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Final Recommendations

Below are the final recommendations that were developed by the Commission and have been received by the Board of Governors, which voted to operationalize the Faculty Council. The Interim Faculty Council is now working with the Office of the Chancellor to establish the permanent Faculty Council.

Download this page in PDF formatFaculty Shared Gov - Draft Recommendations

Faculty Shared Governance Commission Timeline

Date Activity Status
July 2019 Commission chartered by Board Chair Shapira Completed
Sept. 2019 Interim Faculty Council elected; Commission members appointed by chair and IFC Completed
Oct. 2019 Commission orientation Completed
Nov. 2019 Commission workshop; crafted guiding principles and issues matrix Completed
Dec. 2019 –
Jan. 2020
IFC system-level orientation workshop
Gathered feedback from IFC and other stakeholder groups on guiding principles and issues matrix
Feb. 2020 Guiding principles and issues matrix finalized and placed online for feedback Completed
Mar-April COVID-19 RESPONSE Ongoing
May 2020 Commission adjusts its timeline and affirm path forward; assign staff to craft straw-model recommendation Completed
June 2020 Commission workshop to draft recommendation (asked staff to convert information into a draft white) Completed
July 2020 –
Aug. 2020
Gathered initial feedback from IFC and other stakeholder groups on draft recommendation Completed
Aug. 2020 Commission workshop to integrate feedback into recommendation; place online for feedback Completed
Aug. 26 2020 –
Oct. 7 2020
Gather feedback online from all interested faculty, staff, and others Completed
Oct. 7-9, 2020
Commission integrates feedback for final recommendations
Oct. 15, 2020 Board of Governors received recommendations and approved operationalization of the Faculty Council Completed

August 2020 Update

After a brief hiatus due to the pandemic, the Commission adjusted its timeline to ensure it could accomplish its work this year while allowing the time necessary for gathering input from stakeholders. This summer, the Commission developed draft recommendations that are now being reviewed by the Interim Faculty Council, the university presidents, and other groups. After incorporating their feedback, the Commission will post the recommendation online in late August so that any and all who are interested can provide comment before the matter goes to the Board for consideration in mid-October. You are encouraged to follow this page for updates during the summer and provide feedback by sending an email to

May 2020 Update

Recognizing how much time and attention the COVID-19 pandemic response has required, the work of the Commission was put on-hold so that everyone could focus on helping students complete the semester successfully. While there remains considerable uncertainty regarding the pandemic, the Commission members are committed to not let this important project fall to the wayside. As such, the Commission has adjusted the timeline of its work and now plans to continue meeting through the Summer in order to recoup the lost time.

Because the Commission has already drafted guiding principles and identified issues that might be addressed by system-level shared governance (posted on this site in March), the group can now turn to crafting recommendations for the Board of Governors to consider in October. The timeline set by the Commission shows that it intends to have draft recommendations to circulate for general feedback from faculty and administration by the time the fall semester starts. That will allow time for the feedback to be integrated with the final recommendations before the October 14-15 board meeting.You are encouraged to follow this page for updates during the summer and provide feedback by sending an email to

March 2020 Update

The Commission has developed the following document that includes draft "Guiding Principles" and a draft list of issues that could be addressed by system-level shared governance. The Commission invites your input on the document to help inform its work to develop recommendations for the board's consideration. Email your thoughts to:

Download this page in PDF formatShared Governance 2-28-20 Draft

January 2020 Update

(Excerpted from chairman's update to the Board of Governors) While we have variations of shared governance occurring at the university level all across the System, the fact is that comprehensive System-level faculty shared governance does not exist right now. The Board has already taken a great step in that direction by adding a faculty liaison to the Board of Governors. He and his faculty colleagues on the Commission are already providing valuable insights.

As for the Commission itself, what matters most in this process is that we listen. So, it is in that light that we spent the fall semester getting organized and then listening and learning. During our workshop this fall, the Commission focused on knowledge-building by listening and learning from each other regarding the issues that are important to the various stakeholder groups. Commission members were provided a System-level orientation around existing governance roles and responsibilities. We engaged deeply in dialogue to better understand each other’s perspectives on shared governance. We also identifed opportunities, challenges, and aspirations that system-level shared governance presents. There was active discussion among all Commission members regarding their own expectations for—and their lived experiences with—shared governance.

