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Shared Governance System

The Shared Governance System at KU has been termed a tripartite governance structure because there are three main bodies that oversee the creation of policies and procedures for governance. The Shared Governance System also includes certain staff committees that do not report to these three main bodies. These staff committees report to administrators. However, faculty and staff appointments to these committees are still made by the Committee on Committees.

The university has a shared governance system with responsibilities and powers shared among the University Senate, the faculty union (Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculty [APSCUF]) and the Administrative Council.

The University Senate represents the faculty and professional staff, and initiates and/or reviews all academic policies and procedures that impact upon the university. Regular meetings are held throughout the academic year and special meetings are held at the call of the Senate President. To help deal with matters that come before the University Senate and to facilitate the University Senate's role in University governance, the Committee on Committees (chaired by the Senate Vice President) has responsibility for providing information and recommendations in matters related to university governance. To fulfill the many tasks associated with their mandate, the Committee on Committees oversees a number of reporting committees, which gather information, deliberate, and make recommendations in matters appropriate to their area of responsibility. The University Senate also has the responsibility, through its Committee on Committees, to review the structure of the Senate Committees, Administrative Council Committees, and Staff-related Committees. Constituents who would like to serve on one of the Governance Committees fill out a form, and the Committee on Committees fills vacancies from the responses. Students must express their wishes to serve on Governance Committees to the SGB.

APSCUF ensures that the faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement is honored and that conditions of faculty employment are protected. Governance responsibilities for the faculty are identified through the University Senate Constitution and Bylaws and through the Faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Administrative Council functions as a representative body of all constituent groups within the university to initiate or review all non-academic policies and procedures which impact the university.


Recommendations from Governance Committees follow the channels shown on the organizational chart. Click here to see the overall Shared Governance Structure.