The intent of the parties hereto in carrying out their responsibilities to negotiate the terms and conditions of employment of members of the bargaining unit is to promote the quality and effectiveness of education at the University of West Florida and to maintain high standards of academic excellence in all phases of instruction, research, and service. The parties concur that these objectives are facilitated by amicable adjustment of matters of mutual interest. It is recognized by the parties that mutual benefits are to be derived from continual improvement at the University of West Florida, and that participation of faculty and professional employees in the formulation of policies under which they provide their services is educationally sound.

While the United Faculty of Florida (hereafter “UFF”), as the elected bargaining agent, retains the exclusive right to negotiate and reach agreement on terms and conditions of employment for the members of the bargaining unit, and the Board of Trustees (hereafter “Board”) retains its rights, under law, to govern the University of West Florida, the parties recognize the desirability of a collegial governance system for faculty and professional employees in areas of academic concern. It is desirable that the collegial system of shared governance be maintained and strengthened so that faculty and professional employees will have a mechanism and procedure, independent of the collective bargaining process, for making recommendations to appropriate administrative officials.

Collegiality in academic governance can best be accomplished through a Senate selected by representatives of appropriate campus constituencies in accordance with the University of West Florida’s policies and traditions. Appropriate matters of concern should be brought before the Senate by its members or steering committee, or by the President of the University or representative(s). Matters which may be of concern to the Senate include (a) curriculum policy and curricular structure, (b) requirements for degrees and granting of degrees, (c) policies for recruitment, admission, and retention of students, (d) development, curtailment, discontinuance, or reorganization of academic programs, (e) grading policies, and (f) other matters of traditional concern.

In such a collegial system, departments or other traditional governance structures should play an active and responsible role in academic matters, including significant involvement in the recruitment of new faculty and professional employees, the development of high quality programs, participation in the development of tenure, promotion, and merit salary increase criteria, participation in the selection of instructional and library materials, and other matters of professional concern. The collegial relationship is most effective when peers work critically together to carry out their duties in the most professional manner possible.

In recognition of the importance of the collegial system of governance described herein, the President or representative(s) will confer regularly with representatives from the Senate or other advisory bodies.

This Preamble is a statement of intent and policy and is, therefore, not subject to Article 22 (Grievance Procedure and Arbitration).

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