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Faculty Handbook

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University Governance

NUMBER: 1301
TITLE: University Governance
APPROVED: August 9, 1979; Revised June 19, 1986;
Revised June 17, 2021

Governance is a process of consultation, communication and decision-making that produces institutional policies. These policies are the general guidelines that inform decision-making and the development of procedures throughout the University.


               Administrative Liaison: an individual member of the President's Cabinet who serves as a conduit between and advocate for one or more representative governing bodies and the President's Cabinet for non-policy issues.

               The Dean's Council advises the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs on strategic matters, reviews proposals for new degrees, and facilitates inter unit communication and collaboration. Membership of the Council is comprised of the Deans, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Strategic Initiatives.

               The Faculy Senate: a governance body representing the faculty of the University.

               President's Cabinet: the chief policy and decision-making body of the University and includes all persons of the rank of Vice President, the Athletic Director and all other persons designated by the President.

               The Provost's Council: chaired by the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and is comprised of the Deans, senior administrators in Academic Affairs, the Executive Director of International Programs, the Director of the Center for Faculty Development, the Director of Faculty Diversity and Retention, Provost's Fellows, and the Chair of the Faculty Senate. Council members assist the Provost in the development and implementation of policies, procedures, and academic initiatives.

               The Student Government Association: a governance body representing the students of the University

      Governance Principles

                 The Governance Principles of Old Dominion University:

      1. Seek to ensure widespread communication, understanding, participation and reasonable consensus.

      2. Address pressing issues in a streamlined, adaptive, flexible way and encourages the appropriate use of sunset rules for committees and task forces.

      3. Strive to generate widespread understanding throughout the University community of the differences among policy-making, implementation of defined policy, and consultation regarding policy.

      4. Allow stakeholders in the policy-making process to express their views and suggestions when policies affecting them are being reviewed and when the best solutions are being considered.

      5. Ensure regular, two-way communication between representatives of stakeholders participating in policy-making and those they represent.

      6. Seek to guarantee that participants in the policy-making process are provided with the appropriate resources and information so that they may participate in a timely fashion.

      7. Recognize that the primary responsibility for policy-making and decision-making in each area of University life must be clearly designated.

                 Each governance body of Old Dominion University is responsible for ensuring that these principles are reflected in their constitutions and bylaws and otherwise upheld by their operations.

        Governance Structure

                   At Old Dominion University, governance is an internal process of policy development sanctioned by the University's Board of Visitors, which holds overall authority for the activities of the institution. The President is delegated the authority to be the chief decision making and policy making authority for the University. The President's Cabinet is the University's conduit for communication, consulting with the President on all issues related to governance and providing information to the President to assist in decision-making.
        The Faculty Senate and the Student Government Association have direct access to the Board of Visitors through non-voting representatives selected annually by the Board of Visitors.

          Committees and Other Affinity and Advisory Groups

                     At Old Dominion University, there are a number of committees, taskforces, and advisory groups that contribute to campus dialogue, deal with special issues, and support the day-to-day operations of the institution. These groups, though not an official part of the University's governance system, can at various times be called to take part in the development of policy. Within each administrative division of the University, there are a number of advisory groups and other staff positions that play an important role in the development and vetting of policy.


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