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Campus Governance

Student Governance
UNI Student Government provides governance of students by students. A web site ( provides the NISG constitution and bylaws, description of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of student government, lists of officers and senators (with links to their e-mail), and a list of University committees on which NISG-appointed students may serve.

Student government, advised by the Director of Maucker Union, keeps abreast of student opinion and strives to support student requests, such as the Panther Shuttle bus service and a housing availability list. Among the variety of other services offered free to students are a nighttime safety escort service, diversity appreciation programs, lectures, concerts, a student-managed radio station, and legal services. In spring 2000, UNI students were the first in Iowa to vote on-line in student government elections. This convenience for students resulted in an increase in voter participation of almost ten percent.

An active and participatory student government has long been one of UNI's strengths. In the last decade, diligent officers and senators have been instrumental in ensuring that students are represented in all areas of the University community. These student representatives have been commended publicly by UNI presidents for providing leadership and advocacy with the Board of Regents and State of Iowa. Student government leaders also address the Board of Regents on issues such as tuition and fees.

Faculty Governance
The Faculty
The Faculty Constitution asserts for the faculty and University Faculty Senate the right to be adequately informed about and to participate jointly with the administration in the determination of policy touching all University operations. The faculty may also formulate and recommend policies to the President of the University on all subjects of University concern. In addition, the faculty is to play a central role in formation and adoption of educational policy and may adopt recommendations and resolutions on any matter touching on the general welfare of the University. Moreover, the faculty assumes the major role in decisions related to (1) curricular matters, (2) standards for granting of academic degrees and academic credit, and (3) educational policies. The faculty also participates in the nomination and review of academic administrators.

The Faculty Constitution delegates to the appropriate faculty of each college the matters lying essentially within the jurisdiction of a single college. Decisions made by the faculty within a particular college, however, are subject to review by the University faculty and/or the University Faculty Senate upon a finding (by a college faculty, college dean, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, or the University Faculty Senate) that the questioned decision affects another college or the general University.

Faculty Senate
The Faculty Constitution empowers the University Faculty Senate to serve as the principal representative of the University faculty ( The Senate operates through a system of standing and ad hoc committees and holds regular meetings twice each month during the academic year. The Senate can act for the faculty on all matters within the jurisdiction of the faculty with three exceptions: (a) the Senate cannot amend the Constitution, (b) if in emergencies the Senate has set aside a decision of the full faculty by a two-thirds vote, this vote is subject to subsequent review by the total faculty, and (c) matters subject to collective bargaining (see United Faculty below).

Membership of the University Faculty Senate is in proportion to the number of voting faculty within each undergraduate college as well as a representative from the Library and two representatives of the non-voting faculty. The representatives from the non-voting faculty and the Chair of the Faculty are non-voting members of the Senate. Currently, the University Faculty Senate has nineteen members, with the largest number of Senators coming from the College of Education and the College of Humanities and Fine Arts (four each).

Graduate Faculty
The primary function of the Graduate Faculty is to provide educational experiences and set policy associated with graduate programs at the University. The Graduate Faculty constitutes the Graduate College, the academic unit responsible for graduate programs at the University. Members of the Graduate Faculty normally hold rank in one of the academic colleges. Membership on the Graduate Faculty is restricted, as defined in the Constitution of the Graduate Faculty (available at

Graduate Council
The principal decision-making body of the Graduate Faculty is the Graduate Council. The Council acts on behalf of the Graduate Faculty on all matters of graduate educational policy and curriculum. It has the power to act on all matters within the jurisdiction of the Graduate Faculty except to amend the Faculty Constitution. The Council is not empowered to set aside decisions made by the Graduate Faculty, except in emergencies and then only by a two-thirds vote. Its actions are subject to review by the Graduate Faculty. The Council is advisory to the Dean of the Graduate College and responsible to the Graduate Faculty and thus to the University Faculty as a whole.

The Graduate Council makes available its archives (1990-1997), current agenda, membership lists and minutes since 1997, and governing documents (Graduate Faculty Constitution and Graduate Council Bylaws) on its website (

United Faculty
The UNI-United Faculty (UF) is the organization that represents faculty in collective bargaining. The organization's constitution and bylaws guide its organization and operations. United Faculty is affiliated with the Iowa State Education Association and the National Education Association. The relationship between the faculty and administration is guided by A Master Agreement Between the State of Iowa Board of Regents and the UNI United Faculty and by Iowa Code. The Master Agreement is negotiated on a biennial basis and covers the following major topics: (1) evaluation procedures, (2) personnel files, (3) staff reductions, (4) summer employment, (5) leaves, (6) salaries, and (7) insurance benefits. The Current Master Agreement (July 1, 1999-June 30, 2001) is found in Appendix D and is available on the web at Iowa Code (Title 1. Subtitle 8. Chapter 20) requires good-faith negotiations in several major areas and prohibits faculty from bargaining retirement benefits.

