obtained from the Academic Personnel office, Showalter 314, or from Eastern’s web page: http://www.ewu.edu/AdminGuide/AdminRes/CollBarg/FacAgreement.html
The UFE has seven officers on the Executive Board (elected annually): a president, three vice presidents, a secretary, a treasurer, a grievance chair and two representatives from the Departmental Council. Besides the Departmental Council, there are three standing committees: Labor/Management, Grievance, and Co-Mediation. A new Executive Board will be elected at the start of fall quarter, and election information will be distributed at that time.
- For an update on CBA/UFE issues, see the Easterner’s Online report on the “Current Issues”page.
Denise Van Meter is the Administrative Assistant of the Faculty Organization and works full-time to support us. The FO office is located in 128 COM. The office hours are 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Friday. Denise’s phone number is 359-2279 and the office fax number is 359-2778.