Standard Six - Governance and Administration

I. Purpose/Description

Governing Systems (6.A, 6.B, 6.C, 6.D, 6.E)

The Utah System of Higher Education includes the State Board of Regents and 9 public colleges and universities (three community colleges, four comprehensive primarily undergraduate institutions, and two research universities). Effective July 1, 2009, the Utah State Legislature severed the relationship of the tenth public higher education institution, the Utah College of Applied Technology (UCAT) with the other nine institutions in the system governed by the Regents, but required that the nine institutions within the system articulate the UCAT programs. As provided in our Governing Documents and shown in the organization chart, Weber State University, a primarily undergraduate university, is governed by the State Board of Regents and our Board of Trustees, as well as other university administrators.

Board of Regents (6.B.)

In accordance with the Utah Higher Education Act of 1969, we are governed by a Board of Regents consisting of 18 members, 15 Utah resident citizens appointed by the governor, one student member nominated by the student body president’s council and selected by the governor, and two non-voting members from the State Board of Education. This board closely follows Utah Code Section 53B-1-104 (http://www.le.state.ut.us/UtahCode/getCodeSection?code=53B-1-104), which provides guidance to the board regarding membership, student appointments, officers, committees, bylaws, meetings, vacancies, and compensation. The Commissioner of Higher Education serves as the chief executive officer of the board, and the board elects a member to serve as chair. The Regents have a specific policy that requires the board review its performance and make necessary revisions.

Board members act as a committee of the whole and through three subcommittees:

  • Academic and Student Success
  • Finance
  • Facilities and Accountability

Board members’ duties, responsibilities, ethical conduct requirements, organizational structure, and operating procedures are defined in Utah Code Section 53B-1-103 (http://www.le.state.ut.us/UtahCode/getCodeSection?code=53B-1-103). This section of Utah law also defines specific responsibilities of the Board of Regents, including these:

  • Institutional Presidents: Appoints presidents, evaluates performance of presidents, determines whether to retain a president (in consultation with institution’s Board of Trustees).
  • System Planning: Directs planning involving institutional missions and roles, budget needs, new programs, program reviews, distance and outreach education, statewide articulation of courses and programs.
  • Budget and Financial Issues: Submits system and institution budgets to the governor and legislature, approves tuition and fee schedules, advocates higher education needs with legislature.

Board of Trustees (6.B.)

Our Board of Trustees has 10 voting members: eight appointed by the governor, the president of the WSU Alumni Association, and the president of WSUSA (our student government). Our chair of the Board of Trustees is the executive officer and serves for two years. At the beginning of a new chair’s term the board to evaluates its performance and makes revisions as needed. Our Board of Trustees advises the president and has the powers and limitations outlined in the Weber State University Policies and Procedures Manual, PPM 1-02 and 1-03, and the State Board of Regents.

Our trustees have the following statutory responsibilities:

  • Facilitate communication between the institution and the community
  • Assist with fund-raising and development projects
  • Strengthen alumni and community identification with the institution
  • Select recipients of honorary degrees and identify the commencement speakers

Our trustees have the delegated authority to implement the approved institutional mission and approve the following actions, pending submission of annual summary reports to the Board of Regents:

  • Institutional operating policies
  • Recommendations to design and construct facilities, and buy and sell property within parameters set by the regents
  • Research and training grants
  • Institutional audits, academic program reviews, and accreditation reports
  • Academic program changes including new certificates, minors, and emphases within existing programs; program deletions and program name changes
  • Financial reports, including lease agreements, budget transfers, salary budgets, auxiliary and service enterprises, development fund, and investments

Our Board of Trustees works as a committee of the whole, as well as with these subcommittees:

  • Audit Committee reviews and approves all internal audits and internal control processes
  • Business Committee reviews capital project proposals, bids, as well as financial, internal audit, and athletic reports
  • Personnel and Academic Policy Committee reviews personnel changes (appointments, retirements, leaves), academic policies, and academic program changes and reports
  • Community Relations Committee advises on external relations strategies, reviews gift reports and WSU Foundation reports
  • Honorary Degree and Commencement Speaker Committee reviews and recommends honorary degree recipients and commencement speakers

Leadership and Management (6.C.)

