Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Jeff Spoelstra
Submission Date July 22, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Western Michigan University
PA-3: Governance

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired C. Dennis Simpson
President of Faculty Senate, Professor
Faculty Senate
"---" 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:

Students of all levels participate in shared governance via the Western Student Association (WSA) and the Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC). Both consist of voluntary membership led by student-elected governing boards. The two organizations receive budget allocation from WMU to conduct programming and finance other registered student organizations. Both student groups are recognized by WMU’s Board of Trustees and are asked to give updates on their activities and student conditions at each Board meeting.


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:

Executive board members for both WSA and GSAC, usually the president or chair respectively, liaison between the WMU Board of Trustees/Senior administration and the general body of their organizations. They are recognized as the voice of the students on campus because it is the student body that elects them, but they are not directly represented on the WMU Board of Trustees.


Do students 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 No
Strategic and long-term planning Yes
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:

Both WSA and GSAC provide student membership on all major University committees, including the University Strategic Planning Steering Committee, which was also charged with revising WMU’s mission and vision; accreditation reaffirmation committees; Faculty Senate councils; and other ad-hoc committees as they are assembled. Students also participate on college-level committees and serve in an advisory capacity to deans.


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:

Staff may participate in two, non-union professional organizations: the Administrative Professional Association (APA), consisting of salaried staff; and the Professional Support Staff Organization (PSSO), consisting of hourly staff. Both organizations are voluntary and elect their own executive boards.

These organizations are regularly invited to provide representation on campus committees and are part of the standard vetting process for major University projects, including accreditation reaffirmation and strategic planning.

Staff are invited to serve alongside faculty on all Faculty Senate councils and committees. Those staff who serve are invited due to their expertise and experience in the particular charge of the council or committee. Staff also serve on ad hoc committees for strategic planning, accreditation, faculty evaluation systems, assessment, and resource allocation.


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 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 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:

Staff are fully represented on strategic planning implementation teams. Updates to vision, mission, and goals were conducted in 2012, during which staff members were included in decision making. There are staff members of various levels on each faculty senate council and committee; these committees set the majority of academic policies and programs on campus. Decision making regarding existing or prospective physical resources is carried out through our physical plant and business and finance, of which staff at various levels participate. Staff in the division of student affairs is integral in this process as it relates to residence halls. Budgeting, staffing, and financial planning is managed by staff for each individual office on campus; processes and organization of this responsibility varies by division.


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:

WMU’s Faculty Senate serves as the avenue for faculty participation in shared governance. The leadership is elected by the faculty and the executive leaders of the Senate liaise between WMU’s Board of Trustees and the faculty body. The Faculty Senate is recognized by WMU’s Board of Trustees and is asked to give updates on their activities and faculty teaching and research conditions at each Board meeting.


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:

Faculty are widely represented on all University committees, including, but not limited to, University strategic planning, accreditation reaffirmation, and academic program planning and review.


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 No
Budgeting, staffing and financial planning No
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:

Faculty represented 51% of the committee to review vision, mission, and goals in 2012. Faculty are a major part of strategic planning committees and are included on implementation teams. Policies, programs and initiatives are created through the faculty senate. Academic program review is also a faculty led process. Creation of academic programs are under the purview of the faculty senate. Memorandums of understanding (MOUs) set policies including appropriate communication channels between administration and faculty, facilitated between faculty senate councils and committees.


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

Wmich.edu/facultysenate/policies_and_forms

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