Standard 3: Organization & Governance  


A variety of documentsóConnecticut General Statutes, policies and resolutions of the CSUS Board of Trustees (BOT) (Exhibit 3.1) policies of the CSU System (Exhibit 3.2) and the University Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA)(Exhibit 3.3)and Faculty Senate resolutions óprovide the framework for the governance structure of CCSU.   The relationships among the layers of governance are outlined by organizational charts (Exhibit 3.4).

Newly appointed BOT members go through a full orientation and make visits to the four CSUS universities.  The staff of the CSU System Office provides BOT members with all information necessary to fulfill their policy-making roles.  BOT members receive staff reports prior to their regular monthly meetings and are provided with information from all monthly Board sub-committee meetings.  

University administrators receive their position descriptions (Exhibit 3.5), appropriate CSU human resources policies and procedures (Exhibit 3.6), and are oriented to the University at New Employee Orientation (Exhibit 3.7).    

The faculty and staff receive copies of position descriptions; appropriate CBAs; appropriate CSUS and CCSU policies and procedures; departmental policies and procedures; and are oriented at New Faculty or New Employee Orientation.   

The CCSU table of organization outlines the relationships between the BOT, the CSU System Office, and the administration of CCSU.  The administration of CCSU has stabilized under the leadership of President Jack Miller, and his cabinet is fully constituted with a complement of Vice Presidents and Chief Officers who oversee one or more administrative or academic areas with distinct missions that are tied directly to the overall mission of the University. 

The CBAs for teaching and administrative faculty provide for shared governance.  The Faculty Senate includes voting members of both the teaching and administrative faculty, and resolutions passed by the Senate are reviewed and approved by the President.  The University Planning and Budgeting Committee (UPBC) acts on behalf of the Faculty Senate in an advisory capacity to the President.

All constituent units of higher education in the State of Connecticut are governed by CGS Title 10a, Sec 10a-1 through 10a-55c.  The Board of Governors of Higher Education is the central policy-making authority for public higher education in Connecticut.  The Connecticut State University System (CSUS), the largest public university system in the State, is governed by Chapter 185b, Part II, and overseen by a Board of Trustees (BOT), whose authority to oversee the CSUS and its constituent units is set forth in CGS Sections 10a-87 through 10a-101.

The BOT, as specified by statute, consists of eighteen members, fourteen of whom are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the General Assembly for six-year terms (Section 10a-88). Four student members are elected for two-year terms by the student body at each of the four universities.  The BOT Chair is appointed by the Governor. 

The BOTís membership reflects the areas of competencies needed to both carry out their responsibilities, and represent the public interest. BOT members bring a wide range of expertise and interest and a level of competency required to make decisions about the CSUS. 

Because CCSU is a public institution, there is no opportunity for BOT members to be stockholders or corporate directors.  None of the BOT members is employed by or has any financial interest in any of the universities in the CSUS.

BOT members must fill out an extensive background information questionnaire (Exhibit 3.8) that is sent to the Governorís office.  Nominations are sent to the Legislatureís Committee on Executive and Legislative Nominations.  When sworn in, all Board members are required to take an oath administered by the Board Chair (Exhibit 3.9). All new Board members are provided with Resolution BR#06-54 CSU Ethics Statement when they first take office, and it is reissued annually to all Board members.

CGS Section 10a-149 vests the authority and responsibility for the operation of the Stateís public institutions of higher education in the BOT, ďwhich shall have special responsibility for the preparation of personnel for the public schools of the State including masterís degree programs, education doctoral degree programs and other graduate study in education, and authority for providing liberal arts and career programs at the bachelorís, masterís and sixth-year levels.Ē

The CSUS Strategic Plan and the CCSU Strategic Plan provide the BOT with a unique understanding of CCSUís distinctive mission among the four universities.  The CSUS Strategic Plan, currently under review and revision, will contain specific missions for each of the four universities in the system.

In accordance with their statutory authority, the BOT plans for the expansion and development of the four Universities, and submits such plans to the Board of Governors for Higher Education and the Commission of Public Works.

