In April 2011, the Board of Trustees appointed a Shared Governance Steering Committee in order to create a University Senate or alternative model of shared governance for NJIT, and to report on the design of the University Senate or alternative model of shared governance. The duly appointed Shared Governance Steering Committee, along with the NJIT community, proposed a two-senate governance model that balances shareholder participation in effective and efficient planning, decision making, and administrative responsibility, with clear delineation of responsibility and with authority as delegated by the Board of Trustees.
A two-senate model for governance was approved by the steering committee, by each shareholder group of the university including faculty, staff, students, alumni, and administration, and ultimately by the Board of Trustees on February 6, 2014. A family of six documents has been created, and will serve as the founding documents for this new system of governance: By-Laws of the University Senate, Constitution of the University Senate, By-Laws of the Faculty Senate, Constitution of the Faculty Senate, Principles of Shared Governance, and Faculty Roles, Rights, and Responsibilities.
The shared governance initiative is best understood in three areas: conceptualization of policy; constitution of the faculty senate; and constitution of the university senate.
- In the area of policy, voting members from the faculty senate and university senate include key stakeholder groups. Reporting to the president and the Board of Trustees through the provost and senior executive vice president, both the faculty and university senates coordinate efforts to ensure that the Board of Trustees is informed by the collective wisdom of the university. Capitalizing on individuals from diverse constituent groups, decisions are made fairly, effectively, and in a timely manner.
- In the area of the faculty senate, the Faculty Handbook (2011) identifies the roles, rights, and responsibilities that, in turn, lend authority to the faculty in matter of academics. Additional details regarding organization, committee structure, and selection procedures are delineated in the Faculty Senate By-Laws. Resolutions and outcome of faculty senate deliberations are considered as recommendations to the president and Board of Trustees through the provost and senior executive vice president. When changes to the Handbook or bylaws are needed, the Board of Trustees, on the recommendation of the president, through the provost and senior executive vice president, will deliberate on such revisions. Approval of the Board of Trustees is required for all such changes.
- In the area of the university senate, the Constitution of the University Senate identifies the rights, roles, and responsibilities that, in turn, lend authority to key university stakeholders who are not faculty members. Designed as complementary to the faculty senate, the university senate works to coordinate matters of mutual concern. As is the case with the faculty senate, additional details regarding organization, committee structure, and selection procedures are