>>Dr. Blackmon: So let’s talk about shared
governance. What does that mean for a faculty member?>>Dr. O’Rear: Shared governance is a partnership
between the administrators of the university and the faculty in guiding the institution.
Administrators include the president, the provost, and deans. Ideally, development of
policies proceeds in a cooperative fashion. At the University of Oklahoma issues of concern
to the faculty can be brought to the Faculty Senate, where they are discussed and debated
with the prospect of passing legislation. Often administrators will be invited to speak
on such matters before the Senate. If a positive vote on a resolution follows, then the resolution
will go to higher administration for consideration and disposition. In addition, policies under
development by the administration are often brought to the Faculty Senate or its executive
committee for feedback. Working together leads to better policies and policies that are more
broadly supported. Let me give an example of how the faculty and administration worked
together recently on a workload policy at OU. One proposal had been to have every faculty
member teach a freshman course. The draft policy was changed though when the Faculty
Senate noted that some faculty members are simply not nurturing and would do a poor job
in a course at this level. We arrived at a better policy by working together.