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Collegial Governance

Public universities operate through a system of collegial governance whereby academic decisions about the university are made by the collegium of scholars who are faculty members in that institution. This governance system both requires and upholds commitments to shared collective responsibility and accountability.

Collegial Governance at Western

Collegial governance at Western is enshrined in the University of Ontario Act, which lays out the bicameral model of distinct governing powers of both the Senate and Board of Governors.

The Collective Agreement also protects collegial governance through its articulation of the various committee structures and processes where decision-making about academic matters takes place, such as appointments; promotion, tenure and continuing status; performance evaluation; and workload. This also includes membership on Senate and its committees, Faculty Council and Graduate Faculty Council. Collegial governance is one means by which peer review is exercised within the university institution.

At Western, the Collective Agreement defines academic freedom as essential to the “pursuit, creation, and dissemination of knowledge” through a faculty member’s research and teaching.

Collegial Governance in the Collective Agreement

Senate & its committees, along with Faculty and Graduate Faculty Council, are sites where we often acknowledge the role of collegial governance. However, several articles in the Collective Agreement protect collegial decision-making.

Further Reading