The topic of shared governance on CSUSB’s campus has been heating up, especially with the Q2S conversion occurring soon, but who exactly has the final say in the University’s final decision-making is the question asking to be answered.
Shared governance is a set of practices where administration, faculty, staff, and students participate in decision-making for the university’s welfare and operation.
“There’s been a lot of discussion of shared governance on campus in recent years because a lot of faculty feel like we’re not really living up to what we should be doing. I think a lot of discussions are being made without faculty input or in cases where faculty members are consulted, we often feel like our voices aren’t being heard,” stated Former Senate Chair Karen Kolehmainen on why shared governance is important right now.
The Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA) is the state law that regulates labor relations between the University of California and California State University systems, their employees, and the labor organizations that represent their employees.
“Our university in the past few years has grown from a small, comfortable university to a modern midsize university with all the complexities that comes with operating such an entity. We respect and have great support of the Faculty role in guiding the University in every matter from academic, to operation, but we also want to make aware that the staff contribute greatly to the success of the universe, and that we bring expertise to numerous areas: technology, admissions, counseling, etc. We are looking forward to this shared governance statement to help address such issues, and it’s a pleasure to all work together to have the best university. We believe that the process of the shared governance is an important part of the journey moving forward,” said member of the shared governance committee Robert Garcia.
CSUSB’s Faculty Senate is currently working on a draft preamble to update the topic of shared governance for the University.
“I think that there are a lot of decisions on campus that are the responsibilities of the President or of a certain administrator to make and they can’t give that to anyone else. What I would like is a process where they say upfront, ‘this is the decision for us, can you send us your thoughts’ and make the final decision according to the feedback and close the deal. This would help so that everyone can feel like their voice has been heard and we understand how the decision was made because that to me is shared governance,” stated Senator Jill Vassilakos-Long.
“I think it’s important that students know about shared governance because it’s a part of their education, but we don’t want them to feel like they have to take sides in certain decisions and don’t want to burden them with everything else they have going on. Students don’t really know what happens behind the scenes and a lot of Faculty don’t want the students to feel like they’re getting caught in the middle,” stated Karen Kolehmainen.
Although Faculty make most of the suggestions to the shared governance at CSUSB, students do have a voice other than through ASI. Students can always bring up their suggestions to ASI and President Adonis Galarza can bring them up at the Faculty Senate meetings, if there is something more passionate to be said, anyone is welcomed.
“We want shared governance, we want staff in place, we want student input, we want community input into the mission and vision of this institution,” stated Senator Enrique Murrillo.
All Faculty Senate meetings are open for students, faculty, and staff who want to get more information on what difference they can make for the University’s future.
“Our meetings are open if any students want to get more involved in the Faculty Senate meetings and our upcoming policies. Transparency is huge and we literally post all of our meetings, so if you’re not able to attend, you can virtually see them,” said Faculty Senate chair Beth Steffel.