Standard 3. Organization & Governance - Description
- The Corporation and the Board of Trustees
- The President and Senior Administration
- Faculty and Academic Governance
- Student Governance
Under the Bylaws of the College and the Articles of Organization of the institution as amended in 1948 and 1972, the Board of Trustees is the legally constituted body ultimately responsible for the college's quality and integrity. The Board appoints the President, who also serves as an ex-officio member. The Board also appoints the senior cabinet upon recommendation of the President. Composed of 33 elected members and three ex-officio members, the Board oversees all College business and, through its committees, advances the work of every area of college life. Faculty, staff and students are invited to interact with the Board committees, and through these committees to influence decisions that are made by the Board.
Elected members serve in three-year terms. The ex-officio members include the President, the Provincial of the United States Province of Priests and Brothers of Holy Cross, and a member of the President's Council (a group of advisors who also support the College at a certain level). The Bylaws prescribe that at least ten of the elected members must be priests or brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross. The remaining trustees are made up of academic, business, and philanthropic leaders. The Bylaws further prescribe that no trustee shall be a current member of the faculty, administration, or student body of the College. There are currently 28 men, seven women, and one person of color.
The Board — as a full body and through standing committees on Academic Affairs, Advancement, Financial Affairs, Mission and Catholic Identify, Student Life, Audit, Athletics, Investment, Planning and Facilities, and Compensation — helps to set and review College policies and strategic and operational planning.
The College Bylaws articulate the authority, responsibilities, and relationships among the Board of Trustees and the Members of the Corporation which are composed of two groups: the Board of Fellows and the Board of Incorporators. The Board of Incorporators is composed of the professed religious of the Congregation of Holy Cross serving as members under assignment as staff and faculty of the College along with leadership of the Congregation of Holy Cross. The Board of Incorporators maintains certain reserved powers including the power, with a few exceptions, to amend the bylaws. The remaining reserved powers can be exercised by all of the Members acting together as the Corporation. The Board of Fellows is a representative body made up of members of the Incorporators, the Faculty, the Student Body, and the Alumni. The sole power of the Board of Fellows is to elect the Board of Trustees. Over the last decade the development of the Trustee Nominating Committee, increased consultation of individual Fellows with their constituencies and reflection by the Fellows meeting together on a regular basis has resulted in the appointment of a talented, engaged and strategic Board of Trustees.
The corporate officers -- The President, the Treasurer, the Clerk and Assistant Clerks --are annually elected by the Board of Trustees. Additionally, the Board reviews the performance of the President and receives the evaluation by the President of the senior "cabinet level" members of the College's management. During this decade a Compensation Committee of the Board was established to review the President's recommendation for Vice Presidential compensation and to set the President's compensation.
The Board empowers, through the Bylaws and Ordinances of the College, the President and his senior administration with the ability effectively to manage the College and to ensure that strategic and operational goals and objectives are fulfilled within the context of the College's mission. The Bylaws delegate to the President significant authority to lead the College in its mission and operations. The President delegates to other senior officers authority over the College's operations in a manner and to an extent acceptable to the President and consistent with the intentions of the Trustees.
The President meets regularly with the senior administration to ensure effective management of the institution. The senior administration of the College consists of the Treasurer and Vice President for Finance who is responsible for the fiscal integrity of the institution; the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs who is responsible for the integrity and quality of academic programming and for leadership in strategic planning; the General Counsel and Clerk, who is responsible for human resources and legal and regulatory compliance; the Vice President for Mission, who is responsible for the College's purposeful connection to its history, tradition, and mission as a Catholic institution of higher education and its ministry and outreach to the greater community; the Vice President for Advancement, who is responsible for ensuring ethical and purposeful relationships with alumni, donors and supporters of the College; the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing, who is responsible for the integrity of the marketing, admissions, enrollment, and financial aid processes of the institution; and the Vice President for Student Affairs, who is responsible for all non-curricular aspects of student life and welfare.
