As I complete my first year at the University of Michigan-Flint, I would like to express my deep appreciation for your passion and dedication to the success of our students and our campus. In spite of the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, I am optimistic and eager to continue to make progress on a number of initiatives with the help of faculty. Together we have great potential to move our campus forward. President Schlissel and the Board of Regents share our commitment and enthusiasm for what the future holds for UM-Flint, as expressed in the letter from the President I am sharing with you today.
The foundation of our work going forward must include a robust system of shared governance. I respect the history of our campus’ model of shared governance and the fact that we have been operating under the Flint Faculty Code for nearly thirty years. However, as most of you are aware, the existing Flint Faculty Code was never ratified by the Board of Regents or approved by campus administration. Therefore, it lacks a basis for its authority as a shared governance document. This set of circumstances, together with the Board’s commitment and increased attention to our campus, presents a unique opportunity to take a fresh look at our shared governance model and to bring it into alignment with the models that exist on the Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses.
At the request of President Schlissel, I am writing to inform you that soon I will announce the formation of a task force that will present recommendations for the creation of a cogent document outlining a solid and thoughtful shared governance structure to support the mission of our campus. After my approval, I will recommend it to the President for his consideration and finally to the Board of Regents for ratification. The President issued this charge:
The goal will be to have a governing document prepared for us to take to the Board of Regents for approval in the early fall of 2020. This ambitious timeline reflects my commitment to the success of the Flint campus. I have every confidence that with your leadership and the commitment of the UM-Flint faculty, we will be able to address this matter and create a shared governance model that is aligned with what we have at the Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses of the University of Michigan.
The task force will be small and nimble, with equal members from UM-Flint faculty and administration, including representation from the current Faculty Council. Support and consultation for the task force will be provided by the U-M Office of the Vice-President and General Counsel in Ann Arbor.
We will begin our work immediately. The timeline for the work is ambitious indeed, but I have no doubt that we are up to the challenge, as it is among the most important work we will do together in the coming months. More information will be forthcoming in the very near future.
With best wishes and in good health,