Feb 21, 2024  
University Handbook 2023 - 2024 
University Handbook 2023 - 2024

3.1 - Constituencies Involved in Shared Governance

The Constitution of the State of Georgia and Georgia law authorize the Board of Regents to serve as the governing board for the University System of Georgia and its member institutions, including Kennesaw State University. The Board of Regents has authorized the President of KSU to administer all aspects of the institution’s operations in accordance with Board policies.

To accomplish that task, the President and the other administrative officers of the University engage the major constituencies of the University community through a prescribed structure and process of shared governance for the institution’s operations.

The governance model for KSU upholds the basic principles of shared governance. Three elected Advisory Governance Bodies will comprise the primary constituents of shared governance and provide adequate representation for each of the constituents of the University - Faculty Senate, Staff Senate, and Student Government Association. Each of the elected shared governance bodies will be comprised of elected members as specified by the individual body.

Staff Senate is primarily responsible for matters related to self-governance including nonacademic policies and procedures and for matters of concern to the University as a whole. The Student Government Association is responsible for matters related to student life and student organizations.

The Faculty Senate is primarily responsible for academic matters, academic personnel criteria, and governance related to academic units. The Faculty Senate is also responsible for reviewing all recommendations on matters related to faculty as a whole, along with university-wide matters when applicable.

In addition to the three elected bodies, three administrative bodies primarily responsible for implementation of shared governance decisions will be constituted. These bodies will be comprised of the Academic Deans Council, the Chairs’ and Directors’ Assembly, and the Administrators Council. Each of these councils will be comprised of members who serve as a function of their position. Each of the councils may elect leadership from among the members and maintain an executive council. The bodies will operate independently.

The elected shared governance bodies will serve a primary role for initiating policies and procedures germane to their unit and the administrative bodies will be primarily responsible for implementation of policies. However, the administrative bodies will provide feedback on matters that are directly relevant to their areas of responsibility. For example, although promotion and tenure policies are the primary domain of Faculty Senate, the Academic Deans Council and Chairs’ and Directors’ Assembly may provide input into policies initiated through the Faculty Senate.

Two strategies will be employed to promote the widest form of shared governance. First, a representative (liaison) from each of the shared governance bodies will be assigned to meet with each shared governance body. Second, the University will hold at least one open forum each semester during which the respective shared governance bodies will report on all shared governance initiatives currently operating in the respective bodies as illustrated in the following diagram.

To facilitate communication among the senates and councils, each of those representative bodies elects a liaison to the other and each liaison participates in the meetings of the other senate as a non-voting member. Senators on the Faculty and Staff Senates are elected for three-year terms in order to have sufficient time to learn their roles, understand the issues before them, and contribute to constructive recommendations for change and improvement. The President and Vice President/President-Elect of each of these senates will be elected by the senate’s voting membership from the pool of eligible senators. The membership and elections of the Student Government Association are described elsewhere in the Constitution for Student Government at KSU.

University standing committees are also vital components of KSU’s shared governance system. Their work is defined in greater detail below and they have advisory roles to particular University administrators. Each standing committee is also assigned either to the University Council or the Faculty Senate for general direction and support, as needed. Those two bodies will periodically review the activity and productivity of their assigned standing committees and take appropriate action to reactivate or abolish unnecessary standing committees.

University Committees Definitions

A standing committee may be either permanent or temporary (ad hoc). An ad hoc standing committee is formed on an as-needed basis by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, by the Faculty Senate, or by the University President. If the University President forms a standing committee, the Faculty Senate shall be notified of its title, purpose, membership makeup, names of members, and status as either ad hoc or permanent. The Staff Senate, the Student Government Association, or any administrator may request the Faculty Senate to form a standing committee. If the proposed committee impacts primarily the staff or the students or both, the administrator shall first go to those shared governance bodies with the proposal before going to the Faculty Senate.

A permanent standing committee addresses a long-standing need. These standing committees meet at least once by the end of September, unless the committee is “called as needed.” The make-up of these committees consists of teaching faculty, research faculty, administrators, staff, and students, as appropriate to the purpose of the body.

Rules for all committees

  1. Elections for standing committees will be held in the spring term, and service will start immediately or in the fall term, as appropriate. Representatives for the next academic year must be elected by the end of March. Representatives do not finish responsibilities until the name of the new representative is reported to the chair of the committee and the Vice-President of the Faculty Senate. Elections will take place consistent with department, college, or University guidelines.
  2. For a committee that allows two representatives from each college, a smaller college may supply one representative, if the college chooses to do so.
  3. Each committee chair for the upcoming academic year must be selected by the end of April and the current chair must report the new chair’s name to the Vice-President of the Faculty Senate, once elected.
  4. Each committee chair must place minutes of committee meetings and/or an end-of-year report on a committee web page that is linked to the Faculty Senate web page.
  5. Any change to committee name, responsibilities, or member composition should be reported to the Vice-President of the Faculty Senate.
  6. All elected representative positions are renewable.
  7. Each committee member is to arrange for a proxy when the committee member is unavailable to attend a meeting.
  8. The chair of a standing committee sets the dates and times of the standing committee meetings.


An ad hoc working committee has an end-date and studies and/or addresses a temporary issue, need, or project. The term “task force” may also be used to refer to an ad hoc committee, particularly when the committee contains external members selected from outside the campus community.

Committee Operations

All standing committees (permanent and ad hoc) report annually to the Faculty Senate or to a designee of the University President, as appropriate.

  1. Every standing committee chair shall present a list of committee members to the Faculty Senate Vice President/President-Elect at the end of the spring term no later than the May 1.
  2. Every standing committee chair shall present the information on the Standing Committee Annual Report Form to the Faculty Senate Vice President/President-Elect by May 1. This form is available on the Faculty Senate website.
  3. Every standing committee chair shall populate the committee’s website with the minutes of meetings and other relevant information.
  4. Every standing committee chair shall provide the Faculty Senate Vice President/President-Elect the name of a liaison from the standing committee to the Faculty Senate and/or the Staff Senate, as appropriate.
  5. Every standing committee shall meet not less than once each academic year.