The President also meets on a less regular basis with the Faculty Senate, the faculty, employees, students, and alumni of the College through formal meetings, town-meeting style gatherings, and attendance at the scheduled meetings of these groups; he and his senior staff communicate and solicit feedback through traditional print and web mediums. Through regular meetings with the Board of Trustees, the Board of Fellows, the Incorporators and the Corporation, the President informs the governing bodies of the state of the College, its progress in achieving its goals and objectives, and its adherence to its mission.
One of the most important governance revisions over the last decade was the suppression of the Academic Council and the establishment of the Faculty Senate. This revision was part of the 2001 governance reform and provided a vehicle where Faculty, together with the Academic Administration (which was enhanced as part of the same reform) could exercise shared governance and oversight over curriculum and the development of the academic programs of the College.
The Faculty of the College has reporting lines though the academic administration and through the work of its legislative body, the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate, the Faculty Assembly, and elected or appointed faculty members on various standing committees of the College exercise an important role in assuring the academic integrity of the College's academic programs. The Faculty Senate, in particular, is empowered with legislative responsibilities concerning academic policies and procedures, including curriculum, faculty governance, and promotion and tenure criteria. The Senate serves in an advisory capacity on other college-wide issues. After the Senate approves or rejects policies and/or procedures, those actions are presented to the Provost and the President of the College for ratification. If the Provost and/or the President of the College do not ratify the proposed action(s), they must give written notice of the basis of their decision within sixty (60) days of the submission for ratification.
The Senate is a representative body, consisting of faculty elected to serve either at large or as representatives of their disciplinary groupings (Business, Science, Liberal Arts) for a term of three years. All members vote on proposals submitted by committees or individual faculty members. The results of these votes are communicated to the President and Provost in written form and discussed at a monthly meeting with the Senate President and Vice President.
Currently the Faculty Senate has 80% tenured to 20% untenured faculty in its membership. The Senate has four standing committees, each with a Senate Liaison. The Standards and Evaluations Committee proposes and reviews policies for pre- and post-tenure review and makes recommendations concerning sabbaticals and professional development grants. The Nominating Committee oversees all aspects of faculty elections including soliciting nominations and preparing, distributing, and counting ballots. The Curriculum Committee reviews proposals for minor curricular changes; proposals for new programs, majors or minors (or elimination of majors or minors), and proposals for academic policies and other curricular issues; the Compensation Committee studies and maintains information on faculty salaries and other compensation. The committee reports at least annually to the Faculty Senate and to the faculty at large its estimation of the fairness, effectiveness, and appropriateness of the current, and any proposed, salary and compensation plans. Although there must be a Senate liaison on each standing committee, membership in the Standing Committees of the Senate is not limited to senators. Faculty members may choose to stand for election to any of the Senate committees.
Outside of the Senate structure, there are 14 standing College Committees that include elected faculty, allowing the voice of the faculty to be heard on matters of strategic planning, financial planning, information technology, and other institutional matters. There are also numerous committees that do not require the election process where faculty input is solicited, and faculty members serve on these committees based on their expertise or willingness to participate.
Finally, the Faculty Assembly functions as a means of disseminating information, surfacing issues, and providing discussion time for issues of concern to the faculty at large. The Faculty Senate or the appropriate Senate Committee then takes up such issues if they will proceed to become formal recommendations of the Senate. Membership in the Faculty Assembly is given to all faculty members teaching at least six hours, during the semester in which they are teaching the six hours; to all faculty members on Sabbatical Leave or Leave of Absence; to all members with a one-year contract whose work consists of at least six hours of teaching or research; to librarians and Department Chairpersons with Faculty status, even though they may not be teaching; and to Laboratory Instructors with Faculty status.
