Advisory Councils to be replaced with Program and Planning Councils

The Steering Committee completed its yearlong review of the College governance system and released a document with its proposed changes, the largest of which will replace the Advisory Councils with the Program Councils and Planning Councils, on March 2.

In a series of panels last week, concerned students and faculty voiced their opinions on the changes made to the College governance system.

Changes are made to the governance system every five years.

The Board of Trustees will examine and be asked to approve the changes in June. If approved, they will officially be enacted for Fall 2005.

The split of the Advisory Councils was made to increase the efficiency of the councils, as the Program Councils will meet with either the Committee on Academic Programs or the Committee on Students and Campus Community, and the Planning Councils will report to the Committee of Planning and Priorities.

The Advisory Councils, to be divided into Program Councils and Planning Councils, currently include the Athletics Advisory Council, Development and Alumni Advisory Council, General Education Advisory Council, Graduate Programs Advisory Council, Honors Advisory Council, Human Relations Advisory Council Information Technologies Advisory Council, International Education Advisory Council, Marketing Advisory Council, Special Services Advisory Council, Teacher Education Advisory Council.

The Program Councils will remain mostly the same, except for the new addition of an Advising Program Council and the movement of other councils from the old system. “We’ve been trying very hard not to add numbers of councils,” Suzanne H. Pasch, vice provost for Academic Programs, said.

The Planning Councils, however, will be almost entirely new in hopes of improving the efficiency of the College’s planning abilities.

Currently, there are plans to form six new councils to supplement the revamped system.

Other recent changes to the governance system include updating and editing the Governance Structure and Processes document and updating the definition of testimony within governance.

Although the panel meetings were not well-attended, the Steering Committee was not disappointed in the least. “My sense of things isn’t because it’s bad, but because people are happy with the system,” Pasch said.

An issue brought up at one of the forums regarded the election of new chairs in May, which some current members of governance boards feel is too early.

However, the Steering Committee kept May as the election month, on the basis that the new chairs will need time to prepare for their positions.

“It allows for there to be more orientation for people who are going to be chairs,” Pasch said.

Pasch encourages any students with questions about the governance system to visit the Steering Committee’s page on the College’s Web site, where the processes of the organization are documented and the Steering Committee can be contacted.