Our president, hired by the State Board of Regents in October of 2002, has a full-time appointment at WSU and is regularly evaluated by the regents to determine and facilitate her effectiveness (http://www.utahsbr.edu/policy/R208.pdf, http://www.utahsbr.edu/policy/R209.pdf). On an annual basis, our president provides the regents with her institutional goals; her performance was formally evaluated after the first three years of her tenure and will be reviewed at least once every five years thereafter. This formal appraisal involves confidential interviews conducted by the regents with a wide variety of competent individuals who are knowledgeable about our president’s work, including all vice presidents, deans, and Board of Trustees members as well as with a representative sample of regents, academic and administrative department heads, faculty, students, and community and alumni leaders.

Our organizational structure has five divisions:

Our Davis campus does not have a governance structure separate from that of the university; the director of the Davis campus reports to the provost. The Continuing Education center and WSU online report to the Dean of Continuing Education who, in turn, reports to the Provost.

President Millner appoints vice presidents with the assistance of a screening committee and appointments are subject to approval by our Board of Trustees (http://documents.weber.edu/ppm/1-05B.htm).

Our hiring processes ensure that position qualifications are identified, including the necessary educational, work experience and ethical conduct to effectively fulfill the role. Job descriptions are posted on our human resources web site (http://weber.edu/humanresources).

All hiring decisions are governed by our Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity policy and reviewed by our AA/EEO Office.

Our provost and vice presidents are evaluated by the president at the end of their four-year term of service for reappointment or formative purposes (http://documents.weber.edu/ppm/1-05C.htm, http://documents.weber.edu/ppm/3-62.htm).

Input for these evaluations is solicited from a variety of sources, including:

  • Vice presidents
  • Deans
  • Faculty senate executive committee
  • Board of Trustees
  • Board of Regents
  • Faculty and staff
  • Community members
  • Peers

These vice presidents, along with the Assistant to the President for Diversity, serve on the President’s Council, an advisory body to the president. The council provides two-way communication among all five divisions, as well as with other internal consultative or constituent groups. President’s Council meets weekly or bi-monthly (at a minimum) for timely decision making.

President’s Council periodically reviews salary and organizational data from our peer institutions or other appropriate comparative groups to help ensure that we are appropriately staffed.

Other Governing Entities (6.D. 6.E.)

Within WSU, we have multiple councils, boards, and committees to represent important on- and off-campus constituents and assure that these constituents effectively participate in campus governance. For example, our professional and classified staff members have advisory committees which meet monthly to provide input to President Millner.

Division Councils

Within each division, there are management councils that are advisory to the respective vice president. These councils are chaired by their vice president and typically include senior administrators within those divisions (deans, directors). The councils meet on a regular basis, at least once or twice a month, to discuss issues of importance to the division, to solicit input from important constituents within and across divisions, and to ensure that decision-making is timely. Administrators below the level of vice presidents are evaluated regularly for formative purposes and for reappointment recommendations. The evaluation of academic deans is guided by policy and requires that input be solicited from a variety of constituents, including vice presidents, deans, faculty, staff, and community members. (http://documents.weber.edu/ppm/1-17.htm).

Faculty Involvement

Our faculty have a long and successful history of involvement with WSU governance primarily through our Faculty Senate (Standard 4 includes additional information on faculty involvement in institutional governance). The Faculty Senate consists of 39 elected members of the general faculty who serve three-year terms and a maximum of two consecutive terms. Any professor, associate professor, assistant professor, instructor, or instructor specialist of the general faculty may be elected a member of the Faculty Senate. One-year terms are held by each of four voting, student members of the senate who are appointed by the Executive Cabinet of the WSU Student Association. Finally, non-voting Senate membership includes the president, provost, and 11 other administrators.

