Report of the Ad hoc Task Force on Shared Governance
Report Administrative Burdens
Welcome to the University of Florida Faculty Senate website. UF is a leading R-1 research university with a global impact. Our research and teaching is second to none, with dedicated faculty who continue to push the boundaries of knowledge and information across almost every discipline imaginable. From the vast expanses of the universe to the nanoparticle level of life, UF research is literally everywhere. As an institution with over 5000 faculty spread across the state and the world, UF offers more degrees than nearly any other university, giving our students the freedom to pursue their dreams, wherever those dreams may take them. Our faculty are training the next generation of scholars, leaders, and entrepreneurs to solve the problems of our world, like climate change, the next pandemic, environmental degradation, the erosion of democracy and civil rights, the mental health crisis, and global food insecurity. With over $1 billion in research funding, UF faculty are one of the largest economic drivers in the State of Florida. UF faculty have generated over $10 billion in private investment, launched over 300 startups, and created nearly 10,000 jobs through UFInnovate. UF Health brings cutting-edge medical research and medical care to the lives of millions of people across the country, and across the globe. UF/IFAS supports one of the largest agricultural economies in the world. Our faculty are entrusted with the precious minds of over 50,000 students who rely on us to bring them the most up-to-date information in every field. Faculty dedication to their students and to their disciplines is why UF is ranked #5 among public universities.
The Faculty Senate is the legislative body of the University through which the faculty engages in the critical function of shared governance. As recognized by the UF Board of Trustees,
“Shared Governance” is the participation of administrators, faculty, staff and students in the decision- and policy-making process. The purpose of shared governance is to provide avenues to University improvement and productivity through the creation of a partnership based on mutual respect and collaboration. Such shared responsibility entails working toward mutual goals established by a fully enfranchised University community and therefore collaborative participation in: a) the identification of University priorities, b) the development of policy, c) defining the University’s responsibility for ethical leadership, d) enhanced community partnerships, and e) the governance of the University as a whole.
Shared governance is the hallmark of top academic institutions. As UF faculty push the boundaries of human knowledge, their role in shared governance is critical to ensuring that UF continues to rank among leading institutions of higher education. With unprecedented levels of state financial support, and despite facing unprecedented levels of interference with the academic mission, UF is at a critical junction. The UF Faculty Senate and its leadership is dedicated to maintaining UF’s high standards of excellence in research, teaching, service, and extension while protecting academic freedom and the search for truth, wherever it may lead.
It is my privilege to serve as your Senate chair for the 2023-24 academic year, and I look forward to assisting you in whatever way I can in your continued efforts to make UF a leader for the future. My door is always open!
Sessums/Sohn Professor of Constitutional Law
Chair, Faculty Senate