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Spacer Trustees approve changes to Academic Charter

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At its Dec. 10 meeting, the BGSU Board of Trustees approved changes to the Academic Charter. The revised charter may be viewed on the provost’s website, at http://www.bgsu.edu/downloads/provost/file90021.pdf.

Below is a letter from President Carol Cartwright to the University community detailing the changes.

December 10, 2010

Faculty and Staff:

This afternoon, the University’s Board of Trustees adopted a resolution amending several sections of our Academic Charter. These amendments were necessary to address a number of issues related to collective bargaining and the administration of the University. I think it is important that all members of the University community understand the reasons for these changes.

Under Ohio law, the Bowling Green State University Board of Trustees has the ultimate authority and responsibility to administer the University. The Board, in turn, has delegated administrative authority to the president. Through the Academic Charter, the Board had also given the Faculty Senate and the faculty a substantial role in the day-to-day academic and administrative operations of the University.

With a unionized faculty, however, several of these delegations of authority now conflict with Ohio law.  Other delegations no longer represent best or preferable practices.

For example, with the State Employment Relations Board’s certification of the Bowling Green State University Faculty Association, the BGSU-FA is now the exclusive representative of the full-time faculty for all matters related to wages, hours, working conditions, and grievances. Since the BGSU-FA is now the exclusive representative of the full-time faculty for such matters, the senate committees can no longer have a representative role in those areas because it would conflict with the BGSU-FA’s status as the exclusive representative of the faculty.  Eliminating these types of conflicts was the focus of many of the amendments the board has adopted.

Other amendments were made to address the fact that the existing provisions empower various faculty committees to be actively involved in numerous matters that directly affect issues that are either permissive or mandatory subjects of collective bargaining. 

As the BGSU-FA has now been certified as the exclusive representative of the faculty regarding these issues, it is necessary, as a matter of law, to ensure that faculty input into these matters occurs through their exclusive collective bargaining agent, the BGSU-FA.  Thus, the changes have been made for the purpose of conforming the University decision-making process on matters that are either permissive or mandatory collective bargaining subjects to the single process authorized by law (i.e., collective bargaining) once an exclusive collective bargaining agent has been certified. 

These changes will pave the way for collective bargaining, without the interference or disruption of a conflicting process for the resolution of collective bargaining subjects.

In addition, the amendments will ensure that administrative authority is appropriately vested in the administration and will make clearer the distinctions and delegations of administrative and academic responsibility.   

I want to make clear that the Board of Trustees has not in any substantive way altered the primary and critical role that the faculty has in academic governance at BGSU. Those sections of the Charter concerning the primacy of the faculty in determining such core academic functions as tenure, tenure review, the Graduate Council, the Undergraduate Council, and the design and implementation of curricula are unaffected by these Charter amendments.

The revised Academic Charter can be found on the provost’s website http://www.bgsu.edu/downloads/provost/file90021.pdf.

The amendments that were adopted today are in the best interest of Bowling Green State University and will provide the framework we need to move forward and successfully serve our students and other stakeholders.

 

Sincerely,

Carol A. Cartwright
President


 
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December 13, 2010

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