According to the results of a survey in which faculty members evaluated the performance of the University administration, the University faculty members overwhelmingly believe they don’t get enough input in decisions made by the administration.
The annual survey found that approximately 70 percent of surveyed faculty supported the implementation of a policy that required the administration to consult elected faculty representatives “early in the planning of any major construction projects, including those for sports facilities.”
The survey was distributed to faculty members at the University’s Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses. 30 percent of eligible faculty responded.
The survey also reported that faculty members felt they weren’t adequately consulted before admissions policy revisions stemming from Proposal 2, which banned the use of race- and gender-based affirmative action in the state of Michigan.
Physics Prof. Keith Riles, a member of the Administration Evaluation Committee, which created the survey, said the results show that faculty members, on the whole, feel dissatisfied with their current role within the University’s administrative decisions.
Riles said the administration didn’t sufficiently consult faculty members before going ahead with the $226 million renovations to Michigan Stadium.
Riles cited a motion passed in October by a majority of the Senate Assembly, the main governing body for faculty, urging University President Mary Sue Coleman and the University Board of Regents to reconsider the stadium renovations. He said the motion was largely ignored.
Last year’s AEC survey reported that about 45 percent of respondents didn’t want luxury boxes to be added to Michigan Stadium, according to the Senate Assembly’s website.
Riles said a shared governance document is being developed between the Senate Assembly and the Office of the Provost. It would lay out the roles of faculty members in decisions made by the University administration.
While early drafts of the document were started nearly three years ago, Riles said progress is being made toward completing the document under current University Provost Teresa Sullivan.
The only sticking point for both sides in completing the document, he said, is determining how large a role faculty members should have in University decisions that fall outside the faculty’s primary responsibility – academic issues.
Such decisions, Riles said, include the decision to proceed with the addition of luxury boxes to Michigan Stadium.
Riles said the Senate Assembly and the Office of the Provost have been in discussions for several months negotiating the role faculty members should play in these kinds of non-academic decisions.