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Faculty Senates

The Demise of Shared Governance at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

In early August 2007, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s newly appointed provost, Robert Palazzo, summarily suspended the university’s Faculty Senate. He claimed that the Rensselaer Faculty Senate (RFS) had failed to amend its constitution according to a directive from the university’s Board of Trustees. At the heart of debate were the disenfranchisement of nearly 200 faculty, and contention over who should be voting members of the Faculty Senate. In fall 2007, the Rensselaer faculty voted overwhelmingly for reinstatement of the Senate. The Board of Trustees, President Shirley Jackson, and the provost ignored this referendum despite AAUP concerns and negative national publicity. Until this impasse, the Faculty Senate had played an advisory role to the Office of the Provost and had participated in the governance and direction of scholarly activities and instruction at Rensselaer, a model of shared governance typical of many universities across the country.

The Role of the College of Pharmacy in the Development of Shared Governance at Western New England University

Between 2006 and 2015, the number of pharmacy schools in the United States rose from 87 to 132. This growth has provided additional opportunities for students, and it has also resulted in a sharp increase in the number of pharmacy faculty. The growth of pharmacy schools, like that of other professional schools, has altered the dynamics of the universities of which they are a part, including the operation of institutional governance.


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