University Senate Governance

Welcome!

Did you know that the University of Minnesota is considered to have one of the strongest and most active shared governance systems among large research universities? Faculty, students, and staff* system-wide participate in University Senate governance. Shared governance provides an opportunity for diverse voices of the University community to participate in discussions and weigh in on many of the key issues facing the University.  

We take great pride in the fact that the University of Minnesota is one of the only Big 10 institutions to include civil service and professional and academic (P&A) staff in its University Senate governance system. University Senate governance also prides itself on having a successful collaborative relationship with both the administration and the Board of Regents.

Timeline: 1912: University Senate established; 1969: Faculty/Student Senates established and students added to U Senate; 1993: faculty-like P&A added to U Senate; 2004: Staff added to U Senate; 2011: P&A and Civil Service Senates establishedUniversity Senate governance at the University of Minnesota is steeped in rich tradition. The umbrella body, the University Senate, was established in 1912 and consisted only of faculty members at that time. Students, faculty-like academic professionals, and staff were added subsequently. The University Senate now contains within it four senates: the Faculty Senate, the Student Senate, the P&A Senate, and the Civil Service Senate.

Much of the work of the senates is conducted through their committees. Each senate has an executive, or consultative, committee. Under the five consultative committees, there are 22 standing committees and 14 standing subcommittees. Most committees consist of faculty, student, civil service, P&A, and, where appropriate, retirees, alumni, and ex officio members.

The shared governance system is established in the University Senate Constitution. The scope of authority of the senates and their committees is specified in each of their constitutions, bylaws, and rules.

Broad engagement by the University community in shared governance leads to a better University for everyone. Please consider getting involved in this important endeavor, and feel free to contact my office with questions.

Signature of Vickie Courtney

Vickie Courtney, director, University Senate Office and University Awards and Honors


*Due to restrictions imposed by federal and state labor law (MS 179A.06, Subd. 5 and MS 179A.03, Subd. 19), unionized staff and the faculties who have voted for collective bargaining (Crookston and those at Duluth except the Medical/Pharmacy schools) do not participate in the governance system.

News & Updates

Approved minutes of senates and their committees will be posted on Fridays, when available.

Professor Jennifer Goodnough and her son, a blonde-haired boy roughly age 10, pose at a Gopher sports game. In the background are the football field and stands which spell out "Minnesota".Whether tweaking her assignments to be more accommodating to student wellbeing and mental health needs, or threatening to tell inattentive students who dies next in Game of Thrones, Professor Jennifer Goodnough is passionate about motivating, mentoring, and improving outcomes for students. Evidence of her strong commitment to students and education is prominent both in her professional and personal lives.

Approved minutes of senates and their committees will be posted on Fridays, when available.