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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Shared governance update for 2020-21

Across the long trek of the academic year, the college’s navigation through the pandemic benefited significantly from our shared governance groups. 

These groups include long-standing and vital constitutional governance bodies such as the Assembly; Council of Chairs; Administrators Forum; P&A Board, Student Board; Promotion and Tenure Review Committee; Curriculum, Instruction, and Advising Committee; Course Review Committee; and Executive Committee. Each of these groups made substantial contributions throughout the year. To give but one example, the Assembly, the college’s most widely representative governance body, made significant contributions through identifying and communicating principles and guidelines for collegiate statements on diversity and equity, collaborating with the Center for Education Innovation to identify effective strategies for inclusive teaching in a distance-learning environment, and developing and reaffirming the Assembly’s values and principles for budget reallocation to meet the challenge of pandemic-era budgeting.The list of constitutional governance groups expanded this year with the addition of the Indigenous Staff and Staff of Color Community at the Assembly’s most recent meeting. And the Staff Council, which is constitutionally mandated, was revived and renewed this year after being inactive for many years. 
Committees that are not constitutionally mandated similarly played a critical role throughout the year. The new Committee on International Programs was established to the aid in the discussion of issues related to international and global matters in CLA research, teaching, and engagement. The Graduate Education Advisory Committee provided a valuable forum for consideration of issues in that area of the college’s mission. 
Ad hoc committees were also active this year. The Ad Hoc Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Workgroup discussed potential action items for the college, and the Workgroup on Curricular Opportunities studied areas of possible programmatic and curricular development. The Instructional P&A Professional Status Committee, working in conjunction with the P&A Board, explored recommendations to improve the professional quality of life for instructional P&As, and the Future of Work has been considering the lessons learned during the pandemic about how we conduct our work going forward. 
We also all owe a very large and loud thank you to the CLA COVID-19 Ad Hoc Committee, which has met frequently for almost 15 months and has served as an information and response center for all matters pandemic. The committee identified key issues and potential options and strategies as the pandemic has taken its many turns since early March 2020. 
I am grateful to all who participated in these various shared governance activities or in other governance groups not specifically mentioned above. These include various awards committees, to give one example, as well as the countless array of groups that came together within and across units for short-term brainstorming over specific issues. All of these activities, and the rich array of shared governance committees and groups within units across the college, collectively elevated the quality and impact of our work. I encourage you to visit the CLA Governance page to learn more.