The Chancellor of the CSU System, Dr. David G. Carter, is responsible for recommending policies for Board approval, implementing all BOT decisions and policies, and keeping the BOT informed regarding all aspects of the CSU System. Board policies are approved by resolution at monthly Board meetings. The Chancellor is authorized to act for the BOT and represent the BOT, the CSU System, and the universities to other units of state government.  In the absence of BOT policy, the Chancellor is empowered to issue administrative directives, request reports, transfer funds, and create policies. Twice a year the Chief Financial Officer and the President provide the Board with an update of the Universityís financial status.  The Finance and Administration Committee, and then the full Board, undertake a mid-year review in February.  At the end of the fiscal year, the University presents a review of the current fiscal yearís finances, and presents the next yearís Spending Plan to the Board, which is approved by resolution of the full Board.  The University also makes presentations to the Board on all major new initiatives, such as CCSUís Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership and the introduction of a baccalaureate degree in Engineering, which are then approved by resolution of the full Board. 

System-wide councils, made up of representatives from all four universities, advise the Chancellor and the system office staff regarding issues affecting the various universities and the system as a whole: the Council of Presidents, Council on Academic Affairs, Council on Finance and Administration, Council on Student Affairs, Council on Employee Relations, Council on Information Technology, and the Institutional Research Council.  The Chancellor may also establish system-wide advisory committees on a standing or ad-hoc basis.  The councils meet monthly and make recommendations to the Board for new initiatives and policy changes.  These committees also hold one meeting per year at each of the four universities. 

Annually, the Board holds one of its regular meetings at the CCSU campus, at which the President presents the Universityís annual report to the Board.  The Annual Report provides an overview of the accomplishments of the University over the past year. 

The BOT examines its effectiveness on an ongoing basis through discussions and deliberations that occur at the committee level of the Board, as well as through discussions that take place in the meetings of the BOT Executive Committee. 

BOT members attend workshops and conferences to remain current on issues affecting their positions and their fiduciary responsibilities.  Periodically, experts on various topics make presentations to the BOT to ensure that BOT members are fully versed in all areas in which they are expected to make decisions.  Board members also participate in periodic retreats to undertake self-assessment. 

Communication between BOT members is carried out through a well-established and extensive subcommittee structure.  Per BOT by-laws, the BOT is required to meet no fewer than eight times per academic year, and within that schedule, is required to meet at each of the four universities once per academic year.  All meetings are open to the public.  The campus meetings allow for open forums where members of the public, faculty, staff, and students are invited to speak directly to the Board.  All BOT Resolutions are distributed throughout the University System and published on the CSUS website. 

The BOT convenes the following Standing Committees: Academic Affairs; Development; Executive; Finance and Administration; and Student Life, in addition to an Audit Subcommittee of the Executive Committee, as well as special committees appointed by the Chair of the BOT to address special topics or problems, and various advisory committees for presidential and chancellor candidate searches.  The detailed work of the Board is carried out in the monthly committee meetings, and great care is taken to provide for maximum transparency of committee deliberations.  Every Board member receives copies of the informational packets provided to each committee, so they are aware of what issues the committees are addressing.

The President submits an annual report to the Chancellor. The Chancellor writes an annual performance evaluation of the President, which he reviews with the BOT.  The President signs the assessment and may append comments.  Every four years, the BOT Committee on Presidential Assessment conducts an in-depth review on campus to assess the Presidentís effectiveness, meeting with all university constituencies.

The BOT delegates broad authority to the President who is expected to meet the stated missions of the University, oversee the executive management of the University, and promote its development and effectiveness within approved Board policy.  The President is also responsible for the safety, health and welfare of all students and employees. 

The President is authorized by statute (Sections 10a-151(a-c) and 10a-154b) to approve expenditures in such areas as commodities and equipment purchases, not subject to the approval of any other state agency.

The administration of the University is delegated by the President to members of the Executive Committee: vice-presidents and chief officers who report directly to the President (Exhibit 3.10).  Bi-weekly meetings between the President and all members of the Executive Committee are held, as well as numerous ad-hoc meetings with individual administrators as needed.   Each Vice-President or Chief Officer oversees an assigned area of responsibility (See Exhibit 3.4). The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs is the Chief Academic Officer and meets bi-weekly with the Provostís Council.

