Message to campus about University Council

To: University Community
From: W. Michael "Mike" Sherman, Senior Vice President, Provost & COO
Date: September 6, 2011
RE: University Council

The University of Akron is at an exciting time in our history, putting Vision 2020 into action. Our ability to act together to accomplish our ambitious goals depends upon a culture of shared governance. The new University Council provides this broadly representative, collaborative and participatory governance structure. University Council will be integral to our decision-making processes, involving representatives of the entire university community at various levels of planning and implementation.

 More about University Council

Many thanks to the University Council Exploratory Committee, whose ideas, input and enthusiasm created the University Council structure I share with you today. Their work models shared governance.

Membership on the UC contributes significantly to the University and is therefore an essential component of University service by faculty, staff, contract professionals, students and administrators. We are all responsible for encouraging and supporting UC service. The Council does not replace constituent group governance structures or responsibilities. Academic program decisions clearly within the scope of Faculty Senate remain there. Faculty Senate, Staff Employees Advisory Committee (SEAC), Contract Professional Advisory Committee (CPAC), Associated Student Government (ASG), and Graduate Student Government (GSG) will continue to carry out their important roles and each will also coordinate their respective constituency election processes.

Constituency groups are conducting elections and selections for members on all three University Council bodies this month. Membership opportunities abound: there are 127 positions available, as briefly described below. Take an active part in the election process.

The UC has three major components: The UC itself, the UC Steering Committee (elected from members of The UC), and nine UC Standing Committees.

The UC comprises 37 members:

  • Three representatives each from
    • faculty
    • staff
    • contract professionals
    • undergraduate students
    • graduate students
  • One dean
  • One department chair
  • One university employee jointly appointed by the president and senior vice president, provost, and chief operating officer
  • The 18 co-chairs (elected by committee members) and co-conveners (vice-president most closely associated with the committee's work) of the nine Standing Committees
  • The SVPP&COO, who serves as the co-chair and co-convener of the UC.

The UC is the main representative and legislative body, which will deliberate and make recommendations to the President. The Steering Committee is responsible for overall coordination of the entire UC, functioning as an executive committee. The standing committees cover specific areas of university activity, closely aligned with vice presidential areas representing academic support services and report to the UC. The committees capitalize on the expertise of the university membership in the areas of committee responsibilities.


The Council will be a conduit for providing information from the Board and President to all community members, and for providing input and expertise from the many constituencies that comprise our great University to the President and Board of Trustees. Please read the attached document for more detail. Within the next month, we will create a University Council website to facilitate communication. Once it is created, a notice that includes the url of the website will be sent to all University constituencies. And please, take an active role in shared governance. Every member of this University community is a stakeholder who contributes to the important work we do. I encourage you to participate on UC, to make it and our University the new Gold Standard in University Performance.



W. Michael "Mike" Sherman