As part of the first workshop, we developed a draft “Guiding Principles” document that will serve as the touchstone for the Commission’s work throughout the year as well as a draft matrix of issues that system-level faculty shared governance can address. We believe in the importance of gathering feedback throughout each stage of this process to ensure we are moving in a direction that is beneficial to all. As such, each of our Commission members is currently circulating drafts of the guiding principles and issues matrix with a sample of their stakeholders; gathering some initial feedback to help identify potential problems, any missed opportunities, or additional enhancements we should consider before sharing the documents with everyone for feedback. This phase of our work will be completed in the next few weeks.

Next, the Commission will review the initial feedback we receive and make adjustments to the draft documents before posting them on this website for review/comment by all.


The Commission seeks to strengthen faculty shared governance for Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education by recommending consistent, high-level expectations for its universities and the design and operationalization of a body that works at the system level to enable effective consultation in regard to system-level strategy planning, budgeting, policies and other matters as may be deemed appropriate. (The Commission is specifically not asked to make recommendations about the practice of shared governance at the university level.)

The Commission will:

  • actively engage faculty, union leadership, administrators, trustees, and Board members in a dialogue to develop a shared understanding of the purpose and scope of shared governance in the context of the State System
  • learn from the current state of faculty shared governance as it is practiced both at system and university levels
  • learn from the current state of faculty shared governance at other university and college systems, focusing especially on those where faculty are organized by collective bargaining units—engaging external expertise where appropriate
  • maintain a commitment to transparency and frequent communications among stakeholders and offer quarterly reports to the Board leading to recommendations.


Members will be appointed by the chairperson of the Board of Governors, except for the faculty members who will be elected by the faculty (see section on Interim Faculty Council). The Commission will consist of 11 members that include:

Commission Chair Don Houser, BOG Leadership and Governance Committee Chair
BOG Member-at-large Noe Ortega, PA Deputy Secretary of Education
Faculty (IFC Member) Francisco Alarcón, Professor and Dept. Chair, IUP
Faculty (IFC member) Nancy VanArsdale, Professor, East Stroudsburg
Faculty (IFC Member) Matt Girton, Professor and Dept. Chair, Lock Haven
Faculty (APSCUF Rep.) Jamie Martin, Statewide APSCUF Vice President
University Trustee Bobbi Kilmer, Mansfield University COT Chair
Administrator Guiyou Huang, President, Edinboro
Administrator Tom Ormond, Provost, Shippensburg
Administrator Sharon Picus, Interim A&F Vice President, Kutztown
Administrator Laura Delbrugge, Dean, Clarion

Commission Members'
Roles and Responsibilities

  • Actively engage in dialogue to develop a shared understanding of shared governance in the context of the State System
  • Provide intellectual capital from a stakeholder's perspective while focusing on the shared purpose rather than on personal interests
  • Assess the current state of faculty shared governance and develop recommendations to enhance it, particularly at the system level
  • Review best practices at other university and college systems where faculty are organized by collective bargaining units in order to develop a shared understanding of how to balance the roles of a faculty shared governance body and the faculty union
  • Craft guiding principles for developing recommendations and a draft structure
  • Deliver recommendations for future system-level shared faculty governance
  • Participate in all commission meetings
  • Serve as a voice for and conduit to their respective stakeholder groups—working to socialize the discussions around shared governance as appropriate
  • Strengthen the communication and transparency among stakeholders—facilitating shared governance discussions as appropriate
  • Have an appreciation for shared governance and ability to contemplate the role of faculty governance at a system level by blending different voices, ideas, and expertise

Professional & Personal Qualifications
for Commissioners

  • Be familiar with and share a commitment to the State System's educational vision and mission
  • Understand, support, and articulate the State System's strategic priorities of 1) ensuring student success, 2) leveraging university strengths, and 3) transforming governance
  • Possess an orientation towards innovation with an appreciation for shared governance
  • Bring knowledge and experience to bear on system governance challenges, opportunities, and deliberations
  • Maintain a commitment to transparency and frequent communication among stakeholders
  • Have an ability to engage collaboratively and work across disciplines with multiple stakeholders
  • Personify integrity and follow practices of mutual respect and civil discourse