Allocation of resources is undertaken in keeping with requirements of the CBAs, and sound fiscal practices, while attempting to meet the needs of students in keeping with the CCSU mission.  Under the direction of President Miller and the Vice President for Fiscal Affairs, and in consultation with the UPBC, the process by which funds are allocated throughout the University was re-designed for the 2007-2008 budget year, giving broad authority to the Vice Presidents and Chief Officers to manage their own budgets.  Requests for annual budget allocations are presented to the President, after being reviewed by the UPBC.   

The President provides full disclosure to the university community regarding the budget process, both at the University Opening Meeting each fall, in meetings with constituent groups, and through e-mail communications. 

Several mechanisms have been put in place for the President to use in assessing the effectiveness of the institution.  The baseline data, objectives, and enabling activities outlined in the CCSU Strategic Plan provide a quantitative methodology for the President to use in assessing progress on institutional goals.  The annual administration of the College Employee Satisfaction Survey and the biennial administration of the Student Satisfaction Inventory provide for regular feedback from all campus constituencies. 

The President meets regularly with the leadership of AAUP, SUOAF, and the Faculty Senate.  The Presidents of the Senate and the AAUP also meet periodically with the Provostís Council. 

In fall 2006, the President established Classified and Unclassified Labor Councils, which meet twice per semester and include the leadership of all seven employee unions and members of the Executive Committee. These meetings provide for the exchange of relevant information and concerns between the parties in a more formalized setting. 

The President and the executive staff regularly attend Faculty Senate meetings.  Open Forums for different constituent groups (faculty, staff, and students) are held throughout the academic year.  The President attends academic departmental meetings biennially, holds coffee hours with groups of faculty several times each year, and meets with students on an ad-hoc basis.  He communicates with faculty and staff on issues of university-wide importance via e-mail regularly.  Web-based vehicles for campus-wide communication were instituted in fall 2007, including CCSU Now, a description of institutional initiatives and programs that is continually updated, and 360 Degree Communication, which highlights selected accomplishments of faculty and staff.  The administrative structure of the University also provides for significant contribution from students (see below). 

Examples of other collaborative efforts include the AAUP Shared Governance conference held in March 2007, at which university administrators served on a joint panel with representatives of AAUP; and the Presidentís ad hoc committee on Promotion and Tenure (P&T), made up of faculty and administrators, to review the promotion and tenure process.  The resulting report recommending changes to the P&T process was passed by the Faculty Senate in May 2007.

The Provost/VP for Academic Affairs is the Chief Academic Officer for the University, reporting directly to the President.  The Faculty Senate Constitution spells out faculty responsibility for academic policies. 

The academic deans, Associate Vice-Presidents, Library Director, Director of Institutional Research and Assessment, Director of Continuing Education, Director of the Learning Center, and Director of the Center for International Education report directly to the Provost and meet with him as the Provostís Council on a bi-weekly basis.  This ensures continuing dialogue and coordination of all academic programming decisions.  The Directors of Continuing Education, the Learning Center, and the Center for International Education serve on the Provostís Council to ensure that policies in these areas are well integrated and serve students in the five schools. 

The academic programming responsibilities of the faculty, through the Faculty Senate and the AAUP CBA, are clearly defined.  The process by which curricular changes are made in the Senate, with resolutions requiring presidential approval, ensures that academic programming is in keeping with the Universityís mission and strategic plan. 

International education programs are the joint responsibility of the Center for International Education and the faculty.  All international academic courses are reviewed through the regular curriculum process in the Faculty Senate. Continuing education courses, offered for credit on weekends and evenings, are also subject to review and approval by the Faculty Senate. All credit courses offered by the University, regardless of location or format, must conform to the same contractual standards of evaluation.

Faculty governance at CCSU is coordinated exclusively by the Faculty Senate, which has authority in such areas as curriculum matters, degree requirements, scholastic standards, academic freedom, admission policies, and student behavior. 

The Senate also serves in an advisory capacity in the appointment of administrative officers, budget and planning matters, university organizational structure, promotion and tenure policy, and in other matters affecting the educational quality and mission of the University.

