August 4, 2020

Dear Faculty Colleagues:
 
The Shared Governance Task Force has made final edits to the proposed new University of Michigan-Flint Senate Bylaws.  The Bylaws are available here for your review prior to the vote.  The electronic ballot to vote on the Bylaws will be coming to you in the next few days in an email from Terry Bigelow.  One change you will notice is that the preamble, in keeping with practice by both UM-Ann Arbor and UM-Dearborn, will not be contained within the Bylaws. Rather, language from the former preamble could be used to support and introduce the Bylaws (e.g., on a Faculty Governance website).  There were other rather minor edits made that related to improving grammar, usage, and clarity.  These edits were all approved by the Shared Governance Task Force.  
 
Additionally, you will find the finalized Transition Plan here. This document describes how shared governance will function in the interim, prior to the Regents’ approval of the new Bylaws and the development of the new committee structure in a process to be undertaken during Fall Term.  
 
Please let us know if you have any questions. 
 
Sincerely, 
 
The Shared Governance Task Force
 
Tess Barker, Senior Director of Special Projects, Office of the Chancellor
Jennifer Blackwood, Associate Professor, College of Health Sciences
Brian Blume, Professor, School of Management
Aviva Dorfman, Associate Professor,  School of Education and Human Services
Donna Fry, Dean, College of Health Sciences
Susan Gano-Phillips, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Mike Hague, Vice Chancellor, Business and Finance
Kristi Hottenstein, Vice Chancellor, Enrollment Management
Scott Johnson, Dean, School of Management
Ken Schilling, Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
DJ Trela, Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Hiba Wehbe-Alamah, Professor, School of Nursing
___
Gloria Hage, Associate General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Moderator
Katherine Markel, Associate General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Counsel to the Task Force
 

Town Halls

The Shared Governance Task Force held two Town Halls to hear comments, questions, and suggestions on the draft Bylaws. Recordings of the Town Halls can be viewed here:

July 20, 2020Captioning is available here

July 24, 2020, Captioning is available here

The submitted questions for the Shared Governance Task Force Town Hall meetings are found here:

July 20, 2020

July 24, 2020

 

July 15, 2020

Chancellor Dutta thanks the Shared Governance Task Force for their diligent work these past few months and encourages all governing faculty to review the draft document and provide thoughtful feedback. "I look forward to working with faculty in a true spirit of shared governance. Receiving your feedback is key to creating a structure that will serve UM-Flint well, today and into the future." 

Review the draft Bylaws here.
Provide feedback here

This message below was sent on behalf of the Shared Governance Task Force:

We are sharing with you today draft Bylaws for the Flint Campus Faculty.  These Bylaws were drafted by and have the support of the Shared Governance Task Force that was charged by Chancellor Deba Dutta.  Your feedback is important to the Task Force. The draft Bylaws are attached to this message and are also available on the Shared Governance Task Force website, along with a link to provide feedback. 

Additionally, there will be two virtual Town Hall meetings on Monday July 20th and Friday July 24th from 1-2 pm to further explain the proposed Bylaws, hear your responses and suggestions, and answer your questions.

The Shared Governance Task Force was asked to find a new shared governance structure that will:

  • Align with the governance models of the Ann Arbor and Dearborn campuses;
  • Support our campus to be adaptable, flexible, and able to make changes quickly and efficiently to match the pressures of our context and the context of higher education; and
  • Reflect the importance of shared governance and define the roles and responsibilities of administration and faculty.

Since May 18, our process has included 10 meetings (1.5 to 2 hours in duration), with discussions of the code as well as discussions with representatives from UM-Dearborn about their structure.

After reviewing our UM-Flint Code extensively and comparing it to the Regents Bylaws and the UM-Dearborn Bylaws, the task force proposes the following draft of new UM-Flint Bylaws. We propose a new model of shared governance that aligns with UM-A2 and UM-D.   To that end, all the UM-F governing faculty will constitute the Faculty Senate. The Faculty Senate will have a smaller body, titled the Faculty Senate Council, that we propose to coordinate the work and be the legislative body of the Senate, analogous to our Faculty Council. These draft bylaws define the membership, authority and duties of the Senate and the Senate Council.

