How “shared” is governance in Miami’s University Senate?
University Senate is a representative body central to faculty governance at Miami. It is currently comprised of:
- 44 elected faculty representatives
- 10 administrative and staff appointments
- 15 elected student representatives
But Senate is NOT as representative as its composition would suggest. Currently the majority of the 13 standing committees and 9 advisory committees are appointed by the executive committee.
- 19 out of 91 faculty seats on standing committees are held by elected representatives
- 13 out of 60 faculty seats on advisory committees are held by elected representatives
Miami’s University Senate is ultimately an advisory body whose recommendations the administration can ignore. Unionization gives you and your colleagues the legal power to seek the conditions you need to become the teachers, librarians, and scholars you want to be.
- With a union, you and your colleagues decide priorities for negotiation together. The administration must then negotiate a contract with you in good faith. Once your contract is agreed upon and ratified by both the faculty and the Board of Trustees, it is legally binding.
- Union contracts can strengthen existing shared governance policies. For example, the University of Oregon's contract allows all university policies adopted by its senate or by units/departments to be enforced through the union’s grievance procedure. BGSU’s agreement codifies faculty influence in the selection and evaluation of administrators, including the President, Vice President, and Deans.