Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Laura Bain
Submission Date Jan. 26, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Furman University
PA-3: Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Yancey Fouche
Associate Director
Shi Center for Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Do all enrolled students, regardless of type or status, have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies (through direct participation or the election of representatives)?:
Yes

A brief description of the mechanisms through which students have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies:

All traditional students have the opportunity to run for SGA office and vote in officer elections – the entire student body votes for the executive council, and then each class votes on its class officers. SGA meetings are also open to the student body, if they wish to sit in and observe.


Is there at least one student representative on the institution’s governing body who was elected by peers or appointed by a representative student body or organization?:
No

A brief description of student representation on the governing body, including how the representatives are selected:

There are no students who serve on the Board of Trustees. Members of SGA and other students appointed by the President of SGA do sit on various Trustee committees, however.


Do students have a formal role in decision-making in regard to the following?:
Yes or No
Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals No
Establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives No
Strategic and long-term planning No
Existing or prospective physical resources No
Budgeting, staffing and financial planning No
Communications processes and transparency practices No
Prioritization of programs and projects No

A brief description of the formal student role in regard to each area indicated, including examples from the previous three years:
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Do all staff, regardless of type or status, have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies (through direct participation or the election of representatives)?:
Yes

A brief description of the mechanisms through which all staff have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies:

All staff have an avenue to participate in the Staff Advisory Committee (SAC). The purpose of the SAC is to be the voice of the staff to senior administration. Staff have the opportunity to share opinions, concerns, and ideas through their represtatives on the SAC.


Is there at least one non-supervisory staff representative on the institution’s governing body who was elected by peers or appointed by a representative staff body or organization?:
No

A brief description of non-supervisory staff representation on the governing body, including how the representatives are selected:
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Do non-supervisory staff have a formal role in decision-making in regard to the following? :
Yes or No
Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals No
Establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives No
Strategic and long-term planning No
Existing or prospective physical resources No
Budgeting, staffing and financial planning No
Communications processes and transparency practices No
Prioritization of programs and projects No

A brief description of the formal staff role in regard to each area indicated, including examples from the previous three years:
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Do all faculty, regardless of type or status, have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies (through direct participation or the election of representatives)?:
Yes

A brief description of the mechanisms through which all faculty (including adjunct faculty) have an avenue to participate in one or more governance bodies:

Furman University has a strong tradition of shared governance, with clearly defined roles for faculty, administration, and trustees. Members of the faculty are expected to serve on committees and to attend and cast votes at faculty meetings, held 6-8 times per academic year. University faculty meetings function as a “committee of the whole,” meaning that there is no faculty senate, and every faculty member may vote. The Nominating Committee proposes nominees for officers of the faculty (chair, vice-chair, and recorder) and for faculty committees. The slates are then voted on by the faculty at large. There are 19 faculty committees specified by the Faculty Constitution; in addition, faculty serve on a variety of administrative committees, special committees, and ad-hoc committees.

Article II, section 1 of the Faculty Constitution defines membership in the faculty as “those persons in the teaching and research faculty who are employed by Furman on contracts for teaching and research for half-time or more, those persons who are principal officers of the administration (see Bylaw 3), the professional library staff, commissioned members of the ROTC staff, and all tenured persons.” Section 2 states that “Voting privileges shall be limited to the members of the faculty as defined in Section 1 above.” Adjunct faculty and those on contracts for less than half time are not considered voting members of the faculty by our constitution, but may attend faculty meetings as observers if they wish.


Is there at least one teaching or research faculty representative on the institution’s governing body who was elected by peers or appointed by a representative faculty body or organization?:
Yes

A brief description of faculty representation on the governing body, including how the representatives are selected:

As with almost all private universities, the ultimate governing body of Furman University is its Board of Trustees. Only Trustees can vote at these meetings, but faculty representatives are invited to submit reports and participate in discussions. The Chair of the Faculty, elected through a vote of the entire faculty as described in the preceding question, is invited to the entire Board of Trustees meeting, and can attend any committee session. In addition, there are faculty representatives on each of the nine Board of Trustees committees, each of whom is invited to give a report and participate in the discussion. These representatives are appointed by the University President based on nominations from the Chair of the Faculty. For at least the last three years, the Faculty Chair’s nominees have all been approved and appointed by the President. The university also has the President's Cabinent, which meets approximately every two weeks and includes the Vice-Presidents and selected other officers. The elected Chair of the Faculty is a member of the President’s Cabinet and invited to participate fully in its deliberations.


Do faculty have a formal role in decision-making in regard to the following?:
Yes or No
Establishing organizational mission, vision, and/or goals Yes
Establishing new policies, programs, or initiatives Yes
Strategic and long-term planning Yes
Existing or prospective physical resources Yes
Budgeting, staffing and financial planning Yes
Communications processes and transparency practices Yes
Prioritization of programs and projects Yes

A brief description of the formal faculty role in regard to each area indicated, including examples from the previous three years:

The document entitled “Vision 2020” is Furman’s official statement of its character, values, culture, identity, mission, and goals for the future. This document was implemented three years ago (2011) after an intensive period of discussion and consultation, which was led by a strategic planning committee including representatives of the faculty, along with students, administrators, alumni, and trustees.

The faculty of Furman University, as a body, have primary responsibility for academic policies, programs, and initiatives. According to the Faculty Constitution, “The faculty of Furman University shall be responsible for setting academic policy, determining the curriculum, defining requirements for degrees, and conducting academic instruction. The faculty and academic administration shall devise and implement the most feasible and effective means of executing academic policy, utilizing the curriculum and providing academic instruction.”

The “Vision 2020” document was the result of a process of strategic planning with faculty representation on the committee. Strategic and long-term planning are also the main responsibilities of the Board of Trustees.

Decisions regarding physical resources are primarily made by the university administration and trustees. Faculty representation on these bodies has already been described. For example, the Grounds and Buildings Committee of the Board of Trustees makes decisions regarding capital construction projects, and a faculty representative has input into their deliberations.

The staffing matter for which faculty have the most direct input involves faculty tenure, promotion, and merit pay. The Faculty Status Committee, an elected standing committee of the faculty, reviews all such matters, provides campus-wide uniformity of standards, and advises the Dean as to the final outcomes. Most other matters of budget, staffing, and financial planning are controlled by the administration and trustees, but once again there are established channels of faculty input, including representation on the President’s cabinet and Board of Trustees. Two other recent examples also illustrate the faculty’s role in such matters. In 2012-13, a large task force termed the Joint Working Group was set up to consider the university’s response to the current economic climate, including increasing the efficiency of current programs (both academic and non-academic) and the development of new revenue streams. Membership of the Joint Working Group was equally distributed among faculty, administration, and trustees. More recently, when the Vice-President for Academic Affairs needed to take steps to reduce the cost of the academic program, he requested the formation of an ad-hoc Cost Containment Advisory Committee, composed of eight members of the faculty who were appointed by the Faculty Chair in consultation with the Nominating Committee.

One of the standing faculty committees specified by our constitution is the Faculty-Administration Liaison Committee, whose elected members are “responsible for ascertaining the faculty's views and concerns regarding University matters and transmitting these--with suitable information--to the appropriate officers of the administration. It shall also convey to the faculty pertinent views and concerns of the administration.”


The website URL where information about the institution’s governance structure is available:
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