The faculty exercise basic control over curricula, although new degree programs are also approved by the University President, the Board of Trustees, and the Board of Governors for Higher Education. The faculty of CCSU design curricula in their departments and in interdisciplinary programs (working closely with the Deans regarding resource and facilities implications and other administrative concerns) and then, with the Deanís approval, present the proposals to the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee and finally to the full Senate. All Senate actions are presented to the President for approval. The curriculum approval process for credit-bearing courses and programs to be offered off-campus and in evening and weekend formats is the same as for on-campus, credit-bearing courses offered during the regular academic semesters.

The Senate Committee on Academic Standards is the forum in which residency requirements, course withdrawal policies, and other similar academic policies for undergraduate students are determined. The Graduate Studies Committee performs this function for graduate students.

Faculty personnel matters are regulated by the AAUP CBA. The contract provides for extensive faculty involvement in appointment and promotion and tenure actions and sets forth guidelines for reassigned time, sabbatical and other leaves, research funding, outside professional activity, faculty grievances, program discontinuance, retrenchment, and numerous other aspects of faculty professional life.

The Student Government Association (SGA) is the general organization of undergraduate students and is governed by the Student Senate, an elected representative body. The Constitution of the SGA sets forth roles for student participation in governance of the University. These roles include student membership on the Student Advisory Board to the CSU Board of Trustees, the CSU Board of Trustees itself, the Student Union Board of Governors, the Board of Directors of the CCSU Foundation, Inc., the Board of Directors of the CSU System Foundation (previously known as the Henry Barnard Foundation), and service in various advisory capacities to academic departments.  The SGA President and the Faculty Senate President address each otherís memberships annually to share information and discuss issues of mutual concern. 

Resident students are represented on the Inter-Residence Council. The SGA and the Inter-Residence Council allocate Student Activity Fee revenues to student clubs and organizations for social, cultural, recreational, and educational programs for the student body. By statute, the university administration retains ultimate responsibility for expenditure of all fee revenues, but student leaders enjoy a good working relationship with the administration and exercise wide discretion. The SGA reconsiders and amends its by-laws on an annual basis. Graduate students are represented in the Graduate Student Association (GSA) that, through its elected Executive Council, articulates the interests of graduate students to the administration and other groups on campus. Sample minutes from major student committees are in the workroom (Exhibit 3.11).

In keeping with state legislation and Trustee policy, the university administration regularly consults the SGA regarding changes in student fees and charges. Students are asked to serve as voting members on the following committees: Athletic Board of Control; Academic Standards Committee; Curriculum Committee; Excellence in Teaching Award Committee; Distinguished Service Award Committee; Committee on Concerns of Women; Parking and Traffic Appeals Committee; University Planning and Budget Committee; Advisory Council Against Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Abuse; Advisory Committee for Students with Disabilities; University Safety and Health Committee.



The BOT website is regularly updated to ensure that all Board policies, resolutions, meeting minutes, and agendas are readily available to the public, although users report some difficulty in accessing BOT resolutions by topic.  Updating the hard copy version of the Board Policy Manual presents more of a challenge due to the volume and regularity of changes.

The CSU System Office staff gathers information and does national research on current best practices in order to provide Board members with balanced perspectives on topics of importance.  The Boardís Executive Committee informally reviews individual Board membersí effectiveness.  The Chancellor believes that a more formalized process would be beneficial, and he is researching evaluation methods of Board members in other settings with the goal of creating a more formal instrument.  The Boardís Executive Committee undertakes a rigorous annual evaluation of the Chancellor and has been asked by the Chancellor to expand their evaluation to include how well the entire System office is providing support to the Board.   

An important strength of the CSUS is student representation on the Board of Trustees.  Students are also invited to serve on a number of CCSU committees, boards, and task forces, as well as being asked to serve on ad hoc committees.  Student participation is lower than desirable.  Faculty and staff responses to the College Employee Satisfaction Survey (CESS) indicate that they would like greater student involvement in planning and decision making.

Student involvement in matters of governance currently rests with a small core group of students who hold multiple leadership roles. The Student Government Association, Student Activities/ Leadership Development and Career Services are working to help a greater number of students understand the value of campus involvement while they are undergraduates and as part of their professional development.

