Reasons for Reform
Beginning in 2002, various taskforces have documented the ways in which our current IG system is out of sync with our institutional growth. To wit, some administrative positions referenced in the most current document no longer exist. In consequence of restructuring due to the doubling of our student population, IG committees and IG processes have been adversely affected. As various campus leaders note, policy-making and revision are challenging at best when the approval path is unclear or nonexistent. In many cases procedures are not clearly or properly defined (try hiring a split-funded position, for example). Equally frustrating, many constituency groups do not feel adequately represented. An internal governance structure that is inefficient interferes with the institution’s ability to act upon decisions and initiatives put forward by our Faculty, AP and Staff Senates. Our commitment to a renewal of IG reminds us of our founding vision:
Through a collaborative governance process, individuals and the University can harmonize their goals and set a course for mutual achievement. The willingness to listen to all ideas, to respect competing concerns, to evaluate the merits of many alternatives, and to communicate helps build consensus. 1995 IG Document (PDF).
Discussion of internal governance reform has been an ongoing part of the Radford University faculty culture and multiple weaknesses were identified. Chief among these has been that not all RU constituencies have been involved in these critical discussions and decisions. At the encouragement of Provost Sam Minner a group comprised of members from AP, Faculty, Staff, and Student Senates was called together to discuss problems and recommend revisions to the existing governance system. Over the course of spring and summer 2012, meetings were held to address the need for IG reform, and the following principles were established:
- Our goal should be a new IG document and system that reaffirms Radford University’s core value of collaborative governance and that allows us to actualize this value.
- The first step in achieving this goal should be to contract a professional consultant. First and foremost, this consultant must be able to provide our community with governance models appropriate to our institution’s size, culture, and mission.
- A successful reform effort must include a commitment to work together to create a collaborative, transparent, and open process for all of Radford University’s constituencies.
- Any recommendations for IG reform must go through appropriate channels as laid forth in our current IG document.