The presiding officer for the Faculty Senate is the chair; this person is elected by voting members of the Senate each year. The chair of the Faculty Senate is also an ex-officio member of many governance boards, including Deans’ Council and the Alumni Board. The Faculty Senate is empowered, after study and discussion, to advise President Millner on educational policy and other university affairs. (http://documents.weber.edu/ppm/1-13.htm).

Specifically, our Faculty Senate formulates policy concerning the following:

  • Standards for admission and retention of students
  • Requirements for all degrees and certificates
  • Curriculum
  • Appointment, promotion, tenure, and dismissal of faculty
  • Standards for student activities and general student conduct
  • Academic freedom for faculty concerning grievances which may arise
  • Bylaws governing all nominations and elections provided for in the Faculty Senate constitution
  • Other procedures and processes as require detailed clarification
  • Our Faculty Senate is authorized to recommend policy on the following matters:
    • Expenditure of funds allocated for instruction, research, and travel
    • Faculty salaries, annuities, insurance programs, and leaves of absence
    • Selection and retention of academic administrators
    • Teaching load of faculty personnel

Much of the work of our Faculty Senate occurs within the following standing committees:

In addition to Faculty Senate committees, there are administrative standing committees that provide opportunities for our faculty and staff to participate in institutional governance.

Student Involvement

Student involvement with institutional governance occurs through multiple channels. Many students, including the three executive officers (president, academic vice president, and executive vice president) and 19 senators within the Weber State University Student Association (WSUSA), serve on a number of institutional committees, including:

  • Board of Trustees
  • Deans’ Council
  • Faculty Senate
  • Alumni Board

Students also serve on Faculty Senate and Administrative Standing Committees. The WSUSA Legislative Council, made up of the three executive officers, serves in an advisory capacity to President Millner. Our students make recommendations to President’s Council on the allocation of student fees through the Student Fee Recommendation Committee.

Institutional Advancement Activities (6.C.4.)

Alumni Relations, Alumni/Development Services, University Communications, and University Development comprise the Division of University Relations. University Development is organized by a constituency based fund-raising model, with a development officer assigned to work with each of the academic colleges, the Stewart Library, the Student Affairs division, and the athletics department. By working directly with the administrators, faculty, and staff in each of these areas, fund raisers are knowledgeable about and can articulate institutional and program priorities. Additionally, the annual giving program each year focuses on institutional or college priorities as determined by our president and Vice Presidents.

University Relations

University Communications has liaisons to each of the academic colleges to better serve needs in developing materials that support student recruitment activities and that help market the colleges’ priorities in ways that are both integrated and consistent with the university’s mission.

As part of our external relations activities, the university president invites alumni and friends to serve on the National Advisory Council to provide the following: guidance on strategic issues; an independent sounding board; feedback from the community; assistance in identifying opportunities for the university in key communities; and advocacy for the university in the communities where members live and work.

Other volunteer groups that support the university’s mission and goals include the WSU Alumni Association, the Capital Campaign Executive Committee, and the WSU Foundation. There are numerous college and department advisory committees as well that provide guidance and opportunities for input from alumni and friends.

Institutional Research (6.C.7.)

Our Institutional Research (IR) Office reports to the Vice President for Administrative Services and is responsible for a broad array of educational, administrative, and support functions within the university. This office embraces data collection and analytical strategies in support of decision-making. Specifically, our IR office produces institutional profile data, IPEDS and state reports, college guide publications, and administers campus surveys of our students, alumni, and employees that help us assess our mission-related outcomes (see Standards 1 and 2 for more information on the role of our IR office in outcomes assessment).

The results of these reports and surveys are posted on the IR office web page (http://www.weber.edu/IR/default.html) and are shared regularly with a variety of groups, including President’s Council, academic deans, the Teaching and Learning Forum, and student support offices.

Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination (6.1)

(http://documents.weber.edu/ppm/3-01.htm)

Our policy on affirmative action and nondiscrimination, shown below, is reviewed regularly by the affirmative action standing committee (most recently in spring of 2003). This policy helps us develop selection and promotion standards based on nondiscriminatory criteria. Our hiring process is standardized and each hiring decision is reviewed critically and independently by our Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Office prior to being approved.

Weber State Non Discrimination Policy:

Weber State University is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy of the university to make recruitment, employment and other employment-related decisions without regard to race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, veteran or other protected status. The affirmative action commitment of the University also requires an effort to identify and correct under-utilization of protected groups including women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities.

In addition to a policy on affirmative action and nondiscrimination, we have two important campus initiatives that focus on inclusivity: the WSU Diversity Center and the WSU Diversity Administrative Standing Committee.

The Diversity Center, located in our student union building, has as its mission to affirm the culture, heritage, and faiths of all students and staff; to develop a neutral ground (on campus) for all students and staff to learn about diversity through a series of informative, educational, entertaining programs that all can enjoy; to enhance and promote student and staff participation in various Diversity Center activities and committees; to promote human similarities and differences through Diversity Center programming; and to create an atmosphere of inclusion through an anti-hate campaign.

The diversity administrative standing committee, chaired by the Assistant to the President for Diversity, is focused on creating a diversity-committed educational community which recognizes that human diversity should be understood in its broadest sense to include everyone on the basis of the infinite ways in which humans vary and which contribute to each individual’s uniqueness.

Members of the Diversity Committee also serve on one of five diversity action teams housed within each of the five divisions: Academic Affairs, Administrative Services, Information Technology, Student Affairs, and University Relations.

Faculty and staff from all divisions serve on the diversity standing committee and five diversity action teams. The diversity action teams work on issues of recruitment, retention, campus and community relations, teaching and learning, and outcomes assessment for WSU. Specifically, the diversity committee and five diversity action teams have as goals to:

  • Promote campus unity by emphasizing shared experiences and principles, respect for human qualities that differentiate all individuals, and achievement of institutional goals.
  • Enhance the development of leadership capabilities within the student, faculty, and staff populations.
  • Facilitate development of curricula that merge varied perspectives.
  • Support recruitment of students, faculty, and staff reflective of America’s broad spectrum of perspectives, cultures, heritages, and backgrounds.
  • Promote values and ideas of all perspectives, cultures, heritages, and backgrounds within the campus community.
  • Promote the development of support programs for faculty, staff, and students who are products of all perspectives, cultures, heritages, and backgrounds.
  • Encourage networking of interest groups for the benefit of all.

We are in compliance with the NWCCU Policy 6.1 on Affirmative Action and Nondiscrimination.

Collective Bargaining (6.2)

We are not a collective bargaining institution.

II. Significant Changes Since 2004

In 2009 the Utah State Legislature severed the relationship of the Utah College of Applied Technology (UCAT) with the other nine institutions in the system governed by the Regents effective July 1, 2009, but required that the nine institutions with the system articulate the UCAT programs. We have a Director of Career and Technical Education who is working with the Deans of Continuing Education, Applied Science and Technology, Health Professions, Science, Social Sciences and Business and Economics, to ensure that appropriate articulation agreements are being developed.

III. Strengths and Challenges

Strengths include:

Challenges include:

  • Integration of our Ogden, Davis, and virtual campuses, as well as the centers, into a single, multi-campus university.

IV. Next Steps/ Action Items

  • Develop approach to communicating more effectively with legislators about Weber State University.
  • Increase involvement of individual members of the Board of Regents with Weber State University.

Weber State University Policies and Procedures Manual (http://documents.weber.edu/ppm/)
Utah Code Title 53B State System of Higher Education Chapter 01
Governance, Powers, Rights & Responsibilities (www.le.state.ut.us/~code/TITLE53B/53B01.htm)
State Board of Regents Policy (http://www.utahsbr.edu/policy/R220.pdf, http://www.utahsbr.edu/policy/R223.pdf)