BOT members, the Chancellor, the President, and union leaders report positive and constructive working relationships among the BOT, the System Office, university leadership and union leadership.   The parties have collaborated successfully to settle labor contracts for teaching and administrative faculty. The parties worked closely together to receive legislative approval for the bonding package recently approved for CSUS, which will result in the completion of a number of important building projects on campus.  Some part-time faculty members believe that they have inadequate opportunity for involvement in issues of governance, feeling that their involvement is only available through the AAUP and the Faculty Senate.   

The system-wide councils have generally been an effective means of communication between the Chancellor, System office staff, and campus administrators, although some faculty members believe that there is a lack of communication coming from the System Office to the campus.  Some faculty feel that System Office decisions that affect campus constituencies have not always had the necessary advocacy from campus administrators who had a voice at the table.

The Chancellor continually reviews the effectiveness of the University through informal visits, observations, and feedback.  He believes that these activities are providing him with sufficient data and information.  Currently, there is no formalized mechanism for him to receive feedback from campus constituencies, so he is developing an instrument to obtain broad-based formal input.  He will use this data to provide feedback to the University Presidents.

The evaluation of the Chief Executive Officer is both formative and summative, and is based on the Letter of Priority which is framed by the Universityís mission and goals. The Chancellor meets with the President annually to review the progress made in addressing his Letter of Priority.  Some faculty and staff express dissatisfaction with the level of input available to them in the annual evaluation process of the President, as borne out in the CESS.  Every four years, or sooner if necessary, the Boardís Presidential Assessment Committee meets with the President to evaluate his or her performance. The Board committee also seeks input from various campus groups.  A formal instrument for evaluating presidential performance at all of the four universities will be used for the first time in 2008.  The President provides campus administrators with annual reviews, in writing and in person, which provides an opportunity to discuss ways to improve the Universityís overall effectiveness in delivering service to students. 

CBAs, BOT policies, university policies, and organizational charts are regularly updated and disseminated when changes occur, and all new faculty and staff receive copies at orientation sessions.  The Faculty Handbook is being updated for the first time in many years and should be available by fall semester, 2008 (Exhibit 3.12).  A consultant was also hired in 2008 to create a comprehensive manual on hiring and search procedures.  Concerns have been raised that the Universityís website is not systematically updated and presents navigation problems. This makes transparency more challenging and negatively affects student, faculty, and staff recruitment, fundraising, and enrollment efforts.  A 31-member Web review committee was convened in 2007, and the University has secured funding for the purchase of a Content Management System.

Between 2005 and 2008, President Miller prioritized searches that all but eliminated the high percentage of acting and interim administrators that had characterized the administration in prior years.  The turnover that preceded the current administration resulted in a loss of institutional memory, instability, and some amount of inertia.  For the first time in several years, the University is enjoying stable leadership at the highest levels of the organization, with only a single position on the Executive Committee filled by an interim appointment

By formalizing methods of communication with faculty, staff, and union leaders, the President has increased communication through the organization.  However, numerous issues occurring on campus in 2007 prompted the Faculty Senate to hold a ďno confidenceĒ vote regarding President Miller, which failed to carry


Faculty have noted that the administration has listened and responded positively to their concerns regarding the timeliness and style of communication from the administration in response to major campus issues.  The administration has improved the timeliness and tone of the communication.  While the president and administrative staff do meet regularly with faculty, staff and students, some members of these constituent groups believe that it takes a crisis to gain their full attention. 


Faculty report that the process currently in place is effective and working well to ensure academic integrity of existing programs and in the creation of new programs.  The Senate and AAUP leadership meet frequently with the President and Provost on academic program matters and they are satisfied with their level of involvement.  The administration actively seeks faculty input in the process of creating new programs.  


While some faculty believe that the administration sometimes makes decisions without consulting the Faculty Senate and that established committees of the Senate are ignored, the Faculty Senate President believes that the administration has shown a willingness to build a culture of cooperation and shared governance. For example, the parties worked together to establish new guidelines for the promotion and tenure process, and in reviewing the reorganization of the Office of Student Affairs. 



Chancellor Carterís commitment to seek input from campus constituencies on System Office policy decisions will enhance the relationship between the System office and the campus community.  Moreover, the Chancellorís decision to create more formal instruments to evaluate the effectiveness of both the BOT and the System Office will provide these bodies with valuable information to better evaluate their own effectiveness.

