June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.835.1 - 12.835.10
Implementing a Database-Driven Solution for Nominations and Elections of Faculty Governance Committees
Institutions of higher education are self-governing bodies of which participating members must serve on various committees from time to time. To this end, nominations and elections of school- wide committees are the vital link to this process of faculty governance. With each new academic year, there are numerous changes in faculty status such as new faculty being hired, tenure status, past positions being held and term limits on various committees. Depending on the complexity of each institution’s governing document (which states the stipulations for each committee’s required representation), making certain nominations and elections are carried out in a fair and equitable manner can prove to be a fairly daunting task.
To streamline this yearly task and ensure continuity between former and current election committees, the authors of this paper developed a technology-based system which automates the nomination/election process. This paper presents an overview of this on-line, database-driven committee nomination and election system. This paper also points out several other institutions that have developed similar automated means of dealing with faculty governance logistics and presents issues that must be addressed when considering developing this type of a system.
Background and Needs Assessment
The authors’ school is one of 22 schools and academic units on the campus of a large, urban university. Though part of the larger campus community and a regional campus to a parent university, the school is still responsible to maintain its own governing system of both permanent and ad-hoc committees. One of the authors of this paper has been the school’s Nominations Committee Chair for the past several years and has attempted to improve and streamline the process of filling elected committee positions. Different types of paper-based nomination and election forms were designed and implemented with varying degrees of success. One of the simplest, yet most innovative of these was to include the picture of each nominated faculty member on the final voting ballot. As many colleges and universities are large and very diverse in their academic units, it oftentimes prohibits faculty (especially new hires) from knowing the names, faces and qualifications of every faculty member. Adding the picture of nominated individuals was very well received and resulted in higher voter participation. Furthermore, the addition of eligibility requirements, committee responsibilities and term limits on the call for nominations clarified the stipulations and importance of each position. However, the addition of these methods increased the amount of paper-based communications in the nomination and voting process. Copying, addressing and distributing the call for nominations and final voting ballots became an issue that had the potential to bog down the entire process.
The first iteration of on-line voting tools developed at the ________ School of ______________ was designed to assist in the distribution of nomination information and the explanation of the
Acheson, D., & Acheson, L. (2007, June), Implementing A Database Driven Solution For Nominations And Elections Of Faculty Governance Committees Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2510
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