University Advisory Council (UAC)
Established on January 1, 2013, the University Advisory Council was created to enhance shared governance at Northeastern Illinois University. As Dr. Ken Andersen, a consultant from the Illinois AAUP, indicated in his report on the state of shared governance at the University, "There is a need to facilitate communication among all constituencies: A university council (or university senate) would facilitate communication and could address common issues. A university Council…drawing together representatives from the four constituencies (students, civil service, A & P, faculty) could be a major facilitator as issues are brought to the group with reports back to the constituencies represented."
In the fall of 2011, the University President, Dr. Sharon K. Hahs, convened the University Council Working Group (UCWG) comprised of individuals who represented the four constituency groups. The UCWG's work included the following:
- The review and analysis of more than 30 models of shared governance at universities and colleges across the United States
- The establishment of parameters regarding the UAC's scope and purpose
- The development of a fair, transparent system for selecting representatives to the council
- The development of bylaws for the UAC
- The dissemination of information about the UAC and the collection of feedback on the bylaws and membership
In April of 2013, the University held its first election for the representatives of the UAC. In June of 2013, and every June, thereafter, the Council members will organize themselves and elect their officers. The UAC's work is governed by the Bylaws. And, as stated in the Bylaws:
The UAC provides the framework for addressing the need for the development of recommendations, where appropriate, through a collaborative process. It does not seek to do the work of the Ombuds. Instead of mediating conflict, the UAC would work on issues that require input from more than one area of our university. The desired goal is to position NEIU for greater success, and make our university work smarter so that conflicts can be avoided before they arise. By offering itself as a resource for constructing better practices, the UAC has as its mission the creation of better communication, greater collaboration amongst diverse stake holders, and a salutary effect upon our culture through shared governance.