In order to create a set of bylaws that are flexible and adaptable, without requiring frequent amendment and approval by the Regents for every change in the document, the bylaws proposed here omit mention of specific standing or special committees for the faculty’s work. Rather, these draft bylaws authorize the Senate to create standing or special  committees to accomplish its work. 

Taking this approach will allow the UM-F faculty to craft and decide on a new committee structure, without needing to include this structure in the bylaws (or amend the bylaws if/when there is a change). Any structure we create will have pros/cons, and there may be a desire to change these major committees over time as we see how they work. 

The task force developed some ideas for committee structures. It would be good for the Senate Council, with the Senate, to engage in a process to decide upon the committee structure that will best serve UM-Flint going forward. 

A beneficial outcome of accepting this draft document is that our bylaws would be more consistent with UM-D (which was mentioned in the President's and Chancellor's charge), and that we would have more confidence that it will be supported by the Chancellor and Regents.

Included in the document is a preamble that attempts to clearly delineate the roles and responsibilities of faculty and administration in shared governance, as part of our charge. The preamble bases itself in Regents bylaws 5.02-5.04 and 5.06 that explains the role of governance, and the importance of involving the faculty in the functioning and running of the university.  In order to articulate the roles of administration and faculty clearly, the task force included this language and continued to define the advisory capacity and the decision-making roles in the preamble to the draft bylaws to make this explicit.

Thank you for reading and considering these draft bylaws.  Feedback will be received through Friday, July 24 at 5pm via a link on the Shared Governance Task Force website. 

Please register and plan to attend one of the two Town Hall meetings.   The first is scheduled for Monday, July 20, 1-2pm (go.umflint.edu/SGTFtownhall1) and the second is scheduled for Friday, July 24, 1-2pm (go.umflint.edu/SGTFtownhall2).  You must register to participate.  We look forward to hearing your  comments and suggestions, as well as answering any questions you may have. 

Thank you.

Shared Governance Task Force

Aviva Dorfman, Associate Professor,  School of Education and Human Services
Brian Blume, Professor, School of Management
DJ Trela, Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Donna Fry, Dean, College of Health Sciences
Hiba Wehbe-Alamah, Professor, School of Nursing
Jennifer Blackwood, Associate Professor, College of Health Sciences
Ken Schilling, Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Kristi Hottenstein, Vice Chancellor, Enrollment Management
Mike Hague, Vice Chancellor, Business and Finance
Scott Johnson, Dean, School of Management
Susan Gano-Phillips, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Tess Barker, Senior Director of Special Projects, Office of the Chancellor
___
Gloria Hage, Associate General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Moderator
Katherine Markel, Associate General Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Counsel to the Task Force

 

May 5, 2020

Dear Faculty Colleagues:
 

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,

Deba Dutta
Chancellor 

Task Force Members

FACULTY
  • Jennifer Blackwood, Associate Professor, Physical Therapy, CHS
  • Brian Blume, Professor, Organizational Behavior, SOM
  • Aviva Dorfman, Associate Professor, Education, SEHS
  • Ken Schilling, Professor, Mathematics, CAS
  • D.J. Trela, Professor, English, CAS
  • Hiba Wehbe-Alamah, Professor, Nursing, SON
ADMINISTRATION
  • Tess Barker, Senior Director for Special Projects, Chancellor’s Office
  • Donna Fry, Dean, CHS
  • Susan Gano-Phillips, Dean, CAS
  • Michael Hague, Vice Chancellor for Business & Finance
  • Kristi Hottenstein, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management
  • Scott Johnson, Dean, SOM
CONVENER AND MODERATOR
  • Gloria Hage, Senior Associate General Counsel,Office of the Vice-President and General Counsel, U-M
STAFF SUPPORT
  • Terry Bigelow, Executive Secretary, Business & Finance/Enrollment Management

Timeline

May 11 - Task Force membership announced
May 18 - Task Force holds initial meeting and will be charged by Chancellor Dutta
July 20 - Task Force Holds Town Hall
July 24 - Task Force Holds Town Hall
August 1 - Shared governance document due to Chancellor