The Chancellor is currently reviewing and updating the CSUS Strategic Plan for the entire CSU System (known as the Focus Plan), which will serve as an umbrella over the four university missions and serve to tie them together, while maintaining their distinctive missions.  The Focus Plan will provide a framework within which CCSU can focus on its distinctive mission and strategic goals. Now that the CCSU Strategic Plan has been completed, the University can focus its efforts on achieving the goals and objectives contained therein.

At the request of the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor developed a formalized instrument for the Boardís use in more effectively evaluating the performance of the University Presidents.  This instrument will be used to evaluate President Millerís performance in 2010.  This instrument will allow for anonymous input from all members of the university community.   BOT members will visit campus to gather input from various constituencies.  This will address one of the areas identified in the College Employee Satisfaction Survey (CESS) regarding the lack of feedback mechanisms for evaluating managerial leadership.

Communication, transparency, and shared governance will be enhanced with the re-design of the university Web site and the purchase of a Content Management System, a software program that enables users to more easily create and edit information on their departmental web pages.  The updating of the Faculty Handbook and the development of a consolidated University Policy Manual, along with the creation of the comprehensive hiring and search manual, will also help to improve communication and transparency.

The stabilization of the university administration, now experiencing only normal turnover, will allow the University to move forward toward meeting the goals in the strategic plan.  This stability, and the administrationís continued participation in the system-wide councils, will improve advocacy to ensure that needs of various campus constituencies are met.

By administering the College Employee Satisfaction Survey on at least a bi-annual basis, the University will be providing continuing opportunities for faculty and staff to be involved in campus-wide planning and decision making.  Efforts will be made to improve communication with and participation of part-time faculty members in campus matters, such as participation on Faculty Senate standing committees.  The survey results will help us to better assess our strengths and weaknesses, and focus on areas where improvements are needed using information gathered from all constituencies on campus.  The CESS will be administered again in fall 2008, and administrators, faculty, and staff will continue to work collaboratively to update the survey questions and analyze the data collected.

The new decentralized budgeting process requires that administrators engage in strategic workforce planning, continually re-examining their personnel needs.  As administrators become more comfortable with this process, redeployment of personnel, revision to existing positions and/or job responsibilities, and strategic decision making based on budgetary and strategic planning will be ongoing.  While there is no formal requirement to evaluate the existing organizational structure, it has become a necessary part of the budget management process.

The Academic Assessment Committee oversees the assessment of student learning outcomes and assists departments implement their assessment plans.   The Graduate Deanís work on improving communication and resources needed to develop new graduate programs, such as funding for market studies, will improve the process used for developing such programs and receiving approval by the Curriculum Committee.

Through the coordinated efforts of the Student Government Association, the Student Activities/ Leadership Development Office, and the Department of Career Services to get more students involved in campus governance, student input into campus-wide decisions that affect them will increase.  This increased involvement by the students will enhance their opportunities for future employment.


Institutional Effectiveness

The President, in consultation with the Executive Committee and the Faculty Senate, is empowered to make recommended changes to the organizational structure as the need arises. Reporting relationships may be modified for any number of reasons, including improved communication, additional oversight, strategic alignment, or enhancement of services to students.  These issues are raised throughout the year as a result of ongoing communication among constituent groups, and recommendations may be made through a variety of avenues.  For example, in 2007, discussions among numerous affected groups resulted in a change during the search process for the position of Director of Multicultural Affairs/Director of Affirmative Action to Executive Assistant to the President/Chief Diversity Officer and inclusion on the Presidentís Executive Committee.  Also in 2007, registration for part-time students was moved from the Office of Continuing Education to the Registrarís Office in order to improve service to students, and the Learning Centerís reporting relationship was changed from the Vice President for Student Affairs to the Office of the Provost. Collective bargaining negotiations for teaching and administrative faculty that occur every three to four years provide a formal opportunity for the parties  to discuss any structural or governance issues that may require negotiation. Shared governance is and will continue to be critical to the effective functioning of the University.  There is commitment to shared governance among administrators, faculty, and staff, and there is a sense of optimism by stakeholders that the improved communication and collaboration between the parties will enhance the shared governance that is defined in the letter and the spirit of the CBA between the teaching and administrative faculty and the CSUS.

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Last Update: Tuesday September 09, 2008