Disputes between faculty and the administration that involve possible violations of the Master Agreement and/or violations of Iowa Code are usually discussed informally by United Faculty representatives and the administration prior to entering into formal grievance procedures. The Master Agreement provides two formal grievance procedures: a non-binding arbitration procedure in tenure and promotion decisions and a binding arbitration procedure in all other alleged violations of the Master Agreement. The Iowa Personnel Employment Board resolves allegations of Iowa Code violations.

Professional and Scientific Personnel Governance
The Professional and Scientific Council remains the voice of P&S personnel to the central administration and Board of Regents and links the 465 P&S personnel on this campus with colleagues at the other two Regent universities. Of the 15 members of the Council, 11 to 13 provide proportional representation in each of the administrative divisions, with the rest at large. In the past decade hundreds of P&S staff have participated in Council deliberations as members of the Council or as committee members.

Historically, printed minutes and agendas of Council meetings have been provided to all P&S staff. More recently, agendas and minutes are transmitted by e-mail. The minutes contain a list of current Council officers and representatives. In addition, meeting notices, current membership lists, the constitution, meeting minutes, information about the Council and committees, "hot topics," upcoming committee meetings, and links to pages about P&S benefits are available at

In 1994, UNI's Human Resource Services provided each P&S staff member with a handbook containing P&S policies and procedures, payroll information, compensation classification charts, information about the Council and its constitution, and other useful information. A continuous review process for P&S policies and procedures has been in place for the past 16 years. This review process seeks to ensure policies and procedures are appropriately responsive to the current P&S needs.

In the past decade the Council has increased its effectiveness in the following ways:

1.Adding a committee to welcome new P&S personnel to campus.

2.Helping to inform P&S members involved in grievance proceedings.

3.Surveying P&S staff on salary, fringe benefit, and satisfaction issues.

4.Hosting a "Meet the Prez" event every year for P&S employees to meet former President Curris and current President Koob.

5.Creating the new World Wide Web site for distribution of information to P&S personnel.

6.Utilizing a P&S employee LISTSERV for information distribution.

7.Increasing and enhancing communication efforts among P&S employees, Human Resource Services, and the Cabinet.

With P&S representatives of the other Regent universities, UNI's P&S Council leaders have been discussing proposed changes to the early retirement program, support for employee rights and responsibilities, and grievance processes at the three institutions.

Merit Employee Governance
Merit employees continue to be governed by both the Regent Merit System Rules and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) collective bargaining agreement. Work rules and the Regent Merit System Rules are accessible through the web site.

In recent months the Merit employees have begun to create a new governance council the Merit Personnel Advisory Committee (M-PAC) to represent them in areas not covered by collective bargaining laws. Seven M-PAC members were elected in early May 2000. Just as faculty are represented by United Faculty for employment concerns and by the Faculty Senate for academic matters, Merit employees will now be represented in both employment and other campus issues. The M-PAC members, assisted by leaders of the P&S Council and UNI-SCMP, will draft an M-PAC constitution and bylaws.

Supervisory and Confidential Merit Personnel
Since UNI's last self-study, a new governance council has been created; UNI-SCMP represents UNI's 84 confidential clerical, supervisory clerical, and supervisory non-clerical personnel. The origin of the group was a court case in the early 1990s by AFSCME to recover from the State of Iowa both a salary shortfall and accumulated interest when the State failed to fund fully the negotiated salary increase for Merit personnel. Supervisory and confidential merit personnel appealed to the UNI Cabinet for equivalent redress and in the process formed themselves into a group distinct from Merit employees.

UNI-SCMP provides communication with the administration and Board of Regents and links supervisory and confidential merit personnel on this campus with colleagues at the other two Regent universities via the Regents' Interinstitutional Supervisory and Confidential Advisory Committee (RISCAC). The five members of the council provide representation for each of the three personnel groups and at-large representation.

Agendas and minutes of council meetings are transmitted by e-mail to UNI-SCMP personnel. The minutes contain a list of current officers and representatives. In addition, meeting notices, current membership lists, the constitution, and bylaws are available at

In the past few years UNI-SCMP has accomplished a number of objectives:

1.Adding a committee to welcome new UNI-SCMP personnel to campus.

2.Creating a WWW site for distribution of information to UNI-SCMP personnel.

3.Utilizing a LISTSERV for information distribution.

4.Increasing and enhancing communication efforts among UNI-SCMP personnel and with P&S employees, Human Resource Services, and the Cabinet.

Governance groups have clearly been active and involved. Continuing commitment of UNI to involve all members of the University community in governance is reflected in Objective 5.4 of the 2001-2006 Strategic Plan: Increase faculty, staff and student participation in University governance activities.


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