I - 6.00 POLICY ON SHARED GOVERNANCE IN THE UNIVERSITY
SYSTEM OF MARYLAND
(Approved by the Board of Regents October 4, 1996; Amended on
August 25, 2000)
The University System of Maryland (USM) consists of 13
institutions with distinct but complementary missions. The Board
of Regents recognizes the distinct and complementary roles that
the Regents, the Chancellor, the Presidents, other
administrators, the faculty, the staff, and students have in
governing the USM institutions.
Moreover, the Board also recognizes that as higher education
changes and evolves, implementation of the fundamental principles
of shared governance set forth below must also continue to
This policy affirms the Board's commitment to these fundamental
principles, which shall guide the development of institution-
specific shared governance practices consistent with this policy.
A. Final authority and responsibility for the welfare of the
USM and its institutions rests with the Board of Regents.
The Board may delegate to the Chancellor and the Presidents
portions of that authority for the purpose of assuring the
effective management of the System and its institutions.
B. Shared governance procedures and principles apply at all
levels within the USM.
C. Shared governance requires informed participation and
collaboration by faculty, students, staff, and
D. Faculty, staff, and students shall have opportunities to
participate, appropriate to their special knowledge and
expertise, in decisions that relate to:
1. Mission and budget priorities for the University System of
Maryland and its constituent institutions;
2. Curriculum, course content, and instruction;
4. Appointment, promotion, and tenure of all faculty members
and the development of policies that affect faculty
5. Development of human resources policies and procedures for
exempt and non-exempt staff;
6. Selection and appointment of administrators;
7. Issues that affect the ability of students to complete their
8. Other issues that arise from time to time that affect the
overall welfare of the USM and/or its institutions.
E. While some members of shared governance bodies may be
appointed, the substantial majority should be elected by
their constituencies. Such bodies should elect their own
A. Each USM institution shall have in place written procedures
and formal structures that provide for appropriate
collaboration and communication between and among
administration, faculty, staff, and students. The
structures and procedures shall be developed cooperatively,
disseminated widely prior to adoption, and reviewed
periodically according to procedures and timelines
established in the documents governing institutional
B. Each constituent institution within the USM shall have
either a single shared governance body for the institution
as a whole, or separate bodies for faculty, staff, and
students. At least 75% of the voting members shall be
elected by their constituencies. This percentage shall not
apply to paragraph G. below. These bodies shall have
written bylaws and shall meet regularly.
C. Each institution shall define the subject matter appropriate
for faculty, staff, and/or student participation in the
shared governance process.
The definitions shall recognize:
1. The responsibility of administrators for forming and
articulating a vision for the institution, for
providing strategic leadership, and for managing its
human resources, finances, and operations;
2. The central role of the faculty in the institution's
teaching, research, and outreach programs, including
the assessment of the quality of these activities
through peer review;
3. The essential support provided by staff in facilitating
the institution's operations and the legitimate
interest of the staff in participating in the
development of policies and procedures that affect them
and the welfare of their institutions;
4. That students are the institution's main academic
educational focus and that they have a legitimate
interest in matters affecting their ability to complete
their education, including but not limited to costs,
grading, and housing; and
5. That there is a role for each group in the search for
and selection of key institutional administrators.
D. Institutional structures and procedures for shared
governance shall address the role of non-tenured and non-
tenure track, part-time, adjunct, and other faculty ranks as
established by Regents' policy, as well as other employees
on long-term contracts.
E. The Presidents and other institution-wide administrators
shall consult regularly with the institution's elected
representative body or bodies. This consultation will be in
accordance with accountability plans developed
collaboratively by the participants. These accountability
plans shall be subject to the approval of the Board of
Regents. The Presidents shall report annually to the
Chancellor on the implementation of these accountability
plans, and the Chancellor in turn shall report to the Board.
F. The Chancellor and other System administrators shall consult
regularly with the legislatively-mandated, System-wide
representative bodies. The Chancellor shall report annually
to the Board on the status of these consultations.
G. The Presidents shall assure that shared governance, based
upon the principles and practices in this policy, is
appropriately implemented in all sub-units, and are
accountable for assuring that other administrators follow
them in unit-level deliberations.
H. Effective implementation of shared governance shall be a
component of evaluations of the Chancellor, the Presidents,
and other administrators as designated by the Chancellor for
the USM Office, and by the President for the institutions.
I. In keeping with Principle II.C., all participants share with
their Presidents and the USM leadership responsibility for:
1. Being informed on issues that confront higher
education, the USM, and the institutions;
2. Acting within time constraints that are imposed by external
agencies and influences, sometimes with little or no notice;
3. Sharing appropriate information and providing timely
4. Recognizing the specific goals and needs of the
institution, and being accountable to the
constituencies represented; and
5. Distinguishing the roles played by various units and
individuals in decision making and administration.
J. Given the dynamic nature of institutional governance, it is
1. That there may be occasions when institutional leaders
must act in the best interest of the institution on
major issues affecting the institutional constituencies
without full benefit of the shared governance process.
In such cases the representative bodies shall be
informed in a timely manner and have an opportunity to
comment on the issues.
2. That administrators shall inform important
constituencies in a timely manner if they choose to
disregard, in whole or in part, the advice and
recommendation of constituencies, and they should
provide the reasons for their decision. In these
cases, the shared governance body may, if it so
chooses, present a written statement of its position
and/or any objections to the decision as part of the
institution's or unit's record on the issue.
K. Faculty and staff who do not hold administrative
appointments, and all students, may express their opinions
freely on all shared governance matters without retaliation.
Administrators, including faculty holding administrative
appointments, may also express their opinions freely during
policy discussions, without retaliation, but once a decision
is reached they are expected to support and implement policy
as determined by the institutional leadership.
L. Shared governance requires a commitment of resources and
time from the USM institutions. Each institution shall
provide a proper level of resources, as determined by the
President, to faculty, staff, and students to allow them to
carry out their shared governance responsibilities
M. While participation in governance by faculty, staff, and
students is necessary and important for the well-being of
the USM and its institutions, the final responsibility for
decision-making rests with institutional Presidents, the
Chancellor, or the Board of Regents, who are ultimately held
accountable by the public and its elected leaders.