Faculty Role in University Governance

Authority for the governance of the University is vested by statute in the Board of Visitors by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The board’s responsibilities, specified by state statute, include but are not restricted to the appointment of the University president; appointment, promotion, and granting of tenure; removal of members of the faculty; the prescription of faculty responsibilities; the setting of faculty salaries; the determination of student tuition, fees, and other charges; and the government and discipline of students. The board prescribes the duties of the president, and the president has supreme administrative direction of the University, subject to the authority of the board. The board has delegated certain authority and responsibilities to the president and the chief academic officer, who have delegated certain of these responsibilities to the faculty.

University faculty members have played an important role in assisting the board in fulfilling its responsibility from the University’s founding to the present day. Through the work of the Faculty Senate, a representative body consisting of members elected from each of the schools, faculty recommend approval of the establishment of new degree programs and major modifications to existing degree programs. Faculties also approve the conferral of all degrees and oversee the development of curricula in their respective schools and departments. Each spring, the Board of Visitors appoints a non-voting advisory faculty representative to serve on the Board. In addition, Faculty members serve as non-voting consulting members on committees of the Board of Visitors, as well as on standing administrative committees of the University, including the University Policy Review Committee, which reviews administrative policies. The Faculty Senate also provides the executive vice president and provost with advice and counsel on other academic matters. Through all of these mechanisms, faculty members share their expertise and insights on academic matters with the provost, the president, and members of the Board of Visitors.