Notice, October 1996

Text of President's Statement To Regents

The following "Statement on Shared Governance" was presented by President Richard Atkinson to the UC Regents at their meeting of September 20, 1996.

Mr. Chairman, members of the Board:

I have been talking with a number of faculty in recent weeks about issues they consider important to the University as we enter this academic year. One of the concerns that has surfaced in these conversations is whether there has been any retreat from the commitment of the University to the principle of shared governance.

I have told these faculty members that The Regents, in both public remarks and private statements, have made it clear that they fully support the concept of shared governance as it has existed in the University of California since the 1920s. I have also told them that The Regents look forward, as I do, to the report on shared governance that the Academic Council has undertaken at my request. The Academic Council has appointed a special task force whose report will review the history of shared governance at UC, and the structure, organization, and operation of the Academic Senate and its role in governance. Once I have the Senate's report and any recommendations it chooses to make, I will bring the matter to the Regents.

Shared governance is not a single or a simple concept. It is an intricate tapestry of rules and relationships, practice and policy. An institution of our size and complexity needs, from time to time, to step back and take a look at how it governs itself in light of the nature and purposes of the university. The Academic Council's report will be a welcome opportunity to help us do this in a thoughtful and systematic way.

Our system of shared authority and responsibility among Regents, administration, and faculty is the single most important reason for the University of California's greatness, and it is just as essential to our success today as it has been for more than three-quarters of a century. I would not be president of this university if I did not believe The Regents join me in that conviction.