The Faculty Senate – with elected representatives of tenure-line, clinical, and contingent faculty, and professional librarians – is the official voice of the LMU faculty and the centerpiece of faculty participation in shared governance.
The Faculty Senate works collaboratively with the University administration and staff to foster the realization of our collective vision of the university as a place of learning and a center of intellectual inquiry. The Senate is the formal body that approves policies, exercises general oversight, and addresses questions of shared governance procedures in the areas for which the faculty holds primary responsibility, including the curriculum, subject matter and methods of instruction, research, faculty status, and those aspects of student life that relate to the educational process.
The Faculty Senate also works to safeguard academic freedom, faculty rights, and faculty roles in their primary and shared areas of responsibility. The Faculty Senate meets regularly during the academic year to deal with a variety of issues of concern to LMU faculty.
A healthy governance structure provides the procedures through which the faculty, administration, and governing board can communicate with each other about the issues and decisions facing the university before decisions are made. As such it is collaborative, consultative, and collegial. It also ensures that the university is able to benefit not only from the accumulated wisdom and knowledge of its faculty but also from the multiple viewpoints and voices that a truly diverse scholarly community can offer. Because a healthy and truly shared governance structure provides a vehicle for the involvement and participation of all stakeholders in the decision making process, it guarantees that diversity is given real weight and taken seriously by all.
When governance is shared, the decision making process and the setting of university-wide goals is collaborative and collegial, allowing for input from the board, administration, faculty, staff, and students. Grounded in transparency, accountability, integrity, mutual trust, and good faith, it is enabled by clear communication at all points in the decision making process and is built on a system of dialogue across the university. Because faculty are seen and allowed to act as partners, not just advisors, their advice is given full consideration by the administration. Truly collaborative, the decision-making process allows time for ample discussion and substantive consultation before decisions are made.
For more information on shared governance and powers of the Senate, please see the Faculty Handbook, 2018-2019, the Faculty Senate Constitution, and the report of the Governance Task Force on "Shared Governance at Loyola Marymount University."