The academic administration works in concert with the faculty to ensure the quality of the academic program. Reporting directly to the President, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is responsible for ensuring that the College's vision and priorities are incarnated and implemented in the curricular programming and that resources and priorities are focused to achieve that vision. The Provost also oversaw the College's current Strategic Planning process, and the work of the following offices: Dean of the Faculty, Dean of Academic Achievement, Office of Academic Development, Office of Career Services, College Library, and Registrar. The Provost evaluates faculty for hiring, sabbatical leave, unpaid leave of absence, professional development grants, pre-tenure review, tenure, and promotion. Also the Provost and VP for Academic Affairs receives specific assignments from the President to assist in the overall governance of the College. Examples of this function include overseeing the reaccreditation process and, together with the Treasurer and Financial Vice President, leading the implementation of a new College-wide administrative computer system.
The Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs/Dean of the Faculty has direct oversight of academic departments, curriculum in all major programs of study, and faculty development. He works with department chairs on curriculum development and program assessment. He is responsible for coordinating the New Faculty Orientation, the Faculty Mentoring Program, the Conboy Research Award and the Publishing Support Grant program. He chairs the committees on Rank and Tenure, and the Academic Appeals Board. He is a representative on the Enrollment Management Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee. Reporting to the Dean of the Faculty are the Director of General Education and the First Year Experience, the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and the Director of the Martin Institute for Law and Society.
The Dean of Academic Achievement has direct oversight of all areas of academic student enrichment that are extensions of the college curriculum. This Dean is responsible for academic services and opportunities, including the Office of Academic Services, the Center for Academic Achievement and the Writing Center, the Office of International Programs, the Honors Program, Academic Advising, and advising for post-graduate fellowships. In his work on post-graduate outcomes, he consults closely with the Director of Career Services, who also reports directly to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.
The student viewpoint is taken seriously and efforts are made to ensure that student input is received on a regular basis and for special decisions made by the college. This is facilitated through a combination of the Student Government Association (SGA) and student representation to college committees.
The SGA is composed of over 100 students elected to one-year terms by their peers. This group is composed of four Class Committees, a Commuter Council, a Programming Committee, Programming subcommittees, the Diversity Committee, the Finance Committee, the Public Relations Committee, the Elections Committee, and the SGA Senate. These committees are ultimately responsible to the Executive Board, composed of the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Finance Chair, Programming Chair, and Diversity Chair. These seven students are responsible for the primary day-to-day operations of the SGA and are at the forefront of its activities.
The SGA strives to empower students with the ability to effect change on campus by creating an atmosphere conducive to creating innovative programming and crafting changes in policy in all areas of campus life. Within the framework of SGA, this is seen primarily in two places: within the Executive Board and the Senate. The Executive Board often hears concerns and thoughts of the college's administration, faculty or staff and determines the best course of response or the best method of introducing those to the student body. The Senate will often be the first to address student concerns and to develop a well-articulated presentation of the student viewpoint to bring to the administration. In addition, the Senate is broken into four subcommittees, determined by the SGA President each year. Two committees that have been in existence since subcommittees were first formed are Academic Affairs and Student Life. These two subcommittees are intended to work closely with their administrator counterparts and meet to address areas of mutual interest. There is also student representation to standing and ad hoc committees of the college at all levels.
All Executive Board officers, all SGA Committee Chairs, and certain other officers within SGA meet regularly with an advisor in the Office of Student Affairs. This allows the college to provide necessary guidance to student leaders in order to help them succeed over the course of their terms. It also provides students with a sounding board to formulate an approach to a particular issue that may be of concern to the student body. In addition, the Executive Board, and especially the SGA President, meet regularly throughout the semester with the President, Vice President for Student Affairs, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, and with other administrators, faculty, and staff members as appropriate.
Lastly, the college is proactive in obtaining student response when special issues arise, as in 2008-09 with determining whether the Campus Police should become an armed department. In this case, the college focused heavily on soliciting the viewpoint of students. SGA sponsored numerous forums on the matter, providing students with the opportunity to hear the different views, provide their own feedback, and ask questions. The Chief of Campus Police also met with student groups. In addition to gathering the input of the SGA, the college also looks to other student leader groups across campus, including the SGA-recognized clubs and organizations, Hall Councils and the Residence Hall Association, as well as the Resident Assistant Staff. These groups are targeted by specific administration, faculty and staff members based on the appropriateness of the situation at hand.